Compliance program | ACMA

Compliance program

The ACMA takes a risk-management approach to compliance and is increasing efforts to differentiate engagement with people based on the view of their relative likelihood of non-compliance and the consequences of their behaviour.

The ACMA will verify compliance via risk reviews and audits where it is believed that the likelihood of non-compliance is higher. The ACMA will also seek assurance that compliance is occurring where the consequences are relatively high.

The ACMA's approach to compliance is threefold:

  • Intelligence gathering
  • Processing intelligence
  • Responding to intelligence

Intelligence gathering

Using various research and investigative methods, the ACMA collects raw data on non-compliance with technical regulations. One particularly important way of gaining intelligence is through public submission. If you have an issue that you would like to report, please contact the ACMA's Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115 or

Processing intelligence

Using our risk assessment methods, the ACMA processes the raw data to come up with its yearly priority compliance areas. These priority compliance areas are risk assessed on the basis of their likelihood and the following factors:

  • Impact on safety and life
  • Impact on consumers and the public
  • Impact on spectrum management
  • Impact on government regulation
  • Impact on commerce and the economy

Each case is assigned a risk if it falls into one of these previously assessed types, and cases are then treated according to these previously defined risks. However, the behaviour of the subject of a case, and his or her willingness to cooperate, can also affect the manner in which a case is ultimately treated.

Acting upon intelligence

A case that falls within a priority compliance area will usually be dealt with as a high priority. A further assessment is then done on the subject of the complaint. The subject's attitude to mitigating the risk will affect how the ACMA will follow through with the case. For instance, someone who has decided not to comply despite the ACMA's efforts to persuade them otherwise may face compliance and enforcement options.

Cases involving serious non-compliance may lead to prosecution.

Priority compliance areas

Information on previous and current priority compliance areas (PCA) is available here:

Information on the PCA outcomes is available here:

Last updated: 10 February 2019