DAOD 3002-1, Certification of Ammunition and Explosives

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Overview
  4. Principles of Certification of Ammunition and Explosives
  5. Ammunition Safety and Suitability Board
  6. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2004-07-30

Date of Last Modification: 2017-12-05

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members).

Approval Authority: Director Ammunition and Explosives Regulation (DAER)

Enquiries: Director Ammunition and Explosives Regulation (DAER)

2. Definitions

ammunition (munitions)

Has the same meaning as in DAOD 3002-0, Ammunition and Explosives.

explosive (explosif)

Has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Explosives Act.

interchangeability (interchangeabilité)

A condition which exists when two or more items, in a specified life cycle and environment, possess such functional and physical characteristics as to be equivalent in safety, performance and durability, and are capable of being exchanged one for the other without alteration of the items themselves, or of adjoining items, except for adjustment, and without selection for fit and performance.

safety and suitability for service (sécurité et aptitude au service)

The requirement for ammunition and explosives to be acceptably free from hazards and to have inherent characteristics that meet specified requirements during their agreed life cycle.

Note – It does not include operational effectiveness.

3. Overview


3.1 The DND and the CAF are committed to ensuring the safety and suitability for service (S3) of all ammunition and explosives.

Safety of Ammunition and Explosives Designs

3.2 Ammunition and explosives designs are considered safe if they have an acceptable level of freedom from hazards and conditions that can cause the following effects:

  1. death, injury or occupational illness to non-targeted individuals; or
  2. inadvertent damage to or loss of equipment or property.

4. Principles of Certification of Ammunition and Explosives


4.1 Certification is the complete process of validation and approval of ammunition and explosives.

4.2 The Ammunition Safety and Suitability Board (ASSB) is responsible for validating the evaluation of all ammunition and explosives, unless exempted under paragraph 4.5.

4.3 Once the validation process is complete, the ASSB Chairperson informs the appropriate level one (L1) advisor who approves the use of ammunition and explosives in accordance with the Authority Table in DAOD 3002-0.

4.4 The approval for use by the L1 advisor, following the ASSB validation of the evaluation, completes the certification process.

Exemptions from Certification

4.5 Ammunition and explosives are exempt from certification if they meet the following criteria:

  1. there are ammunition or explosives logistic shortfalls which may hamper the effectiveness of CAF operations and the ammunition or explosives in question have recognized interchangeability with ammunition or explosives already certified by the DND and the CAF;
  2. the ammunition or explosives are produced for and used exclusively by the Assistant Deputy Minister (Science & Technology) or the Munitions Experimental Test Centre; or
  3. the ammunition or explosives are intended for use on defence establishments, but only by persons other than DND employees or CAF members.

4.6 Despite these exemptions, if doubt exists regarding the S3 of ammunition or explosives meeting any of the above criteria, the procedures set out in paragraphs 4.7 and 4.8 should be applied.

Certification Process

4.7 The objective of certification is ensuring the S3 of ammunition and explosives. The certification process is:

  1. initiated at the outset of:
    1. a capability development review which involves the ammunition or explosives, and their use; and
    2. the acquisition of ammunition or explosives;
  2. continued during design, modification and development of ammunition or explosives; and
  3. completed prior to the introduction of the ammunition or explosives into use.

4.8 The process is further described in C-09-005-007/TS-001, Ammunition and Explosives Safety Manual, Volume 7, Certification of Ammunition, Explosives and Accessories for Service Use.

Note – Timing the certification process to coincide with acquisition milestones is essential for effective and prudent fiscal and programme management practices.

Certification for Limited Use

4.9 The ASSB may carry out the certification of ammunition and explosives for the following limited uses:

  1. a specific occurrence, such as a trial;
  2. a product demonstration; or
  3. an unforecast operational requirement.

Qualified Ammunition Technical Authority

4.10 As a result of the complexities of ammunition and explosives design and associated regulatory requirements, a Qualified Ammunition Technical Authority (QATA) must supervise any evaluation that supports the S3 certification process.

4.11 In order to carry out the duties of a QATA, DND employees and CF members require specialist training in ammunition and explosives design as set out in C-09-005-007/TS-001.

Service Use Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

4.12 In accordance with the Authority Table in DAOD 3002-0, as part of the approval to use ammunition and explosives, each applicable L1 advisor must appoint a DND employee or CF member as a Service Use OPI to:

  1. direct the use of a specific ammunition or explosive; and
  2. provide use criteria for the ammunition or explosive, as set out in NATO Allied Ordnance Publication (AOP) – 15, Guidance on the Assessment of the Safety and Suitability for Service of Non-Nuclear Munitions for NATO Armed Forces, for certification purposes.

Validation Standards

4.13 Standards are applied during the validation of ammunition and explosives to:

  1. benefit the overall safety of the operator or user;
  2. safeguard the resources of the DND and the CAF; and
  3. maintain interchangeability of ammunition and explosives with allied nations.

Ammunition and Explosives Validation Standards Responsibility Table

4.14 The following table identifies the primary responsibilities for ammunition and explosives validation standards:

The ... is or are responsible for establishing standards for ...

Commander Canadian Special Operations Forces Command

  • ammunition and explosives design and life cycle requirements for items unique to the command.

Deputy Chief of Staff Force Health Protection

  • occupational and environmental health effects on personnel; and
  • QATA training relating to occupational and environmental health effects requirements.


  • S3 policy requirements.

Director Ammunition and Explosives Management and Engineering (DAEME)

  • ammunition and explosives design and life cycle requirements;
  • S3 assessment requirements;
  • QATA training relating to ammunition and explosives engineering and technical requirements; and
  • the management of QATA training.

Director Land Equipment Programme Staff

  • environmental protection requirements; and
  • QATA training relating to environmental protection requirements.

J4 Ammunition Canadian Operational Support Command

  • logistic requirements; and
  • QATA training relating to logistical requirements.

DND employees and CF members appointed as Service Use OPIs

  • weapon system design and life cycle requirements; and
  • ammunition and explosives use criteria as set out in NATO AOP – 15.

Note – The Director International and Operational Law, Office of the Judge Advocate General, provides advice on Canadian and international law relating to ammunition and explosives design, and advises on standards for QATA training relating to legal requirements for validation of ammunition and explosives.

5. Ammunition Safety and Suitability Board


5.1 The ASSB provides impartial validation of the S3 of ammunition and explosives designs. The validation is based upon:

  1. design review;
  2. evidence obtained during development;
  3. selected tests on the ammunition or explosive;
  4. the proposed production version; and
  5. the weapons system environment (e.g. temperature, vibration profile, electro-magnetic spectrum and interface requirements).

5.2 The validation process should be carried out prior to an ammunition or explosives acquisition commitment.


5.3 The ASSB is composed of permanent and associate members according to the nature of the ammunition or explosive under consideration.

5.4 The ASSB Chairperson is appointed in writing by the ADM(Mat).

Assignment of Authority

5.5 The ASSB Chairperson may assign the authority for certifying limited use activities and changes to previously certified ammunition and explosives to other members of the ASSB or the DAEME. Any such assignment must be in writing.


5.6 Unless there is a direct effect on the S3 of ammunition and explosives, the ASSB does not consider:

  1. performance on target; or
  2. weapons or guidance system performance.

5.7 Responsibility and accountability for the above aspects remains with the Service Use OPI.

Validation Criteria

5.8 The validation of ammunition and explosives is based on criteria from both national requirements and international obligations, including:

  1. weapon system environment and associated interface specifications;
  2. compliance with international, national and provincial laws;
  3. safety of the ammunition throughout its life cycle, including transport, storage, deployment, use, maintenance and disposal;
  4. maturity of design and the validation programme;
  5. insensitivity to selected accidental and combat threats;
  6. environmental impact;
  7. potential health hazards;
  8. operating factors such as temperature, weapon interface, ballistic profile, etc.; and
  9. overall suitability for use in the intended role.

Applicable Documents

5.9 In the determination of recommendations for the certification of ammunition, ASSB members apply Canadian law, international agreements and applicable policies, orders and directions, including:

  1. CF publications;
  2. Quadripartite Standardization Agreements;
  3. NATO standardization agreements (STANAGs); and
  4. NATO AOPs.

6. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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