The Defence Safety Inspectorate supervises the physical and social safety in the Defence organisation. It evaluates the efficacy of policies, the implementation of regulations in practice and investigates serious incidents. In exercising this control, the inspectorate aims to strengthen the Defence organisation’s safety culture and its ability to learn. Making the working environment as safe as possible is a shared objective throughout the Defence organisation. Every member of the workforce must be aware of safety risks. Safety requires attention, again and again.

What is the Defence Safety Inspectorate?

The Defence Safety Inspectorate (Inspectie Veiligheid Defensie, IVD) was set up in 2018. It supervises:

  • the standard of task performance;
  • compliance with laws and regulations concerning physical and social safety.

Its supervision also extends to mission areas.

Approach and working methods

The IVD conducts three types of investigation:

  1. System supervision. Is the work done to a good standard, and is it done safely? Are safety and safety management organised properly, and is it working?
  2. Theme-based supervision. Theme-based investigations look into specific aspects of safety, such as the transport of dangerous goods. These themes can arise from incidents, risk analyses, political and social news or findings from previous investigations.
  3. Incident investigation. The Defence organisation has four categories of incidents: category 1 is the least serious and category 4 is the most serious. The inspectorate is responsible for conducting investigations into category 4 incidents, and can investigate incidents in the other categories if needed.


The Netherlands Minister of Defence has declared the ministerial regulation ‘Instructions on government inspections’ applicable to the IVD. This regulation ensures that the IVD is independent and determines how it is organised and how it works. Like the other state inspectorates, the IVD is positioned directly under the Secretary-General. The IVD is independent in its choice of subjects for investigation and the way in which it conducts investigations. It informs the minister and the state secretary directly about findings, conclusions and recommendations. The IVD is independent of policy and implementation. The IVD is transparent in its way of working. The IVD’s annual work programme, annual report and reports are made public when the minister presents them to parliament.