the Australian Government Profile of the Common Alerting Protocol ( CAP )

CAP-AU Specification : download

         FrontCover of the CAP-AU v3.0 Spec   FrontCover of CAP-AU Attachment A   FrontCover of CAP-AU Attachment B   FrontCover of CAP-AU Attachment C 
For downloading the CAP-AU Profile Specification documents, and for more information on the CAP-AU Specification, validation of CAP-AU-STD alert files, and other implementation issues, see CAP-AU Profile (CAP-AU-STD) Specification
The metadata record for CAP-AU is here: http://www.bom.gov.au/metadata/19115/ANZCW0503900539


The introduction of the CAP-AU Profile of CAP provides a formal national agreement on CAP, enabling all Australian, State and Territory governments to improve the exchange and interoperability of hazard alerting messages between systems. Original development was governed by the requirements of the (Department of Finance and Deregulation) National Standards Framework in 2011.

What is CAP?

CAP (and the Australian Profile of it: CAP-AU-STD) is a standardised data exchange format, using XML, that allows consistent and easy to understand emergency messages to be broadcast across a variety of communication systems. CAP can be used to alert and inform emergency response agencies, media and the general public.
CAP ensures that messages remain consistent and clearly indicate to the recipient the severity of the threat and best response.
The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is an international standard (developed by OASIS) that facilitates the construction and exchange of emergency alert and warning messages between various systems and networks. A single CAP message that appears in one person's email inbox as text may also be converted into speech and transmitted over radio station networks.

The same text can appear as a SMS text message on the mobile phone handsets of people travelling into or through the warning area, trigger the pagers of emergency service personnel, appear as text on electronic highway signs, or activate the warning sirens. People with disabilities, including the deaf and hard of hearing, the blind and vision impaired and people from non-English speaking backgrounds will also be better served by consistent delivery of warnings and public-safety information through all available technology based devices that they use to receive information.

Who should use CAP-AU Profile

  • Governments, Organisations and Agencies seeking to provide a common standardised national approach to distributing alerts or warnings about all hazards
  • Organisations seeking to interoperate with emergency alerting agencies or internally with their employees, and
  • Industry who market technologies that facilitate the distribution of alert and warning messages to the Australian public, or manage incidents of interest to organisations

Background on CAP-AU (CAP-AU-STD) development

CAP-AU Profile was initially developed as part of a project funded for 3 years (2009 - 2012) by National Emergency Management Projects funding. Outcomes also included:
  • an analysis of Australian emergency management standards and potential hazards in the Australian environment
  • improvement of the content of warnings as recommended in the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission final report, and
  • support for the underlying principles of the Australian Government’s Information Interoperability Framework and the National Information Sharing Strategy.
The standard was endorsed by the Cross Jurisdictional Chief Information Officers Committee (CJCIOC) in May 2012 and was released to the public in June 2012.


The governance framework for CAP-AU-STD includes :
  • the Australian Government Custodian (CAP-AU Custodian) for the CAP-AU-STD
  • the CAP-AU Stakeholder Group
  • the CAP-AU Technical Reference Group, and
  • a Change Advisory Board
Emergency Management Australia was the CAP-AU Custodian until December 2017.
The Bureau of Meteorology is the current CAP-AU Custodian.


A discussion-list ( https://mystic.ses.nsw.gov.au/mailman/listinfo/cap-au-comm ) for CAP-AU Community has been created, and previous postings will be archived there.
The first "CAP-AU News" is available from http://purl.org/cap-au/ftp1/misc/news/CAPAU-News01.pdf

Feedback and contact details

Inquiries regarding CAP-AU implementation practices, the content of the CAP-AU-STD profile, or future CAP-AU changes and revision activities, can be addressed to the CAP-AU Custodian, at CAPAU.CUSTODIAN@bom.gov.au. The CAP-AU Change Request/Feedback form is here.

Related Websites:

Webpage last revised : 2018-10-11