8900.1 CHG 423


chapter 13  FLIGHT STANDARDS Certification Services Oversight Process

Section 1  Flight Standards Certification Services Oversight Process

11-362    BACKGROUND. The Certification Services Oversight Process (CSOP) is an information resource to assist Flight Standards Service (AFS) decisionmakers in the management of certification applications. CSOP provides guidance to AFS field and regional offices in accepting, sequencing, tracking, and reporting certification activities.

A.    Audience. The audience includes AFS field offices, branches and divisions in the regions, and in headquarters (HQ).

B.    Scope. CSOP covers certification activities associated with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 91 subpart K (part 91K), 121, 125, 133, 135, 137, 141, 142, 145, and 147.


A.    Certification Process. Certification is one of the most important responsibilities of AFS. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) uses the certification process to determine that an applicant is qualified to hold a certificate and operate in a safe manner. The process also verifies that the FAA has the ability to provide the required oversight.

B.    Oversight Tools. In order to fulfill these obligations, AFS developed CSOP. CSOP provides a standard set of tools for communication, resource management, and certification workload determination. It allows management to share information for analysis and sequencing of initial certifications. CSOP worksheets and guidelines are necessary and useful in the decisionmaking process, but it is important to recognize that they are only tools. Decisions cannot always follow the same path, because no two situations are exactly the same. In order to provide the best possible outcome for each discrete pattern of facts and circumstances, it is essential to apply the critical thinking and sound judgment that arises from the safety professional’s experience.

C.    AFS Responsibility. From the start of the application phase through Continued Operational Safety (COS) oversight, the FAA in general and AFS in particular are responsible for the certification process. While the field office is the focal point for all phases of the certification process, the success and effectiveness of this critical function require the active engagement of management at the field office, region, and HQ levels. Constant communication and collaborative commitment are necessary and expected, both vertically and laterally throughout AFS, if the organization is to fulfill its obligations to the FAA and the flying public.

D.    Use of Resources. This policy incorporates the collaborative “One Flight Standards Service” philosophy and vision into the decisionmaking process by applying the “shared resources” and “work program accomplishment” policies to CSOP decisionmaking and resourcing. Specifically, this policy promotes and enables the best use of resources through a common-sense approach to sequencing certification projects. While a “first-in, first-out” approach to sequencing certification projects may be a good starting point, it is not necessarily and not always the best way to administer CSOP. Managers may sort their office certification projects by 14 CFR type and determine if applicants in other 14 CFR types may be certificated because resources exist for that certification project. There also could be a situation where an applicant’s operation may be vital to the area and, for those documented reasons, the situation would justify advancing the applicant’s request ahead of applications received earlier. Also, while COS is important, critical, and necessary, managers must not use it in isolation or as a rationale for halting or delaying certification projects. Instead, managers must conduct an effective and accurate analysis of available resources in order to produce the best results in determining prioritization of the CSOP work flow. This analysis must include resources that may not reside at the field office or even in the region where the certification application is made.

11-364    RESPONSIBILITIES. To assure standardization and consistency, the Director of AFS expects every employee at every level to embrace this philosophy, support the program, and adhere to this national policy. The use of separate regional/local procedures is not authorized.

A.    Director, Flight Standards Service (AFS-1). The Director, a deputy director, or any individual acting for AFS-1 may approve all policy and guidance changes to the CSOP. AFS-1’s responsibilities include:

1)    Assuring aviation safety while at the same time enabling aviation commerce and service, which includes the certification activities covered by CSOP.
2)    Responsible for the policy and guidance that enables the development, coordination, and execution of CSOP.
3)    Fostering a culture within AFS that supports these objectives.
4)    Reviewing the CSOP program as necessary to assure that it is functioning correctly, and reviewing specific certification projects identified by division managers.

B.    Flight Standards National Field Office (FSNFO) (AFS-900). Responsibilities include:

1)    The AFS-900 Continual Improvement Program Office (CIPO) is responsible for the operation and continual improvement of the CSOP.
2)    The division manager of AFS-900 reports to AFS-1 on CSOP matters.
3)    Responsibilities of the CIPO manager include, but are not limited to:

    Establishing CSOP policy and automation to support AFS certification services.

    Producing CSOP reports as requested by AFS-1.

    Serving as an information resource for all AFS managers.

    Reporting system changes and enhancements to all AFS managers.

    Appointing a point of contact (POC) to administer the CSOP information system.

C.    Regional Division Manager. Responsibilities include:

    Designating Regional CSOP POC.

    Providing CSOP support to field offices, as necessary.

D.    AFS Management. Responsibilities include:

    Assuring adherence to established CSOP procedures.

    Assessment and justification of personnel required for each certification project.

    Accuracy of submitted data.

    Assuring adherence to established Quality Management System (QMS) procedures.

    Timely completion of the CSOP Preapplication Statement of Intent (PASI) Summary in the CSOP PASI Summary Form on the CSOP SharePoint site.

NOTE:  CSOP data will be used to support AFS initiatives.

Indicates new/changed information.

11-365    CSOP PROCEDURES. AFS personnel must follow the guidance contained in AFS-002-900-S1, CSOP Standard Operating Procedure. AFS-002-900-S1 is located in the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) (http://fsims.avs.faa.gov) under the Publications tab, “Other Documents.” This guidance is for AFS management to use in accepting, sequencing, and reporting organizational certification activities using the CSOP SharePoint Web site.


A.    Field Office Access. Field office management will approve access to the regional CSOP SharePoint site for each authorized employee by submitting the names and Aviation Safety (AVS) user names to the regional CSOP POC.

B.    Regional Division Access. Regional division management will approve access to the CSOP SharePoint site for each authorized employee by submitting the names to the regional CSOP POC.

C.    HQ Access. HQ division management will approve access to the CSOP SharePoint site for each authorized employee by submitting the names to the AFS-900 CSOP POC.

D.    Delegation of Authority. Managers and supervisors may delegate this authority to personnel in accordance with standard procedures.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 11-367 through 11-382.