8900.1 CHG 546



Section 4  Designee Focal Points


A.    Operations: 1563, 1660, 1664, 1665, 1666, 1939.

B.    Maintenance: 3520, 3529, 3675, 3676, 3677, 3939.

C.    Avionics: 5520, 5529, 5675, 5676, 5939.

13-482    OBJECTIVE. This section provides guidance for designating “focal points” within each region and field office to monitor the activities of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Standards Service (AFS) designees and acts as a resource for principal inspectors (PI) with designee oversight responsibilities.

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A.    Prerequisites. This task requires knowledge of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61, 63, or 65, and part 183 regulations and FAA policies. The task also requires qualification as an aviation safety inspector (ASI) (Operations or Airworthiness), as applicable.

    Training. Specific courses required for designee oversight are listed in “Inspector Training for Designee Oversight” matrix. The training matrix is maintained on the Flight Standards Training Division (AFS‑500) Knowledge Services Network (KSN) site. To access it, click the link on the AFS-500 MyFAA home page under “Other Links.” The training matrix is organized by designee type, and promotes the AFS philosophy that the most appropriate person (or target audience) should attend the right training at the right time. The regional/local training coordinators can also provide access to the training matrix and assistance on training needs assessment for ASIs assigned to designee management.

C.    Coordination. This task may require coordination between the regional AFS division, the Regulatory Support Division (AFS-600), and/or the General Aviation and Commercial Division (AFS-800).

13-484    GENERAL. Inspectors will accomplish the surveillance of designees in accordance with FAA Order 1800.56, National Flight Standards Work Program Guidelines. In order to enhance designee oversight, each AFS Regional Office (RO) should appoint a focal point within the region and each field office manager should appoint a focal point within the field office to monitor the activities of designees within the region or field office’s jurisdictional oversight. National Flight Standards Work Program Guidelines. In order to enhance designee oversight, each AFS Regional Office (RO) should appoint a focal point within the region and each field office manager should appoint a focal point within the field office to monitor the activities of designees within the region or field office’s jurisdictional oversight.

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13-485    PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION. The regional and field office designee focal points serve as resources for other inspectors in the area of designee oversight and surveillance. Designee focal points address issues relating to designee training, duties, and surveillance. ASIs should consult with a designee focal point any time a question arises.

NOTE:  Each policy division with designee responsibilities should have an assigned focal point who is available to serve as a resource for the regional focal points.

A.    Types of Focal Points.

1)    Airworthiness. Airworthiness focal points can provide guidance about Designated Airworthiness Representative‑Maintenance (DAR-T), as well as Technical Personnel Examiners (TPE), which include Designated Mechanic Examiners (DME) and Designated Parachute Rigger Examiners (DPRE).
2)    Operations. Operations focal points can provide guidance about Designated Pilot Examiners (DPE).

NOTE:  Always direct questions to the regional focal point. If the regional focal point needs additional guidance, he or she will consult with the appropriate policy division or national program office (NPO).

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B.    Appointment. Each regional division manager will appoint at least one regional Airworthiness focal point and Operations focal point and forward the name to the Delegation Program Branch (AFS-650). Each field office manager will appoint at least one field office Airworthiness focal point and Operations focal point, as applicable, and forward the names to AFS-650.

NOTE:  For offices with a high volume of designee surveillance responsibilities, the field office manager may appoint a second focal point.

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A.    Eligibility Requirements. In addition to the requirements of paragraph 13-483, regional and field office designee focal points must exhibit and exercise the interpersonal skills defined in Volume 1, Chapter 3, Section 2.

1)    Completed the on-the-job training (OJT) program assigned by the local field office (field office focal points only).
2)    Have at least three years of experience in a field office.
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3)    Attend field office annual designee meetings (when possible).

B.    Regional Focal Point Responsibilities. Regional designee focal points are responsible for:

1)    Monitoring the management of designees within the region. This includes working closely with field offices to:
a)    Remain aware of performance issues and determine if these issues are a regionwide problem or unique to the field office; and
b)    Resolve performance issues and implement changes, if necessary, and coordinate designee‑related issues with regional office management and personnel.

NOTE:  If the issue is determined to be a regionwide problem, or a policy/process issue, the regional focal point will report the circumstances of the situation to the appropriate policy division through the accepted methods within the Quality Management System (QMS) and the directive feedback system.

2)    Compiling and analyzing data from all offices within the region to determine the health of the designee program within the region. This includes:
a)    Working with field offices to collect relevant data and recommend changes in policy/process when necessary;
b)    Reporting back to the field offices with the results of the analysis, including recommendations for changes when necessary; and
c)    Reporting any significant results of the analysis to AFS-650, including any recommendations for policy/process changes.
3)    Working closely with field office focal points to plan and conduct the annual designee meeting. The regional focal point should provide the field offices with subject matter for the annual designee meeting as it relates to the designee program in the region, and participate in the annual meeting whenever possible.
4)    Promoting open communication with field office focal points at all times.
5)    Maintaining liaisons with AFS-600, AFS-800, as applicable, and regional offices regarding current designee policy. This includes, but is not limited to, working with the field office focal points to correct any designee issues in the office or the region that affect the quality of the designee program.
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6)    Working closely with AFS-650, including attending the regional focal point meetings, as scheduled. Regional focal points will assist AFS-650 in compiling data from field offices, as well as regional offices, and provide their own analysis of that data when asked. The regional focal points will relay information from AFS-650 to field offices, including information covered during the regional focal point meetings. Regional focal points will recommend changes to policy, processes, or information technology (IT) requirements, and will assist AFS-650 in the development of policy, process, or IT changes upon request.
7)    Maintaining a current list of field office focal points. Regional focal points will ensure the validity of the list of field office focal points annually in October, and forward any changes to the list to AFS‑650 when the changes occur.

C.    Field Office Focal Point Responsibilities. At the field office level, designee focal points are responsible for:

1)    Working with the PIs to review a sample of the submissions by designees to ensure adequate performance, and that the applicable guidance is followed as set forth in FAA Order 8900.1, Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS), and FAA Order 8900.2, General Aviation Airman Designee Handbook, or FAA Order 8100.8, Designee Management Handbook. This guidance does not require the designee focal point to review all submissions by designees.
2)    Working with the PIs to take action necessary to correct performance issues and communicating performance issues with the regional focal point, when necessary.
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3)    Ensuring the designee annual meeting requirements are met and properly documented for each designee. Topics will include:

    Designee procedures,

    Local problem areas,

    Designee performance,

    Designee standards, and

    Designation renewal.

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NOTE:  Plan and conduct the annual meeting with input from the regional focal point to ensure any regional issues have been addressed.

4)    Providing guidance to and answering questions from other inspectors in the office who have responsibility for designee management. Providing guidance to and answering questions from other field office personnel, such as aviation safety technicians (AST) who perform functions dealing with any portion of the certification file.
5)    Keeping all personnel in the office aware of current designee issues, such as:

    Changes to the policies or processes regarding designees,

    Regional issues regarding designees, and

    Areas of emphasis related to designees.


A.    References (current editions):

    Title 14 CFR Parts 1, 21, 39, 43, 61, 65, 91, and 183.

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    All Appropriate Practical Test Standards (PTS)/Airman Certification Standards (ACS).

    FAA Order 8900.2, General Aviation Airman Designee Handbook.

    FAA Order 8100.8, Designee Management Handbook.

B.    Forms. None.

C.    Job Aids. None.

13-488    TASK OUTCOMES. Completion of this task may result in the appointment of one or more of the following designee focal points:

    Airworthiness (regional level),

    Operations (regional level),

    Airworthiness (field office level), and/or

    Operations (field office level).


A.    Publications. Airworthiness focal points should have access to all publications relevant to the oversight of TPEs and DAR-Ts. Operations focal points should have access to all publications relevant to the oversight of DPEs.

B.    Continuing Availability. Airworthiness and Operations focal points must be available to other inspectors to serve as a resource and answer questions about designee training, renewal, and other issues related to designee oversight and surveillance.

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RESERVED. Paragraphs 13-490 through 13-497.