VOLUME 10 SAFETY ASSURANCE SYSTEM POLICY AND PROCEDURES
CHAPTER 12 CERTIFICATION SERVICES OVERSIGHT PROCESS
Section 1 Safety Assurance System: Certification Services Oversight Process
or Denying Management Specifications.
Application Requirements for All Operators (applicable to parts
and 135 operators).
for Operating Certificate.
133.15, Application for Certificate Issuance or Renewal.
137.15, Application for Certificate.
141.13, Application for Issuance, Amendment, or Renewal.
142.11, Application for Issuance or Amendment.
145.51, Application for Certificate.
10-12-1-1 GENERAL. This chapter explains the policy, concepts, principles, roles,
responsibilities, and process for managers responsible for the Certification Services Oversight Process (CSOP).
A. Purpose. CSOP is designed to assist the
Flight Standards Service (FS) in the management of certification applications. CSOP
provides guidance to FS offices in accepting,
sequencing, tracking, and reporting new certification applicant status. CSOP
tracks applications for initial certification associated with Title 14 of the
Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts
begins upon receipt of the preapplication information and continues until the project is completed or terminated.
B. Scope. This section applies to FS managers and provides CSOP policy and procedures.
A. Certification Process. FS uses the certification process to determine if an applicant
is qualified to hold a certificate and possesses the ability to operate in a
safe manner. Before CSOP can begin, the applicant should conduct an initial
inquiry with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The applicant is also
expected to read and understand the certification process requirements for the
certificate being sought. The office receiving an initial inquiry for certification
should direct the applicant to
familiarize themselves with the certification process requirements. The initial inquiry activity is
informational only and does not initiate CSOP or the certification process.
NOTE: CSOP and certification are two distinct processes. See Volume 2 for certification process guidance.
B. Overview. CSOP provides a standard process
for communication and coordination. It allows
management to share information for analysis and sequencing of initial certification
applicants. CSOP policy and automation tools are necessary in the decision-making
process, but it is important to recognize they are only support tools. It is
essential for all involved to apply critical thinking, interdependence, and
sound judgment while working through the process. CSOP policy is designed to
provide the best possible outcome for each set of circumstances.
C. FS Responsibility. From the start of the application phase through
Continued Operational Safety (COS) oversight, FS is responsible for the certification
process. While the FS office is the focal point for all phases of the certification
process, the success and effectiveness of this critical function requires active
engagement, timely communication, and collaboration of management at all levels
in support of the flying public.
D. Assessment and Documentation. The FS office must perform an accurate assessment of
the applicant’s proposed operation and the FS resource requirements to support
the project. The results of the assessment must be documented in automation.
Documentation of reasoning and thought process is essential for the long-term
success and understanding for each project. The information will assist in sequencing
and any subsequent timeline or information request.
NOTE: Applicants have the option to use the External Portal for 14 CFR
parts managed within Safety Assurance System (SAS) automation. Title 14 CFR
parts not managed using SAS automation and applicants choosing not to use the
External Portal will require manual entry of preapplication information in the automation.
E. Resources. The organizational intent is for FS offices to manage
local resources to accomplish a national objective. The objective is to maintain
a single Applicant List. FS will use all available resources to sequence and
start certification projects. This should be applied to the decision-making
process when evaluating applications for certification, initiating a certification,
and any time circumstances change the office’s ability to perform a certification
activity. CSOP policy, process, and automation is designed to work when the
certification is accomplished in the office receiving the application or where
COS will occur. Resources to support a certification project may be provided
from any FS office and/or multiple offices. Applicants may be advanced based
on the availability of resources and/or support national interests.
F. COS. COS is an important consideration of CSOP and must be determined
during the certification process. In most cases, the office who receives the
application will be responsible for COS; however, this may not occur due to
size and scope of the operation and/or availability of resources. The certification
team must communicate with the receiving office to discuss COS from the beginning
of the certification process until COS is established. Factors to consider when
• Availability of aviation safety inspector (ASI) specialties once
the certification project has been completed. If there is a specialty shortfall, then consider if that specialty is available from another office.
• Potential risk to the office where the certification project may
impact current COS workload. ASIs should not be assigned to a new certification
if oversight of existing certificate holders will be compromised.
• Current office challenges (e.g., noncompliant certificate holders
requiring additional resources for oversight and surveillance).
• If office technical expertise meets the surveillance requirements
for the proposed operation.
• The applicant’s geographic location relative to the availability
of ASI resources conducting COS.
• Changes in office personnel, leaves of absence, training schedule,
or other personnel changes affecting the office.
• These considerations are not considered to be all inclusive.
NOTE: If the receiving office has a resource shortfall, the Office Manager
(OM) should discuss this with their division manager to determine how to approach
COS until resources are available.
G. Communication. Consistent communication and a commitment to collaboration
are necessary and expected. Regular communication between the FS office and
the applicant regarding the status of a certification project is a requirement
of CSOP. The office will notify an applicant regarding the status of their application
via telephone, letter, email, or the use of messaging functionality in the automation.
If a notification is made by telephone, the office should follow up with a letter.
1) The office receiving the application for certification is responsible for sending:
a) Applicant List Letter. Send within 10 calendar-days of “Accept for RA” status.
b) Preapplication Information Not Accepted Letter. Send within 30 calendar-days of receiving the application.
c) Applicant List Status Letter. This letter advises the applicant of their
status while on the Applicant List. Send every 60 calendar-days while on the Applicant List.
d) Transfer Letter, when applicable.
e) Termination Letter, when applicable.
2) The office with responsibility for the certification is responsible for sending:
a) In Progress Letter.
b) Termination Letter, when applicable.
H. Expectations. To ensure standardization and consistency, the Executive Director, Flight Standards
Service (AFX-1), expects every employee at every level to adhere to the CSOP
policy. The use of local procedures is not authorized.
I. Documents. Only preapplication documents, letters of intent, or documents
necessary for resource analysis should be considered for uploading to the automation in CSOP.
Table 10-12-1A. Terms and Definitions
National list of applicants who have applied
for certification in accordance with 14 CFR parts
The office with primary responsibility for
performing the certification. Resources may be located inside or
outside of the certification office.
Continued Operational Safety (COS) Office
The office with responsibility for COS after
the certification is complete.
The office receiving the application for certification.
J. Roles and Responsibilities.
1) Executive Director, Flight Standards Service (AFX-1).
a) Aviation safety, aviation commerce, and service, which includes the certification
activities covered by CSOP;
b) Ensure policy and guidance supports the development, coordination, and execution of CSOP;
c) Foster a culture within FS that supports the objectives of CSOP; and
d) Review the CSOP program as necessary to ensure that it is functioning correctly.
2) Office of Safety Standards (OSS), Safety Analysis and Promotion Division,
System Approach for Safety Oversight (SASO) Program Office (AFS-910).
a) Overall program management of CSOP;
b) Establish CSOP policy and automation to support the certification process;
c) Serve as an information resource for all FS managers;
d) Communicate automation changes and enhancements to all FS managers; and
e) Assign a national point of contact (POC) for CSOP.
3) Safety Assurance Director and Deputy Directors.
a) Designate a member(s) of management as CSOP coordinator(s). The assignment
could be a collateral duty;
b) Foster a culture within FS that supports the objectives of CSOP; and
c) Review the CSOP program as necessary to ensure it is functioning correctly.
4) Safety Assurance Division Managers.
a) Foster a culture within FS that supports the objectives of CSOP;
b) Assist OMs in determining COS office, if necessary; and
c) Interact with CSOP coordinator(s) on FS certification activity.
5) OSS, International Program Division, International Field Office Management
Branch (AFS-54) Manager.
a) Designate a member(s) of management as CSOP coordinator(s). The assignment
could be a collateral duty; and
b) Assign certification applicants to an office as necessary for the most
effective use of FS resources.
6) CSOP Coordinator.
a) Monitor and report Applicant List information to division, deputy, and
director level management. Ensure senior managers are informed of certification
activity level and any individual certification project of significant interest;
b) At least monthly, evaluate CSOP Applicant List to determine if there
are resources in other locations to assist with certifications;
c) Work with FS OM(s) to evaluate applicant advancement, resource availability,
on-the-job training (OJT) opportunities, etc.;
d) Seek consistent and efficient deployment of certification resources by
providing CSOP technical and management support to FS offices;
e) Demonstrate interdependency and adhere to CSOP policy and procedures; and
f) Work interdependently with deputy/director, division manager, and OM for CSOP.
7) FS OMs.
a) Demonstrate interdependency and adhere to CSOP policy and procedures;
b) Apply critical thinking for resource analysis required for each certification project,
and document resource analysis based on unique characteristics of the applicant’s proposed operation;
c) Use the automation to document resources needed for certification and COS;
d) Communicate with the applicant; and
e) Ensure timely entry of CSOP preapplication information in the automation.
NOTE: The OM is responsible for CSOP and the accuracy of the associated
documentation and may not delegate those responsibilities. The OM may assign
an aviation safety assistant (ASA), aviation safety technician (AST), ASI, or
Frontline Manager (FLM) as the office CSOP POC to perform CSOP functions, such
as entering and maintaining records and preparing letters. The OM retains responsibility
to begin, analyze, process, resource, or terminate certification projects.
10-12-1-7 THE CERTIFICATION SERVICES OVERSIGHT PROCESS.
Figure 10-12-1A. Certification Services Oversight Process Flowchart
A. Submit Preapplication Information (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9A). The
applicant submits the preapplication information to the FAA using the appropriate form (e.g., FAA Form
Statement of Intent; FAA Form
for Pilot School Certification; letter of intent; or statement of intent). Applicants seeking certification under parts
use the External Portal to submit preapplication information.
Upon receipt, the receiving FS OM or POC will enter preapplication information
in the automation for applicants seeking certification under parts
and 137, or
those applicants who choose to not use the External Portal.
B. Review Preapplication Information (see flowchart process step
10-12-1-9B). The receiving OM/POC reviews the preapplication information to ensure it is
complete and accurate.
NOTE: Automation includes an option on the “Section 2” tab to reroute
an applicant to a different office, when appropriate.
C. Is Preapplication Information Acceptable? (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9C).
Within 30 calendar-days of receipt, the receiving office must make the preapplication
acceptance decision. If the information is acceptable, see Step 10-12-1-9D,
Is the Applicant in Peer Group H? If the information is not acceptable, see
Step 10-12-1-9E, Return Preapplication Information.
NOTE: See Table 10-12-1B, Certification Services Oversight Process Peer
Groups, for a complete list.
D. Is the Applicant in Peer Group H? (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9D).
If the applicant is in Peer Group H and applying for FAA certification under
provisions of a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA), check the box in
the automation, which moves the applicant to Certification Projects, and see
Step 10‑12-1-9L, Initiate Certification. If the applicant is not in Peer Group
H, see Step 10-12-1-9G, Resource Analysis.
E. Return Preapplication Information (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9E).
If the preapplication information is not acceptable, select “Return” in the
“Disposition Request” block located in the “Section 2” tab of Preapplication
Information/CSOP. Notify the applicant using the template letter in the automation.
The applicant may then choose to resubmit the preapplication information.
F. Resubmit Preapplication Information? (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9F).
If the applicant decides to resubmit the preapplication information, then see
Step 10-12-1-9A, Submit Preapplication Information.
G. Resource Analysis (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9G). Within
10 calendar-days of “Accept for RA” status, the OM/POC of the receiving
office completes the resource analysis. This includes the characteristics of
the applicant’s proposed operation and the minimum number of inspectors, by
specialty, required for the certification. Additionally, an assessment of the
receiving office’s ability to conduct COS once the certification is complete
is required. This information will provide clarity to the office that ultimately works the
project from the Applicant List.
H. Add to Applicant List (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9H). The
receiving office selects the “Applicant List” button in the automation, which
adds the project to the list, see Step 10-12-1-9I, Applicant List. Notify the
applicant using the template letter in the automation. The receiving office
retains responsibility for communication with the applicant while on the Applicant List.
NOTE: General Aviation Safety Assurance (GASA) applicants must be placed
on the Applicant List in the automation. Peer Group A and IFO applicants may
proceed to Step 10-12-1-9K, Resource Assignment.
I. Applicant List (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9I). While the
applicant is on the list, the receiving office must communicate with the applicant
regarding their status on the list at least every 60 calendar‑days using the
template letter in the automation. Document the date in the automation each
time a letter is sent using the “Date Last Official Notification” on the “Applicant
List” tab. Automation sets the date of reference for the 60 calendar-days based
on the date the applicant was last contacted.
NOTE: The office must refrain from speculating as to when the certification
project might begin.
J. Manage the Applicant List (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9J).
Managers should continually assess their office’s ability to support the organizational
priorities surrounding certification. This also includes the receiving office’s
ability to manage COS. Opportunities to interact with the Applicant List and
initiate certifications include:
• Any time the receiving office adds an applicant to the Applicant List;
• Office leadership/team meetings;
• Division manager assignment of a project to an office;
• Annual Planning Meeting;
• Quarterly Planning Reviewanticipate certification capabilities
for each quarter; and
• Any time circumstances change the office’s ability to perform
a certification, such as OJT, newly qualified inspectors, or resource sharing opportunities.
1) Applicant Advancement. When considering certification, begin by selecting
the first applicant on the Applicant List. If an office is unable to support
a certification for the first applicant on the Applicant List, managers may
begin a certification out of order by choosing “Applicant Advancement.” When
this occurs, the manager must select the reason for advancement and provide
justification in the “Applicant List” tab.
2) Transfers. If the receiving office determines they do not have sufficient
resources, then managers may determine that an applicant should be transferred
to another office for COS. Managers involved with the applicant’s transfer should
contact the applicant by phone or email to inform them that their application
will be transferred. When the applicant is transferred, the transferring office
sends the Transfer Letter using the template in the automation. The office receiving
the transferred applicant must contact that applicant within 10 calendar-days.
The applicant must be on the Applicant List prior to transfer. The office receiving the
transferred applicant begins the process using flowchart process Step 10-12-1-9J,
Manage the Applicant List.
NOTE: If a decision regarding COS has not been made by the completion
of phase 4, then the certification OM, receiving OM, and division managers,
if necessary, should determine which office will manage COS. This should be
done prior to beginning phase 5 of the certification project.
K. Resource Assignment (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9K). The
certification office assigns one or more resources to work a certification.
Resources, including the certification project manager (CPM), may be provided
from any office and may involve multiple offices.
L. Initiate Certification (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9L). The
certification office initiates certification and sends the applicant the In
Progress Letter using the template in the automation. Initiate certification
in accordance with Volume 2.
M. Review Applicant List (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9M). The
CSOP coordinator will at least monthly:
• Review the Applicant List Report;
• Report applicant advancements; and
• Report applicant transfers.
N. Interdependence Discussion with OM (see flowchart process step 10-12-1-9N).
The CSOP coordinator collaborates with OMs to manage the Applicant List (see Step 10-12-1-9J, Manage the Applicant List) as follows:
• Determine resource requirements for applicants on the Applicant List;
• Assess resource availability and locate additional resources, as necessary;
• Use reports to assist in locating additional resources and identify
offices that have resources available to begin a certification from the Applicant List;
• Request information regarding applicants on the Applicant List
from the receiving office; and
• Recommend the division manager assign an applicant to an office
NOTE: If there is disagreement regarding resource allocation or project
assignment, the division manager will make the final determination on disposition
of the certification for applicants on the Applicant List.
In the event a certification is terminated, the manager will document the reason
for the termination and notify the applicant using the template letter in the
10-12-1-13 CSOP PEER GROUPS. CSOP includes CFR parts not currently managed in SAS. Peer
groups M, N, O, and P are in the CSOP portion of SAS only. A complete list of
peer groups is listed in Table 10-12-1B below.
Table 10-12-1B. Certification Services Oversight Process Peer Groups
or More Seats)
Part 135 (9
or Less Seats)
or Less Seats/Single Pilot)
145 Within U.S.
the U.S. Without Aviation Safety Agreement
the U.S. With Aviation Safety Agreement
141 Pilot Schools
142 Training Centers
Maintenance Technician Schools
91K Fractional Ownership
10-12-1-15 through 10-12-1-29 RESERVED.