Technical Airworthiness Authority Accreditation Process

Effective Date: 10 May 2013

OPI / Telephone: DTAES 4-5-2 / 819-939-4780

Reference: TAM Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2, Annexes A to E

1.     Purpose

1.1.     This Technical Airworthiness Authority (TAA) Advisory describes the process by which the TAA issues technical airworthiness accreditations to a Design Organization (ADO), Technical Organization (ATO), Maintenance Organization (AMO), Manufacturing Organization (AMfgO), Materiel Support Organization (AMSO), or a combination thereof.

1.2.     This TAA Advisory is not mandatory, nor does not constitute a regulation. It describes a means acceptable to the TAA, but is not the only means to demonstrate compliance to the regulation(s). If you elect to use this Advisory, then all the important aspects of it must be followed.

2.      Applicability

2.1.      This TAA Advisory is applicable to organizations contracted to perform airworthiness-related activities for the Department of National Defence.

3.      Related Material

3.1.    Definitions:

  1.  DTAES 4-5. Office of Primary Interest (OPI) responsible for the management and accreditation oversight of all industry organization accreditations.
  2. DND Sponsor. Person within DND/CAF whose main responsibility is to ensure that the applicant’s requested scope and depth of airworthiness authority is appropriate. Following accreditation of the organization, the sponsor will maintain a liaison and monitoring role with the organization for the duration of the work or contract. During that time, the sponsor should report to the TAA any concerns about the organization’s ability to conduct its airworthiness-related responsibilities. The sponsor’s input may influence the frequency and scope of airworthiness audits, but the sponsor is not responsible for auditing the organization, although the sponsor may participate in TAA airworthiness surveillance activities.
  3. In-Service Support Examination (ISSE). A type of the due diligence visit where DTAES staff gains an understanding of the organization’s airworthiness, technical and business operation practices. The results of the due diligence visit are documented in the form of a TAA Technical Disposition (TD). In cases where TAA staff is familiar with an organization’s airworthiness process manual (APM) (e.g., CAF Maintenance Organizations), due diligence visits may not be required to support accreditation.
  4. Provisional Airworthiness Accreditation. The TAA may elect to grant provisional accreditation when not all of the TAM’s requirements have been satisfied or where objective evidence of meeting the TAM’s requirements has not been created and evaluated. Prior to issuing a provisional accreditation, the TAA must be confident that the organization’s activities will not impact the level of safety of the aircraft type being supported. Under a provisional accreditation, there are limitations on the scope of work authorized and there will be a requirement for a review and re-issue of the provisional status within 12 months. The length of time an organization remains on provisional status may vary. If an organization is just beginning to carry out a new type of aircraft work, it is expected that its Provisional Airworthiness Accreditation will last longer than that of an organization that has extensive experience for the work they are being accredited to perform. A provisional accreditation is required prior to the conduct of any airworthiness-related activities by the organization.
  5. Full Airworthiness Accreditation. The status awarded to an organization following a successful On-Site Accreditation Audit. It confirms that the organization performs its airworthiness-related activities in accordance with its TAA-approved APM, associated procedures and plans. The TAA will not grant Full Accreditation to organizations without a registered and functioning Quality System.
  6. Accreditation Types. The TAA may issue the following types of accreditation:

i.      Accredited Technical Organization (ATO). Accreditation to perform technical support activities related to the airworthiness-related aspects of materiel management and the technical management of an approved type design management for the life cycle of the aeronautical product. Typical engineering and technical support activities would include design change management, issuing of flight permits, technical investigations, configuration management, technical publication management and airworthiness oversight of established design support networks.

ii.      Accredited Manufacturing Organization (AMfgO). Accreditation to perform manufacturing activities, which includes the production of new aeronautical products, the local manufacture of repair parts and the production of aviation replacement parts.

iii.     Accredited Maintenance Organization (AMO). Accreditation to perform maintenance activities, which includes the conduct of maintenance (performance, verification, recording and reporting of maintenance tasks), control of maintenance, servicing and elementary work.

iv.     Accredited Materiel Support Organization (AMSO). Accreditation to perform materiel support activities that include the procurement of aviation replacement parts and the disposal of aeronautical products.

v.     Accredited Design Organization (ADO). Accreditation to perform design support activities, which includes the development of a new aeronautical product type design, the development of design changes and the airworthiness-related testing of aeronautical products.

3.2.    Regulatory References:

  1. Technical Airworthiness Manual (TAM) Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2, Annexes A to E.

3.3.    Addresses:

3.3.1.    Official applications for accreditation may be forwarded to DTAES via the following routes:

  1. Regular mail:

Directorate of Technical Airworthiness and Engineering Support 4

National Defence Headquarters

Ottawa ON K1A 0K2

  1. Courier:

Director General Aerospace Equipment Program Management

Directorate of Technical Airworthiness and Engineering Support 4

National Defence Headquarters

MGen George R Pearkes Bldg

101 Colonel By Drive

Ottawa ON K1A 0K2

4.       Discussion

4.1.    Application for TAA accreditation.

4.1.1.    Airworthiness Accreditation is only required by those organizations who intend to have authorized personnel within the organization perform airworthiness management roles and/or technical airworthiness functions during the conduct of technical support, manufacturing, maintenance, materiel support and/or design support of aeronautical products. Before initiating the application process, organizations seeking accreditation must meet the following prerequisites:

  1. Contractual requirements. In order to ensure that contractors involved with military aviation conform to the DND/CF Airworthiness Program, contract law is invoked. As a result, DND usually issues accreditations only to those organizations who hold support contracts with the Government of Canada. The contract should specify all contractor deliverables and obligations to support the accreditation process.
  2. Sponsor. Each contractor requesting accreditation requires support from a DND/CAF sponsor. The sponsor acts as the DND/CAF point of contact for the organization seeking accreditation and verifies that the need for the requested assignment of authority is valid. Normally, the sponsor is the TCH for the aeronautical product(s) in question. If TCH responsibility has been assigned to an organization outside DND, the sponsor is the Project Management Office (PMO) or Weapon System Manager (WSM) for the aeronautical product.

4.1.2.    Organizations meeting above prerequisites will submit an application from the contractor’s Senior Management or executive(s) responsible for contractual service delivery. This application should include:

  1. the name of the organization seeking accreditation, location and full address;
  2. the type of accreditation(s) requested and a brief description of the associated airworthiness activities being performed;
  3. a brief description of the aeronautical products for which the applicant intends to perform technical airworthiness functions in the conduct of design, manufacture, maintenance and/or materiel support;
  4. a letter from senior management or executive(s) identifying the person who will fulfill the responsibilities of the senior airworthiness manager for the organization, i.e., the Senior Design Engineer (SDE), the Senior Maintenance Manager (SMM), the Senior Manufacturing Manager (SMfgM), or the Senior Materiel Support Manager (SMSM);
  5. the résumé of the person who will fulfill the responsibilities of the senior airworthiness manager for the organization;
  6. the contractual dates when provisional accreditation is required;
  7. a brief description of the organization and associated lines of responsibility;
  8. the points of contact within the organization, phone number, email and full address; and
  9. an estimated APM delivery date.

4.2.      Accreditation process. The accreditation process is usually separated into three phases:

  1. Development of an Airworthiness Control System;
  2. Provisional Accreditation; and
  3. Full Accreditation.

4.2.1.    Development of an Airworthiness Control System. The following steps/activities may be required before the TAA issues a provisional accreditation:

  1. In accordance with contract deliverables, the contractor must develop an APM and applicable procedures required to support each accreditation. TAA Advisory 2013-02 provides guidance material on how to create an APM.
  2. DTAES may conduct an ISSE at the contractor’s facilities. The output of the ISSE is a TAA TD providing guidance to the contractor on the development of their airworthiness control system and APM. The following outlines the steps leading up to the issuance of the DTAES 4 ISSE report:

i.     DTAES 4 will provide an airworthiness survey to the Contractor through the PMO;

ii.    As a concurrent activity, DTAES 4 is available to provide contractor In-Service Support/Continuous Airworthiness training. This training can also be used to provide some background information on the questions being asked within the survey provided. Ideally, this training should be provided prior to the contractor’s submission of the completed survey to the PMO;

iii.   The contractor needs to complete the airworthiness survey. Estimated completion time is around 30 days. Note that, by providing the completed survey to the PMO, the contractor also commits to providing access to all procedures/work instructions referred to within the survey to DTAES 4's staff prior to their on-site visit;

iv.   DTAES 4 will review the documentation (survey comments and applicable procedures/work instructions) provided by the Contractor. DTAES 4 staff will usually complete the review within 60 days. The Contractor is required to answer questions related to the documents provided and also to provide access to their sub-tier documentation, when requested. Minimal Contractor support is usually required when DTAES 4 has full access to the appropriate documentation within the Contractor’s Quality Management System.

v.    DTAES 4 develops an on-site ISSE schedule. This schedule highlights the areas/subjects where DTAES needs to gain a better understanding in order to address the ISS requirements. Prior to finalizing the schedule, DTAES 4 will coordinate a meeting to discuss and answer any questions relating to the functional areas to be reviewed on site.

vi.    DTAES 4 and the PMO staff perform ISSE. This will take a minimum of one (1) week and may involve additional visits. The number of PMO staff should be kept to a minimum (1 or 2) in order to integrate well into the schedule.

vii.   The output of the ISSE is a report to the PMO that highlights the TAA staff’s position on what ISS functions are deemed to be adequately covered by the Contractor’s existing support system. This report also covers functions where the contractor needs to develop new processes to support Airworthiness Accreditation.

  1. During the development of the contractor’s APM, DTAES 4 is available to provide additional guidance and review APM drafts. In addition, DTAES 4 may review new procedures developed in support of the contractor’s accreditation;
  2. Since APMs are written for steady state service delivery, the contractor may be required to create a transition plan (see TAA Advisory 2013-02 on the development of transition plans). DTAES 4 will review and approve transition plans in support of the provisional accreditation;
  3. The TAA will only designate the Senior Airworthiness Manager once the candidate has successfully passes a TAA interview. This interview may be conducted either in person or remotely, via telecon.
  4. Once TAA staff have determined that the contractor’s APM(s) adequately described the contractor’s in-service support system and an airworthiness manager has been designated, the TAA may issue provisional accreditation for up to 12 months.

4.2.2.    Provisional Accreditation phase. During this phase the contractor is allowed to perform airworthiness activities in accordance with their APM, subject to limitations described in their provisional accreditation letter. This phase allows the contractor to review and amend their APM and enabling processes based on any realized errors or omissions found during the performance of work. Once the contractor has completed a sufficient amount of work, DTAES 4 will conduct an airworthiness accreditation audit (comprehensive audit). Upon successful implementation of all Corrective Action Plans, the TAA may issue Full Accreditation status. If required, TAA staff may issue 12-month provisional accreditation extensions. Should an extension be required, DTAES 4 staff may perform a surveillance audit.

4.2.3.    Full Accreditation Phase. Following a full Airworthiness Accreditation, DTAES 4 will add the organization to their audit schedule. The typical audit cycle for an accredited organization is 30 months (Surveillance) and 60 month (Comprehensive).