Basic Airworthiness Exam Requirements for Maintenance Release Authority Candidates within a TAA-Accredited Organization

Effective Date: 1 May 2016

Reference: TAM Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2

OPI / Telephone: DTAES 4-5 / 819-939-4758


1.      Purpose

1.1.          This Technical Airworthiness Authority (TAA) Advisory provides guidance pertaining to the Basic Airworthiness Exam requirements for Maintenance Release Authority (MRA) candidates prior to being authorized as Aircraft Certification Authority (ACA) and/or Shop Certification Authority (SCA) by their organization in accordance with their TAA-approved Maintenance Process Manual (MPM).

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

2.      Applicability

2.1.         This TAA Advisory applies to all civilian Acceptable Maintenance Organizations that have been accredited by the TAA (AMOs).

3.      Related Material

3.1.     Regulatory References:

3.1.1.      C-05-005-001/AG-001 – Technical Airworthiness Manual (TAM):

  1. Part 1, Chapter 4, Section 2 – Assignment of Technical Airworthiness Authority and associated Annex C;
  2. Part 5, Chapter 5, Section 2 – Airworthiness Documentation, particularly Standard 3 in para 5.5.2.S3.

4.      Discussion

4.1.          Regulatory reference 3.1.1.a. stipulates that, to be eligible for authorization as an ACA and/or a SCA, candidates must have successfully completed a Basic Airworthiness Exam that challenges their knowledge of the AMO airworthiness policies and core procedures.

4.2.          It is the AMO’s responsibility to adequately prepare and confirm the airworthiness knowledge of the individual prior to being assigned MRA privileges within the organization.  The way the exam is developed and administered is left at the discretion of the AMO.  The exam can be in the form of “multiple choice” or “long answer” questions, or a combination thereof.  While the TAA does not prohibit the AMO from administering an “open book” exam, the goal should be to confirm the individual’s understanding of the airworthiness policies, process manual and associated procedures.

4.3.          The TAA-approved MPM for the AMO must include the policy for the management of the individual’s records, including the results and the date of the exam.  These records must be retained in accordance with reference 3.1.1.b. and the candidate must attain a minimum score of 70%.  The quality of the AMO’s examination process, airworthiness knowledge of the technician and individual training records will be evaluated by the TAA during on-site audits.

5.      Basic Airworthiness Exam

5.1.         When developing the Basic Airworthiness Exam, the AMO should base the exam on their MPM and associated core quality procedures and work instructions.  The exam should cover, as a minimum, the following topics in order to evaluate the airworthiness knowledge of the individual prior to performing the airworthiness functions of ACA or SCA within the AMO:

  1. the scope and depth of airworthiness-related activities assigned by the TAA to the AMO;
  2. the role and responsibilities of the Senior Maintenance Manager (SMM), as well as the name of the individual who has been assigned authority by the TAA to perform this role;
  3. the role and responsibilities of the Persons Responsible for Assignment of Authority (PRAA) and how these individuals have been assigned authority within the organization;
  4. the duties and responsibilities associated with the authority to perform the following technical airworthiness functions of:

(1)    Aircraft Release Authority (ARA);

(2)    Aircraft Certification Authority (ACA); and

(3)    Shop Certification Authority (SCA).

  1. the AMO requirements related to supervising an individual:

(1)   who has been authorized to conduct servicing and elementary tasks only;

(2)   who has been authorized to perform maintenance but does not have maintenance release authority, also referred to as Performance of Maintenance (POM); and

(3)   who has not been assigned any airworthiness responsibilities within the organization (i.e., untrained individuals).

  1. the training, qualification and authorization system, including the ACA and SCA eligibility criteria for knowledge, skills and experience that have to be met prior to being authorized by the PRAA;
  2. an understanding of those authorizations that are subject to expiry terms within the AMO (i.e., eyes test for NDT, welding, ground run-up, de-icing, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) licence, etc.);
  3. the AMO requirements for initial and recurrent training, including the type of activities that will trigger additional training;
  4. the AMO requirements for the type of aircraft, engine(s) or system(s) that is/are certified for specific types of operations, such as Extended Twin Operations (ETOPS) and Reduce Vertical Separation Minimums (RVSM), as applicable;
  5. approved technical data that can be used to certify maintenance tasks, including how they are stored, accessed, controlled, distributed and amended;
  6. all aspects of the control of maintenance, including:

(1)   planning and scheduling of maintenance;

(2)   servicing and elementary work;

(3)   special inspection;

(4)   modification;

(5)   deferred defects; and

(6)   weight and balance;

  1. all aspects of the technical record requirements, including:

(1)   aircraft technical records;

(2)   work order development and approval;

(3)   entries and correction requirements within technical records;

(4)   minimum support work requirements, including independent check, final torque recording and critical junctures;

(5)   operational restriction (imposing/removal);

(6)   flight permits; and

(7)   robbing of parts.

  1. all aspects related to the performance of maintenance, including:

(1)   approved maintenance procedures;

(2)   approved parts and tools;

(3)   control and disposal of parts;

(4)   appropriate entries in the technical records;

(5)   restricted certification authority process; and

(6)   supervision requirements.

  1. an understanding of the incoming inspection process of the AMO and applicable documentation for miscellaneous and aeronautical parts, including new, overhauled and repair parts;
  2. an understanding of the support arrangement concept and approved vendors list in use within the AMO;
  3. the Quality Management System, including quality processes and procedures, quality record requirements, internal audits, preventive and corrective action and follow up by manager and quality cell; and
  4. the various Safety Programs in place, such as Flight Safety, Ground Safety, Foreign Object Damage (FOD) and Tool Control.