Having a successful certification strategy depends on having a realistic and comprehensive plan for completing the tasks and documentation required for certification.  Reviewing the following documents will give you a good idea of the relative complexity of the certification process and help you to identify a workable plan. 

  • Certification Process Document (CPD) is described in FAA Order 8900.1 Volume 2, Chapter 3 Section 1 - 5: (Section 1, Section 2, Section 3, Section 4, Section 5) .  The CPD provides definitions and work instructions for each phase of the certification process (application, design assessment, performance assessment, administrative functions).  The CPD provides a description of what is expected during the formal certification process.  You will verify on the Pre-Application Checklist that persons involved in the process have reviewed the phases, gates and other activities associated with the CPD.
  • Pre-Application Checklist (PAC) is described in FAA Order 8900.1, Figure 2-3-1A, Volume 2, Chapter 3 Section 1.  The PAC lists the activities and documents that you must complete for your formal application package.  As you review the PAC, identify those activities which will require the most time and resources to complete.  For example, allow sufficient time to design safety-critical systems and processes to meet FAA’s expectations.  The FAA will need access to all documents and/or links listed on the PAC in order to begin the actual certification process.