Design assessment is the function that ensures that your operating systems are designed to comply with regulations and safety standards, including the requirement to provide service at the highest level of safety in the public interest. During the design assessment the inspectors use the Safety Attribute Inspection (SAI) data collection tool to collect information that will be used by the Certificate Project Manager (CPM) to approve or accept your system design.

Design assessment is the most important function of ATOS because safety is the outcome of a properly designed system. Poor system design compromises safety risk management.

The FAA is not looking for the absence of hazards and risks; that is not practical in a high consequence operation such as aviation. What we are looking for is this: Do you have policies and procedures in place that allow your organization to manage hazard related risk in your system and operating environment?

The Certification Project Team will continue the process that was used during the Initial Review. Team members compare your answers to SAI DCT questions with your system documentation. For each applicable Element, the inspector will:

  • Read your system documentation for the process.
  • Read the SRRs listed on the DCT to review the regulatory requirements for the process.
  • Read the FAA�s policy and guidance for the process to review the intent of the regulation and inspector work instructions.
  • Verify that you answered the questions correctly (Yes, No or NA).
  • Verify that your references to the location where the information was found for a question are correct.

For each applicable Element, the certification project manager must decide if your process design meets the requirements for approval and acceptance. Your process design must:

  • Comply with the literal requirements of aviation regulations.
  • Comply with the intent of the regulations by being capable of identifying operational hazards and managing their associated risks to an acceptable level.
  • Allow your personnel to perform their duties and responsibilities with a high degree of safety.

The certification project manager verifies that all of your Elements fall into one of the five categories associated with Design Accepted/Approved status before you can proceed to Phase 3, Performance Assessment. Refer to Table 10-3 in FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 10, Chapter 2, Section 8 for a complete description of Design Accepted/Approved categories.

Before moving on to Phase 3 of the certification process you must meet all Gate 2 (PDF) requirements.