SOCAC – Follow This Map

On Dec. 8, the Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee (SOCAC) accepted the final report of its Subcommittee on the Workforce Development and Training task. The SOCAC was asked to recommend ways to develop, supplement, and train an agile aviation safety workforce in cooperation with industry.

The SOCAC emphasized that the industry and the agency are obtaining personnel from the same pool of talent. It is also recognized that while aviation may be have many exciting opportunities, it is competing with a number of other industries. It is vital that a civil aviation workforce be inclusive, with many opportunities for placement and advancement based on clear expectations.

The report details the SOCAC Work Group research on the best educational methodologies. From the results, it outlines a four-level approach to imparting knowledge in the three areas essential to the National Air Space (NAS) responsibilities in design, production, operation, and maintenance arenas: (1) regulatory compliance, (2) technology, and (3) professional development.

The report outlined the levels of knowledge from basic (Level 1) to specific in-depth (Level 4) and provides examples of training experiences and expectations that align with efforts by third-party accreditation organizations. The areas and levels provide a roadmap for the industry and the agency to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse, agile, and competent workforce with transparent career advancement opportunities and resources.

The SOCAC recommended the agency take immediate actions to establish its commitment to supporting the task of workforce training and development:

(1) Formulate knowledge requirements for its workforce.

(2) Rely on outside parties (ranging from other federal agencies to knowledgeable individuals) to provide subject matter expertise on an immediate basis and in training.

(3) Encourage the mutual and collaborative development of educational opportunities by:

(a) Simplifying the IA training course approval process (which was out for comment at the time the recommendation was adopted).

(b) Encouraging industry to make more courses available to both industry and FAA participants (increasing educational opportunities and providing better instruction on emerging technologies).

(c) Establishing methodologies and metrics for objectively judging whether third-party training is acceptable and effective.

(d) Establishing policies for the FAA to collaborate with the private sector in developing training.

“The work from this task can be utilized to assist industry and FAA in hiring, training, and leveraging a workforce that must perform in a dynamic environment,” the report said, “The recommendations may be used to develop workforce knowledge standards to promote the career development and the critical thinking essential for adapting to legislative, regulatory, and technological advancements.”

To read the complete report, click here.

To view the FAA’s webpage for SOCAC materials, click here.

Previous SOCAC updates...

11/14/19 - SOCAC Kicks Off

November 14, 2019

On Nov. 13, the Department of Transportation hosted the first meeting of the Safey Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee (SOCAC). The SOCAC’s creation was mandated by the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 to provide advice to the Secretary of Transportation regarding issues facing the aviation community related to FAA safety oversight and certification programs. 

The content of the meeting focused on introducing committee members to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) procedures and the Aviation Safety organization’s certification and oversight activities. The members, which include ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod, then exchanged views on prioritizing the congressionally-mandated list of issue areas within the body’s scope:

(1) Aircraft and flight Standards certification processes, including efforts to streamline those processes.
(2) Implementation and oversight of safety management systems.
(3) Risk-based oversight efforts.
(4) Utilization of delegation and designation authorities, including organization designation authorization.
(5) Regulatory interpretation standardization efforts.
(6) Training programs.
(7) Expediting the rulemaking process and giving priority ot rules related to safety.
(8) Enhancing global competitiveness of United States manufactured and United States certificated aerospace and aviation products and services throughout the world.

A general consensus was reached to study the list vis-à-vis the current efforts being made in each of the areas, including recommendations from other committees that have covered the issues. After the efforts have been consolidated, the SOCAC would be able to focus on those areas that need further attention.

Stay tuned for more updates from ARSA as MacLeod represents the maintenance community’s interests on the SOCAC. To review the Aug. 22 DOT press release announcing committee’s membership, click here.

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