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Handbook for the Qualification Program of Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) Screening Contractors

December 2011

Published December 2011 by the
Canadian General Standards Board
Gatineau, Canada K1A 1G6

  1. How the Program Works
  2. Phase 1: Application
  3. Phase 2: Management System Documentation Review
  4. Phase 3: On-Site Assessment and Qualification Decision
  5. Phase 4: Maintenance of Qualification
  6. De-listing, Appeals and Re-application
  7. Complaints
  8. Costing
  9. Use of the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) Name and Qualification Number
  10. Preparing your application

Background

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) was established by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Act (CATSA Act). CATSA's mission is to protect the public by securing critical areas of the air transportation system as assigned by the government.

The CATSA Act outlines CATSA's responsibilities in regard to certification of its screening contractors:

  1. The Authority must establish criteria respecting the qualifications, training and performance of screening contractors and screening officers that are as stringent as or more stringent than the standards established in the aviation security regulations made under the Aeronautics Act.
  2. The Authority must certify all screening contractors and officers against the criteria established under section (1) above.
  3. If the Authority determines that screening contractors or officers no longer meet the criteria in respect of which they were certified, the Authority may vary, suspend or cancel their certification.

CATSA complies with the CATSA Act by incorporating screening contractor certification requirements into the Airport Screening Services Agreements (ASSAs). Screening contractors earn "certification" status when they are awarded a contract.

CATSA has enhanced the screening contractor certification requirements by adopting best practices used by other public and private sector organizations. CATSA has:

  • established a Screening Contractor Management System Standard (the Standard) which establishes minimum requirements for screening contractors;
  • established a qualification program to create a directory of qualified organizations eligible to participate in future Request for Proposals (RFP) for screening services at designated Canadian airports, and/or be qualified to enter into screening services contracts on an emergency basis;
  • engaged the services of the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) an accredited body with the Standards Council of Canada, to assess organizations against the Standard on behalf of CATSA through the Qualification Program;
  • added the qualification program to the certification requirements under the RFP for screening services.

Introduction

In this handbook, applicants will find complete information about the qualification program, including application requirements, processes, forms and costs. Please keep a copy of this handbook for future reference.

To obtain more information on the Qualification Program, including its scope and eligibility requirements, and to obtain a copy of the CATSA Screening Contractor Management System Standard, please refer to the CATSA Web site or the CGSB Web site: CATSA Screening Contractors.

For more information about the CGSB and its programs, visit the CGSB Web site.

1. How The Program Works

1.1 Briefly, organizations gain admission to the program by demonstrating that:

  • their documented management system meets the requirements of the CATSA Screening Contractor Management System Standard;
  • they comply with their own stated management system.

1.2 The organizations and their extent of recognition are listed on a qualification list, available to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, and the general public. Through a program of scheduled assessments carried out by the CGSB, CATSA is assured that the sources of supply of services conform to the recognized standard.

1.3 To achieve this level of confidence, the program has four phases:

  • Phase 1: Application
  • Phase 2: Management System Documentation Review
  • Phase 3: On-Site Assessment and Qualification Decision
  • Phase 4: Maintenance of Qualification

These phases are described in more detail on the following pages. For complete information on CGSB policies governing this program, refer to the most recent edition of the CGSB Policy Manual for the Conformity Assessment Division.

Note: All forms required in order to participate in the program appear as appendices at the end of this document.

1.4 The following table provides an overview of the steps to be taken in order for a potential screening contractor to be qualified and remain qualified. It also indicates program costs and who will pay them.

Three-Year Qualification Cycle

Phase 1: Application

  • Step 1
    • Action: Applicant organization obtains qualification materials from CGSB Web site.
    • Cost: No charge
  • Step 2
    • Action: Applicant organization submits application forms to CGSB.
    • Cost: $500 Application Fee
  • Step 3
    • Action: CGSB reviews application form and advises applicant organization to proceed to Phase 2.
    • Cost: No charge

Phase 2: Management System Documentation Review

  • Step 4
    • Action: Applicant organization submits management system manual that identifies processes used to meet requirements of Standard.
    • Cost: No charge
  • Step 5
    • Action: CGSB reviews management system manual and informs applicant organization of status of review. Upon successful completion of review, applicant organization proceeds to Phase 3.
    • Cost: $197.50/hr (est. time 12 hrs)

Phase 3: On-Site Assessment and Qualification Decision

  • Step 6
    • Action: CGSB and applicant organization prepare for and complete on-site assessment of applicant organization (headquarters and one or more operational site as required).
    • Cost: $197.50/hr (est. time 28 hrs) Plus travel expenses (if applicable)
  • Step 7
    • Action: CGSB provides applicant organization with Assessment Report and Correction Action Record (CAR), where applicable.
    • Cost: $197.50/hr (est. time 2 hrs)
  • Step 8
    • Action: Applicant organization completes CAR and submits supporting documentation.
    • Cost: No charge
  • Step 8a
    • Action: CGSB reviews CAR and notifies applicant organization that it has been qualified or that further action is required.
    • Cost: $197.50/hr (est. time 2 hrs)
  • Step 9
    • Action: For applicant organization achieving qualification, CGSB issues qualification number, lists organization on CGSB Web site and notifies CATSA of organization's qualification status.
    • Cost: $197.50/hr (est. time 2 hrs)

Phase 4: Maintenance of Qualification

  • Step 10
    • Action: Qualified organization submits management system manual to CGSB for review.
    • Cost: $197.50/hr (est. time 4 hrs)
  • Step 11
    • Action: CGSB conducts review of management system manual.
    • Cost: $197.50/hr (est. time 4 hrs)
  • Step 12
    • Action: CGSB issues re-qualification report to qualified organization and conducts any CAR follow-ups, which may include an on-site assessment if warranted.
    • Cost: $197.50/hr
  • Step 13
    • Action: CGSB notifies qualified organization and CATSA of decision to maintain qualified organization's qualification.
    • Cost: $197.50/hr (est. time 2 hrs)

Note: All times are estimated. Applicants will be charged actual time to complete phases.

2. Phase 1: Application

2.1 Organizations wishing to participate in the CGSB qualification program must submit the following:

  • Applicant profile form
  • Application form
  • Company certificate, corporate registration or business registration

2.2 Application Form

2.2.1 This legal document, when signed by a senior officer of the organization, grants the CGSB the authority to assess the applicant's management system.

2.2.2 In signing the form, the applicant undertakes to

  • abide by the terms and conditions of the program;
  • maintain a system of internal review that will ensure the continuing quality of its services;
  • document, implement and maintain its management system;
  • provide access to the CGSB staff, or their representatives, in conducting their on-site assessments;
  • pay all applicable fees.

2.3 Company certificate, corporate registration or business registration

2.3.1 A copy of the certificate of incorporation, business registration or other documents that confirm the applicant's legal status. If, in the opinion of the CGSB, the documentation submitted does not confirm the legal status of the applicant, the CGSB reserves the right to require the submission of any necessary additional documentation.

2.4 If an application is rejected, the organization will be informed in writing. Organizations can appeal the CGSB's decisions. Organizations also have the right to view their own qualification records kept by the CGSB.

2.5 All documents and information submitted by an applicant are treated in strict confidence and will only be released to parties outside of CATSA and CGSB with the applicant's consent.

3. Phase 2: Management System Documentation Review

3.1 Following completion of Phase 1, a Conformity Assessment Specialist / Conformity Assessment Officer (CAS/CAO) is assigned and will be the applicant's main point of contact with the CGSB. The CAS/CAO reviews the application, resolves any differences or misunderstandings, and selects a Lead Auditor. The Lead Auditor will be either a qualified CGSB staff member or a qualified subcontractor working under the authority of the CGSB, who is bound by all program requirements (e.g. language).

3.2 Submission of management system documentation - The applicant organization shall submit documentation that identifies the processes used to meet the requirements of the Standard. The documentation must be accompanied by a completed Standard's Checklist (available on request), which maps the organization's documentation to the Standard's criteria.

3.3 Document review - The Lead Auditor reviews the organization's documentation against the requirements of the Standard and issues a Document Review Report. The applicant must address all areas of the report where the requirements were not satisfied.

4. Phase 3: On-Site Assessment And Qualification Decision

4.1 Prerequisites for the on-site assessment - Following the CGSB decision to perform an on-site assessment after the document review process, the organization shall:

  • conduct and document a management review and an full internal audit of its management system;
  • be prepared to provide evidence of conformity to requirements and of the effective operation of its management system. Minimum three (3) months records shall be available for assessment team during the on-site assessment;
  • ensure the availability of top management for interview during the on-site assessment, to provide evidence of its commitment to the development and implementation of the management system and continually improving its effectiveness.

4.2 The Lead Auditor acts as the Assessment Team Leader and conducts the assessment in accordance with the Standard and CGSB procedures. The assessment team usually includes the Lead Auditor who conducted the documentation review. It may also include additional team members such as technical experts, depending on the size of the facility to be qualified and the expertise required. The technical experts do not make decisions about compliance.

The Lead Auditor is responsible for at least the following:

  • Scheduling the assessment date
  • Arranging for office space
  • Arranging for guides
  • Arranging for the applicant's management to be available
  • Planning the assessment activities
  • Assigning relevant portions of the assessment to team members.

4.3 The on-site assessment includes at least the following:

  • Opening Meeting
  • Verification of the Implementation and of the effective operation of the Management System
  • Closing Meeting.

4.3.1 At the Closing Meeting, the Assessment Team Leader informs the applicant of any non-conformities, clarifies their significance and sets out the assessment team's recommendation about qualification.

4.4 The Lead Auditor then prepares an assessment report that meets program requirements. The report contains at least the following:

  • General information on the client and the assessment
  • Scope and purpose of the assessment
  • Overview including a brief description of the client, its products, and any other pertinent information
  • Summary of the most important observations, positive as well as negative, about the management system
  • Degree of reliance that can be placed on the assessment
  • Summary of the findings and any general comments
  • Summary of the Closing Meeting
  • Qualification recommendation

4.4.1 Recommendations are generally one of the following:

  • Offer of qualification
  • Offer of qualification after response to corrective action requests are acceptable to the CGSB Assessment Team.
  • On-site verification of corrective actions requests (follow-up audit)
  • Complete re-assessment (In this case corrective action requests are not issued; rather, a report is issued recommending a complete re-assessment at a future date.)

4.5 Next, the CGSB reviews the Lead Auditor's recommendation and pertinent technical information about the applicant's system. A decision is made to grant or deny the qualification, or to ask that additional information be provided. If non-conformities are identified during the assessment, the applicant must take satisfactory corrective action before the CGSB recommends that the Manager of Conformity Assessment of the CGSB prepare a written offer of qualification.

4.5.1 Applicants are considered qualified only when they have received a signed letter of offer from the Manager of the Conformity Assessment Division of the CGSB.

4.6 Applicants who receive a qualification offer are required to enter into a legal agreement with the CGSB. This legal agreement provides the qualified organization with a unique qualification number. Legal agreements are renewable every three years if program requirements continue to be met.

4.7 A certificate is issued to the successful applicants following the signing of the legal agreement. The certificate shows the applicant's name, the address of the qualified facility, and the scope of qualification. The certificate is valid for three years. A new certificate is issued upon satisfactory completion of re-assessment.

4.8 An up-to-date list of qualified organizations can be viewed.

5. Phase 4: Maintenance Of Qualification

5.1 Management System Changes - Organizations must promptly notify the CGSB, in writing, of any intended changes to their management system. These include changes to policy and procedures, organization, location, or any other change affecting conformity to the Standard. Before approving a change, the CGSB may require a site visit or a re-assessment.

5.2 CGSB Program Changes - The CGSB will notify organizations, within a reasonable time, of any changes it intends to make to program requirements. Organizations' views will be considered before the CGSB makes decisions on the precise form and effective date of proposed changes to the program.

5.3 Maintenance Assessments - The CGSB conducts maintenance assessments at least once a year, usually during the anniversary month of the initial assessment. The maintenance assessments will be assigned, planned and executed in a manner similar to that for the initial document review. The maintenance assessment shall include, but not be limited to, a review of:

  • The current version of the organization's management system manual including any changes;
  • The results of previous internal and external audits and any corrective actions, if applicable;
  • The results of previous management reviews.

The CGSB reserves the right to verify information by requesting further documents or by conducting telephone interviews or on-site assessment, at its discretion. Should an on-site visit be conducted, the CGSB shall provide the organization with written notice and justification of such action.

Upon completion of the maintenance assessment, a report is issued that meets the same criteria as for the report mentioned in Phase 3.

5.4 To remain in the program, the organization continues to agree to:

  • abide by the program requirements;
  • discharge to the satisfaction of the CGSB any non-conformities that arise. These include non-conformities identified during the on-site audit, and misuse of logos and trademarks, as specified in the Legal agreement.

5.5 Re-qualifications (full system audits) are conducted every third year, usually during the anniversary month of the initial assessment. Re-assessments will be assigned, planned and executed in a similar manner to the initial assessment. At the conclusion of the re-assessment, a report is issued that meets the same criteria as the report mentioned in Phase 3.

Note: In the event that an RFP for Screening Contractor services occurs prior to the re-qualification audit (full system audits) in the third year, a re-qualification audit may be required at CATSA's discretion.

6. De-Listing, Appeals And Re-Application

6.1 If a major non-compliance occurs, or a series of faults are identified, the qualified organization is given the opportunity to provide an explanation and voluntarily take corrective action within a specified time period.

6.2 In the event of repeated problems with the performance of an organization's management system, complaints from users, or other evidence that indicates a lack of performance within the qualified facility, the CGSB may, at its discretion, decide to:

  • audit more frequently;
  • return to the facility to verify the effectiveness of the corrective action;
  • suspend or de-list the registrant.

6.3 Qualified organizations that fail to demonstrate their ability or willingness to meet the program requirements within a specified time period will be suspended or de-listed. CATSA will be notified of all potential changes and/or changes to an organization's status.

6.4 Any decision by the CGSB against the qualified organization may be appealed (CGSB Procedure CAD OP - 001 Appeal) to the Team Leader, Certification Services (CS) (first level), Manager, CAD (second level), Director, and CGSB (third level); ultimately, all participating organizations have a right of final appeal of the decision to the CATSA committee (fourth level). The appellant must submit arguments and evidence in writing within 30 days of notification of the decision in question. Additional details on the appeal process will be provided upon request.

Organizations that wish to re-apply to the program following de-listing must repeat the entire listing process.

7. Complaints

7.1 The CGSB has a mechanism for handling complaints about the performance of qualified organizations.

7.2 The CGSB will, upon written notice, investigate the complaint in accordance with its formal procedures. The organization may be asked to provide information, records and other pertinent data. The organization has the right to provide evidence that refutes the complaint. To resolve the dispute, the CGSB may require further on-site assessment. If the organization fails to comply with those requests or to correct the problem, or if the complaint is upheld, the organization may be suspended or de-listed from the program. Generally, the organization will have the opportunity to take corrective action before the CGSB suspends or de-lists the facility, or takes other action.

7.3 If the organization is found to be at fault, it will pay any costs associated with the complaint (e.g. cost of additional audits, program management time, etc.). If the organization is not found to be at fault, the complainant will be responsible for these costs. Additional details on the complaint process will be provided upon request.

7.4 Any decision by the CGSB against the qualified organization may be appealed. Details of the appeal process are available from the CGSB. All participating organizations have a right of final appeal of the decision to the CATSA committee. Organizations that wish to re-apply to the program following de-listing must repeat the entire listing process.

8. Costing

8.1 CGSB administers Qualification Programs on behalf of participating organizations on a cost-recovery basis.

8.2 Costs

  • Phase 1: Application
    • Costs: $500 Application Fee
  • Phase 2: Management System Documentation Review
    • Costs:
      • Application and initial assessment paid by applicant.
      • CAR submissions and subsequent follow-up paid by applicant to CGSB.
      • $197.50/hr
  • Phase 3: On-Site Assessment and Qualification Decision
    • Costs: $197.50/hr plus any travel expenses paid by applicant to CGSB
  • Phase 4: Maintenance of Qualification
    • Costs: $197.50/hr paid by qualified organization to CGSB annually

8.3 The CGSB accepts payment by VISA or MasterCard and by money order or cheque payable to the Receiver General for Canada. Please add 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) to all fees.

9. Use of the CGSB Name and Qualification Number

9.1 The sole intended use of the CGSB Qualification Program for Screening Contractors is for CATSA to meet CATSA Act requirements pertaining to the certification of Screening Contractors. The CGSB name and qualification number and/or CATSA name may therefore be used only in that context.

9.2 Organizations shall not use the CGSB name or qualification number in a manner that tends to be misleading. Moreover, organizations shall not make use of the CGSB name, abbreviations, qualification number, marks or symbols, or any other form of reference to the CGSB and/or CATSA in a manner that may be interpreted to mean that the CGSB and/or CATSA approves of or endorses any product or service of the qualified organization, or the performance (including the quality compliance or performance) of any product or service of the organization.

9.3 The use of the qualification number is independent of, and does not excuse, release or relieve the organization from its obligations to comply with, all applicable federal, provincial or municipal statutes, regulations and by-laws and all applicable industry guidelines concerning quality matters.

10. Preparing Your Application

10.1 Step 1: Application Form - Form CAT1 is a legal document certifying your organization's commitment to a high-performance management system. It must be signed by a senior official in charge of management system and by a responsible officer of the organization (president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer i.e.).

10.2 Step 2: Applicant Profile Form - Completion of Form CAT2 ensures that the CGSB captures all necessary program information including all the locations\facilities to be qualified.

10.3 Step 3: Submission of Management System Documentation

By mail:

Qualification Program for CATSA Screening Contractors
Certification Services - Products and Services (CS) Canadian General Standards Board
Gatineau, Canada
K1A 1G6

By courier:

Qualification Program for CATSA Screening Contractors
Certification Services - Products and Services (CS)
Canadian General Standards Board
Place du Portage Phase III, 6B1
11 Laurier Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0S5

Appendix A - Forms

Application Form

Application

  • Legal name of applicant
  • Address of applicant

hereinafter called the "Applicant", hereby applies for qualification for the facilities listed on the attached Applicant Profile form for the following

  • CATSA Screening Contractors

Undertaking

The Applicant by and through its responsible officer(s) states and undertakes:

That the Applicant will conform to the provisions of the applicable CATSA Screening Contractor Management Systems Standard (the Standard);

That the Applicant's list of locations or facilities meets the provisions of the standard;

That all production or services from the above facility will conform to the Applicant's current specifications and will continue to meet the requirements of the standard;

That the Applicant's management is familiar with and accepts the conditions governing this qualification as described in the current edition of the CGSB Policy Manual for the Conformity Assessment Division;

That the Applicant has received and will abide by the applicable provisions of the Qualification Handbook;

That the CGSB or its authorized representatives shall be permitted to audit the Applicant's facilities at such times and in such a manner as the CGSB shall decide.

By completing and signing this Application form, the Applicant acknowledges having read and understood the conditions of the Qualification Handbook hereto attached and hereby agrees and undertakes to follow the processes in relation to any activity connected with the Qualification Program.

In consideration of the qualification granted by the CGSB, the supplier undertakes to make the payments of the applicable fees in accordance with the costing section of the handbook, and to make payments of money to the Receiver General for Canada and remit to:

Certification Services
Conformity Assessment Division
Canadian General Standards Board
Gatineau, Canada
K1A 1G6

In witness whereof this Application has been executed by the Applicant this     day of     200…

Signature of the senior manager in charge of management systems assurance

Signature of the responsible officer of the applicant company

Please submit this application to:

Certification Services
Conformity Assessment Division
Canadian General Standards Board
Gatineau, Canada
K1A 1G6

Note: The application must include:

  • Completed Application form
  • Completed Applicant Profile form
  • Company Certificate, Corporate Registration, or Business Registration

Applicant Profile Form

File No. (CGSB use only)

Please complete form and list up to three facilities or locations

Section 1 - Applicant information

  • Legal name and address
  • Language preference
    • Correspondence:
      • En
      • Fr
    • Audit:
      • En
      • Fr
  • Applicant representative
  • Title
  • Telephone
  • Fax
  • E-mail
  • Web site
  • Contact for invoices
  • Telephone
  • Fax

Address of facility # 1
(if different from above)

  • Size of facility (sq. ft.)
  • Number of employees
  • Number of shifts
  • Number of personnel directly involved in the management system
    (e.g. dedicated to quality assurance)
  • Approximate number of pages in your management system documentation including quality manual and procedures

Address of facility # 2

  • Size of facility (sq. ft.)
  • Number of employees
  • Number of shifts
  • Number of personnel directly involved in the management system
    (e.g. dedicated to quality assurance)
  • Approximate number of pages in your management system documentation including quality manual and procedures (if different from above)

Address of facility # 3

  • Size of facility (sq. ft.)
  • Number of employees
  • Number of shifts
  • Number of personnel directly involved in the management system
    (e.g. dedicated to quality assurance)
  • Approximate number of pages in your management system documentation including quality manual and procedures (if different from above)

Note: To expedite the response, send this form by fax at 819-956-5740