Frequently Asked Questions: ISAGO
What are the benefits of the ISAGO certification for ground service providers (GSP)?
Currently there is no globally accredited standard for the certification of ground service providers at airports. The ISO-Standards do not include anything about aviation-specific areas. With ISAGO this is different. ISAGO contains the elements of IOSA, the only global recognised standard in the aviation world for more than six years. The airlines know IOSA and ISAGO and in a few years, ISAGO is expected to prevail. As with IOSA, airlines prefer operating together with ISAGO certified ground handling service providers and ISAGO will become a prerequisite for any cooperation in future.
Are there any financial benefits due to ISAGO certification?
The airlines accept ISAGO and the number of airline audits can normally be reduced to one audit per year. That means that for each ISAGO ground service provider there will be just one audit instead of individual audits by every airline customer. The airlines have access to the IATA database and with the permission of the ground service provider, they have access to ISAGO audit reports and do not need to audit themselves. This saves money and time.
Statistics have shown that due to ISAGO the number of ground handling incidents and occurrences have decreased and Operational Safety generally increased.
CAA and EASA have developed a positive attitude concerning ISAGO and will audit less intensively during their visits. Confidence in ISAGO is enhanced by the international aviation authorities.
Can every ground service provider get ISAGO certification or are there special prerequisites?
Each ground service provider operating at airports and each ground handling agent can get an ISAGO certification. There are no prerequisites to become ISAGO certified. For the first certification, considerable preparation time is needed. Preparation can be done in less time and more effectively with external help.
What are the emphases of the ISAGO Audit?
ISAGO focuses on a functional Quality Management System with communicational processes. All processes and procedures need to be documented and implemented accordingly. Moreover, training of employees and the coordination with airlines in the area of Security and Crisis Management is also important for ISAGO. In brief, there are few new demands, merely the necessity to document and implement present procedures clear and comprehensible.
How long does the ISAGO preparation process and certification take?
As a rule, ISAGO preparation lasts around 3 to 9 months. After this is finished, the ISAGO audit team conducts the audit taking up to three days. Depending on the complexity of findings, a ground handler can be certified for ISAGO within 3 to 6 months after the on-site audit.
Which resources are tied up for ISAGO preparation? Do all employees need to be involved?
It makes sense to involve a small group of employees in ISAGO preparation. If the ground handler has no appropriate resources because of running daily business, there is the possibility to outsource preparation. This is a quite effective measure, which saves time and money. Nevertheless, at least one employee has to go through the audit standards with the auditors during the ISAGO audit.
How can we be effectively prepared for ISAGO?
Most important for preparation is the understanding of the ISAGO standards, which can be downloaded via the following link http://www.iata.org/ps/certification/isago/pages/index.aspx or on our homepage www.aviation-quality-services.com/48.0.html as ISAGO Standards Manual Edition 4. These standards need to be understood in detail and interpreted correctly by the ground service provider. Ensure that the standards are documented and implemented. Afterwards, the ISAGO audit is conducted by an IATA accredited Audit Organisation.
What costs are incurred for the ISAGO certification?
The certification itself is subsidised by IATA as part of a temporary action. Preparation services from external experts are offered on a customised basis. ISAGO preparation is helpful to reorganise the company. Experience from ISAGO preparation have shown that ground service providers use the positive impulses during the preparation phase for developing new manuals and optimised procedures which are better and more productive. As a result of certification, a lot of ground service providers saved money because of identified cost saving potentials, which were not recognised before. ISAGO is standardised worldwide and includes a lot of elements, which are nowadays industry standards but unfortunately not actively lived. Only through the implementation of the ICAO demanded Safety Management Systems (SMS) each company will be forced to work in accordance with SMS. ISAGO helps to bridge deficits.
An individual quotation and a project plan will be prepared in case of interest. Please contact us.