BARS Accreditation Overview
The Basic Aviation Risk Standard (BARS) Accreditation is a global standard for Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) procedures. Governed by the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF), this accreditation originated as a global standard for manned aviation procedures and has since been adapted to the RPAS domain.
For some of the largest leading organisations in the world (e.g. international mining, oil & gas companies, etc) the BARS accreditation is becoming a mandatory standard practice for those who wish to work on their sites - establishing more and more the importance of this certification.
In this post, we provide an overview of BARS and simplify the process of achieving and maintaining this esteemed accreditation.
Why BARS Accreditation Matters
A drone program with BARS certification ensures global recognition and instils trust that your procedures adhere to the highest standards. There are a number of government and international organisations that require BARS accreditation before engaging in any contractual agreements particularly in the mining and electrical sectors.
Beyond contractual agreement requirements BARS certification will lay the ground work for complex operations such operating long endurance RPAS or very large RPAS.
Check out this Introduction video from FSF:
What is Required to Obtain BARS Accreditation
Acquiring BARS Accreditation might seem daunting however, the Flight Safety Foundation offers numerous free resources online to facilitate this process. Here's a summary of the steps:
- Understand the BARS Requirements: Thoroughly review the official BARS documentation to understand the standards and expectations.
- Gap Analysis: Assess your current operations to identify areas that fall short of BARS standards.
- Training: Ensure your team members, including pilots and maintenance staff, undergo training in line with BARS criteria.
- Implement Changes: Modify your operational methods, tools, and protocols based on the insights from your gap analysis.
- Document Everything: Maintain exhaustive records, including operations, training, flight logs, and any incidents.
- Schedule an Audit: Engage an authorized BARS auditor for a comprehensive assessment of your operations.
- Address Feedback: Implement changes based on the audit feedback.
- Achieve and Maintain: Once compliant, secure your BARS accreditation. Regularly review and refresh processes to uphold this status.
Here is a short video from FSF explaining this process:
Why bother getting your BARS accreditation
The BARS is ultimately designed for organizations operating in remote or challenging environments.
Obtaining a BARS accreditation demonstrates that an organization has met specific safety standards and operational guidelines. The accreditation allows an organization to align its safety protocols with global best practices, enhance its safety culture, and improve the consistency and quality of aviation operations.
Ultimately, BARS accreditation enhances organizational credibility, increases operational efficiency, and elevates safety standards. Opening up more opportunity to work on increasing complex projects in a safe and verified manner.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
|How does BARS differ from other aviation safety standards?||BARS is risk-based and focuses on the unique operational risks faced by third-party aviation service providers. The standard is also continually updated to address emerging safety concerns and industry feedback.|
|Can a BARS audit be conducted remotely?||The nature of BARS audits traditionally involves on-site assessments. However, given travel or health restrictions like those seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, there might be provisions for remote or hybrid audit methods. Organizations should check with the BARS Program Office for the latest guidelines.|
|What happens if an organization fails a BARS audit?||If an organization doesn't meet the required standards during a BARS audit, they typically receive feedback on areas of non-compliance and are given an opportunity to rectify these issues before undergoing a re-audit. The specific process can vary based on the nature of the non-compliance.
|Can an individual pilot obtain BARS accreditation, or is it only for organizations?||Traditionally, BARS accreditation is for aviation organizations. However, individual pilots might benefit from being part of BARS-accredited organizations, as it signifies a commitment to high safety standards.
|Are there different levels or tiers of BARS accreditation?||While the primary BARS accreditation ensures a consistent level of safety standards, there could be additional tiers or modules focusing on specialized areas or operations within aviation. Organizations should consult the BARS Program documentation or office for specific details.
How we can help - For those who use FlyFreely
Here are some quick points on how FlyFreely can help your BARS Accreditation Journey.
- Simplified Compliance: Use the customised workflows to establish and prove regulatory compliance and procedures that can be shown as 'in line' with BARS requirements.
- Auditable Documentation: FlyFreely's record-keeping of flight operations, maintenance tasks, and any incidents — a critical element for BARS accreditation.
- Pilot Currency: Keeping pilot training and licenses updated is pivotal for BARS accreditation. FlyFreely unique Authorities and Register systems ensures pilots remain current with their internal training and official licenses, eliminating manual audits.
- Incident Reporting: Keep internal governance of around the logging of any incidents with specific missions, to provide full auditable transparency for the BARS process.