ECAC Aviation Security Audit Programme

The primary objective of the ECAC Aviation Security Audit Programme, as adopted by Directors General at their 108th meeting (Paris, 15-16 December 1999), is to assess the implementation of Doc 30 Recommendations in ECAC Member States.

As a more global objective, these audits contribute to more effective implementation of international standards by ECAC Member States and to the harmonisation of security measures among these States. Furthermore, the creation of a common security area can only be achieved by the full implementation of Doc 30 recommendations by all Member States. Participation in the ECAC Aviation Security Audit Programme ("the Programme") facilitates the development of one-stop security arrangements between all ECAC Member States.

The objectives of the Programme are:

  • to assess the implementation of Doc 30 recommendations;
  • to identify areas of needed improvement and provide Appropriate Authorities with advice and technical expertise;
  • to provide Member States with capacity-building activities to meet Doc 30 recommendations;
  • to facilitate the development of one-stop security arrangements.

ECAC aviation security audits are conducted based on an approved Audit Methodology.

Participation in the Audit Programme is entirely voluntary and starts with a Memorandum of Understanding between ECAC and each participating State. The audits are based on interviews, the review of documentation and thorough on-site observations. In accordance with the ECAC Audit Methodology, the scope of the audits may vary from an audit of all Doc 30 Recommendations at both national and airport level, to a thematic audit focusing on one or more domains (e.g. airport security, cargo security). Member States can also benefit from a security audit of the Appropriate Authority. Its main objective is to verify whether the existing national legislation and procedures allow Member States to efficiently perform their oversight functions in the field of aviation security. Initial and follow-up audits are conducted and States provide Action Plans to address deficiencies identified.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ECAC audits were paused after January 2020. The Audit Programme was resumed in Q4 2022 with a first audit conducted in December 2022.

Programme statistics since its inception:

  • 193 audits conducted in 43 Member States
  • 170 auditors trained during 32 training and certification sessions
  • 15 certified auditors, and
  • 21 annual auditors' meetings organised.

Catalogue of ECAC security audit and capacity-building activities

The ECAC security audit and capacity-building activities available to Member States to support their implementation of aviation security measures are compiled in a catalogue.

Download here the latest edition (2024) of ECAC's catalogue on security audit and capacity-building activities.

Auditor training and certification

ECAC auditors are certified to assure Member States of their knowledge and expertise. The pass mark to be achieved from five different competency tests is 70%. Member States nominate individuals to participate, and cover their costs when they are released to conduct audits. Additionally, the auditors meet annually to ensure continuous professional development and to review performance. These principles ensure the Programme's quality, transparency and independence, to the benefit of Member States.

ECAC auditor training and certification lasts for seven days and includes oral and written tests. Candidates are assessed on their theoretical and practical knowledge of aviation security and competency in performing as an auditor within an international context.

Because of the pandemic, all ECAC auditors' certification expired, so none of the existing auditors could conduct audits until they were recertified in accordance with the Audit Methodology. With the aim of recertifying existing auditors, the ECAC Secretariat organised recurrent training and recertification of auditors in Paris on 23-24 June 2022 and on 12-13 April 2023. Fifteen auditors from several Member States have been recertified.

Training and certification of new ECAC auditors will be organised by the ECAC Secretariat in June 2024 in Dublin.

Member States are invited to provide the ECAC Secretariat with nominations to participate in the ECAC Aviation Security Training and Certification all year round, by using the form here.

Certified ECAC auditors

The ECAC Aviation Security Auditors Handbook was created to assist certified ECAC auditors to prepare for and conduct an audit.  The handbook includes all documents that relate to the audit process, such as methodology of an audit, the Auditors' Aide and templates to assist with the reporting of audit findings.

ECAC certified auditors meet annually to exchange their experience and continuous professional development, and to review the latest developments in the ECAC work programme in the field of aviation security.

The ECAC Certified Aviation Security Auditors Group (AUD) was formalised as a standalone group in March 2020. The group aims to review the status of implementation of aviation security audits in the scope of the ECAC Audit Programme, to develop new auditing tools for use by ECAC auditors, and to propose amendments to the ECAC Audit Methodology and Auditors’ Aide. It also offers a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience between ECAC auditors and contributes to their professional development.

ECAC News on security matters

ECAC News n°77 - Aviation Security ECAC News n°67

ECAC Spotlight on security matters

ECAC News n°74 - Spotlight on the ECAC Behaviour Detection Study Group (Carmen Feijoo) ECAC News n°70 - Spotlight on the Training Task Force (Nina Smith) ECAC News n°66 - Spotlight on ECAC Common Evaluation Process (CEP) of security equipment (Julien Levet)
ECAC News n°64 - Spotlight on Security Forum (Urs Haldimann) ECAC News n°61 - Spotlight on BDSG (Sven Keijsers)