Writing Operations Manuals
In the Beginning
Some of you will remember EuroUSC with mixed feelings. Like it or not though, EuroUSC were the first Qualified Entity approved by the Civil Aviation Authority to conduct competency assessments for potential commercial operators of unmanned aircraft in the United Kingdom. I joined them right at the start and during my time there as Head of Safety, Standards and Accreditation, I created the Operations Manual template and review process amongst others. The template gave some ‘real‘ guidance to the candidate in the form of little pink boxes inserted into the template, the boxes gave candidates an indication of what to write in each section.
Although this template gave much required guidance to the weary candidates, it was clear that something else was required and so I went back to the drawing board. During this time, other individuals who had sat the EuroUSC course were in the process of setting up their very own National Qualified Entities. Obviously, the basis for their own Operations Manual template came from the only guidance they had been given. There is still obvious evidence of my original template visible from many of the NQE’s although some templates have been extensively modified. Eventually I came up with the concept of an automated Operations Manual template along with a practical skills training program but was met with heavy resistance by the management at EuroUSC and so I decided to leave and setup on my own.
Then There Was Light
In 2016 I setup RPAS Service. The idea was to provide the help and guidance to commercial operator candidates were requesting and required but were simply not being provided with by the NQE’s. I created my ‘Automated Operations Manual‘ service which was appreciated and utilised by many grateful individuals and organisations. Candidates using the service were asked a few simple questions before being provided with a completed Operations Manual. The idea was that the candidate would then modify the manual to suit there exact needs and corporate image. However, the majority of candidates just submitted the manual to the CAA as it was provided to them.
There May Be Trouble Ahead
Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken into account just how good the service was. Because many of the NQE’s didn’t and still don’t conduct Flight Operations Assessments against the Operations Manual as requested by the CAA, candidates were simply not learning their Operations Manual and in some case, were not even looking at it at all. The manuals were being readily accepted and approved by the CAA and so we had the unfortunate situation of approved commercial operators who didn’t really understand or know how to use their manual. In fact, RPAS Service was writing manuals directly for candidates through some of the NQE’s themselves such as UAV Academy who were paying RPAS Service direct. The Operations Manual is a pivotal document for safety, it explains who the commercial organisation are, what they intend to do and how they intend to do it in a controlled, safe manner.
So What’s The Problem? Is There An Answer?
There has always and always will be a raging argument about template Operations Manuals versus manuals written by the actual individual who is going to use it. When I started the ‘Automated Operations Manual‘, my argument was that of the manned aircraft commercial airline pilot. I took the stance that these airline pilots DO NOT write their own manuals, they simply have to understand them and I had hoped that commercial unmanned aircraft pilots would do the same.
RPAS Service now offer the ‘Understanding Your Operations Manual Course‘
The ‘Understanding Your Operations Manual Course‘ is an online course which can be taken at your own leisure. The guidance breaks down an Operations Manual into its constituent sections, and provides a detailed explanation of exactly what is required and why. In addition to the explanation, actual working examples which have previously been approved are provided so that you can merge the various examples or create your own statements which accurately match the message you are trying to convey. You will also be provided with a blank, cloud based document with the correct headings labelled and present in the order set out by the latest template provided by the Civil Aviation Authority. Ultimately, by the end of the course, you will have created your very own ‘virtual’ bespoke Operations Manual you can be proud of which perfectly matches your requirements. Virtual documents carry many additional advantages, they can be viewed anyone you choose to share it with, they can be kept up to date easily without having to contact your employees to make sure they have the latest versions and they are easily used in the field not having paper pages to get wet and blow around. Prefer a hard copy? Not a problem, the manual can be downloaded in Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF formats or simply printed directly from the cloud.
RPAS Service has teamed up with the European Advanced Drone Academy to bring you this fantastic deal. Book a CAA approved, BRO commercial operator course from EADA and receive the ‘Understanding Your Operations Manual Course‘ from RPAS Service completely free of charge. Give us a call on 03301 132 796 for your special discount code today and use it when booking the BRO course to take advantage of the offer. The European Advanced Drone Academy are the only National Qualified Entity that RPAS Service recommend.