Apply to be an approved design organisation

Approved design organisations (ADOs) carry out approved design activities under CASR subpart 21.J.

This may include activities associated with the design of:

  • aircraft and aeronautical products
  • changes to aircraft and aeronautical products.

To become an ADO, you must develop a design assurance system manual (DASM) and Approved Design Organisation Exposition (ADOE). These describe your design activity processes.

How to apply to be an approved design organisation

  1. Have this information ready before you begin:

    • your organisation details
    • contact details for the nominated Accountable Manager and Head of Design
    • your agent's details (if you are using one)
    • the types of design activities you want approval for
    • subcontractor details (if used)
    • a proposed ADOE (or the date you will provide it)
    • a proposed DASM (or the date you will provide it)
    • procedures for design activities (or if you will include this in your exposition)
    • your proposed organisational structure (or if you will include this in your exposition)
    • your aviation reference number (ARN) and the ARNs of anyone listed on the application.
  2. Complete the form

    • Use Form 21-J01 Application for grant or re-issue of approval as an approved design organisation to apply to be an ADO.
    • Use Form 004 Application for Nominated Personnel Approval for each of the Accountable Manager and the Head of Design.

    We gather and store your information according to our privacy statement.

  3. Submit the form

    Submit your application along with any supporting documents required in the form to us. Email or post your completed application using the details on the form.

  4. After you submit the form

    We will review your application to ensure it is correct and complete. We will contact you if we need more information.

  5. Pay the fee

    We will provide a fee estimation after we have received your application.

    You must pay the fee before we can process your application.

  6. Design assurance system manuals and expositions

    You must prepare an ADOE and a DASM to become an ADO.

    AC 21.J-01 includes guidance material as well as templates for both the ADOE and DASM. We have also developed an online Manual Authoring and Assessment Tool to help. This tool includes:

    • templates
    • guidance
    • tips to help you write and submit manuals and expositions for assessment.
  7. Assessment

    Assessment timeframes vary and rely on:

    • when we receive your payment
    • the quality of your documents
    • the availability of our resources.

    We will also do an on-site inspection to verify the procedures in your ADOE and DASM. We will need to interview the Accountable Manager and Head of Design.

    We may need to interview other design personnel across the requested scope of technical specifications.

    If you meet the regulatory requirements we will issue an approval certificate. The certificate contains the:

    • certificate number
    • name and address of the ADO
    • approved design activities and any limitations
    • approved scope including the types of aircraft, technical specialities and any conditions.

    Learn how to change your approved certificate or exposition.

Last updated:
6 Dec 2021
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