Pre-engagement means a procedural stage preceding the submission of an application for a single safety certificate (new, updated or renewed), during which the applicant may request additional information from the safety authority of the RS concerned by the planned area of operation on the next steps of the safety assessment process in order to better understand what is expected of it and to reduce the risk of delays in issuing the single safety certificate which could impede business continuity.
The pre-engagement phase is optional for the applicant, but recommended as it can reduce potential risks in the assessment phase and facilitate the assessment process itself. If it so chooses, the applicant may nevertheless submit the application for a single safety certificate directly. However, if it requires a pre-engagement, the various authorities concerned by the area of operation shall be required to participate in it.
Where the applicant requests a pre-engagement, it shall submit the information listed in points 1 to 6 of Annex I to Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/763 through the One-Stop Shop.
To ensure that the benefits of pre-engagement can be fully realised, the following sequence is advised:
- the applicant prepares a dossier containing at least an overview of its safety management system and submits it via the One-Stop Shop,
- the safety certification body shall set the date(s) of the meeting(s) and be responsible for the organisational arrangements (e.g. venue of the meeting or use of other means of communication, invitation to experts),
- the applicant sets the agenda for the meeting(s),
- the experts of the safety authority of the RS concerned by the area of operation shall provide the general results or typical findings of their previous supervisions, as appropriate,
- the safety certification body shall coordinate with the applicant to discuss the content of the pre-engagement documentation and, if relevant to the application, feedback on the supervision activities carried out by the safety authority of the RS,
- the applicant shall keep a record of the meetings by preparing draft minutes and sending them to all participants for review and approval. Minutes of meetings can be archived in the One-Stop Shop to facilitate future safety assessments.
Pre-engagement should start well in advance of the planned date of submission of the application for the single safety certificate. For more complex projects, we recommend that the pre-engagement starts at the latest one year before the application for the single safety certificate is submitted, in order to ensure an efficient exchange of information between the different parties and to allow sufficient time for the applicant to make any necessary changes to the application. The duration of pre-engagement should be proportionate to the scope and complexity of the future application.
Once the applicant requests a pre-engagement, the choice of the safety certification body becomes binding until:
- the applicant submits an application for a single safety certificate; or
- requires the suspension of the pre-engagement. In this case, the applicant may decide to request a new pre-engagement and choose another safety certification body.
The pre-engagement phase must be completed before the application for a single safety certificate is submitted, either at the request of the applicant or when the parties concerned so decide.