How is ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme Continuous Monitoring Approach evolving?


One of the important ways ICAO promotes global aviation safety is through continuous monitoring of Member States’ aviation safety performance and the auditing of their safety oversight capabilities. These efforts enhance their aviation safety compliance and oversight capabilities by regularly and continuously obtaining and analysing data on Member States’ aviation safety performance and the degree of compliance of with Standards and Recommended Practices, as well as associated procedures, guidance material, and safety-related practices. 

The ICAO team responsible for the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA), pictured during ICAO’s 41st General Assembly.On 7 October 2022, the 41st ICAO Assembly came to a consensus on ICAO’s budget and work programme for the next three years. These work programmes include the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA).

In the main agenda of the Assembly, the USOAP CMA was discussed under Item 15: Audit Programmes – Continuous Monitoring Approach. The Assembly noted the report on the activities of the programme during the triennium 2019-2020-2021 (A41-WP/07), expressed strong support for the work undertaken and acknowledged donors seconding experts and providing other voluntary contributions. The Assembly recommended that ICAO prioritize resources for the USOAP CMA and called upon Member States to continue their full support. The Assembly also expressed its appreciation for all efforts to implement the USOAP CMA while overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Assembly endorsed the evolution plan presented in A41-WP/27 and its corresponding budget, in particular, the integration of the State Safety Programme Implementation Assessment (SSPIA) with USOAP activities and the implementation of recommendations of the Ad hoc USOAP Advisory Group (USOAP-AG). With respect to the latter, the Assembly recommended that ICAO should not issue a Mandatory Information Request (MIR) followed by a Significant Safety Concern (SSC) based only on the postponement or cancellation of a USOAP activity, consistent with current practice.

The status of the different projects that will drive the evolution of the USOAP CMA during the next triennium is outlined below.

  • Improvement of the monitoring and evaluation of Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) to ensure a response within a defined timeline.
  • Analysis for future amendments of Protocol Questions (PQs), its application to USOAP activities and State Effective Implementation (EI) scores within the Group of Experts for a USOAP CMA Structured Review (GEUSR) effectiveness review.
  • Consideration for the development of an alternative methodology to audit aircraft accident and incident investigation systems of States to better reflect these capabilities of States in the absence of accidents.

Other meetings held during A41

A total of 23 USOAP CMA-related meetings were conducted with different ICAO Member States during A41. The objectives of these meetings varied, from encouraging States to accept the activities as proposed in the USOAP Activity Plan, sharing the status of States’ USOAP CMA activities and discussing areas of further collaboration in support of the programme.
Four other meetings were held with ICAO partners on fostering collaborative relations to support the USOAP CMA monitoring function. In addition, a face-to-face dialogue on contributions from the Regional Offices to the USOAP CMA was held to review the different roles and responsibilities on the programme performed by Headquarters and the Regional Offices, in addition to discussions on the main challenges encountered in the ICAO regions.

  • 7 working papers and 3 information papers addressed the USOAP CMA and its evolution under Agenda Item 15
  • 23 hybrid meetings with Member States
  • 4 hybrid meetings with ICAO partners on monitoring activities
  • 1 hybrid meeting with ICAO Regional Directors
  • 2 SkyTalks


Two Skytalks on USOAP CMA were presented during A41. The first session introduced a high-level overview of the USOAP CMA evolution and opera-tion in the last triennium and plans for the next triennium (2023-2024-2025). The presentation can be viewed on ICAO TV here.

The second SkyTalk presented two new USOAP CMA tools. First is the “USOAP State profile” web page on the USOAP online framework, which resulted from implementation of GEUSR recommendations, while the second is the new “USOAP CMA Community”, which is expected to bring our experts closer. This presentation is also available for on-demand viewing, here on ICAO TV.

For more information, visit our Monitoring and Oversight websites on the ICAO public website and the USOAP CMA Online Framework.

ICAO has developed training that provides knowledge on auditing techniques that can be applied to enhance competencies related to USOAP. The course focuses specifically on identifying Protocol Questions, developing related auditing techniques, and explore key documents and guidance material. USOAP CM provides a mechanism for ICAO to collect and analyze safety information from Member States and other stakeholders in order to identify and prioritize appropriate oversight and monitoring activities to be carried out by ICAO. The portfolio of training is shared here.