ISO 21384-3: 2023 is the international standard governing safe commercial drone (UAS) operations. This drone specific standard was first introduced in 2019 to provide a framework against which the operational procedures for UAS organisations - both large and small - can be developed and reliably assessed.
This industry standard incorporates a broad range of requirements, including but not limited to:
Critically, this standard aims to provide a benchmark for organisation best practice in UAS operation, complementary to the more overarching requirements of the CAA and their international equivalents.
Certification is available for any organisation who deploy drones as part of their operation who wish to verify their compliance against the latest standards of UAS operation.
This can include newer organisations intending to use the process by way of building compliance from the ground up but also more established organisations who would achieve commercial and/or operational benefit from confirming the compliance of their existing protocol.
Successful organisations receive IQ Verify UAS Gold Certification which provides independent 3rd party confirmation of organisational compliance with the full requirements of ISO 21384-3:2023
To promote manageability and progressive development, certification against ISO 21384-3 via the IQ Verify UAS Operations Gold Scheme takes place in three distinct stages:
Stage 1 - Remote Audit (0.5 days)
This half day readiness check works to ensure an applicant organisation has all of the policies, procedures and other documentation in place to support their audit against ISO 21384-3.
Should gaps be identified, these will be raised in the audit report and the applicant provided with time to address these in advance of scheduling stage 2.
Stage 2 - Remote Audit (1 day)
Within this remote audit, organisational documentation, from SOPs and the Operations Manual to flight and maintenance records will be audited against the requirements of ISO 21384-3.
In essence, whilst Stage 1 provides the opportunity to assess the presence of all ISO 21384-3 relevant documentation, stage two formally assesses its implementation.
Stage 3: Witness Assessment - On Site (1 day)
During this final stage in the initial certification cycle, an IQ Verify auditor will schedule an on site assessment of a live drone deployment, conducted as part of the applicants planned operations.
The core purpose of this witness assessment is to provide evidence confirming full ISO 21384-3 alignment in real time, inclusive of compliance with those documentary requirements as assessed previously.
You will be issued with a certificate valid for 3 years subject to successful annual surveillance audits.
Annual Surveillance Audit
Continual compliance with the requirements of ISO 21384-3 will be assessed via annual audit on the anniversary of the initial certification. The annual audit is a two day process that follows the structure as identified above with the reduction of stage 2 by 0.5 days in recognition of process familiarity.
Every three years, the applicant will undergo a full 2.5 day reaudit as per initial certification, to confirm the continued fulfilment of all of the requirements of ISO 21384-3.
Privacy and Surveillance functionality for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): ISO9001 is the internationally recognised standard for Quality Management Systems (QMS). Surprisingly, there were very few UAS specific ISO9001 certification schemes on the market and those that do exist are extremely usage specific.
IQ Verify are therefore proud to announce a fresh approach to ISO9001 that has been tailored to the privacy requirements integral throughout the entire UAS industry. It is the first ISO9001 certification scheme that has been developed to recognise and accommodate a range of UA purpose.
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It may come as a surprise to hear that the UK Surveillance Camera Code of Practice has been expanded to capture the data and privacy considerations essential for information captured as part of drone deployments.
This Home Office linked code of practice provides a framework against which best practice in drone footage data management can be assessed and importantly evidenced. Certificated organisations are listed as code compliant on the publicly available government website and can use this to reassure new clients and the public alike of the appropriateness of organisational data management when deploying drones.
In the words of Fraser Sampson, the UK Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner, certification allows organisations to objectively demonstrate that their drones are "being used proportionately, effectively, transparently and in pursuit of a legitimate aim." Organisations can use their Code of Practice certification to evidence that all data obtained is in line with best practice UK privacy and surveillance guidelines (inclusive of points 20 through 25 of the Drone Code)
Requiring just a one day annual audit to achieve and maintain this certification, and with an additional 20% discount available for members of ARPAS UK, click here for more information about the code of practice or alternatively take a read of the article shown below.