FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are Sofema Aviation Services?

Sofema Aviation Services – (SAS) was founded in March 2008 and today is one of the world’s leading providers of regulatory-compliant and vocational training offering over 550 courses delivered as classroom & webinars as well as over 230 courses delivered online through our sister platform Sofema Online (SOL) www.sofemaonline.com.

Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) together with our Partner AETS – Hold together EASA Part 147 Approval BG.147.0005 issued by the Bulgarian CAA. – To date, Sofema has issued over 50,000 certificates to delegates in multiple regions on several different continents.

Who Will Accept SAS & SOL Certificates?

Since our Inception, no Regulatory Authority has declined a SAS or SOL certificate. In fact, not only have we delivered a number of training courses specifically for several regulatory authorities, we have current Consultant Instructors who are also employed as Competent Authority Airworthiness Inspectors.

What is the relationship between Part 147 Organisations and any Regulatory Training Obligations?

One of the most frequent questions we are asked concerns the relationship between EASA Regulatory Training and 147 approval.
Typically, this relates to the fundamental misunderstanding regarding the role of an EASA 147 approval.

• Please Note – EASA Part 147 is NOT in any way a generic training approval it is only for providing BASIC and TYPE training to PART 66 Licensed aircraft engineers and for no other purpose.
Both SAS & SOL receives their regulatory training course acceptance from the receiving organisation.
• Based on a range of acceptance criteria including the continuous demonstration of effective delivery.

Further Guidance – please read Our Blog EASA Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem? https://sassofia.com/blog/easa-part-of-the-solution-or-part-of-the-problem/

Who makes Decisions Regarding Acceptance of Regulatory Training within an Organisation?

This is a very important point for our clients to familiarize with. Your organisations Compliance Manager / Quality Assurance Manager is considered as your Organisations “Regulatory Expert”.

Therefore he (or she) Is not only familiar with the various requirements is ideally placed to assess the acceptability of Sofema Training Material and for this reason, “guest access” is provided without cost to enable assessment & approval of the requested course content.

What are EASA Compliant Regulatory Training Courses?

They are courses that either meet the specific need of the organisation as required by an EASA approved organisation (For example Part OPS, Part CAMO, Part 145, Part 21 Subpart G, or other relevant regulations. Or they add value to the Competence Building Objectives of the Organisation.

Important Note – These Courses are all outside of the remit of an EASA 147 Organisation.
Further explanation – There is no EASA proscribed organisation approval to deliver such training courses – Human Factors to comply with EASA 145.A.30, Fuel Tank Safety, EWIS, Safety Management Systems, Quality Auditing Technics, and many more.

What are the organizational obligations regarding EASA Compliant courses?

Under the EASA system, it is the responsibility of the organisation to ensure that any training is compliant not just with EASA regulations but also with the internal competence management and oversight requirements of the Organisation.

Additional Note Regarding Sofema Online training courses
• All SOL courses are based on material provided by Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) www.sassofia.com and are designed to be fully compliant with the regulations.
o However please note it is for the receiving organisation to  ensure that the material meets your needs.

To support this obligation, we provide guest access to nominated Compliance & Quality Managers to audit & assess Sofema Online Training Material.

Why is there so much misunderstanding regarding the role and responsibility of EASA Part 147 Organisations?

Essentially there are 2 reasons:

• The first is a lack of understanding by the Industry of the specifics of the Regulations.
• The second is a lack of effective communication by both EASA and European Regulatory Authorities (Competent Authorities)

What Approval is Required to Deliver EASA Compliant Regulatory Training?

The approval (In reality “acceptance” comes from the receiving (Part CAMO, Part 145, or Part ORO) organisation.

Please Note EASA does not issue any specific approval for Organisations to deliver regulatory training.

What Approval does a Part 147 Organisation hold?

A Part-147 organisation approval only grants privileges related to courses and examinations required by Part-66 (Basic and Type License).
Note – The privileges of a Part-147 organisation do not include providing other courses such as, but not limited to, Human Factors, EWIS, FTS, Regulations, Engine Run-Up, Procedures, etc. (this is a statement from EASA on record with SAS)
Please note that in many cases an EASA Part 147 Type Training organisation does not have the competence to deliver effective regulatory training.
• Important Note – The receiving organisation should understand that the responsibility for compliance sits firmly with the them moreover their is no “credit” in respect of a 147 completion certificate.
o Means any regulatory complaint training course still needs to be vetted and verified by the receiving organisation.

Who can approve such “non 147 training courses”?

Such Regulatory & Vocational “Competence Building” courses can be imparted by any organisation (including your organisation) as long as the process of assessing is ultimately documented and is acceptable to the corresponding competent authority.

Part-147 approved organisations can also give courses outside the scope of Part-66. Can these courses be certified? (e.g. continuation training for the purpose of certifying staff privileges as required by 145.A.35, task training, NDT, engine run, HF, SMS, etc.)

Courses outside the scope of Part-66 cannot be part of the Approval Schedule of the Part-147 organisation.

• This does not prevent a training organisation to provide such courses.
• The scope, content, and delivery methods of these courses will not be reviewed by the Agency or the EASA Member States, as part of the audit scope of the Part-147 organisation.

Important Note – However, when a Part-CAMO, Part ORO, or Part-145 requires the staff to be trained, the appropriateness of such training being delivered would be assessed during the audits of these particular organizations.

Does the Regulator have to directly approve such EASA compliant regulatory training directly?

The Competent Authority / Regulator Authority may perform any audit in support of oversight of an approved organisation as it sees fit – usually, the Competent Authority (CA) / Regulatory Authority (RA) accepts the acceptance of regulatory training decisions made by the receiving organisation.

Further Guidance – This is Typically based on the competence selection and management processes as accepted typically through the Training Vendor Approval Process / Quality Assurance Process.

Why is there no "approval" for EASA Regulatory training organizations?

Because as EASA (or other applicable jurisdiction Compliance or Quality Manager is usually responsible to determine that the provided “training standards” fully meets the requirements of the organisation itself?
This responsibility essentially accepts that the organisation itself is responsible for and manages the competence of its staff to ensure they are able to deliver their required role in the most effective way. (This includes any required recurrent training for example).

Does this mean that organizations can not rely on a "pre-approved solution" for example an accredited regulatory training organisation?

Absolutely correct, this option does not exist in EASA … Why?

Because EASA recognizes and understands that ultimately the organisation must assume responsibility for the standard of training throughout the organisation.

– In fact to re-iterate it is for this reason the SAS provides access to the material to allow the Compliance, Quality or Training Manager to make an assessment of the content of the material prior to any commitments being made.

How to assess the material meets the approved standard?

SAS has delivered regulatory training to more than 50,000 delegates since we started in 2008, this number continues to grow, as the delivery of Regulatory Compliant Training is our core business activity it is incumbent on both SAS & SOL to ensure that we remain fully compliant.

For this reason, each and every classroom course is verified prior to delivery to ensure it is compliant with the latest EASA changes. SAS welcomes audits from regulatory authorities and companies to measure the quality & effectiveness of our training product.

We recommend that organizations should start with a training objective, then measure this objective against our product (gap analysis) – finally assess the delivery process for instructional competency.

Are SAS Certificates accepted by all Regulatory Authorities?

Sofema Aviation Services have been delivering EASA and other jurisdictions (FAA, OTAR – UAE GCAA- Saudi GACA) compliant regulatory training for over 13 years.

Training is currently delivered in Europe, Middle East, Far East and Africa. Certificates issued by SAS are accepted as evidence that the delivered training has taken place.

We have never had any instance of SAS certificates NOT being accepted by a regulatory authority. Since 2020 we have issued more than 20,000 Certificates – not a single one was rejected for any reason.

Do Competent Authority regulators attend SAS Training courses?

Regulators from the local CAA are invited to attend all SAS training courses and frequently do so, in addition, SAS delivers “regulator only” training courses.

How many delegates attend SAS training courses?

Since 2020 more than 20,000 delegates attended SAS and www.sofemaonline.com Training Courses across all Regulatory Business Areas.

Is it possible to receive a soft copy of the training course?

Yes SAS provide a free soft copy of all classroom and webinar training courses to each delegate who requests, the process is simple and involves a request email to sas.support@sassofia.com the request is validated against the attendance register and you will be sent your free copy, please ensure your email can receive file sizes up to 20 meg (Gmail and Yahoo are ok for this purpose).
Please note that this is only possible if the request has been received not later than three (3) months after the end of the training.

What Certificate will I receive on completion of the training?

All delegates will receive an electronic certificate of training confirming the completion of course attendance in the appropriate subjects. Course certificates are issued on payment of all outstanding invoices, within 14 business days following the clearance of the received payment.

Do all courses include an examination?

SAS Exams are generally provided for longer courses or specifically when the receiving organisation requests an exam this may be either:

• Provided during the course (considering the time constraints)
• Provided to the Quality Assurance Manager so that the Company may provide the exam internally

What happens if I cannot attend the full training, will I still receive a certificate?

SAS understands that delegates including Accountable Executives and Senior Managers may from time to time, at short notice, for a variety of reasons, miss part of the training or are called away from training at short notice.
We understand that this may create a problem related to the attendance requirements to qualify for a full certificate. Please note the following statement which is applicable in such cases.
Following a reduction of attendance hours by 1 or more delegates, the instructor will review the actual delivery of subject matter and will determine whether:

• The Delegate has attended sufficient hours to qualify for a full certificate.
• The Delegate has not covered the full syllabus and shall be eligible to receive a “partial” certificate.
Note – A Special Certificate will be produced in conjunction with the Instructor. (This document will be provided without additional cost).

In addition to the above, any person who misses a full training will be allowed to attend the same or similar in the future (without additional cost). Please note this option is not transferable.

How is my certificate validated?

Certificates carry unique document control numbers. They are signed electronically.

Will I receive a hard copy certificate?

To invoke effective management and control SAS took as best practice to send certificates in PDF formats via email, this way our clients can print them on preferable paper and keep them electronically as well.
In this way, SAS is able to support cost-effective training without any reduction in quality.

What If I insist on a hard copy certificate?

Hard Copies of Certificates are available on course completion individually at either 25 Euro each to cover administration and airmail (Courier will incur additional cost) or in batches at 10 Euro each plus “batch” Air Mail or courier at cost).

We want to have an organisation nominated EASA 145 and Aircraft Legislation Regulatory Trainer in our organisation. How can we achieve this?

To achieve this requires a knowledgeable and competent trainer who is acceptable to the organisation Quality System and the Regulatory Authority.

To support this process SAS is pleased to offer:
• A training skills competence-focused training course – for example:

o SAS 4 Days Training for Trainers in a Maintenance Environment which may be completed online.

• Online training support is necessary to enable a detailed understanding of the regulations to a standard whereby you are able to explain them in an effective way.

Do I need to deliver Human Factors Training in the workplace using EASA Part 147 organisation?

Human Factors May be delivered by a 145 organisation directly or through a 145 subcontracted organisation for all maintenance personal including Part 66 Engineers.

Please note that a licensed engineer who attends Module 9 HF training and subsequently joins an organisation will require Initial HF training in accordance with EASA 145.A.30
SAS offers a 4 day Human Factors Train the Trainer which is specifically designed to support organizations to deliver their own Human Factor Training.

I am wishing to take part in Ramp Safety Ground Ops Train the Trainer – Is it appropriate to attend the Human Factors TTT Course?

Absolutely, not only is the HF TTT course most appropriate, you will be able to engage with your instructor on many levels concerning exposures within the Ramp Environment. Also, consider that the fundamental attributes of a successful and effective Ramp Safety Instructor may be found with the Maintenance Human Factors Skill Set. The satisfaction rate among Ground Handling & Ramp Staff attending Sofema TTT courses is very high.

Why do i see the same course available as a 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 4 Days, and 5 days? What is the difference?

For many of our courses we offer a 1 day, 2 days, 3 days and 5 Days option – The difference is as follows:

The 1-day course is typically either delivered as an overview course, an essentials course, or a genuine short course due to the subject material length, It is designed to cover all elements but due to time constraints the depth is appropriate for the time available.

The 2 or 3 Days courses are in more depth with more practical guidance regarding industry best practice and specific consideration of the challenges and effective solutions.

Where we offer 4 or 5 days courses it is to allow work shop and group activities to aid the understanding of the subject. 4 or 5 Day courses can be particularly beneficial for example we consider subjects like SMS, Logistics or Quality Assurance where we can review all elements together with a detailed understanding of regulatory and organizational obligations to deliver system optimization.

Why do I see course different levels available for same course? What is the difference?

For many our courses we offer Applied, Basic, Recurrent, Essentials and Advanced level. – The difference is as follows:

Applied – These courses are for persons looking for both a deeper and more practical understanding of the subject matter.
Basic – Highly suitable for person who seek an Introduction to the Subject Matter.
Recurrent – Suitable either as Mandatory or Vocational Recurrent Training for persons who have previously completed Basic Training.
Essentials – Developed to provide a minimum knowledge to address the fundamentals of the subject matter.
Advanced – These courses are for persons looking for a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

What are the differences between SAS & Sofema Online Training Courses and what is the availability of Hard and Soft Copy Training Material?

Many of our courses are available as either classroom or webinar courses delivered by Sofema Aviation Services Instructors as well as online through our training platform www.sofemaonline.com.

All Classroom and most Webinar include either Hard or Soft Copy Material as standard.

Regarding Online If you have a minimum of 5 delegates registered for a SOL online course, your nominated Course Leader / Administrator will be able to request a free copy of the training material.

Please email team@sassofia.com with your request for soft copy material.

The offer is effective from 15th March 2021 and is applicable to a single transaction of a minimum of 5 enrolments for the same training. For more information related to online training, please see https://sofemaonline.com/faqs

Can Sofema Aviation Services or Sofema Online provide a personal service to support my submission for an Aircraft Maintenance Engineers License, or engage with the regulatory authority on my behalf?

With literally 1000’s of clients it is simply not possible to provide a personal service. We try hard to support you in the best way possible to help you to understand the various requirements. Please make sure you carry out a thorough online search of your questions before you contact us.

We try to offer general help to people who have tried and not been able to resolve or understand a particular issue. We undertake to answer or comment to all questions raised on our Linkedin Group “Sofema Online User Forum” where we are pleased to share EASA Regulatory Questions.

What if I fail the Sofema Online exam?

If you fail all your 3 attempts on the exam you will need to redo the training. Our policy is to provide you with the training again, with 50% discount. Please see here or contact us at online@sassofia.com.

Concerning EASA Part 66 Module 9 & 10.

Sofema Aviation Services offers Mod 9 Human Factors and Mod 10 Air Legislation as classroom training in support of EASA Foreign Part-145 approval holders.

Important – SAS & SOL are not able to support EASA Part 66 Basic Modules Part 66 Examinations – our material is available specifically to meet the needs of Base, Line & Component Maintenance Organisation, In Accordance with the requirements of EASA document UG.CAO.00126-003 & CAO.00121-004.

Note 1. This course in its entirety is constructed at the highest level throughout to support Component Certifying Staff – to be interpreted as follows – LEVEL 2: A general knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject and an ability to apply that knowledge.

Note 2. The acceptance of this course whether delivered in the classroom / Webinar / Online is the responsibility of the receiving organisation and forms part of the management of competence of the certifying staff.

Note 3. It is ultimately the responsibility of the Quality Manager to ensure that the content of this training is fully compliant with the organisational requirement to meet EASA Part 145 objectives. For online access contact team@sassofia.com

Note 4. SAS/SOL Training Plan shows how the course will be delivered in a classroom environment – For an online delivery the Quality Manager should ensure the student fully engages with the material this can be ensured by mandated supervised access to the material, supervised completion of the examination together with competence assessment to ensure satisfactory completion. (to receive a copy of the training plan please email team@sassofia.com)

When Will I Receive an Invoice for Payment to Sofema?

Sofema issues registered invoices against all payments. Funds sent by Bank Transfer or Credit Card do not arrive instantly and can take up to 7 Days to arrive in Sofema Accounts.

The invoice can only be issued when funds have been received into SAS. We therefore ask for your understanding and to expect your invoice (at the latest) up to 10 business days following your payment to allow time for processing.

What is the situation in respect of “Withholding Tax” regarding “Open” and “In Company” training?

In respect of “In Company” training it depends very much on the country in which the training is performed. There are double taxation agreements between Bulgaria (SAS is a BG registered entity registered for VAT in Bulgaria) and the Country of the Organisation for which we are delivering the training. This matter is dealt with within the Contract to deliver the training.

In respect of “Open Training” the training price (together with applicable discounts early bird or Multiple Delegate / Multiple Attendance) is the final price. Means if there are additional taxation issues they should be addressed by either the delegate or the delegates company. For open training SAS will not be responsible for any additional taxations issues.

Where Can I find details of the SAS Open Training Plan for 2021 / 2022?

Sofema Aviation Services currently offers over 550 Courses with primary delivery centers in Sofia, Bangkok, Dubai & Jakarta. We do not run all courses in all centers rather we react directly to the client’s objectives.

Please email team@sassofia.com and advise the following to enable us to support you with the best possible solution.

• What Training you are looking for?
• How many delegates you have?
• What is your preferred location?
• What is the time frame (0-3 months, 3-6 months, over 6 months)?

With this information we will provide the most appropriate offer. We believe that Sofema Aviation Services offers the most effective & flexible approach and very much look forward to the opportunity to support your organisation. Please email team@sassofia.com for further guidance with comments on the above questions.