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Transfer of Responsibility: EDD/FREDDs Certification and Quality Assurance

Free Running Explosive Detection Dogs (FREDDs) are now used as an approved method of cargo screening at various Regulated Agents in the UK.

The number of dogs certified by the DfT under the NASP and available for use is growing. We anticipate that this capability will continue to expand as more Regulated Agents realise the operational benefits of FREDDs, and more canine providers seek certification of their dogs to meet demand. With this in mind, the decision has been taken to transfer full regulatory responsibility for Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) operations, including certification and quality assurance (QA) from DfT to the CAA in line with wider aviation security regulatory and oversight processes.

Currently, FREDDs are only permitted to be used in the cargo sector. However, a DfT trial is expected to commence shortly to assess FREDDs for screening vehicles and accompanying personnel, based on a broader intention of expanding FREDDs use to wider areas of aviation security in the future.

On the cargo side, a CAA procurement exercise has been underway to appoint a third party commercial supplier to take on the role, under contract to the CAA, of accreditor responsible for the certification and QA of FREDDs, replacing Dstl who currently undertake this role. You may know that Dstl is the research arm of the MoD, and it is now the right time to transition the certification and QA aspects away from the research area. I am pleased to advise you that the procurement process is now complete and can confirm that the newly accredited supplier of FREDDs certification and QA in the UK is Redline Assured Security.

Following a successful handover from Dstl and an initial mobilisation phase, Redline will shortly assume full operational responsibility for FREDDs certification and QA. Due to the need to oversee practicalities around data handling and finalising the necessary security clearances, influenced adversely by the continuing restrictions in place due to the pandemic, it is envisaged that the official handover will take place in the autumn. We will notify you once Redline have an official start date to commence operational activities. Please note that responsibility for the regulation and oversight of EDD screening will pass from DfT to CAA at this time.

The wider policy framework around the use of EDD as an approved screening method will remain with DfT as the appropriate authority and custodians of the UK’s approved equipment list (on which certified EDDs and their handlers will be listed). If you currently use FREDDs to screen cargo as part of your current security processes, you should not notice any substantive changes at the point of transfer and you do not need to take any action.

Please note - any queries from suppliers of FREDDs, or EDD companies looking to submit canines for FREDDs certification, should contact Darren Saunders at Darren.saunders@dft.gov.uk in the first instance.

Source: Civil Aviation Authority



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