Overview of the Independent Review Panel
There are several options that may be available to you if you are dissatisfied with a decision reached by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Decisions which relate to individual licensing action or privileges may have the option of being reviewed by the Department for Transport (DfT)’s Independent Review Panel (IRP) and/or through the Regulation 6 review process.
The information on this page provides an overview of the Independent Review Panel process to help you to make a decision that is most appropriate for your circumstances.
There is more information about the CAA appeals or complaints processes and how to request a review by the Independent Review Panel.
Type of body
The IRP is a non-statutory body established by the DfT, in agreement with the CAA. The IRP can look at certain decisions made by the CAA Members of the IRP and are entirely independent of the CAA and are experts in procedure, rather than aviation safety.
Type of powers
The IRP can look at whether the CAA followed the correct process or procedure in arriving at a decision. It cannot look at the judgements used to reach that decision.
If the IRP finds that the CAA did not follow the correct procedure, it can recommend one of the following to the CAA:
- Make an appropriate apology.
- Give more information and/or explanation as to how the decision was arrived at.
- Amend CAA procedures and practices that could help prevent a recurrence of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint.
- In cases of severe mismanagement, entirely reconsider a matter.
The CAA can then decide whether to follow the recommendation(s). If it chooses not to, it must write to the individual, the IRP and the Minister for Aviation setting out why it has not done so.
Decisions in scope for review
Cases may be eligible to be considered by the IRP where a CAA official has advised a person of a refusal to issue, or a proposal to vary, provisionally suspend, suspend, or revoke any of the following licences or authorisations issued to an individual:
- Flight crew licensing (including licensing action as a result of an airspace infringement, as well as licensing decisions taken by entities the CAA delegate authority to).
- Maintenance engineers.
- Air traffic controllers.
- Rating and endorsements for instructors and examiners.
- Medical fitness decisions.
- Aeromedical examiners.
For a case to be considered by the IRP, it must first have gone through an internal review by an independent person within the CAA; be a decision from the list mentioned previously and the requestor must demonstrate to the IRP where they think the CAA failed to follow the correct process.
Once the IRP has provided this information, it will decide whether to consider the case or not. The request for the IRP to review the case must come within 14 days of the CAA communicating the result of the internal case review and is for decisions taken after 2 May 2022.
There is no cost to the applicant in seeking an IRP review.
Estimated time of review
Once provided with all the relevant information, the IRP will aim to consider a case within 28 working days (unless it communicates otherwise).
If a person is unsatisfied with the outcome of the IRP process, they can seek to have their case reviewed through the Regulation 6 process.
Alternatively, the person can ask their Member of Parliament (MP) to refer their case to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). This does not affect the right to request a Regulation 6 review, but the PHSO may decide not to investigate a case presented to them, where they feel the Regulation 6 process is the best course of action.
Those wishing to have their case referred to the PHSO through their MP should first decide whether their case is in scope of what the PHSO is able to investigate.
- IRP personnel licensing and certification decisions
- IRP terms of reference