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This apprenticeship standard is in development and is not yet ready to use

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Aviation customer service

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the Aviation sector, across a range of different types of organisations and employers including all those working in roles supporting the safe check-in, boarding, departure and arrival process of people at airports, military bases, heliports and other airfields. This occupation requires Aviation Customer Service Operatives to communicate across all occupational roles, their work will involve indoor and outdoor activity and commonly requires shift working and unsociable hours.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to ensure the safe, efficient and effective check-in, boarding, departure and arrival of people (and any accompanying goods/luggage). Aviation Customer Service Operatives work in a number of environments, such as a commercial airport, military base/aerodrome, Royal Navy aircraft carrier, heliport or other airfield. Aviation Customer Service Operatives operate in highly regulated environments and work in very organised teams, often to very tight timescales.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with members of their immediate team and other airfield stakeholders critical to the safe & secure check-in, boarding, departure and arrival process of all people. Typically Aviation Customer Service operatives work is coordinated by an aviation specialist/operations manager, whom may typically detail the tasks the Aviation Customer Service operative is responsible for carrying out compliantly.  At the heart of this occupation, Aviation Customer Service Operatives’ day-to-day duties provide all necessary help and support to individuals which may include check in, baggage processing, reservations and ticketing, boarding of flights, greeting arriving passengers, handling of VIPs, provide special passenger assistance. They are also accountable for handling disruption, customer complaints and other duties as assigned while maintaining health and safety and overall good working practices that comply with aviation regulations. This includes being vigilant at all times and ensuring Dangerous Goods compliance, baggage security. Aviation Customer Service Operatives will be responsible for escalating the reporting process of threats and risk from internal and external factors.  Effective communication and team work ensure that all aspects of customer services and people processing forms a critical role that helps achieve the objectives of their organisation in this diverse field.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the safe, secure and timely delivery of tasks associated to their work area to ensure people (and any accompanying goods/luggage) are supported during check-in, boarding, departure and arrival, all Aviation Customer Service Operatives have a responsibility to identify potentially dangerous goods, security alerts and border integrity and respond accordingly as instructed and guided by the aviation specialist or aviation operations manager. It is the responsibility of the employer (military & civilian) to ensure that all Aviation Customer Service Operative apprentices achieve a Category 9 Certificate in Dangerous Goods awareness before completing their apprenticeship, then 24-month refresher training must be provided thereafter, as per IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.


Typical job titles include:

Airport agent Customer service agent Ground handling agent Passenger service agent

Occupation duties



Duty 1 Check customers (including handling travel documents) together with relevant identification to ensure compliance. Documents include passports, identity cards, visas, electronic travel authorisation (ESTA, EtA, APP & AQQ), military travel orders. Provide challenge where required and escalate unresolved issues to relevant teams, maintaining a safe border at all times. Scrutinise documents for possible forgeries or tampered documents and act in line with operational and government procedures.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 2 Process all types of customers (including VIP's, customers requiring special passenger assistance, non-English speakers) and baggage using automated or manual systems following specific polices and in line with expected key performance indicators and aviation timetables. Identify and deal with irregularities as appropriate

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 3 Issue boarding cards and complete baggage reconciliation process including oversized if appropriate. E.g. AAA (Authorizing and Accounting of Hold Baggage for carriage by air) against the travel documents presented using all means to check compliance.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 4 Make customers announcements in accordance within operator specific requirements. Ensure all types of customers (including VIP's, customers requiring special passenger assistance, non-English speakers) are kept informed in other to help meet the aviation timetable requirements and to minimise enquiries and complaints

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K11 K12 K14 K16

S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S12 S13 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 5 Deal with disruption and irregularities with confidence and composure, ensuring the border is not compromised. (E.g: cancelled flight example, can all customers be allowed back across the border? Does Border Force need to issue visas?).

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 6 Deliver customer service in accordance with organisational policy, airport, military base, heliport and other airfield protocol and health and safety policies.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 7 Board / contribute to the boarding and disembarkation of aircraft in line with operator procedures and complete any required ticketing duties.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 8 Take appropriate action when dealing with dangerous goods to ensure safety of customers and aircraft; (employers must ensure that all operatives hold a valid category 9 dangerous goods certificate or military version)

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K11 K12 K13 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S12 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 9 Assist passengers with reduced mobility to enable a safe and efficient embarkation and disembarkation, adopting the safe and correct approaches to mobilisation in a range of differing circumstances. This includes passengers with reduced mobility, visual and hearing impairments and taking account of the environment (e.g. aircraft steps & the need for an aisle chair); passengers with service animals and onboard care needed for animal.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 10 Follow all safety, security (including acts of aggression) and compliance procedures in line with regulatory and organisational policies and procedures.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8



K1: Relevant industry-specific regulations, legislation, and procedures appropriate to the aviation sector Back to Duty

K2: The importance of following legislation, monitoring compliance and the completion of legal documentation Back to Duty

K3: The aviation systems used, operational procedures, how to identify faults or errors and the remedial action to take Back to Duty

K4: Prohibited articles relevant to aviation operations and how to deal with them effectively Back to Duty

K5: Own role within the wider aviation team and how it contributes to achieving objectives Back to Duty

K6: Methods to identify and respond to individuals’ needs and abilities in different situations and communicate with others and colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures Back to Duty

K7: Effective communication methods to transfer relevant information to people Back to Duty

K8: The importance of communications and customer service to the organisation Back to Duty

K9: Emergency procedures (including fire, breaches of security, acts of aggression), common incidents and disruption that may occur in an aviation environment and the appropriate action to take in the event of an incident Back to Duty

K10: The procedure for dealing with unauthorised access in a restricted area Back to Duty

K11: The requirements for and characteristics of passport, visas and other statutory or travel documentation Back to Duty

K12: Travel documentation requirements for acceptance to travel, including electronic systems of prompts and messages Back to Duty

K13: The check-in process and procedures Back to Duty

K14: The boarding, departure and arrival process, including premium services such as lounge access and priority boarding, arrivals, and passenger movement Back to Duty

K15: The regulatory requirements governing the arrivals process of passenger services Back to Duty

K16: The required assistance and adaptations needed to facilitate passengers with additional needs while in transit through the airdrome Back to Duty


S1: Comply with all aviation regulations, work within legislative guidelines and procedures. Back to Duty

S2: Complete and maintain documentation to meet current legislative aviation guidelines Back to Duty

S3: Use aviation systems effectively. Take remedial action upon identification of faults or errors in a timely manner Back to Duty

S4: Adapt to different circumstances whilst maintaining customer service standards and remaining polite, helpful and customer focused Back to Duty

S5: Adhere to procedures for identification and safe handling of dangerous goods Back to Duty

S6: Work effectively as part of a team and with others identifying and responding to the needs of individuals, including colleagues, other organisations/stakeholders or customers Back to Duty

S7: Communicate effectively transmitting and receiving information and recording it as required Back to Duty

S8: Take appropriate action in the event of an incident, disruption or emergency, liaising with relevant people and recording actions and outcomes as required Back to Duty

S9: Interpret and scrutinise travel documentation Back to Duty

S10: Identify passenger anomalies and report to the line manager in accordance with relevant regulations Back to Duty

S11: Correctly check-in all booked passengers and baggage Back to Duty

S12: Carry out the boarding functions, ensuring accurate head counts and security and pre-boarding briefs and passenger handling duties Back to Duty

S13: Communicate with flight crew regarding customer and other requirements for example; passengers with restricted movements Back to Duty

S14: Deal with the required documents and health related items and the processing channels for these Back to Duty

S15: Identify and use the correct handling method by using IATA PRM codes or via another applicable means of communication Back to Duty


B1: Has a proactive approach to work Back to Duty

B2: Be a positive role model to others in attitude to work and how it is undertaken Back to Duty

B3: Treat team, customers and other stakeholders with courtesy and respect Back to Duty

B4: Remain focused when a problem arises so that effective and timely decisions can be made Back to Duty

B5: Work responsibly to keep people safe and operations flowing smoothly, complying with working practices Back to Duty

B6: Treat equipment and technology responsibly and effectively Back to Duty

B7: Seeks to treat work areas and equipment with care at all times Back to Duty

B8: Consistently driven to achieve the vision and objectives of the organisation Back to Duty


English & Maths

Apprentices without level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to take the tests for this level prior to taking the end-point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Category 9 Certificate in Dangerous Goods awareness

Level: 2

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: In development
Proposal approved Standard approved Assessment plan approved
Level: 2
Reference: ST0907
Route: Transport and logistics
Minimum duration to gateway: 12 months (this does not include EPA period)
Trailblazer contact (for apprenticeship standard content and trailblazer membership queries only): oonagh.taylor@people1st.co.uk
Employers involved in creating the standard: Menzies, Virgin, MOD, Crosby Training, Bristow Group, Gatwick, Heathrow, BA, American Aviation, Manchester Airport, Outsource Training, Highfield, Virgin, RACPD, TC Partnership, Swissport UK
EQA Provider: People 1st International

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