Responsibility and Accountability
Are you responsible or accountable? That depends where you sit in the company and what role you carry out. In a nutshell, if you’re accountable you answer for it. If you are responsible, you do it. If you think of this from a safety viewpoint in the Unmanned Aerial Systems world then it is the PIC who is responsible for safety but it is the company directors who are accountable and the operations manual is a great place to detail this. Initially though, many start up UAS organisations are 1 or 2 person operations so you may find that you are both accountable and responsible at the same time. The important point is to specify this in the operations manual. A great way to future proof the development of your operations manual is to refer to and define which roles (i.e. job titles) are accountable and responsible for which tasks and then later in an appendix you can name who currently undertakes each role, which for most start ups will be the same person. Organisations such as the police will have a clear delineation here and taking the operational trial of UAS at Gatwick as an example, the Chief Constable is accountable and it is a Police Constable operating as the PIC and hence responsible for safety.