Digital Signatures, NZ Rules & v3.4.3

2nd November, 2022
Stefan Taber

Stefan Taber

Software Developer

Providing a system that helps you maintain regulatory compliance is one of our main goals, and we try to provide new tools to aid that goal with each release. This release provides a new Digital Signature system, compliance with New Zealand licence and medical rules, and a whole bunch of tweaks and performance improvements. Let’s have a look.

Digital Signatures

Previously, there was no reliable way for anyone to know if the instructor had completed filling out the details in the lesson record, or completed grading the lesson - including the student. The student would “Confirm” the lesson record, by selecting the “Confirm” action in a dropdown. What did they confirm and when? Did they do it by accident? What if the lesson record changed from competent to not-yet-competent? Did the student confirm that? The method of signing that you had read a document was maybe a little better, but definitely had room for improvement.

Introducing Digital Signatures. You can choose from your Smart password, a 4 or 6 digit pin, a custom word, or use your two factor authenticator code as your signature. Everything you sign will be recorded, and you’re able to see a list any time of what you signed, when you signed it, and exactly what you agreed to. We’ve already set you up with a digital signature - it’s your Smart password - which you can easily change any time. Your Digital Signature follows you everywhere. If you belong to multiple organisations running Smart, you’ll be able to use the same signature across all of them. There’s no more work than there was before - just a clearer, more compliant method of completing your records.

You may have historical lesson records that need signing, which could be quite a chore if you have hundreds of them. We’ve provided a tool to retrospectively sign any lesson records completed before the release date of the digital signature system. You will find this function via the “Signatures” link in the sidebar.

We’ve started with signing Lesson Records and Documents, but this paves the way for other parts of the system to use your Digital Signature, e.g. signing off on a weight and balance or passenger manifest, dispatch and return authorizations, and some other exciting up-and-coming features. So watch this space!

New Zealand Licence and Medical Checking

You’ve been able to add them to your profile for some time, but we now check New Zealand licence and medical requirements during booking and on dispatch for various flight types and rules. These checks can’t cover every requirement of the rules, but should be a good tool to help you and your team maintain compliance during their busy schedules.

You may find some of these new rules blocking you on booking or dispatch - especially solo requirements for pilots with no licence. We recommend creating a single manual lesson record entry for those students as “recognition of prior learning”, which can satisfy those solo requirements like flight experience within the last 30 days etc. You can also use this lesson record to upload any supporting or historical training records information.

Performance and Tweaks

As usual, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that doesn’t necessarily manifest as a shiny new feature or visually striking change. But we’ve been hard at work with 50-odd changes on top of these more obvious features. From more easily searchable customers in the invoice flyover, to increasing the performance of searching your organisation's activity report, to bringing in all your expense and income accounts from Xero, there’s hopefully at least one gift for everyone in the bag!

Wrap Up

The Safety Management System upgrades are all but finished, and are going through an internal QA process with Andrew Warland-Browne, a member of our team who is VERY experienced in the field of aviation compliance and safety. We’re excited to get that out to you very soon. We’re also starting work on a new student progress report, recency checking, RAAus support, and a brand new dispatch and return authorisation process (opt-in), to really make sure those planes don’t go flying unless they’re supposed to, all of which we aim to have delivered to you by the year’s end.

Again, thank you all for the feedback you’re submitting! This new feedback system has been worth its weight in gold, and we love hearing your ideas. We just wish we didn’t need to sleep so we could get it all to you sooner!

Until next time,

The Smart Team.

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