All activities relating to a specific audit are conducted in a transparent manner involving the full participation of the State throughout the audit process, beginning four to six months prior to the starting date of the audit when the States that are scheduled for an audit are sent a customized MoU, based upon a model bilateral MoU endorsed by the ICAO Council, so as to confirm their agreement to its terms. At the same time:
 
      • States are requested to complete and submit a pre-audit questionnaire (PAQ) and a security audit compliance checklist to assist in the planning of the audit; and
      • Audit-related documents and other essential information are forwarded to the State to be audited to enable it to appropriately prepare for the forthcoming audit.
 
Post-audit action starts with a detailed on-site briefing provided to the State at the conclusion of the audit. A confidential audit report is forwarded to the audited State within 60 calendar days of the completion of the audit and, under the terms of the MoU signed with ICAO, the State is expected to submit a CAP within 60 calendar days following receipt of the report. At the same time, States are asked to complete and submit a State Audit Feedback Form commenting on all aspects of the audit process. This feedback is used, as appropriate, to improve the audit process.
 
The ICAO audit reports, coupled with the State CAP, provide the starting point for initiating corrective actions taken by States. Depending upon the nature of the deficiencies identified in an audited State, immediate and direct assistance may be available through the ICAO Implementation Support and Development – Security Section (ISD-SEC), and longer-term assistance projects may be coordinated through the Technical Co-operation Programme.
 
A visual representation of the audit cycle may be found below.