The Universal Security Audit Programme is based on the following nine principles:
 
Sovereignty. Every State has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory. Accordingly, ICAO fully respects a sovereign State’s responsibility and authority for oversight of aviation security, including its decision-making powers with respect to implementing corrective actions related to identified deficiencies.
 
Universality. All Member States will be subject to continuous audit and monitoring activities by ICAO, in accordance with the principles, methodology, processes and procedures established for conducting such activities, and on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by ICAO and each Member State.
 
Transparency of methodology. The USAP-CMA activity procedures and processes will be made available to all Member States.
 
Timeliness. Results of USAP-CMA activities will be produced and submitted on a timely basis in accordance with a predetermined schedule for the preparation and submission of these results.
 
All-inclusiveness. The scope of the USAP-CMA includes Annex 17 Standards and security-related Standards of Annex 9. It is expected to expand the scope of the USAP-CMA at appropriate times to include other security-related provisions contained in other Annexes to the Chicago Convention, in order to ensure their effective implementation in Member States’ civil aviation systems.
 
Consistency and objectivity. USAP-CMA activities will be conducted in a consistent and objective manner. Standardization and uniformity in the scope, depth and quality of USAP-CMA activities will be assured through training and certification of all auditors, the use of standardized Protocol Questions and the provision of relevant guidance material.
 
Fairness. USAP-CMA activities will be conducted in a manner such that Member States are given the opportunity to monitor, comment on and respond to the USAP‑CMA processes within an established time frame.
 
Quality. The quality of USAP-CMA activities will be ensured by assigning trained and certified auditors to conduct USAP-CMA activities in accordance with widely recognized auditing concepts, as well as by implementing an internal quality control system within ASA that continually monitors and evaluates feedback received from USAP-CMA stakeholders to ensure their ongoing satisfaction.
 
Confidentiality. Sensitive security information collected as part of the USAP-CMA will be protected from unauthorized disclosure. Accordingly, USAP-CMA audit reports will be confidential and will only be made available to the audited State and ICAO staff on a need-to-know basis. However, in the interests of promoting global aviation security, a limited level of disclosure will apply whereby charts depicting the level of implementation of the Critical Elements of an aviation security oversight system by a Member State and an indication of compliance by a Member State with Annex 17 Standards, as well as information pertaining to the existence of unresolved Significant Security Concerns (SSeCs) in a Member State, will be made available to all Member States on the USAP secure website.