Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, Annex II (Part ARO), Annex III (Part ORO)
As stated in ORO.AOC.100, an operator has to submit, as part of its application for an AOC, a description of its management system, including the organisational structure, which constitutes its safety management manual, whose content is described in AMC1 and AMC2 to ORO.GEN.200(a)(5).
The Competent Authority has to check the content of the operator's Safety Management Manual (SMM) as mentioned in ARO.GEN.310(a) and in the corresponding AMC to ARO.GEN.310.
ARO.GEN.310 INITIAL CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE - ORGANISATIONS
(a) Upon receiving an application for the initial issue of a certificate for an organisation, the competent authority shall verify the organisation's compliance with the applicable requirements. This verification may take into account the statement referred to in ORO.AOC.100 (b).
AMC1 ARO.GEN.310(a) INITIAL CERTIFICATION PROCEDURE - ORGANISATIONS
VERIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE
(a) Upon receipt of an application for an air operator certificate (AOC), the competent authority should:
(1) assess the management system and processes, including the operator's organisation and operational control system;
(2) review the operations manual and any other documentation provided by the organisation; [...]
Information on the content of the operator's Safety Management Manual (SMM), which can be part of the Operations Manual or included in a separate manual, can be found in AMC1 and AMC2 to ORO.GEN.200(a)(5). It should be noted that the SMM is not required to be approved according to ORO.GEN.200(a)(5) and the related AMCs. Nevertheless, changes affecting the operator's management system are required to be approved (ORO.GEN.130 + GM1) and these changes would have to be reflected in the operator's manual dealing with Safety management:
AMC1 ORO.GEN.200(a)(5) MANAGEMENT SYSTEM DOCUMENTATION - GENERAL
(b) The operator's management system documentation may be included in a separate manual or in (one of) the manual(s) as required by the applicable Subpart(s). A cross reference should be included.
(a) Any change affecting:
(1) the scope of the certificate or the operations specifications of an operator; or
(2) any of the elements of the operator's management system as required in ORO.GEN.200 (a)(1) and (a)(2),
shall require prior approval by the competent authority.