DNQ Rating - An ARG/US rating of DNQ, or Does Not Qualify, can result from three areas: A poor historical safety rating based on the data collected and analyzed, a significant safety issue with a pilot or aircraft operated, or a failure of an on-site safety audit. Most issues that cause a DNQ rating stand a good chance of being corrected over time
Gold Rating - For those operators who provide data on the aircraft operated, and the pilots employed, ARG/US will evaluate for a Gold Rating. The Gold level is assigned to operators who meet or exceed the established ARG/US standards for equipment and crew experience.
Gold Plus Rating - This rating is awarded to operators who meet all Gold rating requirements, and have undergone an ARG/US on-site safety audit. The operator has been found to have effective and documented policies and procedures which should be conducive to safe future operations.
Platinum Rating - The highest level of ARG/US safety ratings is awarded to those operators who meet the criteria for Silver and Gold, and successfully pass an ARG/US on-site safety audit. The ARG/US audit is a true process audit administered by trained and experienced aviation auditing professionals to evaluate the operator against industry best practice standards. A Platinum rating requires a functioning Safety Management System, and clear and workable Emergency Response Plan, and appropriate written standards, implementation, and records for all major aspects of Operations and Maintenance within a flight department or Charter company (see http://www.aviationresearch.com/onsite_audit.asp ).