Implementing SMS with aviation safety management software - Assurance

 

Safety assurance

The third of these four pillars, safety assurance, enables aviation organisations to establish and maintain systematic processes for managing safety that assure that safety goals and objectives can be achieved, and which contribute to the continual improvement of safety and quality.

 

What is safety assurance?

As the core of an SMS, safety assurance incorporates systems and controls that enable aviation organisations to continuously monitor and document their safety performance. Safety assurance also includes the regular review of safety management processes, policies and procedures.

Safety assurance itself, then, can be broken down into three elements:

 

  1. Monitoring and measurement
  1. Change management
  1. Continuous improvement of the SMS

 

  1. Monitoring and measurement

A key component of safety assurance is the implementation of processes to monitor and measure the effectiveness of the SMS. From internal and external audits of an organisation and its suppliers, to third-party audits by customers and regulators, aviation organisations are audited continually.

 

Where controls have been implemented to ensure that risk remains within acceptable levels, aviation organisations must maintain and improve systems to verify their effectiveness, in order to ensure that evaluation programmes continue to be effective and that safety can continue to be assured.

As well as being able to ensure that SMS policies and procedures meet and exceed safety requirements through regular internal and external evaluation, an integrated SMS solution enables organisations to analyse information related to aviation safety in order to identify root causes.

With the ability to carry out detailed analysis of all audits, incidents, occurrences and audit findings throughout the organisation, such solutions can enable the analysis of root cause trends to enable the identification of improvement opportunities, to reduce overhead costs and to reduce exposure to risk.

 

  1. Change management

Organisations must be able to identify changes within them which impact processes, policies, and procedures in order to establish and maintain systematic processes by which safety can be assured.

An integrated solution can enhance safety assurance activities by providing a robust and scalable system for the distribution of relevant safety-related information to appropriate personnel.

Conditional messaging ensures that every person can define the circumstances in which they should be notified of activities and actions.

 

  1. Continuous improvement of the SMS

A key component of ensuring that safety goals and objectives can be achieved is the ability to identify opportunities for continuously improving the SMS. Organisations must ensure that SMS incorporate controls to enable every person to contribute to the continuous improvement of safety and quality at every level and in every area within the organisation.

With detailed causal analysis of all occurrences, incidents and audit findings, an integrated SMS solution enhances the identification of opportunities for improvement throughout the organisation. An integrated solution based on the PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT cycle helps to continually improve safety and quality by promoting a corporate culture that develops and encourages adherence to best practices.

 

Assuring safety effectively

With SMS an international regulatory requirement since 2006, assuring safety effectively at all levels and in all areas of the organisation is of paramount importance for aviation organisations.

The effective assurance of safety is vital to successfully implementing SMS that comply with ICAO and local States’ regulations and contribute to the continual improvement of safety and quality throughout the organisation.

With an integrated SMS solution developed around the four components of safety management, organisations can put into place a robust and scalable framework that supports the effective assurance of safety and the implementation of an SMS.

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