What Is Phase 2 of Aviation SMS Implementation?
Phase 2 of SMS Implementation is largely dedicated to document foundational, core, elements of your safety management system.
The result of implementing Phase 2 is an SMS Safety Policy that all employees can reference to understand:
- What the SMS is;
- What their role in the SMS is;
- Available resources for working safely; and
- What is expected of them to facilitate the SMS on a daily basis.
Initially, you will create a Safety Policy, which will be mostly empty at first. This safety policy can exist physically or online. As you create needed Safety Policy items, you simply need to add them to your policy.
Phase 2 usually takes about 12 months to complete. Safety policies will largely be similar in size regardless of the size of the organization. This is because many items required in a Safety Policy are universal, in that they are static documents that all organizations will have. The only part of the Safety Policy that may vary significantly is the number of policies/procedures.
Accountable Executive Write Commitment to Safety
The identified accountable executive needs to write his/her formal commitment to safety. This commitment doesn’t need to be long or in depth. It should simply lay out their baseline concerns for achieving safety operations, such as:
- Commitment to valuing safety;
- Commitment to providing safety budget and resources; and
- Commitment to zero-tolerance of consciously negligent safety behavior.
This is an important document to have so that employees can see that the “top of the pyramid” in the company values safety.
Write Formal Company Commitment to Safety
The company commitment to safety should address how the SMS is dedicated to improving safety for employees. This involves addressing things like:
- The commitment to managing reported issues on time;
- The commitment to involving employees in the process of change; and
- The commitment to practice continuous improvement.
This commitment is important for letting employees know that the SMS is real, and not just something that exists on paper.
Document Other Commitments to Safety
In addition to the above commitments, your organization should include other commitments as well. Some other good commitments are:
- Non-punitive reporting policy;
- Voluntary/required issue types reporting; or
- Grounds for punitive actions.
Required commitment may differ among different aviation compliance authorities. You may also have custom commitments you would like to include in your SMS.
Identify Key Personnel in Your SMS
Key personnel in your SMS need to be documented so that your employees understand and know who the important players in your organization for are making the SMS happen. For example, you might identify and list:
- Members of your safety committee(s);
- Members of your safety team;
- Subject matter experts;
- Accountable executive;
- Confidential issue manager;
- Safety manager(s); and
- Department heads responsible for corrective actions.
This key personnel list may also include contact information, which can prove a valuable directory if employees have concerns and they need to contact an appropriate party directly.
Identify Accountabilities of Roles in Your SMS
Identifying accountabilities in your aviation safety management system involves:
- Identifying key roles in your SMS;
- Identifying the hierarchy in which these key roles function within your SMS;
- Identifying the duties of each role, such as the day to day high level tasks they are in charge of in regards to safety; and
- Identifying the responsibilities of each role, such as what aspects of safety they are responsible for (i.e., identification of hazards, completing safety issues on time, etc.)
It’s very helpful to accompany this part of your policy with a safety org chart, which documents lines of communication and authority. This part of your safety policy will be crucial in training employees what their role in the SMS is.
Document Company Safety Policies and Procedures
Your company also needs to document all additional aviation SMS safety policies and procedures. Most likely, if you are reading this your company already has a handful of policies and procedures for facilitating safety operations.
These policies and procedures should be:
- Additions added if need be; and
- Combined and documented in your Safety Policy document.
This way, all employees and auditors can easily review all policies in one convenient location.
Identify High Level Company Goals
High level company safety goals are very similar to your companies commitment to safety, with a couple of differences:
- Identify the 10-15 goals that are most important for achieving safe operations;
- Are presented in list form; and
- Are written succinctly.
Employees should be able to scan your goals and get a sense of what is important to the company in regards to safety. Some example goals are:
- Develop safety culture where all employees feel comfortable and actively participate in reporting;
- Maintain open and transparent safety communication with all employees;
- Ensure that all employees receive the safety training they need to operate safely; or
- Provide sufficient resources to top-notch safety operations.
These examples are a little superficial, but they get the point across.
Format Documents into Safety Policy and Sign
Finally, the last step is to ensure that all of your SAfeyt Policy documents are centralized into one document – your Safety Policy.
This document should be:
- Reviewed by the accountable executive;
- Signed by the accountable executive;
- Communicated to all employees;
- Included in initial SMS training (best practice); and
- Placed in a convenient location that employees can access at any time.
Published May 2018. Last updated October 2019.