Oversight Agencies Need to Support Risk Management Software
Something we hear about all time is the general lack of support from regulatory oversight agencies during inspections and audits. This lack of support that safety managers complain about regards the usage of risk management software in audits that aviation service providers use daily to manage their required safety management systems (SMS).
I don't mean to imply that agencies like the FAA, Transport Canada, or EASA are against operators using risk management software by any means, but during audits and inspections, safety inspectors are often unwilling to determine an operator's SMS compliance by logging in and verifying compliance with the service provider's risk management software. These recalcitrant safety inspectors still adhere to the old way of doing things, such as:
- Printed reports;
- Extensive interviews;
- Binders filled with historical SMS documentation activities; and
- Original paper documentation.
Requiring reams of paper-based reports puts significantly more stress and work on aviation service providers to demonstrate SMS compliance. Safety personnel have enough to do without worrying about transferring a significant amount of data from a computer to a paper-stuffed binder. In short, the demands of many safety inspectors contributes to inefficiencies meant to be solved by modern technology.