SMS Pro Aviation Safety Software Blog 4 Airlines & Airports

Audit Checklist: 10 Things to Prepare for Aviation SMS Audits

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 5, 2019 6:05:00 AM

Things to Prepare for Aviation SMS Audits

There are many aviation audit checklists available online.

While these checklists offer many specific tasks you need to perform, few checklists offer a broad overview of things that airports, airlines, and other aviation service providers should do to augment audit performance.

The purpose of aviation safety management systems (SMS) is to continuously improve safety performance while also improving the business' operational processes. This continuous improvement is expected to be realized by:

  • Identifying hazards to operational safety;
  • Reporting the safety hazard to management to be treated;
  • Collecting and analyzing safety information; 
  • Determining whether hazard's associated risk is acceptable; 
  • Implementing or reinforcing risk controls to mitigate risk; and
  • Continue to monitor system for hazards.
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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance, Quality-Safety Management

Learn to Think Like an Aviation SMS Auditor

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 4, 2019 6:03:00 AM

Why Aviation SMS Audits Are Important

The objective of Aviation Safety Management Systems (SMS) is to:

  • Proactively manage safety to reduce risk;
  • Identify potential safety hazards;
  • Determine operational risk, and
  • Implement control measures mitigating identified risk.
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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance, SMS Auditing

FAA Part 5 Compliance | Safety Assurance Performance Monitoring and Data Acquisition Components

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 3, 2019 6:04:00 AM

What Is Safety Assurance for FAA

Safety Assurance is designed to ensure that aviation service providers have the ability to manage safety risks effectively using a structured, prescribed approach to managing identified safety concerns.

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Topics: 3-Safety Assurance, FAA Compliance

9 Success Tips for Aviation SMS Consultants

Posted by Tyler Britton on Dec 2, 2019 6:00:00 AM

The Glamour of Aviation SMS Consulting

Aviation safety management systems (SMS) are viewed as complex systems comprised of multiple, interdependent subsystems. These subsystems include, but are not limited to:

  • Safety reporting system;
  • Risk management system;
  • SMS training management system;
  • Safety communication system(s); and
  • Safety performance monitoring systems.
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Topics: Insider

Aviation SMS Data Protection: What Should Employees See?

Posted by Tyler Britton on Nov 27, 2019 6:05:00 AM

What Is Safety Transparency in Safety Management Systems

Safety transparency is a big deal in aviation safety management systems (SMS). On one hand, employees need protections from managerial reprisals and negative peer pressure when self reporting errors and mistakes. On the other hand, employees are genuinely interested in learning what dangers lurk in the workplace and how to avoid these dangers.

How much safety information should be shared?

Does a safety culture truly benefit when all employees can access all safety data, such as:

  • Reported safety issues; and
  • Identified audit findings?

As an aviation SMS database provider, one of the most frequent questions we receive is "how should we set up roles, permissions, and access to safety data in our aviation SMS database?" In every case, safety managers are weighing the pros and cons of having a transparent safety culture while also protecting the company against future fall-out.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion

What Is Safety Culture in Aviation Risk Management

Posted by Christopher Howell on Nov 26, 2019 6:01:00 AM

Definition of Safety Culture in Aviation Risk Management

Safety culture in aviation safety management systems (SMS) is usually defined as being the safety attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and values of employees in an organization. Unfortunately, such a high-level, conceptual definition of safety culture does not help safety manager address core personnel challenges in your organization's SMS.

In much of the SMS guidance material pushed out by regulatory agencies and standards setting bodies, such as ICAO's document 9859 Safety Management Manual, we see condensed definitions of "what is safety culture" with a very, easy-to-understand phrase: "employees actions regarding safety when nobody is watching." I find this definition enlightening, but still too generic. How do safety managers measure safety culture or affect the safety culture in their organization? We need more information in this definition in order to be useful to SMS practitioners.

Another way to approach the question, what is safety culture, is to break it into multiple definitions based on how it works in safety management systems.

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Topics: 4-Safety Promotion, Safety Culture

Why Flight Schools Should Implement Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Nov 25, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Benefits of Aviation SMS for Flight Schools

Flight schools operate with many risky hazards every day.

Students are inexperienced, usually younger, and are new to technology and hazards of flying.

Moreover, the pressure that students undergoing flight training feel to perform well naturally makes them less prepared to identify hazards early on.

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Topics: Aviation SMS Implementation

How to Define Acceptable Level of Safety (ALoS) in Aviation SMS

Posted by Tyler Britton on Nov 22, 2019 6:10:00 AM

What Is an Acceptable Level of Safety (ALoS)

The objective of aviation safety management systems (SMS) is to

  1. Proactively manage safety,
  2. Identify and report potential safety hazards,
  3. Determine risk to operational safety; and
  4. Implement risk controls to mitigate identified risk.

When an aviation service provider evaluates their risk to operational safety, they have to ask themselves a very pointed, and sometimes uncomfortable question: "What is our risk appetite?"

The term Acceptable Level of Safety (ALoS) defines an aviation service provider’s minimum level of acceptable risk for a given safety issue. “Acceptable” describes the need for no further mitigatory actions on the part of the service provider for the safety concern in question. This determination will be made based on the probability and severity of the evaluated safety concern.

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Topics: Quality-Safety Management

How to Conduct Internal SMS Audits in Aviation Industry

Posted by Tyler Britton on Nov 21, 2019 6:03:00 AM

What Are Internal SMS Audits in Aviation, and Why Conduct Them

Internal SMS audits are an extremely important element in verifying the performance of every aviation safety management system (SMS). They’re also a neglected process in a surprisingly large number of smaller operators' SMS risk management schedule.

Just ask yourself, when was the last time you performed an internal audit on your aviation SMS implementation? Let’s also be clear about what we mean when we say “audit”, as this word is thrown around loosely. An internal audit:

  • Is not a regular review process (as in, reviewing previously managed safety issues);
  • Is a specific type of activity that aviation service providers will perform once or twice a year; and
  • Is a best practice for external audit preparation, such as an impending audit from an oversight agency.
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Topics: Quality-Safety Management

Learn Why Initial SMS Training is So Crucial for Aviation SMS Success

Posted by Tyler Britton on Nov 20, 2019 5:53:00 AM

What Initial SMS Training Is, and How It’s Different

Since November 2006, most aviation service providers have been required to implement formal aviation safety management systems (SMS). In order to assure compliance, aviation SMS oversight is provided by:

  • Regional civil aviation authorities;
  • Standards setting bodies (IATA, IS-BAO, Flight Safety Foundation, etc.); and
  • Customers requiring SMS implementations from their vendors.

Aviation SMS oversight is conducted by quality assurance auditors using pre-defined, industry-accepted checklists that align with SMS regulatory requirements. Auditors use these checklists in their SMS audits, assessments and evaluations. A common question operators hear from SMS auditors is whether employees:

  • are aware of the implemented aviation SMS; and
  • have been trained in hazard identification, safety reporting processes and the purpose of the aviation SMS implementation?
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Topics: Risk Management Training

Site content provided by Northwest Data Solutions is meant for informational purposes only. Opinions presented here are not provided by any civil aviation authority or standards body.



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