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Safety Management Systems

Safety Management Systems (SMS)

Expertise and services to build a performing safety management system (SMS)

We are specialists in helping organisations to understand, build, power-up and gain meaningful results from their Safety Management System (SMS) for safety performance and effective risk-based decision making.

We have global safety management experience and expertise gained from working across all sectors of industry. We can help you to shape and integrate your management systems so that they perform more effectively, enabling you to make the proactive, risk-based decisions that they are designed to help you do.

Safety Leadership

Challenges you may be facing

  • Not being able to understand and practically apply applicable regulatory requirements or operate uniformly shared / accepted safety management principles .
  • Needing to measure and change the safety culture that exists in your organisation and helping colleagues at all levels understand the individual role they play in managing safety
  • Not knowing how to improve your organisation’s safety performance across approval boundaries
  • Needing to integrate your SMS across the organisation to achieve total system safety
  • Unlocking the safety data in your SMS and surfacing ‘live’ proactive safety data that is needed to manage safety effectively
  • Establishing Key Performance Questions(KPQ’s) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Understanding where you safety management performance measures today – the SMICG PSOEX (Present, Suitable, Operating, Effective, Excelling) journey to SMS performance

How we can help

We can help you to build, implement and gain compliance and performance through an effective Safety Management System. In accordance with ICAO (Safety Management Manual Doc 9859), best practice and practical experience our services are designed to help with the following:

  • Inspiring senior management commitment to safety
  • Enable senior executives to more efficiently discharge their safety accountabilities
  • Building understanding from the top of your organisation to the front-line to nurture safety risk management and safety leadership capability
  • Enhancing peoples safety risk management, regulatory, and aviation legislative competence
  • Setting safety strategy, vision, targets and indicators
  • Building a safety organisation structure
  • Competence and capability to effectively manage your risks
  • Building a hazard reporting and investigation culture
  • Creating the capability to analyse safety performance
  • Creating policies and procedures, managing safety documents and information
  • Educating and promoting SMS across your organisation
  • Designing and implementing Safety Assurance policies, processes and procedures
  • Support for emergency planning measures

What is an SMS?

To improve on current industry safety performance, an organisation must have the ability to manage aviation safety risk – not just the aftermath of incidents/accidents and damage events.

  • In the simplest terms, an SMS is the application of business management practices to the management of safety
  • It is a framework of processes, procedures and defined behaviours to achieve the desired level of aviation operational safety.
  • It is a management system to enable decisions to be made based on risk rather than occurrences
  • It is, or needs to be: Systematic, Proactive and Explicit
  • It is one of two primary management systems that are needed to manage the ‘safety space challenge’ that organisations face.

Safety Space

Switching your SMS on to perform

You may have a strong procedural and process-driven SMS, which needs more engagement from people. In order to be fully beneficial, you may require what we term a ‘powering-up’ phase.   We have a strong track in helping our clients switch people on to how to ‘do’ safety. Much energy goes into developing the management system (processes, infrastructure) but it is your people who are the lifeblood of safety (people ‘do’ safety, procedures do not). At the right time they need to be ‘switched-on’ to how you want them to behave. But, how do you want them to behave? Who is interested and how do you get the right people to be interested?By focussing on the five key enablers of effective safety (Leadership, Competence, Capability, Culture and Assurance), we can help you drive safety performance improvement programmes across your organisation that are effective, sustainable and value-adding.

 

The key enablers of an effective Safety Management System (SMS)

You are likely to have a strong procedural and process-driven SMS, which, in order to be fully beneficial, will require what we term ‘powering-up’ through your people and how to ‘do’ safety is something we have a strong track in helping our clients achieve. Much energy is going into developing the management system (processes, infrastructure) but it is your people who are the lifeblood of safety (people ‘do’ safety, procedures do not). At the right time they need to be ‘switched-on’ to how you want them to behave. But, how do you want them to behave? Who is interested and how do you get the right people to be interested?

By looking at the five key enablers of safety (Leadership, Competence, Capability, Culture and Assurance), we can help you drive safety performance improvement programmes across your organisation that are effective and value-adding.

Safety Risk Management System

How well does your SMS enable you to answer these Key Performance Questions (KPQs)?

Leadership

  1. How well does your organisation engage with its safety vision?
  2. Is there clear direction from the top for achieving safety and how well is it delivered?
  3. How well is safety performance accountability cascaded through the organisation?
  4. How well can the organisation demonstrate continuous improvement?

Competence

  1. How well defined are our competence requirements for key roles within the organisation?
  2. How well are we appraising our competence?
  3. How well defined are our competence gaps? Where are our weaknesses?
  4. How well are we filling our competence gaps? What is our recruitment strategy?

Culture

  1. How well do we operate an effective Just Culture?
  2. How well do we operate an effective reporting culture?
  3. How well do we operate an effective flexible culture?
  4. How well do we operate an effective learning and questioning culture?

Capability

  1. How well do we understand the inhibitors to our capability for achieving safety?
  2. How supportive are our systems and processes for achieving our safety goals?
  3. How well are our resources aligned to our risk analysis?

Assurance

  1. How effectively is our SMS working?
  2. How well is our assurance activity driving continuous improvement?
  3. How well does our assurance activity deliver demonstrable, value-adding benefits to the business?

10 Critical Success Factors: What does a performing SMS look like?

Drawing on our experience of working with aviation organisations around the world, we believe these are the essential components of an effective safety management system:

  1. Your SMS is integrated throughout the whole organisation
  2. Your SMS is led by the executive team, based on a safety vision and strategy
  3. You actively manage a competence programme development cycle
  4. Your safety performance is measured and shows improvement
  5. You can prove you are managing you safety risks to ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable)
  6. Your organisation-wide risk picture accurately shows what is really happening day-to-day and you can calculate the cost of error
  7. You have a demonstrably proactive positive safety culture (just, reporting, learning and questioning)
  8. You make conscious risk-based decisions based on your data
  9. Your people are competent and equipped to ‘do’ safety
  10. You can fully rely upon your safety assurance management programme as an early warning system.