Just Culture - Create a culture in your aviation organisation
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Just Culture in Aviation

Just Culture

Just Culture is an invaluable ‘human-in-the-system’ safety protection – we help build and measure performance

Does your organisation believe that ‘people will make mistakes and errors’ and treat instances where they occur as opportunities to learn vital safety lessons? 

We work with organisations to help them build, operate and drive performance in their Just Culture. We help them strike a balance between a ‘blame culture’ and a ‘blame-free culture’ such that people are held properly and proportionally accountable for their actions or omissions and lessons can be learned for the future.

Just Culture. It’s now the law. Are you ready?

The new Just Culture regulation EU376/2014 came into effect in November 2015. Honest and open reporting of incidents is a vital part of maintaining safety, and the aim of this regulation is to encourage employees to report safety occurrences without fear of punishment for genuine mistakes. All aviation organisations in the European Union must be able to show they have Just Culture reporting procedures in place and that they are effectively training employees in how to use them.

Just culture is a further layer of safety protection for your organisation, protecting both the individual and the organisation, and monitoring its effectiveness is essential to achieving an effective SMS. Just Culture is at the heart of safety culture, creating an atmosphere of trust and openness where people are encouraged and rewarded for providing safety-related information and where it is clear to everyone what acceptable and unacceptable behaviour looks like. It is a top-down driven behaviour: everyone in the organisation has a responsibility to buy-in, understand and nurture it.

 Challenges you may be facing

  • People are reluctant to report safety-related concerns because they do not trust the organisation to treat them fairly
  • Knowing how to practically apply Just Culture policy and procedures throughout your organisation to achieve and sustain the desired degree of trust and openness
  • Difficulty ensuring that your Just Culture is applied consistently across every part of your organisation
  • Finding it hard to strike a balance between a ‘blame culture’ and a ‘blame-free culture’
  • We don’t have a continuous improvement plan for Just Culture maturity development

How we can help

All our services are designed to facilitate permanent improvements and leave a legacy of improved competence and organisational performance. Some of the ways we may be able to help include helping to:

  • Understand the principles of Just Culture to help unlock and inform your organisation of critical safety-related information to improve safety performance in the future
  • Build a Just Culture and show how to sustain behaviours that underpin its principles
  • Acquire skills and competence to conduct effective investigations and determine the most appropriate interventions or actions to take
  • Understand how Just Culture relates to the other sub-cultures (Reporting Culture, Flexible Culture and Learning & Questioning Cultures) which together comprise an organisation’s overall safety culture.

How our FAiR® System can help you

FAiR SystemOur FAiR® (Flowchart Analysis of Investigation Results) System is an innovative management tool for determining the nature of errors. It enables management to understand the causes behind an event and ensure appropriate remedial actions are taken. Simple to use, the tool requires minimal training and can be used by non Human Factors specialists.

Click Here for further information on the FAiR® System

Why is a Just Culture important?

A Just Culture is a prerequisite to a Reporting Culture where people feel they will be treated fairly, are encouraged to and therefore readily report hazards, safety concerns, errors and near misses which provide the organisation with vital safety-related information.

There is a powerful relationship between active safety leadership and the ability to develop and sustain a proactive safety culture consistently throughout an organisation. Senior management has a responsibility to navigate a safe path between production and protection and are the shapers and guardians of a proactive safety culture with a Just Culture at its very heart.

Collectively, the combination of sub-cultures comprising a proactive safety culture is the ‘engine’ that drives an organisation towards achieving its goal of maximum attainable safety, regardless of current commercial or other influencing pressures, and is sustainable regardless of who is occupying the senior management posts.

We have pioneered a robust safety culture diagnostic tool to help organisations understand their current ‘picture’ of safety culture and show how this can be improved to achieve desired levels of reporting. Find out more here >>

Does your organisation need support to develop and operate a performing Just Culture environment?

We have worked with organisations around the world to implement and sustain a Just Culture. Just Culture is not a binary concept – it’s not that you have it or you don’t have it! Like all other cultural issues – it’s a maturity concept. We have identified several maturity levels of Just Culture based on evidence of outcomes we see across an organisation. We believe periodically measuring and evaluating your Just Culture maturity level is essential to your safety plan. It enables you to roadmap improvement and direct and prioritise resource more intelligently. Our Just Culture diagnostic tool enables organisations to get assurance on this foundation of their safety culture.

Thoughts for consideration – do you have:

  • Human Factors and Error Management knowledge and training competence?
  • Trained investigators?
  • Training in Just Culture application and sustainment?
  • A Safety Competency Framework and Programme?
  • A Just Culture performance measure?

 

How does a Just Culture affect safety and business performance?

  • It engenders a high degree of trust and respect between the workforce and senior management encouraging proactive reporting and openness; ultimately enhancing an organisation’s true risk picture.
  • It promotes organisational learning and continuous improvement by informing hazard identification and risk management activities to reduce the likelihood of repeat occurrences and inefficient use of resources.

What are the components of a Safety Culture?

  • A Just Culture supports learning from unsafe acts in order to improve the level of safety awareness through the improved recognition of safety situations and helps to develop conscious sharing of safety information
  • A Reporting Culture is where people are encouraged to and readily report hazards, safety concerns, errors and near misses; it is highly dependent on the strength of the organisation’s Just Culture
  • A Management of Influences Culture is the ability to recognise and robustly manage external or internal influences which could upset the intended balance between production and protection, such as financial or political pressures
  • An organisation with a Flexible Culture is adaptable and guided by core principles enabling it to adjust to changing circumstances, demands and hazards whilst maintaining its focus on safety
  • A Learning & Questioning Culture is the willingness and competence to draw the right conclusions from safety information and the will to implement major safety reforms. Questioning is the keystone to a ‘Proactive’ Safety Culture as it makes people stop and think and challenge organisational assumptions which often incubate mistakes