Objective of Safety Assurance
Safety assurance ensures that aviation service providers continuously practice their safety program and that their safety program continues to remain effective even as their operating environment changes.
Safety assurance may turn the focus to quality management; therefore, a safety management system contains many elements of a quality management system.
Continuous Monitoring Remains Essence of Safety Assurance
Continuously monitoring the effectiveness of your SMS strengthens your safety culture and helps ensure continuous system improvement. Monitoring both internal and external systems allow operators to detect changes that may either:
- Introduce new safety risks; or
- Cause existing control measures to lose their effectiveness.
Continuous monitoring activities include, but are not limited to:
- Hazard reporting activities;
- Internal audits;
- External audits; and
- Regularly reviewing regulatory requirements.
Corrective actions and preventive actions stemming from reported issues and audit findings must be considered relevant to safety assurance. These corrective and preventive actions must be managed by responsible mangers for affected operational areas. Therefore, safety assurance activities extend well beyond the boundaries of the safety team. Safety assurance is an "organizational effort," and not a mere safety and quality team activity.
Software Tools to Manage Safety Assurance Activities
Many operators using SMS Pro integrate their safety programs and quality programs together. SMS Pro provides great tools that address the processes of quality assurance and internal evaluation procedures to ensure that designed risk controls continue to remain effective in maintaining risk within acceptable levels.
These assurance and evaluation tools within SMS Pro provide aviation service providers the means to measure and monitor continuous improvement.