Safety Performance Monitoring and Measurement in Aviation SMS

SMS #1 Element of Safety Assurance

An airline or airport's safety performance needs to be monitored, proactively and re-actively, to ensure that key safety goals continue to be achieved. Monitoring achievement of safety performance targets through audits forms a key element of this activity and should include both a quantitative and qualitative assessment. The results of all safety performance monitoring should be documented and used as feedback to improve the system. Audits verify safety management systems are documented and implemented effectively and in accordance with regulatory requirements.

Audits of the system should not be conducted by the staff involved with managing the system, but should be carried out independently. Internal auditors within the airline or airport may be used for this purpose or depending on the size of the organization, these functions may even be performed by external auditors.

  • Airlines and airports need to develop and maintain the means to verify the safety performance of the organization and to validate the effectiveness of safety risk controls.
  • Safety performance shall be verified in reference to the safety performance indicators and safety performance targets of the SMS.

Compliance is indicated when:

  • Safety objectives have been established;
  • Safety performance indicators have been defined, promulgated and are being monitored and analyzed for trends;
  • Risk mitigations and controls are being verified/audited to confirm they are working and effective;
  • Safety audits are carried out that focus on the safety performance of the organization and its services and assess normal operations;
  • Safety objectives and performance indicators are reviewed and updated periodically;
  • Safety objectives and targets are specific, measurable, agreed to, relevant and time-based;
  • Information obtained from safety assurance and compliance monitoring activities feeds back into the safety risk management process; and
  • Safety assurance will monitor the effectiveness of risk controls including those applied by contracted organizations.

This element is satisfied when the organization has developed a series of safety performance indicators that are appropriate to the type of operation. There is a means to measure and monitor trends and take appropriate action when necessary.

SMS Pro modules used to support this requirement

Best Practices

  • The organization is monitoring current, future and third party safety risks and taking action to address unacceptable safety risks;
  • When establishing and reviewing objectives and performance indicators, the organization considers:
    • Hazards and risks;
    • Financial, operational and business requirements;
    • View of interested parties ;
  • Safety objectives and performance indicators encompass all areas of the organization;
  • Performance measurements have been defined for serious safety risks identified on the safety risk profile;
  • Personnel at all levels are aware of the safety performance measurements in their areas of responsibility and the results of performance measurements are transmitted to them;
  • Safety performance indicators are linked to the organization’s safety objectives, and civil aviation authorities' KPIs are considered where appropriate; and
  • The analysis and allocation of resources are based on outputs from the performance measurement.