Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Best Practices for User Induction into Aviation SMS Programs

Best Practices for User Induction Into Airline Airport Safety Management Systems

User Induction Into Airline Airport Safety Management SystemsAviation SMS training is among the top elements of a successful aviation safety management system. When users lack training in SMS fundamentals, they may believe your SMS program lacks real purpose and credibility. More than once, we have heard operators state that aviation SMS requirements are nothing more than a way for government to interfere with business operations. These same operators believe the aviation industry is already safe, and operators who are not safe will not last. Below are some best practices to observe for users to become inducted into your aviation safety management system. You will also see some exciting changes and planned enhancements the SMS Pro's SMS Induction Manager. See this link for a list of other airport & airline safety modules by SMS Pro™.

Waiting to determine whether an operator has good "safety practices" can have disastrous results. Many lives are at stake in a single mission; not only the ones aboard the aircraft, but also affected family and friends should a fatal aviation accident occur. Everyone in society should have a personal interest in ensuring the aviation safety industry improves its safety record. Since your employees are on the front lines, they have a responsibility to ensuring your stakeholders enjoy the highest degree of safety possible. For this purpose, it is necessary that they both know about and PARTICIPATE in your aviation SMS program.

User Induction Into Airline Airport Safety Management Systems

Web Based Aviation Safety Management SystemsSMS Pro's Web based aviation safety management system is a tool for use by ALL company members, enabling complete measurement, management and reporting of safety, security, quality, compliance and environmental issues. Think outside the box and maximize the potential of your aviation SMS program. Don't focus merely on aviation accidents and incidents. There is a great opportunity to improve customer relations, quality and reduce operating expenses when you use your aviation SMS program to its fullest potential.

By using the SMS Pro™ aviation safety management system, product and service quality, as well as responsibility is promoted. Furthermore, the best Web based aviation safety management systems help team members to recognize relationships between business performance, safety and quality. All personnel within your organization must be trained in SMS fundamentals to ensure ALL your team members recognize these often subtle relationships. This training is a requirement! How you document and prove you have satisfied this regulatory requirement can be done in various ways. SMS Pro's "SMS Induction Manager" module takes advantage of the Web and email notifications to streamline the training process and make it more efficient, thereby saving your company time and money during the required training process.

Auditors love the SMS Induction module because it demonstrates quickly that your employees understand your aviation safety system.

Functionality of a Web Based Safety Management System

User Induction Into Airline Airport Safety Management Systems When employees are being trained on SMS fundamentals, it is important they understand the principles of aviation safety management systems as well as understand the general layout and location of available tools.

As an example of an SMS Induction training message, you could start with with this template:

"Functionally, our Web based aviation safety management system has five principle categories, which include International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) "Four Pillars of Safety Management" concept (marked with *):
  • My Dashboard (Commitment Statements, goals and objectives, assigned tasks & corrective actions)
  • *Safety Policy, duties and responsibilities of key personnel, org charts, and pertinent documents)
  • *Risk Management with Issue Manager and Reports and Charts (Financial, Performance, Trending, Executive Reports)
  • *Safety Assurance (Qualifications and Training management, gap analyses, performance monitoring and issue validation)
  • *Safety Promotion (Corporate Goals, Meeting Manager, Read Files, Surveys, Newsletters, Lessons Learned)
Depending upon the duties and responsibilities of each user, there are unique services and tools available. If you feel you need additional roles to perform a task, please contact us at...." Feel free to adjust this message to suit your needs.

Personal Commitment to Aviation Safety Program

User Induction Into Airline Airport Safety Management Systems Every user must fully understand and appreciate their personal role within an effective aviation safety management system. This understanding comes about in the form of initial SMS training, whether it be formal or informal. When users feel engaged in your company, they are more likely to take ownership and participate in advancing your aviation safety management program. This sense of ownership can be effected through regular newsletters, safety surveys that are designed to educate, and being responsive to your employee feedback.

Every user and every function is crucial to the successful working and accuracy of the system and thus overall reporting. There is total interdependence throughout all levels of this company.

Users must ensure that they meet all requirements within their assigned role(s); this includes commitment to any tasks, duties and responsibilities assigned to them.

Accuracy of data and information inputting are essential. Similarly, maximum honesty is required when users report airline & airport related accidents and incidents.

Users should always be encouraged to point out any gaps or failings to be addressed and corrected. Don't focus only on aviation incidents and accidents that center around safety. Encourage users to keep their eyes open for other types of issues, such as security, quality, compliance and environmental. There are many opportunities to capitalize on when implementing your aviation safety management system.

Before users can be inducted into your safety management system, they must be trained in how to report incidents and accidents. This is the primary responsibility of your users. Without prompt, accurate reporting, your aviation SMS program will not live up to its full potential.

Learning how your program requires reporting incidents and accidents is only one element in your SMS induction training. We recommend your users also become familiar with these following items:
  • Safety policy statement;
  • Duties and requirements of key safety personnel;
  • Organizational chart;
  • Lessons learned library;
  • Other relevant safety policies and procedures;
These users have been inducted into this management system on the date shown. To be inducted, they must have agreed to and answered the following questions:
  • I understand how our management system operates.
  • I'm aware of the role I play in our management system.
  • I understand the aim of our management system is to improve quality and not to attribute blame.
  • I have participated in either a formal or informal induction of our management system.
Armed with a list of users and the date that they have agreed to these items is plenty to satisfy any aviation SMS auditor. Of course, you will also provide them a view of the requirements they must fulfill before agreeing to the above safety program induction statements. These requirements are usually put on the opening page of SMS Pro™ for the Not Inducted users to see. After users have been inducted into your safety program, they no longer have the Not Inducted role and no longer see the requirements, but instead, have either the User Dashboard or Hazard / Incident Reporting module visible, which had been previously been hidden from all Not Inducted users.

Enhancements to the SMS Induction Manager - New and Planned

Recently, you may have noticed that there are now numbers in the tabs for safety managers to know whether a particular tab needs attention. See image at right. For five years, the SMS Induction Manager received no major improvements. We believe this is a great enhancement because you can add up the numbers to see percentages of users that have been inducted.

For those unfamiliar with the first two tabs, the first tab contains a list of all users in the organization. A message box appears for the safety manager to invite either all or selected users to participate in training. During training, users learn about the system and the steps necessary to become inducted.

When users request induction, an email is sent to managers alerting them that users are requesting induction. The safety manager either confirms or rejects induction request and can send a Welcome message with further instructions. When managers are being inducted, the SMS Admin will then give the newly inducted managers additional roles, such as SMS Dept Head or SMS Admin.

Planned Enhancements to SMS Induction Manager

SMS Induction manager is a great tool to demonstrate initial employee SMS training. Years have passed and many users require recurrent SMS training. The new functionality will cover new SMS training requirements and document that users have again had their recurrent SMS training.

As always, clients and civil aviation regulatory agencies drive the enhancements behind SMS Pro™. Without the support of SMS Partners and our clients, SMS Pro would not have achieve the claim to being the most complete aviation safety management system software on the market for the past three years.

Aviation Safety Management Software

About NWDS - founded in 2003 by six software engineers, NorthWest Data Solutions (NWDS) provides custom computer programming and systems design services. NWDS creates many types of software, including e-commerce, financial, defense, engineering, logistics, aviation and more. In 2007, NWDS developed SMS Pro™ a web based SMS application that supports an organization's overall SMS through safety reporting, safety documentation, safety risk management and safety assurance. SMS Pro™ is currently used by aviation organizations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East to help manage their SMS programs. NWDS continues to support SMS Pro™ and add new functionality. NWDS offers custom contract programming services in the U.S. and Canada and is managed by Chris Howell, one of the founders. Their headquarters is in Anchorage, Alaska. For information on NWDS visit their website at www.nwds-ak.com and www.asms-pro.com to learn more about SMS Pro™.

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