Sunday, February 24, 2013

11 Ways to Submit Issues Using SMS Pro™ Hazard Reporting

Hazard Reporting for Airline/Airport SMS Programs

Hazard reporting is a very important element in any airport/airline safety management system. Having the ability to submit issues conveniently, regardless of their location, will ensure your organization will continue reporting. And yes, reporting is the first step in the aviation risk management cycle.

SMS Pro™ offers many ways an issue will come into your airline/airport risk management database. The following ways allow airport and airlines convenient tools to get their issues into their hazard reporting system.

1) Regular Issue Reporting Module

aviation SMS software for airlines airports hazard reporting programs
User logs into your SMS Pro™ and submits issue using a pre-defined report. Reports may be of several types: either safety, security, quality, compliance or environmental. When companies require special data elements to be captured that are not available in SMS Pro™, NWDS can create the custom reporting form fairly easily.

Users can report anonymously, or request that other users don't know that they reported the issue. In this case, users don't mind if managers know who reported the issue, but just don't want other employees to know.

Users can also report issues belonging to other divisions (or departments) in the organization.

Reported issues belong to a particular user's account. Users can view their reported issues and the status of these issues by going to the User Dashboard and looking under the "Reported Issues" tab.

Compliance issues from audits are easily entered using the Regular Issue Reporting module. This is a Web-based aviation SMS hazard reporting module that handles all types of issues.

2) Data Entry Person Entering Reports on Behalf of Others

Users with Data Entry role can submit reports on behalf of other users. Example, paper based reports are collected from the field, or your company wishes to enter past paper or MS Excel based reports into your airline/airport safety management system.

3) Public Issue Reporting Module

In the second way, users have a  Web link to Public Issue Reporting module. Any user with the link can use this module. In this case, the user does not require a username or password. This user still has the ability to report anonymously, just as in the first scenario. This scenario is perfect for customers or vendors reporting issues into your airline/airport hazard reporting system.

Users accessing the Public Issue Reporting module can still report either safety, security, quality, compliance or environmental types of issues. However, since users are not logged in, they won't have a record of their submitted issues and they are not able to follow up.

4) Gap Analysis

Gap analysis software submits airline airport hazards into Web database
The third way to get issues into your airport/airline hazard reporting database is through the airline/airport Gap Analysis module. As managers work through their "regularly scheduled" gap analysis, they can check a box to report the "shortcoming" as an issue that feeds into SMS Pro's airline risk management framework. Issues reported using the Gap Analysis are considered "Audit Issues," as a gap analysis may be considered an internal audit.

Corrective Action Plans for the gap analysis are automatically generated as corrective actions are accepted and assigned to responsible personnel.


5) Email

airline airport hazard reporting using IPads and Iphones and email
Users can submit issues using SMS Pro by submitting an email to an IMAP configured email address. Each division can have up to five email addresses, each configured for either safety, security, quality, compliance or environmental issues.

Each email account can also have a default manager notified of reported hazards/issues. This setting overrides the default program settings and allows issues to be escalated to the proper managers according to their area of expertise or sphere of authority.


6) Internal Audits

SMS Pro's Audit Manager allows auditors/inspectors/evaluators to submit issues during an aviation safety audit, inspection or evaluation. These issues are fed into the airline/airport risk management framework.

Corrective Action Plans for the audit, inspection or evaluation are automatically generated as corrective actions are accepted and assigned to responsible personnel.


7) Quick Reports

airline airport hazard reporting software for aviation safety management systems
When users don't have time to submit detailed issues, they can choose to submit a Quick Report. Quick Reports are a separate tab in the Issue Reporting module. The only elements to submit are:
  • Short Title;
  • Description; and
  • Recommended Corrective Action.


8) SMS Induction

Before users start using your airline/airport safety management system, they should be trained on the basics of SMS. Before they are granted full access to the program, they should be "Inducted" using the SMS Induction Manager. SMS Induction Manager allows airline and airport managers to communicate to users not inducted and also to prove to auditors that your users understand your SMS program and the role they play. These are the default items users agree to:
  • 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.
When users are unable to agree with the Induction process, they can state the reason they don't agree and an issue is submitted into risk management framework as a safety issue. After all, when users don't understand your company's safety system and the role they play, this is a "safety issue."


9) Issue Validation

When airline airport hazards and issues are closed, they should be reviewed (validated) that the applied corrective actions remain effective and the corrective actions have not aggravated the issue. This is done in the Issue Validation module. Issue Validation module allows for another risk assessment, comments and to optionally review the issue again (or not if you prefer). When there are problems uncovered, the issue can be either re-opened, or another issue submitted if the finding uncovers an issue unlike the initially reported hazard or issue.


10) Auditors' Review of Issues

Auditors have the ability to review airline/airport reported hazards and issues. In SMS Pro™, their role permits them to view the issue, but not make any changes to the issue. However, their are features at the bottom of the Assess tab in Issue Manager that allows auditors to leave remarks, report findings, concerns or to report their findings and concerns as a new issue.

As we have learned, there are many ways to report an issue in SMS Pro's Issue/Hazard Reporting module. And you should ask, what is the eleventh way to report issues in SMS Pro™? I have a dream! I have a dream where every user will be able to speak into his Smart Phone and report an issue. Coming soon, we expect.


Related Posts





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™.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

3 Easy Ways to Include Vendors in Safety Management Systems

Vendor Management in Early Stages of Aviation SMS Implementation

integrated aviation safety management softwareYou have been working hard to implement your aviation safety management system. In most cases, the focus concentrates on changing the culture of your organization. Increasing hazard reporting, risk management, internal auditing, etc. All too often, safety managers focus only on internal stakeholders during the early phases of their aviation SMS implementation. Vendors, suppliers, contractors and airport tenants are typically left out while the airline or airport grapples with the aviation SMS regulatory requirements.

During the latter stages of aviation SMS implementation, these operators include their vendors as an afterthought. These late additions help to minimize the risk associated with interacting with personnel outside the direct control of the airline or airport. When you think about it, the risk has always been there and you should not neglect vendor management in the early stages of your SMS implementation.

How to Include Vendors in Your Aviation SMS Program

airline airport risk management software system So how do you include vendors in your aviation SMS implementation during the early stages? Here are some ideas and recommendations. Users of SMS Pro's Web based aviation safety management software will realize these ideas are very easy to implement and manage.

1) List all vendors, suppliers, contractors and tenants (if applicable) in the Vendor Management module.

Placing all your vendors in the Vendor Management module allows safety managers the ability to classify reported issues correctly when vendors, contractors or tenants are involved. It is much easier to collect this data early on than wait two years when the dust settles and you begin to focus on your vendors.

2) Send vendors, suppliers and tenants the email address used to report issues

Most SMS Pro users have configured email addresses in SMS Pro that allow external stakeholders to submit issues to their risk management reporting framework. Most companies only use one email address per division to capture safety issues; however, SMS Pro allows up to five separate email addresses to be configured:
    integrated aviation sms software program
  • Safety;
  • Security;
  • Quality;
  • Compliance; and
  • Environmental.
These email addresses correspond to the types of issues managed within the SMS Pro risk management framework. When email reports come in, they can be directed to specific managers within the company that deal with the corresponding subjects.

3) Provide vendors, suppliers and tenants the Public Issue Reporting URL to your Web based safety reporting system

All your vendors, suppliers and tenants should be encouraged to report safety issues to you in a timely manner. Email issue reporting remains the most convenient way for vendors to submit issues. This method is described in #2 above. There may be times when an email report doesn't capture enough required information. In these cases, companies will encourage vendors to submit issues using the Web based hazard reporting tools.

SMS Pro's Public Issue Reporting module is very similar to the regular issue reporting module used by employees when they log into the integrated aviation safety management software system. Vendors can then use your customized and pre-defined hazard reporting forms.

Conclusion

Vendors are easily overlooked when implementing your aviation safety management system. The three steps outlined above do not require much time to implement and will provide you immediate benefits.

If you are not using the Vendor Management Module, and would like more information, see these resources:
Vendor Management Module in SMS Pro
Vendor Message Acknowledgement in SMS Pro



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™.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Enhanced Gap Analysis Tool in SMS Pro

Enhanced Gap Analysis Tool in SMS Pro

Gap Analyses help airlines and airports uncover shortfalls in some process or characteristic. An aviation gap analysis is performed against a template or model, such as SMS Pro's aviation SMS models adapted from various SMS guidance documents published in Canada, The United Kingdom and The United States. At its core are two questions:
Airline Airport Gap Analysis Templates and Models
  1. Where are we?
  2. Where do we want to be?

What is a Gap Analysis and How Do I Perform It?

An aviation SMS gap analysis is often used to discover where to focus efforts on improvement. The gap analysis will compare characteristics of an organization's operations against an appropriate model. The aviation gap analysis highlights well-defined areas where requirements of the model are not fully realized at the airline or airport and suggests necessary changes.

Best Practices Realized From the Gap Analysis

Gap Analysis Models ensure best practices are followed for airlines and airports
Gap Analysis Models Ensure Best Practices
Best practices for implementing an aviation safety management system starts with conducting your gap analysis followed by creating a plan of action that the airline or airport will implement in the coming years. SMS Pro's implementation plan manager is a suitable tool in your aviation safety management software that allows managers outline a road map for successful SMS implementation. As noted, the gap analysis is commonly one of the first exercises performed when an airline or airport begins an SMS implementation project; however, this does not mean that the gap analysis should be a hurried task.

The gap analysis covers many areas of the operation. Rarely is one person the subject matter expert in all areas of the airline or airport, unless the operation is fairly small. Because of the extensive nature of the gap analysis questions, the gap analysis can be worked on as a team project. When shortcomings are noted, they should be fed into the airline or airports risk management framework where corrective actions are managed and tracked.

The gap analysis should not be considered as a "do it once and forget it" exercise. Best practices dictate that the gap analysis should be performed on a regular basis to demonstrate continuous improvement. SMS Pro has charting tools that allow managers to demonstrate improvement (or lack of improvement) in safety regulations compliance over time.

Customized Gap Analysis Templates or Models

For the first couple years (2008 to 2010), SMS Pro used three gap analysis templates from the FAA, Transport Canada and a reputable aviation SMS training company (SCSI).  In 2011, SMS Pro included the ICAO gap analysis model as the template for which Middle East airlines and airports preferred to use. In 2011, a helicopter operator stated that the gap analysis templates were well suited for fixed-wing operators, MROs and perhaps airports; however, some items in the gap analysis template didn't apply to their operation.

Sample gap analysis templates can be used for airlines and airports
This operator wanted the ability to:
  • Delete questions in the gap analysis;
  • Change the wording of some of the gap analysis template questions;
  • Add questions to the gap analysis; and
  • Add/remove categories to the gap analysis model.

Different Gap Analysis Models Included in SMS Pro

The above features were included into SMS Pro in early 2011. Each organization can now have their own "Customized" Gap Analysis template on which they can conduct their gap analysis exercises. Alternatively, they may continue to use one of the existing gap analysis templates:
  • ICAO
  • FAA
  • Transport Canada
  • Hybrid (ICAO, TC, IS-BAO, FAA)

Customized Gap Analysis Templates Based on Recognized Models

Customized gap analysis templates for airlines airports aviation safety management systems
A "Customized Gap Analysis" will be based on one of the existing, well recognized models provided by ICAO or a civil aviation authority. Users can customize their Custom Gap Analysis templates in SMS Pro's "Custom Inspection Form" creator module using a sample gap analysis included in SMS Pro. Users select a model and adapt the gap analysis sample to suit their organizational needs. Gap Analyses are still performed and managed in SMS Pro's Gap Analysis module similar to the regular gap analysis templates.

PDF Exports of Gap Analysis Templates Afford Greater Flexibility

Since the Gap Analysis template can now be edited in SMS Pro's "Custom Inspection Form" module, PDF export is available for blank forms. Managers can forward the gap analysis template PDF to managers and assign sections to areas for which the assigned managers are subject matter experts.

IS-BAO Gap Analysis Model Added

In 2012, SMS Pro included the IS-BAO gap analysis template. The other gap analysis models mentioned above are better samples against which to base you gap analysis exercise. However, if you are a corporate operator that must satisfy the IS-BAO requirements, then you may find the IS-BAO gap analysis template suitable.


Features of Web Based Gap Analysis Software for Aviation SMS Programs

Features of the Gap Analysis module include:
    1) Five Gap Analysis templates or models to choose from;
    2) Multiple users can work on the same Gap Analysis in real time;
    3) Web based, secure environment;
    4) Easy to use interface;
    5) Able to "score/rate" each question;
    6) Provide notes referring to documentation or justifying answers to each question;
    7) Able to add general notes covering entire Gap Analysis for later review;
    8) Final report emailed to user who started the Gap Analysis;
    9) Printable report for those needing hard-copies;
    10) Charts and graphs comparing results of completed Gap Analyses;
    11) Able to resume Gap Analysis at a later time, from other computers/locations
    12) Review past Gap Analyses and get historical reports with a single click.
 





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™.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Policy & Audit Elements of Effective Risk Management Programs

Aviation SMS Safety Policy & Audits

Without a doubt, every aviation service provider is different. Airline and airport aviation safety management systems (SMS) should be designed to address the specific needs of individual airlines and airports. All formal SMS programs will have these two common elements:
In this short article, we will discuss SMS Policy and Audits elements of an effective ICAO SMS Program.

Aviation safety policy
Aviation Safety Policies Come from the Top

Airline & Airport Safety Policy

Every basic aviation risk management program, whether it is for an airport, airline, charter operator, aviation maintenance organization (AMO or MRO), requires a statement of the operator's objectives and the responsibilities of the company, top management, line staff managers, and workers. This statement, typically called an aviation safety policy, typically states:
  • The CEO, top management commitment to the SMS program
  • Airline/Airport commitment to protect the safety of workers and all stakeholders
  • The objectives and priorities of the operator's SMS program
  • The safety duties and responsibilities of the top management, line supervisors, and workers
Effective aviation safety policies should be simply written and easy to understand. They do not need to be long, drawn out novels. After all, the aviation safety policy is not designed for "show," but to be actually read and understood by all employees. Therefore, keep it simple, clear and concise.

The written aviation SMS policy should be signed by the CEO or the most senior manager, whatever his title may be. It should be dated and reviewed annually. All workers should be made aware of the policy and its importance. For example, it could be given to all new workers and posted in the workplace, or on the aviation service provider's Web site. Some modern Web based aviation safety management systems have polices and procedures integrated into the aviation risk management software.

Regular Safety Audits and Inspections

Regular audits and inspections of the workplace are intended to:
aviation safety audits and inspections
  • Identify conditions and unsafe acts with the potential to cause injury or damage to equipment
  • Determine necessary corrective measures
  • Prevent unsafe operating conditions from developing
  • Ensure industry standards and best practices are being followed

Three different kinds of audits and inspections are described below:
  • Regular, planned workplace audits and inspections: Inspect buildings, structures, grounds, aircraft, tools, equipment, machinery, and work methods and practices for hazards that might cause injury or damage to aircraft or the environment. Schedule these audits and inspections at appropriate intervals to prevent unsafe conditions developing. Depending on the aviation service provider and the type of hazards that might develop, audits and inspections may be scheduled daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Equipment audits and inspections: Workers should be trained to inspect their machinery, tools, and equipment regularly, following the manufacturer’s minimum recommendations. National regulatory agencies may also have specific requirements. 
  • Special audits and inspections: National civil aviation regulatory agencies typically require special inspections or audits after certain types of events to ensure that operations do not resume until it is safe to do so.

Airline & Airport Audits and Inspections

SMS inspection teams typically include both worker and management representatives. Very often, a third-party auditor regularly conducts these audits and inspections. SMS auditing teams should be familiar with the work flow process and, whenever possible, include members of the joint safety committee or the company's safety representative.

Aviation Safety Audit Checklists

aviation SMS safety audits and inspections
Safety Audits Serve Serveral Purposes
Inspection checklists can help ensure that audits and inspections are thorough, results are recorded, and the inspection process is standardized. A checklist is particularly useful in guiding those unfamiliar with the
inspection process. Checklists should be adapted to suit the needs of each aviation service provider's unique operations.

Safety audit checklists can also be used as a guide for the airline and airport to prepare for the audit or inspection. The audit and inspection should never be a "surprise," and advance warning of audits are almost always provided in advance. Therefore, using auditors' checklists as "pre-audit checklists" offers several benefits to the airline or airport, including training, convenience and time and cost savings.

Managing Safety Audit Findings and Concerns

Any unsafe or harmful conditions found during a regular inspection or audit should be reported immediately to the supervisor or employer and remedied without delay. This is commonly done through the airline or airport's hazard reporting system. When auditing processes are well-integrated into an operator's risk management processes, the work flow is seamless and saves considerable time and money in labor savings to manage these findings and concerns.

Document and communicate all significant findings and concerns for future reference. Each hazard or inconsistency identified should be recorded and the corrective actions taken to eliminate or control each item. Ensure to communicate this information to the joint safety committee for their review and approval.

Auditing is an iterative process when you consider the work flow over the course of several years. Audits and inspections offer airlines and airports an opportunity to improve operations and serve as an effective tool to educate managers and employees alike on the safe business practices. With this in mind, one should not always view safety audits as a waste of time, but as an opportunity.






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™.

Friday, February 15, 2013

What is SMS Pro and Benefits of Web Based Aviation Safety Management Software


Key Benefits of Web Based Aviation Safety Management Software

Benefits of Web Based Aviation Safety Management Software (SMS) Today's economic challenges and regulatory requirements are forcing airlines and airports to implement Web-based, integrated safety and risk management database systems to reduce their risk to public safety and ensure compliance to global flight safety standards. Many regulatory standards have surfaced since ICAO's November 2006 SMS mandate outlined in the ICAO SMS Manual 9859.

Adherence to these risk management standards is obligatory and many organizations have followed ICAO's lead by publishing their own set of best practices and auditing guidelines, including IOSA, IS-BAO, Air Charter Safety Foundation, ISAGO, EU/JAR Ops (Joint Aviation Requirements) Quality Assurance. SMS Pro was designed according to the principles outlined in this documentation.

Easy to Use Web Based Aviation Safety Management Software

SMS Pro has become one of the most popular integrated Safety and Risk Management Web solutions with an enterprise level database. Easy-to-use Web tools allow all authorized users to effortlessly analyse data and generate reports without the necessity of additional support resources, such as highly trained analysts.

Web Based Aviation Safety Management Software (SMS) SMS Pro does not claim to be the first aviation SMS product to integrate a Web-based quality management system, nor claim to be the first to integrate an auditing management system to manage ever-present compliance requirements. Nor does SMS Pro claim to be the first to integrate a Web-based security management system. SMS Pro does claim to to the first in the world to integrate safety, security, quality and compliance management systems in a user-friendly manner that doesn't require specialists to operate. That is why our competitors search our online media to learn from our solutions.

Reduce SMS Training Time Use Web Based Aviation SMS Software

SMS Pro uses the same framework and processes for quality assurance audits as with flight, cabin, maintenance and ground safety occurrence reporting. Fewer training resources are required with SMS Pro's intuitive interface and clients don't have to hire full-time specialists to manage these systems.

SMS Pro provides comprehensive sets of tools integrating risk-related activities across an entire organization. SMS Pro's user-friendly Web-based program covers all aviation-related functions from accident/incident reporting, risk assessment, compliance, analysis and investigation through to auditing and corrective action management and tracking.

aviation safety management software
Aviation SMS Software for Airlines, Airports, etc.
SMS Pro has been in production since January 2008 and is a stable product for both small and large organizations. SMS Pro continues to be enhanced by aviation software specialists, world-class SMS training companies and SMS consultants all over the globe.

SMS Pro exceeds the needs of international and regional airlines as well as cargo, corporate fleet and helicopter operators. Other aviation organizations such as airports, air traffic control service providers, ground handlers and maintenance organizations have benefited from implementing the aviation SMS system. Proactive Part 91 operators can also realize benefits.

Maximize Your Limited Aviation SMS Resources

SMS Pro maximizes the effectiveness of aviation service providers' limited safety and quality resources by automatically identifying the high-priority areas customized for their operations; integrating all available data for analysis in a single location; and providing effective corrective action-tracking and communication processes. SMS Pro's integrated Web solution helps operators manage safety, security, quality and compliance issues effectively.



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™.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Safety Non-Punitive Reporting Policy Statement Sample

Safety Policy Statement Sample - Non-Punitive Reporting Policy

Sample Aviation Safety Policy Statement Templates
Safety Policies Guide Organizations to Act as One
SMS Policies are an important part of every effective aviation safety management system. Without understanding the "purpose" of an effective aviation organization, one won't be able to realize the importance of policies. An essential component of every aviation safety management system remains the safety reporting policy. Every aviation safety reporting policy should be non-punitive within reasonable limits. This builds confidence and removes skepticism in your aviation SMS program and also provides a clear understanding to all employees of what behaviors can be tolerated by management. For example, coming to work drunk or breaking local, state and federal laws would not allow employees to report airline/airport accidents or incidents with impunity.

Many younger folks in your organization may see policies as a way for management to "control behavior." However, it is generally understood that effective aviation SMS programs will fail unless they are based on a written non-punitive reporting policy. "Show it to me in writing!"


Purpose of Aviation Safety Policies

airline airport aviation safety management software Purpose and policies of airlines and airports are the basic foundation for progress and usefulness of the operator's existence. Purpose, or rationale is vision of the goal to be attained; policies are the plan of action or ways for the airline/airport by which visions are to evolve into accomplishments. SMS Pro has a Policies and Procedures module for managers to edit policies online. These policies can then be accessed by the entire organization. Safety policies often appear in context of the aviation safety management software program. For example, the Safety/Hazard Reporting Policy appears where users are most likely to need it.


Aviation Safety Software Must Be User Friendly and Relevant

NWDS believe that if aviation safety management software is not user-friendly and easy to use, it will not be used! With this in mind, SMS Pro places aviation SMS policies where they do the most good--right in the application where they are most visible and relevant. As another example  the "Non-Punitive Reporting Policy" is the first screen users see when the enter SMS Pro's aviation Hazard Reporting System. In addition, if you belong to the Safety Manager Role, you will be able to edit the template in place without hunting for the non-punitive reporting policy in your manuals. SMS Pro is EASY to use, very user-friendly and complete aviation safety management software.

sample aviation safety policy templates
When airlines and airports don't have a current "Non-Punitive Reporting Policy," NWDS provides a free template for the asking. Pretty cool, eh? Our sample non-punitive reporting policy template was created by the FAA, ICAO or Transport Canada. It has been with us for so many years that I've forgotten the source. If you belong to the FAA, ICAO or Transport Canada, (or even CASA), please don't be disturbed if you recognize your Non-Punitive Reporting Policy Template below. Of course, we encourage our clients to put their own name in the template.


Sample Non-Punitive Reporting Policy Template for Aviation Safety Program

Below is what we provide in SMS Pro as our non-punitive reporting policy template:


Non-Punitive Reporting Policy Sample Template

At World Aviation, our objective is to cultivate and foster a generative safety culture in which employees and customers are comfortable and encouraged to bring safety concerns to the attention of management.

No person will be penalized or retaliated against for bringing safety issues to the attention of management.
Safe flight operations are World Aviation’s most important commitment. To ensure this commitment, it is imperative that we have uninhibited reporting of all incidents and occurrences that compromise the safety of our operations.

We ask that each employee accept the responsibility to communicate any information that may affect the integrity of flight safety. Employees must be assured that this communication will never result in reprisal, thus allowing a timely, uninhibited flow of information to occur.

All employees are advised that World Aviation will not initiate disciplinary action against an employee who discloses an incident or occurrence involving flight safety. This policy cannot apply to criminal, international or regulatory infractions.

World Aviation has developed safety reports to be used by all employees for reporting information concerning flight safety. They are designed to protect the identity of the employee who provides information. These forms are readily available in your work area.

We urge all employees to use this program to help World Aviation continue its leadership in providing our customers and employees with the highest level of flight safety.

More Templates - Aviation Safety Policy Samples

Many safety policy template sample available at this link


Related Posts






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™.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Integrated Policies & Procedures in Aviation SMS Program


Integration of Policies & Procedures in Aviation SMS

For many years, SMS Pro had the Policy Manager for airlines and airports to store policies and procedures online. Policy Manager allowed operators to place their policies and procedures in a centralized location available to all employees. Policy Manager was officially renamed in 2012 to Policies and Procedures.

Policies and Procedures module benefited airlines and airports with great functionality, that included:
  • Online storage of policies visible to all employees;
  • Location for new employees to review policies and procedures;
  • Online editing of policies and procedures by managers with editing permissions;
  • Automated review dates that notified by email that items required review;
  • Two lead times configuration settings that allowed managers to configure email notifications;
  • Visual cues indicating review status of policies and procedures;
  • Auditing trail indicating last person to review item.
Aviation safety management systems software
Policies & Procedures Managed Online and Visible to All

Besides having a location to enter the policy or procedures, each item had a separate section that allows managers to optionally describe the rationale behind the policy or procedure. Managers can also configure email notification by individual email addresses or by role. For example, if all department heads need to be notified that a policy or procedure required review, all users with the department head role would receive an email notification alerting them of this information.

Policies & Procedures Stood on Their Own

Until 2013, Policies and Procedures module stood on its own. There was no functionality to automatically monitor the effectiveness of these policies and procedures. No trigger would alert management that a particular policy or procedure was out of date, poorly followed, or communicated to the organization. This has changed in 2013 with an integration into SMS Pro's risk management framework, which is called Issue Manager.

Business Processes as Optional Classification System

Since 2007, an optional classification system existed based on FAA ATOS (Aviation Transportation Oversight System). For those unfamiliar with ATOS, the schema was comprised of systems, subsystems and elements. These three layers equate to the category, subcategory and subsubcategory visible today in almost every classification system in SMS Pro, including:
  • Root Cause;
  • Type of Issue; 
  • Business Processes; and
  • Proactive Hazard Analysis.

Human factors is the only classification scheme that has more than three levels. Human factors has a maximum of four levels by default.

Managers can extend their classification schemes up to eight layers, but we don't recommend this practice as your classification schemes will become too cumbersome and difficult for other users to digest. Three layers is deep enough in most cases.

For five years, only a few operators (out of several hundred) took the time to configure and use the optional Business Processes classification system. The purpose was for an operator to list operational and administrative procedures and processes. Once the list was compiled, these procedures and processes could be assigned to reported issues. As time passed, managers could easily see which procedures and processes needed review and possible change. Classification of issues using Business Processes was the same as everywhere else in the Web based aviation safety management software, first from dropdown lists, finally to drag and drop, which was introduced in early 2010.
Airline airport Aviation safety management software
Business Processes Appear in Many Parts of SMS Pro

Business Processes had its own section in:


Integration of Business Processes and Policies & Procedures

Since Business Processes was virtually unused by hundreds of companies using SMS Pro, NWDS decided in February 2013 to integrate Business Processes into the Policies and Procedures. What does this mean? How will this affect functionality?

The phrase "Business Processes" will neither appear on the Classify tab in Issue Manager nor in the reports. The phrase "Business Processes" is exchanged with Policies and Procedures or something similar. In these sections, you will see a list of policies and procedures from the Policies & Procedures module.

For example, when you classify issues on the Classify tab, you will see a treeview list of your policies and procedures. Drag the applicable policy or procedure from left to right to classify the issue. When SMS Admins create a new classification under Policies and Procedures, a new policy or procedure will be created in the Policies & Procedures module. Likewise, when a manager creates a new policy or procedure in the Policies & Procedures manual, the item will appear in the list of items to classify issues or to view in the reports.


Integration of Business Processes with Policies & Procedures Is Optional

Airlines and airports using the Business Processes don't have to lose the work they have done in the past with their business processes. For those wishing to integrate their business processes with their policies and procedures, the process is simple:
  1. In Policies & Procedures module, go into "edit" mode;
  2. At the top of the page, you will see a section to initialize migration. This will only appear if your business processes are not integrated with your policies and procedures.
  3. Select the "Initialize Migration" link and in one or two seconds, the process is complete.
  4. Refresh your screen and the section will have disappeared.
Aviation safety management software
Policies & Procedures Integration Is Optional, But Recommended

What Happens to the Old Data?

The old business process classifications remain in the database. They are simply "deactivated" and will no longer appear. This ensures that historical records maintain their referential integrity.




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™.

How to Keep Aviation SMS Manuals Current

Keeping Aviation SMS Manuals and Documentation Current


Current documentation that is regularly reviewed remains essential for airlines and airports to operate safely and efficiently while abiding by current aviation safety regulations and standards. Each certificated airline and airport must maintain SMS documentation that addresses:

  • Identification of applicable regulations, standards and practices; 
  • Coherent documentation describing each component of the SMS;
  • Documentation detailing interrelationships between the elements;
  • Documented policies and procedures to manage changes to documentation; and
  • Records management policy and procedures. 

SMS Pro is a Web based aviation safety management software solution for airlines and airports to manage their ICAO mandated aviation SMS requirements. SMS Pro covers all four pillars or components as described in the ICAO SMS documentation.

Web Based Modules for Aviation SMS Documentation

Aviation Safety Management Software SMS Manuals
Airlines & Airports Have Complex Open Systems
SMS Pro has several modules that address these documentation requirements, including;
  • Policies and Procedures;
  • Duties and Requirements of Key Safety Personnel;
  • Applicable Regulations; and
  • Version Controlled Documentation Manager.

Every airline and airport (also flight schools, aviation maintenance MROs, FBOs and corporate operators) must have  processes for documenting applicable regulations by which it is regulated for the particular operator's applicable activities. Most airlines and airports hurriedly created an SMS Manual to house all this documentation with little thought on how to manage this content. After all, this aviation SMS documentation must be regularly reviewed and an audit trail must be available demonstrating that this documentation is "regularly reviewed."

Aviation SMS Documentation Must Be Available to All Employees

Since early 2009, SMS Pro included modules that satisfied the above requirements. These modules conveniently resided within the aviation safety management program and were available to employees. SMS Pro allowed airlines and airports to position their aviation SMS documentation in a manner that promotes its usage. Policies and procedures are often placed in context, such as the "Non-punitive Reporting Policy," "CEO Commitment to Safety," "Hazard Reporting Policy," and "SMS Induction Policy."  (Side note: here is a link to sample aviation safety policy statement templates if you need them) This means that when a user visited a module to perform a routine duty, the policy or procedure was easily available to reference.

SMS Manuals Are Seldom Available to All Employees

Without an electronic means of securing and making available applicable aviation SMS documentation, airlines and airports have difficulties demonstrating that all employees have access to required documentation. Furthermore, updating this documentation becomes more difficult when the SMS manuals are paper based or residing on the PC back at the office. Therefore, having a Web based system that documents reviews and allows for editing online, regardless of your location, has many benefits.

In the real world, SMS manuals and documentation is seldom available to all employees as required by the regulations. Having manuals sitting on a dusty shelf in the manager's office cannot be reasonably considered as "available."

Maintaining Current Aviation SMS Manuals and Documentation

Each airline and airport has the responsibility to keep their regulatory and organizational documentation current and to ensure these processes are audit worthy. When changes to aviation SMS documentation are required,  operators need documented processes to ensure these changes are implemented and provide guidance to employees or contractors tasked with these duties.

Operators must be proactive in addressing required changes to documents and procedures. When the airline or airport creates the process for documentation currency, the process must provide for early identification of necessary changes to its policies and procedures.

How to Identify the Need to Change Policies and Procedures

Aviation SMS programs must monitor processes to ensure they are effective. In large, complex open systems, such as airline and airport operations, there are many procedures and processes to monitor. As the years pass, how do you track which processes continue to remain effective and those that require change?

SMS Pro's Policies and Procedures module is now directly integrated into the risk management framework. When classifying issues, safety managers can now drag and drop related policies, procedures and processes that are associated with reported hazards, accidents and incidents. Many reports exist to monitor trends and automatically alert management of developing trends. These reports and alerts trigger management action to review and possibly modify policies and procedures to enhance operational effectiveness in an ever-changing environment.

Automated Alerts Based On Dates to Review Aviation SMS Manuals 

SMS Pro has automated alerts for each policy and procedure that fires when the configured review date approaches. These alerts serve as the process to ensure aviation SMS documentation is periodically reviewed and regulatory information is updated to ensure the most current information is available to all employees. For example, your airline or airport may have a policy to review CAA regulations and update applicable regulations as necessary. After updating the information, either a newsletter or message notification can be sent to affected employees. SMS Pro has all this functionality built in.





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™.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Enterprise Risk Management in Aviation Safety Management Systems

Risk Management in Aviation Safety Management Systems (SMS)

Top Management is Accountable!
Top management is accountable for the implementation of airline and airport aviation safety management systems (SMS). Responsibility can be delegated to safety managers, but top management is ultimately accountable for the successful implementation. Top management delegates these responsibilities, and as part of the delegation process, top management sends safety managers to aviation safety management courses to ensure their safety managers have an adequate understanding of what is required in an aviation safety management system.

In some cases, the safety manager brings back the knowledge gained from the aviation safety management courses and disseminates the information to other managers and employees. The point to fix on is that this does not happen all the time. And top management is still accountable regardless of how well the safety manager performs his task.

Who Audits the Safety Manager at Your Airline/Airport?

How does top management know whether the safety manager is doing a good job? Who is auditing the safety manager internally? Should your airline or airport jeopardize your certificate and wait for civil aviation authorities to conduct their audit and present you with a list of deficiencies? How does top management manage the risk in their enterprises to ensure they don't get caught off guard?

How Do You Know Your Aviation SMS Program is Working?

Internal aviation safety audits are important. One important point to bring out is that your internal safety audits should not be performed by the safety manager. You want an impartial eye performing the audit and you need to ensure that your required elements are documented in a way that aviation SMS auditors can confidently agree that you have fulfilled the requirements.

Aviation SMS Software helps!
To perform your aviation SMS audit, you will need an aviation SMS audit checklist. If you don't have an aviation SMS audit checklist, you have a few alternatives:
  1. Wing it (not the best choice);
  2. Ask the auditor for a copy (sometimes they will oblige);
  3. Use a gap analysis checklist (like in SMS Pro, which has several models, such as ICAO, IS-BAO, FAA, Transport Canada);
  4. Use an implementation plan checklist (like the ones provided in SMS Pro, such as ICAO and Transport Canada).
Transport Canada put out an advisory circular that has some good checklist. Here is the link to the document.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/ca-opssvs/107-001-e.pdf 

For airlines and airports just starting their aviation SMS implementation, top management should be asking these questions, which have been extracted from this AC.

Component 1 – Safety Management Plan 

Element 1.1 Safety Policy

  1. Is a safety management system with defined components established, maintained and adhered to?
  2. Is there a safety policy in place?
  3. Is the safety policy approved by the accountable executive?
  4. Has the organization based its safety management system on the safety policy?
  5. Is the safety policy promoted by the accountable executive?
  6. Is the safety policy reviewed periodically?
  7. Is the safety policy communicated to all employees with the intent that they are made aware of their individual safety obligations?


Element 1.2, Non-Punitive Safety Reporting Policy

  1. Is there a policy in place that provides immunity from disciplinary action for employees that report safety deficiencies, hazards or occurrences?


Element 1.3, Roles & Responsibilities

Checklists are tools to guide you!
  1. Has an accountable executive been appointed with responsibility for ensuring that the safety management system is properly implemented and performing to requirements in all areas of the organization?
  2. Does the accountable executive have control of the financial and human resources required for the proper execution of his/her SMS responsibilities?
  3. Does the person managing the operation of the SMS fulfill the required job functions and responsibilities?
  4. Are the safety authorities, responsibilities and accountability of personnel at all levels of the organization defined and documented?
  5. Do all personnel understand their authorities, responsibilities and accountability in regards to all safety management processes, decisions and actions?


Element 1.4, Communication

  1. Are there communication processes in place within the organization that permit the safety management system to function effectively?
  2. Are communication processes (written, meetings, electronic, etc.) commensurate with the size and scope of the organization?
  3. Is information established and maintained in a suitable medium that provides direction in related documents?
  4. Is there a process for the dissemination of safety information throughout the organization and a means of monitoring the effectiveness of this process?


Element 1.5, Safety Planning, Objective & Goals

  1. Have safety objectives been established?
  2. Is there a formal process to develop a coherent set of safety goals necessary to achieve overall safety objectives?
  3. Are safety objective and goals publicized and distributed?


Element 1.6, Performance Measurement

  1. Is there a formal process to develop and maintain a set of performance parameters to be measured?


Element 1.7, Management Review

  1. Are regular and periodic, planned reviews of company safety performance and achievement including an examination of the company‘s Safety Management System conducted to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness?
  2. Is there a process to evaluate the effectiveness of corrective actions?


Not Knowing Aviation SMS Requirements is not a Valid Excuse

When the aviation SMS auditor visits your airline or airport, you will not be able to plead ignorance. Top management is expected to know what is required of an effective safety management system. It is not like aviation safety management systems fell from the sky last week.

More Resources: http://www.ibac.org/is_bao/accredited-auditors-2





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™.