January 17, 2022


Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) www.sassofia.com considers the mechanics of aviation “Safety System Risk Profiling” and looks at the difference between a Safety Risk Profile (SRP) and Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs).


The purpose of developing a Safety Risk Profile (SRP) is to enable the identification and evaluation of the overall risks which are present within our organisation, with the goal of then being able to develop appropriate mitigations to achieve the lowest level of exposure.

Another way to look at it is to consider that the Safety Risk Profile is what we expect our organisation to achieve, identifying the level of risk associated with the operation and how we intend to mitigate the various risks to the lowest level.

Note – By collecting data from the Safety Performance Indicators and Targets we are able to build up the fullest safety picture, enabling the most effective profiling and opportunity for mitigation of risk to the lowest achievable level.


Safety Risk Profile – “A safety risk profile is a description of a set of risks… The set of risks can contain those that relate to the whole organisation, part of the organisation, or as otherwise defined.”

  • The Safety Risk Profile is typically an evaluation of the highest identified risks associated with the overall operation of the organization.
  • Additionally, a process of SRP will enable the determination of the appropriate level of safety management by business area and any specific areas of higher risk that may need to be mitigated.

Safety Performance Indicators (SPI’s) – Safety Performance Indicators are developed to monitor various safety parameters, the data identified is then used to mitigate the risks to their lowest value of risk (considering the cost & ROI), which collectively will reduce the overall operational risk.

  • SPI’s are used for monitoring and assessing safety performance. Typically considered in conjunction with associated Safety Performance Targets (SPT’s).
  • SPI data is used to support the demonstration of achievement related to the objectives for given safety performance.
  • The use of SPI’s can support a reduction of complexity by being able to focus on a small number of key indicators.

Types of Indicators

Lagging Indicators – measure events that have already occurred; “outcome-based SPIs”.

Leading Indicators – measure processes and inputs being implemented to improve or maintain safety; “activity or process SPIs”.

o Flight Operational Example of SPI’s

· Stabilized approaches.

· Flight Crew Procedural Errors or Lapses.

· Landing in the touchdown zone.

Safety Performance Targets (SPT’s) – Safety performance targets define the required level of the safety performance of a system. A safety performance target comprises one or more safety performance indicators, together with desired outcomes expressed in terms of those indicators. (ICAO Doc 9859 – Safety Management Manual)

Note – Targets should be both realistic and achievable ideally referenced to previous performance for a particular indicator.

What Business Areas to Consider?

  • Management Changes
  • Operational Manpower Considerations & Changes
  • Equipment Changes and Modifications
  • Changes to Maintenance Facilities / Maintenance Operations
  • New Routes / Equipment / Operations
  • Remote Airports
  • Oceanic and international operations

Concerning Safety Risk Profiling

Safety Risk Profiling (SRP) is intended to be standardized (not subjective) typically based on Quantitative Analysis of data related to the various types of threats faced.

SRP is Intended to assist the organization to:

  • Enable the prioritization of the Mitigating Tasks.
  • Provides an insight related to the required resources required to mitigate risk.

Building an SMS Risk Profile

  • Consider a system as an element of your organisations business containing unique resources and / or activities;
  • Construct a list of all the identified hazards for each system;
  • Identify all potential risks associated with each of the identified hazards;
  • Perform a risk assessment for each of the identified potential risks;
  • Identify the “controls” associated with each hazard to enable the successful mitigation of the potential risks.

Next Steps

Follow this link to our Library to find & Download related documents for Free.

Sofema offers EASA Compliant Organizational Development through Risk-Based Auditing & Measurement of Effectiveness as a 2 Days training program available as a classroom, either in-company or open or as a web-based instructor-led training course.

Please see www.sassofia.com or email team@sassofia.com for more information.

To view course details check here


aviation, Aviation Risk, aviation safety, Aviation Safety Management System, Aviation Safety System Risk Profiling, Aviation SMS, ICAO Doc 9859, Safety Performance Indicators, Safety Performance Targets, Safety Risk Management, SAS blogs, SPI, SPT