January 10, 2023


FAA 120-92B compliant SMS Fundamentals – process review by Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) 

Introduction – SMS Fundamentals

The defining characteristic of an SMS is that it is a decision-making system.

  • An SMS is built by structuring your safety management around four components:

o Safety policy,
o Safety risk management (SRM),
o Safety Assurance (SA), and
o Safety promotion.

Safety Policy

Safety policy is where you set objectives, assign responsibilities, and set standards. It is also where management conveys its commitment to the safety performance of the organization to its employees.

Safety Risk Management (SRM)

The SRM component provides a decision-making process for identifying hazards and mitigating risk based on a thorough understanding of the organization’s systems and their operating environment.

  • SRM includes decision-making regarding management acceptance of risk to operations.
  • The SRM component is the organization’s way of fulfilling its commitment to consider risk in its operations and to reduce it to an acceptable level.

Safety Assurance (SA)

SA provides you with the necessary processes to give you confidence that your system is meeting your organization’s safety objectives and that your mitigations, or risk controls, developed under SRM are working.

  • SA requires monitoring and measuring safety performance of operational processes and continuously improving the level of safety performance.
  • SA processes are thus a means of assuring the safety performance of the organization, keeping it on track, correcting it where necessary, and identifying needs for rethinking existing processes.

Safety Promotion

  • Designed to ensure that your employees have a solid foundation regarding their safety responsibilities, the organization’s safety policies and expectations, reporting procedures, and a familiarity with risk controls.

o Training and communication are the two key areas of safety promotion.

SMS Applicability

A certificate holder authorized to conduct operations in accordance with the requirements of Part 121 must have a Safety Management System that meets the requirements of this part and is acceptable to the Administrator by March 9, 2018.

The implementation plan may include any of the certificate holder’s existing programs, policies, or procedures that it intends to use to meet the requirements of this part, including components of an existing SMS.

The SMS required to cover only the aviation operational processes of the carrier.

  • The aviation operational processes in a typical carrier may include:

o Flight operations,
o Operational control (dispatch/flight following),
o Maintenance and inspection,
o Cabin safety,
o Ground handling and servicing,
o Cargo handling, and
o Training.

Next Steps

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

Sofema Aviation Services www.sassofia.com & Sofema Online www.sofemaonline.com offer Safety Management System Training as Classroom, Webinar or Online. For additional details, please visit our websites or email team@sassofia.com


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