August 12, 2014


Consider that we need to work within the Organisational SMS Structure. The Safety Management System will vary in size from a part time or shared position through to a large and dedicated office with full time professionals managing the system.

So we should understanding that the Safety Auditing Activity is also going to be scalable related to not just the needs of the organisation, but the capacity of the organisation to deliver an effective and meaning full process.

Depending on the size of the Organisation we will have some or all of the following:

Safety Review Board SRC

Safety Action Group SAG

Safety Expert Group SEG

Safety Representatives SR

Safety Office SO

Safety Auditors may typically be from the Safety Action Group, The Safety Expert Group or indeed dedicated full time auditors from within the Safety Department itself.

The important point to note is that Safety Auditing requires a higher level of competence as it is far more subjective than Compliance Auditing and as such requires not just a detailed understanding of the business process, but a background and exposure which allows appropriate judgement ot be made.

Safety Auditing is complementary to Quality Auditing, as we now understand Quality Auditing is considering compliance and Safety Auditing is considering Risk so whilst there is significant cross over, Safety Auditing is very specific.

The Performance of SMS Audits within the organisation is a scalable activity. Depending on the size of the organisation the number of trained auditors and the available manpower.

Audits may in fact be performed in a variety of ways consider the following:

a)      Business Area audit against a Checklist

b)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Business Area audit referenced to ‚Äúperceived exposure‚ÄĚ What Can Happen ? How could it Happen

c)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Stress Test ‚Äď how will the business area cope going forward ?

d)      SMS Audit Review following QA Compliance Audit

e)      SMS Audit Review following weight of findings

f)       SMS Audit Review as a systematic process throughout the business

What are we going to look at during the audit?

Well to consider what we mean by Risk! We have a number of hazards within the business some are well understood whilst others may be less so and in some cases they may even be unknown and latent.

For each hazard or group of hazards we need to gather the necessary data to make determinations regarding the possibility or degree of exposure and if necessary to develop recommendations for mitigation using our SMS process.

Sofema Aviation Services offers in depth training to implement, develop and manage your Safety Management System. For details regarding available training courses please visit or email


Aviation Safety, aviation services, Regulatory training, Safety Auditing, Safety Department, Safety Management System