April 17, 2024


Sofema Aviation Services considers strategies for securing senior management buy-in for quality assurance initiatives, managing accountable managers who refuse compliance implementation, and the importance of regular quality meetings for continuous improvement.


Senior Managers and Business Area Owners have specific obligations about the organisation’s processes. This includes ensuring the delivery of regulatory obligations and related policies, ensuring these policies are updated in line with changing laws and allocating resources for all required activities.

Whilst each of the following areas requires tailored approaches and strategies, the overarching goal is always to ensure safety, compliance, and continual improvement within the aviation sector.

  • Senior management should be made aware of the risks associated with non-compliance, including legal penalties, reputational damage, and financial losses.

o  Educating them on the consequences can highlight the importance of their role in compliance efforts.

  • Compliance should not be viewed as just a legal necessity but as a strategic component that aligns with and supports business goals. Demonstrating how compliance initiatives can lead to operational efficiencies, market expansion, and enhanced customer trust can be compelling.

Challenges and Best Practices in Aviation Compliance Auditing

  • Aviation compliance auditors must navigate a constantly evolving landscape of international and local regulations.
  • Limited staffing and budgetary constraints can impede the thoroughness of audits.
  • Incorporating new technologies into compliance practices while ensuring data security and privacy.
  • Regular training updates for auditors to stay abreast of the latest regulatory changes and auditing techniques.
  • Leveraging software and tools for data management and audit tracking to improve accuracy and efficiency.
  • Involving various stakeholders from the beginning to ensure their needs and viewpoints are considered.

Typical Issues and Mitigations in Aviation Compliance Auditing

  • Sometimes, non-compliance occurs not from wilful disregard but from a misunderstanding of regulations.
  • Poor record-keeping can hinder compliance verification and accountability.
  • Ensuring that all parties understand the regulations and the rationale behind them.
  • Implementing stringent documentation practices to improve traceability and accountability.
  • Develop a comprehensive auditing program that covers all aspects of operations, from safety to environmental compliance.

Strategies for Securing Senior Management Buy-In for Quality Assurance and Compliance Initiatives

  • Show how quality assurance initiatives reduce risks and costs in the long run.
  • Connect quality initiatives to broader business objectives to make them relevant to senior management.
  • Share examples from within the industry where similar initiatives have led to improvements in compliance and operational efficiency.

Managing Business Leaders and Managers Who Refuse Compliance Implementation

  • Use established escalation paths to bring attention to non-compliance at higher management levels.
  • Integrate compliance metrics into performance reviews to hold managers accountable.
  • Provide necessary training and resources to managers to overcome resistance due to lack of knowledge or fear of change.

Importance of Regular Quality Meetings for Continuous Improvement

  • Create an environment where feedback from audits is used constructively to make continuous improvements.
  • Ensure that these meetings include representatives from all relevant departments to gather diverse insights.
  • Focus on actionable items and follow-up on progress in subsequent meetings.
  • Regular communication between the Compliance Department and Senior Management regarding the importance of compliance can help foster a culture that values adherence to rules and regulations.

Next Steps

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