December 09, 2021


Sofema Online (SOL) considers the process by which we can monitor performance within our Safety Management System.

Introduction – Safety Performance and Safety Performance Monitoring

Safety Performance is a balance between the safety system achievements of the organisation, and the effectiveness of the mitigations which are implemented to enable the safety achievements.

SMS General Understanding of Terms:

Safety Policy – A clear statement of the organization’s policy, management principles, and intentions, for a continuous process of improvement in the safety level.

Safety Objectives for Improvement – Concerns about planning the safety objectives, and choosing effective methods for safety performance measurement.

Identification of Hazards

  • Proactive – an initial hazard identification process; a safety reporting scheme; and safety assessments conducted at regular intervals, and whenever changes are planned.
  • Reactive – collating information from unsafe condition/error reports and accident and incident reports, and ensuring that the requirements of OTAR Part 13 are met.

Risk Assessment and Mitigation:

  • A method for the analysis of risks.
  • Deciding how these will be mitigated.
  • Ensuring implementation, communication, and feedback to staff.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Conducting reviews or audits of the SMS processes.
  • Applying conventional quality assurance principles.
  • Ensuring that remedial actions have been implemented as planned and that the SMS remains effective and relevant to the operation.

Note – Ensure appropriate reports are made to the Accountable Manager to enable management review.

What is a Safety Performance Indicator?

A safety performance indicator (SPI) is defined in the ICAO Safety Management Manual as a measure (or metric) used to express the level of safety performance achieved in a system.

  • Generally expressed in terms of the frequency of occurrences of some event causing harm, e.g., A number of events / year or / 000’s of Hrs of operation.
  • A set of indicators should also include leading indicators.

Note – These indicators do not require a safety event to take place and are metrics that provide information on the current situation that may affect future performance.

Safety Risk Management

  • Safety Risk Management should be a managed process within the various business areas contributing to the continued viability of the Organisations Processes.

The ultimate success of the organizational SMS will depend on the organisation achieving established targets:

  • Developing optimum processes.
  • Driven by agreed (by the leadership team) mitigations.
  • Considering the return on investment.
  • Ensuring that it meets an Acceptable level of safety AloS.
  • The organisation to achieve established targets.

How to Drive Safety Performance within our Organisation?

  • Step 1 requires the leadership team to identify the baseline metrics to be set to monitor the goals and objectives based on:

o The Organisations Data.

o Industry Best Practice.

o Regulatory Requirements.

  • Step 2 – Oversight:

o To ensure the collection & processing of data in accordance with Step 1.

o To validate on a continuous basis including following Step 3 interventions.

  • Step 3 – Activation of mitigations to drive the safety improvements.

The Basics of Safety Performance Monitoring

Typically performed by reference to 3 essential elements:

  • Developing safety objectives. (Safety objectives represent the organisation’s priorities regarding the management of safety risk.)

o Safety objectives – may be:

· Process-oriented (expected system behaviours),

· Outcome–orientated (containment of incidents / accidents)

· Related to Specific Interventions

Example – To take all necessary measures to minimize any adverse safety events during base maintenance activities / Ground Operations – Through the introduction of additional safety measures.

  • Utilizing Safety Performance indicators. (SPIs)
  • To demonstrate achievement of our safety performance targets (SPTs).

SPT Examples:

  • During the next 12 months, SMS Training will be delivered to a minimum of 90% of the workforce by the provision of 3 Safety Management System Training Courses.
  • During the next 12 months to experience less than 0.55 reportable events / 10,000 ramp Maintenance Service Operations.

What is the main difference between Safety Performance Indicators (SPI) and Safety Performance Targets (SPT)?

ICAO defines:

  • Safety Performance Indicators as “A data-based parameter used for monitoring and assessing safety performance”.
  • Safety Performance Targets as “The planned or intended objective for safety performance indicator(s) over a given period”.

SPI/SPT Development Considerations

  • Specific understanding regarding the selection of the relevant safety concern to be treated to ensure both validity & relevance.
  • Avoid complexity wherever possible – simple is better and can clearly reflect relevant safety concerns.
  • Use clear definitions to avoid ambiguity.
  • Phased approach to implementation – achieve the ultimate objective in stages.
  • Avoid high workload analysis.
  • Ensure a broad coverage is important do not only pursue extremes (to capture systemic exposure that can agglomerate into more significant events.
  • Make sure time frames are clear and understood (data capture rate).
  • Avoid quantity over quality measure what is important, not easy.

Leading & Lagging SPIs and SPTs

  • Lagging SPIs/SPTs – sometimes known as “Outcome SPIs/SPTs” – reflect negative outcomes:

o Low frequency of high severity negative outcomes (aggregation nationally may be necessary for meaningful analyses). – example runway excursion accidents/10 000 landings.

o SPIs/SPTs for lower severity/higher probability (typically considered also as “precursor” events.) – example – The number of non-stable approaches/1 000 landings.

  • Leading SPIs/SPTs – sometimes known as “Process SPIs/SPTs” – measure situations which have the potential to become or contribute to high severity/low probability negative outcomes:

o Leading SPIs support proactive development of the organisation’s safety management System – Capability to improve safety exposure.

· SPI – 0.75 events of foreign object damage FOD) to aircraft per 10,000 ramp service delivery operations.

· SPT: To reduce to 0.5 events of foreign object damage to aircraft per 10 000 ramp service delivery operations with 12 months from the introduction.

Next Steps

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