Growing awareness of the peformance-based approach in aviation creates a sense of everyone moving forward together to adopt new strategies and ways of thinking about safety. SMS evaluation throughout the Overseas Territories should provide a dividend in terms of mutual understanding and support for regulators and the regulated organisations alike.
In the early stages of implementation, the purpose of evaluating the SMS is to ensure that the system is put in place across the whole organisation; i.e. that the main components of the SMS are present and suitable, taking into account the size of the organisation and the nature and complexity of its activities.
As the system becomes more developed, further evaluations can be made to ensure that the SMS is operating as intended and that it is effective.
Method of use
The SMS evaluation tools are intended for use by operators and service providers to assist in monitoring the development of their own SMS. Evaluation by the regulator can be accomplished using the same framework to verify the organisation's own responses.
The findings will serve to inform the regulator, and to assist the operator in guiding future action.
Focus of evaluations
When evaluating a safety management system it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the SMS is to make continuous improvement in the overall level of safety.
As the SMS must be appropriate to the size, nature and complexity of the operation, it follows that no two systems will be identical.
SMS evaluations are designed to focus on the functionality of the SMS - is it working? Although it will be necessary for the system to be documented, the emphasis of evaluations should be to focus on practical usage of the SMS, rather than a review of documentation.
SMS evaluation tools are available via this link http://www.caa.co.uk/sms.