Safety Management System: Components

Components of ICAO SSP

The following list is a summary of the elements that are required for developing an SSP. A more comprehensive list can be found in an SMS Manual.

1. Safety Policy and Objectives;
1.1 State safety legislative framework
1.2 State safety responsibilities and accountabilities
1.3 Accident and incident investigation
1.4 Enforcement policy

2. State Safety Risk Management;
2.1 Safety requirements for the service provider’s SMS
2.2 Agreement on the service provider’s safety performance

3. State Safety Assurance;
3.1 Safety oversight
3.2 Safety data collection, analysis and exchange
3.3 Safety-data-driven targeting of oversight of areas of greater concern or need

4. State Safety Promotion;
4.1 Internal training, communication and dissemination of safety information
4.2 External training, communication and dissemination of safety information

Human factors (HF) are risks that exist within an aviation environment that has a human operator. The effective management of HF risks requires identification, analysis, mitigation and review. Therefore, the management of HF requires the implementation of the four components within the organization's operations, through education and training. This ensures that employees have sufficient HF assessment to recognize when HF may impact on operations and react accordingly.
If everyone in the company is trained to do their job in a safe manner and proactively looking for hazards you will then be approaching a new level of safety that is behavior driven. All the elements of a safety management system must be actively encouraged and demonstrated by managers on a regular basis to encourage all staff to participate in order to achieve such level.

Continuous Cycle of Safety Improvement

The diagram below illustrated a continuous cycle of safety improvement.


An active safety department within an organization is vital to the continuing success of an SMS - it will provide a vibrant energy needed. This ensures that the system will provide a continuous cycle of improvement as intended. This can only be maintained through good leadership, commitment and setting a good example to all operatioal personnel.
Therefore, the diagram given above will guide managers through the achievement of a success SMS that will support and develop a safer environment within an organization.

1. ICAO (2009). Safety Management Manual(2nd edition). Retrieved from [] on 25th August 2010.

Want to know more?
FAA website describing the four components of SMS

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