Essential Elements

The IOMAR expects operators of large and turbojet aircraft to use the ICAO SMS Framework[ICAO Annex 19, Appendix 2] as a means of structuring a SMS and meeting the above ICAO recommendation. The framework at Appendix A (which has been reworded slightly for international general aviation use) comprises four components and twelve elements as the minimum requirements for SMS implementation all of which are considered to be relevant regardless of the size and complexity of the operation.

The ICAO SMS framework is also used within RP56a - Company Operations Manual (COM) Template as the IOMAR recommended means of structuring the COM content on SMS.

Management commitment

A safety policy which:

  1. reflects the organisational commitment regarding safety, including the promotion of a positive safety culture;
  2. includes a clear statement about the provision of the necessary resources for the implementation of the safety policy;
  3. includes safety reporting procedures;
  4. clearly indicates which types of behaviours are unacceptable related to the operator’s aviation activities and include the circumstances under which disciplinary action would not apply;
  5. is signed by the accountable executive of the organisation;
  6. is communicated, with visible endorsement, throughout the organization; and
  7. is periodically reviewed to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate to the operator.

Defined safety objectives which:

  1. form the basis for safety performance monitoring and measurement;
  2. reflect the operator’s commitment to maintain or continuously improve the overall effectiveness of the SMS;
  3. are communicated throughout the organization; and
  4. are periodically reviewed to ensure they remain relevant and appropriate to the service provider.

Safety accountability and responsibilities

  1. identification of the accountable executive who, irrespective of other functions, is accountable on behalf of the organisation for the implementation and maintenance of an effective SMS;
  2. clearly defined lines of safety accountability throughout the organisation, including a direct accountability for safety on the part of senior management;
  3. identification of the responsibilities of all members of management, irrespective of other functions, as well as of employees, with respect to the safety performance of the organisation;
  4. documented and communicated safety accountability, responsibilities and authorities throughout the organisation; and
  5. definition of the levels of management with authority to make decisions regarding safety risk tolerability.

Appointment of key safety personnel

The nomination of a safety manager who is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the SMS.

Note - Depending on the size and complexity of the operator, the responsibilities for the implementation and maintenance of the SMS may be assigned to one or more persons, fulfilling the role of safety manager, either combined with other duties or as their sole function or, provided these do not result in any conflicts of interest.

Coordination of emergency response planning

An emergency response plan for accidents, incidents and aviation emergencies.

SMS documentation

An SMS manual that describes the:

  1. safety policy and objectives;
  2. SMS requirements;
  3. SMS processes and procedures; and
  4. accountability, responsibilities and authorities for SMS processes and procedures.

SMS operational records as part of the documentation of the delivery of the SMS.

Note -  Depending on the size of the service provider and the complexity of its aviation products or services, the SMS manual and SMS operational records may be in the form of stand-alone documents or may be integrated with other organisational documents (or documentation) maintained by the operator.

Hazard identification

A process to identify hazards associated with the operation of aircraft. Hazard identification shall be based on a combination of reactive and proactive methods.

Safety risk assessment and mitigation

A process that ensures analysis, assessment and control of the safety risks associated with identified hazards.

Safety performance monitoring and measurement

The means to verify safety performance and to validate the effectiveness of safety risk controls.

Note ― An internal audit process is one means to monitor compliance with safety regulations, the foundation upon which SMS is built, and assess the effectiveness of these safety risk controls and the SMS.

The safety performance shall be verified in reference to the safety performance indicators and safety performance targets of the SMS in support of the operator’s safety objectives.

The management of change

A process to identify changes which may affect the level of safety risk associated with the aircraft operation and to identify and manage the safety risks that may arise from those changes.

Continuous improvement of the SMS

Monitoring and assessment of the SMS processes to maintain or continuously improve the overall effectiveness of the SMS.

Training and education

A safety training programme that ensures that personnel are trained and competent to perform their SMS duties.

Safety communication

A formal means for safety communication that:

  1. ensures personnel are aware of the SMS to a degree commensurate with their positions;
  2. conveys safety-critical information;
  3. explains why particular actions are taken to improve safety; and
  4. explains why safety procedures are introduced or changed.