How to Create Safety Policies and Procedures in Aviation SMS Programs

Creating safety policies and procedures in aviation SMS programs is actually easier than it sounds, as aviation compliance authorities generally provide much guidance on which policies are needed for compliance.

For example, the FAA provides guidance for which specific policies should be included in your safety policy document. Other compliance agencies provide similar guidance.

Some of the core policies your aviation SMS programs should have are:

  • CEO commitment to safety;
  • Non-punitive reporting policy;
  • Mandatory and voluntary issues to report;
  • Disciplinary action policy;
  • Policy for all-employee required interactions with SMS (i.e., review duties, report hazards, etc.);
  • Initial and recurrent training policy.
How to Create Safety Policies and Procedures in Aviation SMS Programs

Safety procedures will should simply outline core processes in your SMS program, such as:

  • How to submit safety issues;
  • How to document and process newly identified hazards;
  • How to perform certain important safety tasks; and
  • How to induct employees into the SMS program.

The process for creating these items is simply:

  • Review safety policy compliance requirements;
  • Obtain templates or examples of safety policies to base your policies on;
  • Write your safety policies;
  • Review existing processes in your organization;
  • Review safety-critical work tasks;
  • Outline the basic steps for completing each of these processes and tasks;
  • For each outline, fill in details so that someone who is not familiar with your organization could understand the process.

Lastly, you must communicate your safety policies and procedures to relevant employees as they are added, deleted, or changed.