Course Information: SMS-C


SCSI has been teaching SMS since 2002 and has tracked the changes and lessons learned as SMS has been implemented in aviation settings around the world. SCSI teaches based on the latest developments and guidelines published by ICAO and the various regulatory agencies. This course is based on the latest ICAO Safety Management manual (Doc 9859 3nd edition dated 2013 as approved in principle by the Secretary General and made available to the public) which supersedes the first edition published in 2009. It also supersedes the ICAO Accident Prevention Manual (Doc 9422), which is obsolete.

Starting in 2009, all member States of ICAO and all aviation service providers within those states must implement a safety management system that as a minimum:

  • Proactively identifies safety hazards
  • Ensures the implementation of remedial action necessary to maintain agreed safety performance
  • Provides continuous monitoring and regular assessment of the safety performance
  • Seeks continuous improvement in the overall performance of the safety management system

According to ICAO, an SMS is defined as "a systematic approach to managing safety including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures."

So What Does This All Mean to You?

If you are a regulator, an aircraft operator, a maintenance organization, an aircraft manufacturer, an air traffic services provider, or a certificated airport operator you MUST have an SMS in place.

The SMS must do the following things:

The challenge is how to accomplish these actions. ICAO has established a framework for an SMS that incorporates four basic components and 12 elements as shown here:

In the SMS Complete course you will be introduced to the basic concepts of safety and the modern approach to safety management. The course will take you through the process of planning and implementing an SMS by discussing each of the components and elements and showing how they fit in an SMS. You will learn what makes each element important and how to be sure it is efficient and effective.

A key part of the implementation of an SMS is the process of analyzing the organization's system to see which SMS components are already in place and which must be added or improved to meet defined SMS standards. This is commonly known as a Gap Analysis. SCSI through this course introduces you to a Gap Analysis and provides a detailed Gap Analysis tool for your use. This is a tool that encompasses all of the subjects in the recommended ICAO checklist but it goes beyond that to give you a set of grading criteria to help evaluate the significant areas for improvement. As a part of this course you can start your Gap Analysis and can continue it after course completion at home.

References for the SMS Complete course include

  • ICAO Annex 6 Part I, (Operation of Aircraft); Annex 11, (Air Traffic Services); and Annex 14, (Aerodromes).
  • ICAO Manual on Certification of Aerodromes (Doc 9774)
  • ICAO Safety Management Manual, Doc 9859, 3rd edition, 2013
  • ICAO Annex 19,
  • CAAP SMS-4(0) (Australia)
  • TP 13881, Safety Management Systems for Flight Operations and Aircraft Maintenance Organizations (Canada)
  • Operator's Flight Safety Handbook, Issue #2, Global Aviation Information Network (GAIN)
  • SMS Implementation Procedures Guide, Transport Canada TP14343E
  • FAA Advisory Circular 120-92B, Safety Management Systems for aviation service providers, 01/08/2015
  • FAA Guidebooks for Developing A Basic Safety Management System (Air Operators, Flight Training, or Aviation Maintenance Organizations)
  • EASA Guidance and Skybrary Material

Many of these references as well as others will be provided in electronic format as a part of the SMS Toolkit included in the course.

Who Should Attend

Personnel assigned to safety and safety-related positions in an airline, an on-demand charter, an aerodrome, executive support airlift, a military flying activity, Aviation Maintenance organization, or a government regulatory body who may be new to safety or Safety Management Systems or to those who would like a comprehensive review of SMS fundamentals in order to review, evaluate, build, or improve upon a safety management plan. Attendees will be provided the information, knowledge, checklists and tools required to build, implement and manage a "world class safety program using the latest tools, techniques and processes."

How You will Benefit

  • You will learn the practical application of safety management systems as applied to aviation operations.
  • You will learn the regulatory and administrative requirements for a safety program under various federal and international guidelines.
  • You will learn the SMS organizational components required to produce an effective SMS Risk Identification and Control Process and then how to develop them through actual hands-on practice.
  • You will learn a data-driven approach to enhancing aviation safety -- how to collect and use data that will support a proactive approach to safety.
  • You will learn how to take account of human and organizational factors as you organize (or reorganize) for a safety management system.
  • You will be introduced to the SMS Risk Control Process and the practice of hazard identification and risk management and how this process can increase the effectiveness of your accident prevention efforts.
  • You will learn how to deal with personnel at all levels of your organization and how to "sell" a Safety Management System and subsequent safety programs to them using the basic concepts of strategic planning, budgeting, and financial decision making.
  • Upon completion of the course, you will have the essentials you need to develop a safety management system tailored to your organization. For those from organizations that already have safety programs, you will be able to critically review, compare and contrast, evaluate, and improve existing plans and programs from a safety management system perspective and make the required improvements.
  • You will learn how to utilize Change Management and to communicate effectively with and involve all levels of your organization in safety by understanding the essential tools of project management and leading change.
  • You will learn how to involve all staff in safety, develop a positive safety culture, maintain a commitment to safety, and assess progress.
  • You will evaluate your current safety program and identify gaps or deficiencies compared to a fully functioning SMS
  • SCSI will award 4.0 CEUs to each participant who successfully completes this course.

Course Topics

During this course the topics listed will be presented by SCSI instructors in the classroom.

Basic Safety Concepts

  • The concept of safety
  • The evolution of safety thinking
  • How Human Factors influences behavior
  • Accident causation & the Reason Model
  • The organizational accident
  • People, operational contexts and safety
  • Errors and violations
  • Organizational culture and how it affect safety

An Introduction to Managing Safety

  • The management dilemma
  • Responsibilities and strategies for managing safety
  • Strategic Planning, Financial Decision Making, and Budgeting
  • Policies and organization for safety

Dealing with Hazards

  • The four fundamentals

Safety Risks

  • The definition of safety risk
  • The five fundamentals in managing risk

Introducing Safety Management Systems

  • The SMS framework
  • Emergency Response Planning
  • Safety Investigation
  • Safety Analysis
  • Safety Documentation
  • SMS planning
  • Safety Performance Assessment and measurement
  • Continuous improvement and safety assurance
  • Safety promotion, training and communication
  • Management of safety information
  • Demonstration of an electronic safety management system
  • Case studies, exercises
  • Conducting the Gaps Analysis (SMS Gap Analysis tool provide)

These SMS course topics form the basis for organizing this SMS course. For each organizational component in an SMS, instructors will define the component and then show how it applies to SMS with examples, illustrations, hands-on exercises, checklists, etc. The course focus is on the practical "how to do it" and what the content should look like when you are done. Most course topics will include a summary "hands-on" exercise to focus the topics covered.

Course Administration

The SMS Complete course consists of 4.5 training days (36 hours). Classroom participants receive lecture outlines, additional reference material, and a Certificate of Completion. PDF versions of all course material will be provided to participants in addition to the SMS Toolkit. Classroom classes begin at 0800 and end at noon on the last day.

Student feedback

"Instructor credibility was well established which gave weight to what was taught and contributes to increased attention span on the part of the student."

"The program is well oriented covering all the aspects of SMS and its effective implementation."

"A very informative course and will have immense value in future SMS implementation."

"Amazing job! Content presented as best as possible there’s so much. Presented wonderfully. Sad to go."