Safety manager or Safety coach?

Safety Manager or Safety coach?

Source: March 15, 2015 Jan Peeters S/R/M BLOG,

What’s in a name?

The term safety manager is used to denominate the individual responsible for the development, operation and continuous improvement of the safety management system (SMS) deployed by an operator/service provider. He acts as a focal point for safety management issues in the organization.

In this post I’d like to address the term Safety manager and what the term implies versus what actually needs to be done to improve safety performance. The purpose being to provoke some thinking of what the role means and what kind of skill and toolset might be needed to perform well in this role.

Before, the person managing the Flight Safety and Accident Prevention Program was called the Flight Safety Officer. There were several good reasons for the shift to the term “Safety Manager”. First of all the Flight Safety Officer tended to report to the Flight Ops Manager, and his area of concern was the flying part of the operation, in practice that meant he or she was mostly talking with and about pilots. Sometimes there would also be a Maintenance Safety Officer, and a Cabin Safety officer.

The Safety Management System was introduced because, to be effective, the organization needed to address the management of safety systematically, throughout the organization.

A safety management system (SMS) is a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures. (ICAO)

The Flight Safety officer’s remit was mostly limited to Flight Operations. Safety events or issues seen by the Flight Operations department might be a manifestation of a long organizational chain of contributing factors originating in different departments.

A problem that could occur was that safety recommendations remained limited to the Flight Operations department, dealing with symptoms rather than the root causes which originated elsewhere. Another issue that the “Safety Manager” title addressed was one of representation. With the position of “manager” came also more access to management meetings, and with that a chance to influence the decision-making process to take into account safety relevant info.

Drawbacks

One of the drawbacks of the title “safety manager” however is that the term contributes to the misunderstanding as to who actually manages safety.

A safety manager does not, nor should (s)he, have any authority to make decisions in the management of the company. As such a safety manager, does not directly manage safety. The safety manager, in spite of his name, does not have a manager’s authority, budget or resources to do anything but manage the SMS itself which is in essence a data gathering and measurement machine.

This management of safety is done by the day-to-day decision making of the management team, hopefully based on good information from the SMS which the Safety Manager effectively communicates to the management team. As I explain in another post, having an SMS does not automatically mean that you are managing safety well. The SMS is a tool for the task of safety management.

The problem that I have observed in various organizations is that the management team considers the safety performance of the organization as the safety manager’s problem. Like financial performance, safety performance is an outcome of the day-to-day decision making and efforts of the organization to increase safety performance.

The output of the SMS is data about the organization’s safety performance and helps the management team in their day-to-day decision making, like the financial management system generates data for other dimensions of the business. This is where I think that the term Safety Coach reflects a lot better what this particular function actually is about.

In my personal journey from consultant to coach I have discovered that increasing performance  through coaching is something that is well established and understood through parallels with sport, business and life. Coaching is not a practice restricted to external experts or providers, managers and leaders in the organization can be just as effective as externally hired coaches. Provided they have a structured approach they can add value, and help develop the management team’s skills and abilities in managing safety.

In some organizations, coaching is still seen as a corrective tool, used only when things have gone wrong. But in many companies, coaching is considered to be a positive and proven approach for helping others explore their goals and ambitions, and then achieve them.

I believe a safety coaching approach is key to obtain better safety performance and develop the management of safety as a skill.

If we want to increase the safety performance of our organizations, I believe that framing the function of the Safety Manager as that of a coach to the organization is more productive. It can remove conflicts and clarifies the role of the Safety Manager as one of the people that are able to give the players on the field better overview and focus for the game they are playing. Exactly the fact that the Safety Manager is not directly involved in the day-to-day operations and the fighting of the many crises that seems to entail, allows them to take a step back and look at the whole system, focusing on solutions that benefit the whole group not just individuals.

Any other ideas for how we should denominate Safety Managers?

ADVANCED AIR ADDED TO ACSF

ACSF Logo

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Bryan Burns
President
888-723-3135
bburns@acsf.aero

ADVANCED AIR ADDED TO ACSF INDUSTRY AUDIT STANDARD REGISTRY; SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES THREE-IN-ONE AUDIT

Washington, DC, March 4, 2015 — The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) is pleased to announce that Advanced Air, LLC, headquartered in Hawthorne, CA has been added to the ACSF Industry Audit Standard (IAS) Registry.

“We are pleased to add Advanced Air to the IAS Registry,” said ACSF president Bryan Burns. “We also congratulate them as the first operator to successfully complete a combined audit of the IAS, ARGUS Platinum and IS-BAO.”

“Advanced Air is proud to be a part of the Air Charter Safety Foundation Registry,” said Advance Air President Levi Stockton. “The experience of having undergone the ACSF audit process left us with a much stronger, cohesive, and safe operation.”

Advanced Air is committed to providing the highest quality of service, with the strongest commitments to safety and customer service.

The IAS is the first and only extensive audit program specifically created for on-demand operators by a committee of Part 135 and 91K industry leaders. It is conducted every 24 months and is in-depth in its evaluation of regulatory compliance and the operator’s SMS program against both FAA and international standards.

Customers should look for the ACSF IAS registered logo and encourage their preferred charter provider to participate in the program. The ACSF makes its operator registry and key company details available at no charge, so verification of IAS registration is quick and easy. Charter consumers can view the registry at www.acsf.aero/registry.

“The vision of the ACSF is to enable on-demand charter providers and fractional program managers to achieve the highest levels of safety in the aviation industry. This goal will be achieved through:

  • Promotion of risk management programs,
  • The adoption of one common industry audit standard,
  • Dissemination of safety information and,
  • Creation of additional programs that advance the goals of the foundation.”

Sextant Readings Presentation on SlideShare has been viewed over 1,750 times

The Sextant Readings presentation – 8 Steps to an Efficient SMS – has been viewed over 1750 times on SlideShare.

Positioning the “8 steps to an efficient SMS” is intended to clarify some of the mis-information about Safety Management that is rife on the internet.  There is a lot of hype about SMS – usually focused on the particular strengths of a vendor’s offering.

However we view Safety Management in the context that safety is a direct result of  “A management system based on professionalism and safety principles” of an organization.  There are many ‘pieces’ of management system support in the offerings from so-called Safety Professionals.

At Sextant Readings we believe that supporting the management of an organization based on the principles of professionalism and safety is our business.  You can see the presentation here:


IS-BAO Audit Capabilities

Our IS-BAO Audit team consisting of Sextant Readings Solutions registered auditors and those of our business partner Mentair Group.  Mentair Group has been actively involved with IS-BAO since its inception, and has a great deal of experience in Stage I, II, and III recurring audits.  Together with Sextant Readings Solutions experienced auditor team, we offer you experience, knowledge and guidance that are commensurate with your new or mature SMS environment.

Services Offered

Audits

  • IS-BAO Audits
  • Regulatory Compliance Audits
  • Internal Evaluations
  • Quality Assurance Audits
  • Safety Assurance Audits
  • Gap Analysis for SMS Standards, IS-BAO, ACSF or FAA requirements for Part 121
  • Third Party Audits
  • Audits of Client’s vendors
  • Repair Station / MRO (CFR Part 145)
  • Fueling operations
  • Ground handling (FBO)

 Training and Education

  • Safety Management Systems for Executives
  • Safety Management Systems Practical Concepts
  • Safety Manager Training
  • Quality Auditor Training (Initial and Lead)
  • Internal Audit Program Development
  • Safety/Quality Manager Development

Implementation Services

  • Safety Management System (SMS)
  • Quality Management System (QMS)
  • Continuing Analysis Surveillance System (CASS)
  • Internal Evaluation Program (IEP)
  • Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)

Audit – Positive or Negative connotation in your operation?

Posted by Fiona Macintyre on Mon, Aug 26, 2013

Audit.  A small but highly significant word.  A word that can illicit so much fear and dread throughout an organization.  There is an automatic negative response to the thought of an audit, it’s seen as something negative, something designed by those in authority just to catch you out.  It is easy to see audit as a negative if it is viewed in this way or as just another tick box exercise designed by authorities.

An audit can be conducted internally, by an external regulatory body or by a supplier.  Regardless of who is conducting the audit, all employees need to be on board with the audit process.  To do so, an organization needs to turn any negativity on its’ head and have an audit seen as a positive.  That means all employees adhering to standard working practices at all times and not just for the audit.

So how does any organization turn negativity and doubt into positivity?  This may be one of the hardest things any organization will do.  Indeed, in any walk of life there will always be those that are negative for the sake of it and will never see a positive in anything, ‘every silver lining has a cloud’!

Company culture can contribute greatly to all employees being on board in an audit process.  How do management convey to their staff that an audit isn’t designed to find out what they are not doing and pull them up for it but rather it is designed to highlight areas across a business that are working well in an attempt to replicate those across the rest of the business?  Highlight the positives and identify the areas that require focus, while also conveying that this is ultimately for the good of the business and subsequently for them as employees.  Organizations successful in doing this have an established learning and sharing culture.  In practice this is not an easy culture to create.

There are many benefits in the audit process that should be promoted.  In terms of aviation, these benefits extend to how the audit process is built into the overall Safety Management System.  An effective and efficient SMS is underpinned by System Safety principles and Quality Management and a large part of that is audit management.

Audits ensure all policies and procedures are working, to verify that processes adhere to standards and regulations and to maintain a level of competency.  Performed regularly, audits contribute to complying with regulatory standards as well as identifying shortfalls and areas of improvement.  Audit Management provides a closed loop system from scheduling, planning, conducting and following up of audits in a manner that supports organization-wide improvement.

The key point in the above statement is – “supports organization-wide improvement.”  Promoting that fact can turn the negative views of an audit into a positive.  By that, I mean ensuring that people understand the reasons for the audit, everyone is on board and fully appreciate the importance of auditing to improve all areas of the business and ultimately as a result reduce their suspicions that the audit is merely performed to catch them out.

To achieve this goal, an open learning and sharing corporate culture is required.  That has to be organization wide and that comes from the top down and vice versa.

In conclusion, it is the culture of an organization that dictates whether employees will view the audit process in a positive light or not.  In saying that, there is no accounting for the naturally negative minded people in life and it wouldn’t matter what type of corporate culture they were working under – they will always moan regardless and I have no answer for getting them on board – that’s a completely different topic.

Audit Management Software for Aviation

Audit Management Software for Aviation

Auditing throughout the aviation industry is a mandatory task to ensure that certificated organizations are performing to the strict regulations set out by the governing bodies. Audits are performed regularly throughout the aviation industry and contribute to complying with standards as well as identifying shortfalls and areas of improvement.

The Q-Pulse Audit Management module provides the ability to check a proposed audit plan for coverage, completeness and availability before finalizing schedules, automatically creating and updating the audit calendar. Past audit reports and historical data and status of all previous audit and CA/PA findings are available for review. Audit checklists can be created, exported and imported to and from external sources and audit packs can be created as points of reference.

A trail of departments visited, people spoken to, and processes checked etc, simplifies the creation of the audit report. Positive findings and opportunities for improvement are included, individual records created for each finding and the audit report agreed, formalized and tracked to conclusion through Q-Pulse.

Q-Pulse continually monitors the status of each audit action from when it is raised until closure and ensures the compliance management system is properly maintained, managed, and that actions are not overlooked. Q-Pulse can integrate with email systems to offer point-of-need access to audit records direct from automatic email notifications of upcoming or overdue events or actions.

Audit Management provides a closed loop system from scheduling, through planning, conducting and following up of audits in a manner that supports organization-wide improvement.

Offline Audit extends the Q-Pulse compliance management solution, enabling auditors to perform key activities when not connected to Q-Pulse. Auditors can complete checklists and record document findings while on-site at the point of need.

The objectives of Audit Management are to:

  • Provide a central repository for all audit management information that allows the demonstration of compliance with minimum overheads and disruption
  • Manage internal, external and third party audits across a specific or any number of compliance management systems
  • Identify potential improvements in systems, processes, equipment, material and people
  • Report both positive audit results as well as managing actions and findings  through to conclusion
  • Manage the complete audit life cycle from scheduling, planning and conducting to reporting and following up actions through to conclusion.
  • Manage Audits offline, providing the import and export of data to record and perform audits remotely