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The Goal of an SMS is to manage and monitor safety risks and
hazards effectively and efficiently

The following is extracted from EASA [European Aviation Safety Agency]: "10 Things You Should Know About SMS"

  1. What is a safety management system (SMS)?
    A safety management system is a series of defined, organization-wide processes that provide for effective risk-based decision-making related to your daily business.


  2. What does the SMS focus on?
    SMS focuses on maximizing opportunities to continuously improve the overall safety of the aviation system.


  3. What are the key processes of an SMS?

    Hazard Identification – a method for identifying hazards related to your organization;

    Occurrence Reporting – a process for the acquisition of safety data;

    Risk Management – a standard approach for assessing risks and for applying risk controls;

    Performance Measurement – management tools for analyzing whether the organization’s safety goals are being achieved; and

    Quality/Safety Assurance – processes based on quality management principles that support continuous improvement of the organization’s safety performance.

  4. What are the roles and responsibilities within the SMS?
    The senior manager/accountable executive is accountable for establishing the SMS and allocating resources to support and maintain an effective SMS;
    Management is responsible for implementing, maintaining and adhering to SMS processes in their area; and

    Employees are responsible for identifying hazards and reporting them.

  5. How will SMS benefit my organization?
    Provides for more informed decision-making;
    Improves safety by reducing risk of accidents;
    Provides for better resource allocation that will result in increased efficiencies and reduced costs;
    Strengthens corporate culture; and
    Demonstrates corporate due-diligence.


  6. What key qualities are evident in organizations with an effective SMS?
    A top-down commitment from management and a personal commitment from all employees to achieve safety performance goals;
    A clear roadmap of what the SMS is and what it is supposed to accomplish;
    An established practice of open communication throughout the organization that is comprehensive and transparent, and where necessary, non-punitive; and
    An organizational culture that continuously strives to improve.


  7. What SMS is not:
    Self-regulation / de-regulation
    A stand-alone department
    A substitute for oversight; or
    An undue burden


  8. What SMS does:
    Builds on existing processes;
    Integrates with other management systems by tailoring a flexible regulatory framework to your organization; and
    Demonstrates good business practice.


  9. What’s the difference between SMS and a flight safety program?
    A safety management system is primarily proactive/predictive.
    It considers hazards and risks that impact the whole organization, as well as risk controls.
    A flight safety program is primarily reactive and typically focuses on only one part of the system - the airline operation.


  10. What’s the difference betwen SMS and quality management systems (QMS)?
    SMS focuses on the safety aspects of the organization.
    QMS focuses on the services and products of the organization.

    While QMS focuses on conformity, SMS focuses on hazards. Both non-conformities and hazards can impact safety.
    Both systems enhance safety and are essential and complimentary management tools.  You cannot have an effective SMS without applying quality management principles.


Where SMS focuses on safety, QMS focuses on the services and products of an organization.

"QMS is a formal process used to review a company's operations, products and services to identify areas of potential quality improvement.  The quality system is the way organization defines and achieves its quality objectives. Quality systems focus on the quality of what the organization produces, the factors which will cause the organization to achieve its goals, the factors which might prevent it satisfying customers and the factors which might prevent it from being productive, innovative and profitable. Quality systems should therefore cause conforming product and prevent nonconforming product.

The primary goal of a quality management system is to beat the competition. It does this by adding value at each stage of production. It defines long term plans for your company while at the same time providing a framework for it. Quality management systems make every employee the owner of customer satisfaction. Internally, it generates a sense of collaboration and motivation. You might set yearly objectives for sales growth or product innovation, but every objective will be methodically driven on the basis of quality product, care and service. Initiation of a quality management system in your business can identify waste, straighten out processes and hence reduce costs by decreasing inefficiencies. It, therefore, improves customer satisfaction, increases sales and furthers the goodwill of your business.

A quality management system relies on the principle that every operation needed to produce the final output should be of superior value. It, therefore, is a concept used throughout a business that also extends to customers and suppliers. It aims to improve product quality and might alter business processes, structures and personnel responsibilities to achieve this. When you incorporate a quality management system at your organization, all business activities focus on quality. So whether you purchase raw material, process it, store it or distribute it, every step is programmed to meet benchmark quality levels.

To incorporate a quality management system, think of operations as processes that you must improve. Quality is not a one-off result, so, to achieve it, you must focus on continuous improvement in all processes. The steps you take to improve quality must be evidence-based. You also must hold suppliers to high standards when it comes to satisfying requirements. Most importantly, focus on your customers -- their requirements, perceptions, and needs."


Baldwin utilizes SAVVY™  software to create highly customized QMS tools to support any size operation.  These tools include, for example, Customer Service Reports, Internal Audits,  Process Management, Employee Feedback, Efficiency Reports, etc.  The extensive reporting capabilities maintain a high level of transparency to keep leadership and staff informed.  Call us today for more information:  888.222.2112 or 843.342.5434 or click here to schedule a demonstration.



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