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Safety management systems

A safety management system (SMS) is a systematic approach to managing safety and is tailored to individual organisations.

Understand safety management and safety management systems

Find out more about safety management (SM) and safety management systems (SMS) including what it means, educating your staff and how you can put your safety plan into place.

Legislation and guidance

There is legislation and guidance including civil aviation orders (CAOs) and civil aviation advisory publications (CAAPs) that may help you comply with safety management regulations. There is also new guidance on amendments to an SMS or HF/NTS program for air transport operators.

Putting your safety management system in place

The second edition of our SMS for aviation: a practical guide resource kit is available from our online store.

The kit now includes:

  • Nine booklets, covering the basic components of SMS, with a special focus on small non-complex organisations
  • Useful templates and how-tos for implementing an SMS: gap analysis checklist; hazard and risk register etc.
  • Two video dramas: SOS and SMS, focusing on a fictitious small charter and flying training organisation-Bush Aviation and Training.
  • Video interviews with industry SMS experts and practitioners.

Links and resources

For more general information on safety management systems, we have a list of external links and resources. The material is for guidance only and doesn’t replace the regulations.

If you are legally required to put a safety management system in place, you will need to read the regulations.

Last modified: 16 February 2021