What is the difference between Aviation Quality & Safety? - اسأل الطيار ask pilot

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

What is the difference between Aviation Quality & Safety?

Considering the relationship between Aviation Quality and Aviation Safety, together with the relationship between Quality Assurance Auditing and Safety Assurance Auditing in Aviation. Often it is apparent there is some confusion between the specific functions of the two different undertakings namely a quality assurance management system and that of a safety assurance management system.

So consider that Quality is essentially looking at compliance, and Safety is looking at Risk. In essence Quality Assurance is determining gaps based on non compliance with either the regulatory requirements or organizational requirements.

Safety Assurance is looking at weakness in the organizational system which raises the exposure to risk. Safety Assurance is a forward looking process and Quality Assurance is a reward looking process.

There are for example aviation companies that may have an excellent safety record, but in fact due to behaviors which can be considered potentially unsafe are operating with either risky behavior, inadequate management structures, or indeed both!. From a practical point of view, the simple truth is that they have not yet had an accident.

When considering the difference between Aviation Quality & Safety we should also recognized that both Quality and Safety Management systems have shared common values. The Quality Management System (QMS) remains however the primary means of ensuring that the organization is meeting requirements and continuously improving its processes.

To be effective they both (QMS & SMS) have to be planned and managed, and provided with appropriate resources. Both Quality and Safety depend on the analysis and monitoring, of organizational process and procedures.

Finally both aim to involve every relevant functional element within the organization and indeed, both processes strive for continuous improvement.

Basically, this article can conclude that there is no conflict between the two systems both SMS and QA or QMS are totally compatible with each other. Another way of considering the difference is to say that SMS is what we may do at some future point (speculative) whereas QA is how we do it.

Finally to consider another dimension in for example a post incident or accident analysis, Quality systems tend not to consider the role of risk whereas of course this is a fundamental tenant of the SMS system.

Safety Management Systems focus extensively on the analysis of the data derived from the contributing elements of the various impacted areas.

The Safety Management System identifies as an essential goal, the improvement of the Safety Performance. In so doing the SMS aims to deliver an improvement in the risk exposure.

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