Thursday, October 17, 2013

Emergency Response Planning in SMS? NOT!


Emergency Response in SMS?  NOT!

This post is based on a proposal submitted to ICAO by Airports Council International.

Emergency Response Planing, ERP,  has been a pillar as one of the Components of the Safety Management System, SMS, under ICAO. Many have questioned this position for ERP since the other “pillars” are functions of the Management System. It can be argued with good reason that the coordination of interfacing emergency response plans process is not an item that belongs in the SMS framework, as the SMS is a management system but the ERP coordination process is a process with the same nature as most other processes in an organization’s operation. Such a process is therefore not different from, 

You must have procedures that govern emergencie

for example a preventive maintenance program, the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) processes, or runway safety processes and many other processes that can be argued to be more safety critical than the ERP and its coordination to interfacing ERPs. These processes are all under the SMS and the compliance monitoring function Quality Assurance, QA, in the way that they are subject to audits/inspections from those management systems. 


The Safety Management System with an Intergrated Emergency Preparadness

The SMS audit function under the safety assurance component of the SMS takes to the safety processes and the regulatory compliance monitoring function takes to the compliance. There is no apparent reason why the ERP coordination process is handled differently and put into the safety management system’s framework. Removing element 1.4 from the SMS framework does therefore not mean that the SMS/QA will treat it any differently, and certainly not differently than other similar processes, it will simply be monitored by the safety assurance audit function of the SMS.

Emergency Preparedness must be
 integrated into the companies "system" 

ERP procedures MUST be a part of the companies SMS/QA system. Yes many feel that because ERP has the word "Emergency" in it, that automatically elevates it to a Pillar or Component level in the SMS. It is impossible to determine if ICAO will change their SMS model but, this exercises in examination of this important aspect of the SMS teaches more about what is a Component, Policy, and Procedure. It is important to clearly define terms in any system. Dr. Deming says; "You must agree on operational definitions in order to have a system." 

Your thoughts.......


Note: A proposal regarding element 1.4 of the SMS framework in Annex 19: The coordination of the service provider’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP) to the interfacing procedures of the ERPs of those organizations it must interface with during the provision of its products and services. 

Action by the SMP is in paragraph 4. REFERENCES

Annex 19, 1st Edition
ICAO Safety Management Manual (Doc 9859)
Job Card SMP 009





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