ICAO Safety Management Manual Doc 9859

ICAO Safety Management Manual Doc 9859


Development of the ICAO Safety Management Manual, Fourth Edition - 2018 (Doc 9859-AN/474), was initiated after the adoption of Agreement 1 to ICAO Annex 19, Safety Management, to address changes introduced by the amendment and to reflect the knowledge and experience gained since the publication of the third edition in May 2013. The fourth edition supersedes the third edition in its entirety.

To address the needs of the diverse aviation community implementing safety management and a recommendation stemming from the second High-level Safety Conference held in 2015, the Safety Management Implementation (SMI) website (www.icao.int/SMI) has been developed to complement the SMM and serves as a repository for the sharing of best practices. Practical examples, tools, and supporting educational material will be collected, reviewed and posted on the website on an ongoing basis.

The fourth edition of Doc 9859 is intended to support States in implementing effective State safety programmes (SSP). This includes ensuring that service providers implement safety management systems (SMS) in accordance with the provisions of Annex 19. In order to be consistent with Safety management principles, a concerted effort was made to focus on the intended outcome of each Standard and Recommended Practice (SARP), purposely avoiding being overly prescriptive. Emphasis has been placed on the importance of each organization tailoring the implementation of safety management to fit their specific environment.


The fourth edition is divided into nine chapters that are intended to progressively build the reader’s understanding of the fundamental principles underpinning safety management. Chapters are grouped into three themes:

  • Safety management fundamentals – Chapters 1 to 3 build the reader’s understanding of the fundamental principles
  • Developing safety intelligence – Chapters 4 to 7 build on the fundamentals and comprise interrelated topics about leveraging safety data and safety information to develop actionable insights to make data-driven decisions.
  • Safety management implementation – Chapters 8 and 9 explain how to apply the concepts from the preceding chapters to institutionalize safety management at the State and service provider level.

Guidance to support sector-specific safety management SARPs found outside of Annex 19 is not address in this manual.

Highlighted Definitions

In this edition of the SMM, two important terms as are understood as follows:

  • Organisation is used to refer to both States and service providers.
  • Service provider is used to refer to an aviation industry organization implementing SMS on either a mandatory or voluntary basis. This is different from Annex 19, which uses the term to refer to a very specific list of organisations found in Chapter 3, which excludes international general aviation operators.


Further Reading


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