Risk Based Decision Making Principles

Risk Based Decision Making Principles

Executive Summary

This document introduces the principles necessary for effective risk based decision making. It also identifies the pertinent data attributes necessary to enable data utilization to make risk based decisions, and presents considerations for data management.

Safety management is becoming the standard for aviation safety worldwide. Risk management is one of the main components of safety management and the key elements for an effective risk management process are the identification of hazards, assessment of the risks associated with the consequences of these hazards, and the mitigation of the risks considered unacceptable. Service providers and regulatory authorities both have roles in aviation risk management. They both need to manage risk, although the nature and scope of the hazards and processes may be different. For example, while a service provider may identify hazards specific to their unique organization, an authority may be identifying hazards from emerging trends across an entire aviation system based on aggregate data from multiple sectors.

Well-functioning safety management processes, whether established under a Safety Management System (SMS) or a State Safety Programme (SSP), require data to support analyses and assessments, as well as strategies to guarantee that these data possess certain attributes, such as data validity, completeness, timeliness, availability, and accuracy. Additionally, since safety management is a data-driven system, it is dependent on an effective data management process. Data management is the continuous development and maintenance of processes and procedures to assure that an organization has the data it needs and that data is organized, reliable and appropriate. Establishing data attribute requirements and a data management plan will enable effective hazard identification and risk mitigation.

Hazard identification should be used during system design and system change processes; and hazards should continue to be identified via continuous monitoring during system operation. During hazard identification, all possible sources of hazards should be considered. The risk associated with the potential outcomes for each particular hazard should be assessed or analyzed, in which each risk is the product of severity and probability. Thereafter, the risks that are considered unacceptable by the organization should be mitigated.

The full document (available for download below) provides an overview of risk based decision making, data attributes, data management, and elements of safety risk management. The final Chapter of this document contains examples of existing data collection, hazard identification, and analysis processes from Safety Management International Collaboration Group (SM ICG) member authorities.

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