Many organisations and consultants explain WHAT you need to do to set up a Safety Management System, few explain HOW to do it effectively.

The “what” you can read in regulations and books, the “how to” comes from experience in implementing SMS.rendered image of an arrow inside a labyrinth
Thousands of Euro’s and man day’s are spent on training courses, but when returning in the office, often very little of this knowledge is then applied.

The “HOW TO” of effective SMS implementation covers a wide array of topics which goes way beyond mere technical know-how.

To obtain a performing SMS a lot of areas need to be addressed, such as;

  • realistic and applicable goals for the organisation,design a strategy to realise those goals reliably measure progress
  • plan adequate required resources and get the timing of “switching on” capabilities right
  • set up an effective system of SMS tools, design efficient work-flows and processes which integrate with existing ones
  • effective communicate with all stake-holders,
  • establish a functional working relationship with the wider management system
  • coaching management in their role and execution of SMS responsibilities
  • changing or influencing organisational safety culture

In order to do this, the safety manager needs to fulfil various roles, they need to:

  • be a strategist, planner and systems architect
  • be a coach and trusted advisor to management (sometimes a referee)
  • be a technical expert, safety analyst and investigator
  • be a great communicator (in written form and in presentations)
  • be an organiser
  • be an administrator
  • be a devil’s advocate (but diplomatically so)
  • be a safety evangelist
  • be an agent of change management, changing or steering organisational culture

Oh and before I forget, also understand complex technological and operational systems, effectively monitor, analyse data, investigate and build effective root causes.

For a technical person taking up such a role, this is a tall order, and it can be very difficult to even see where to start.
On top of that, some of these skills are only needed sporadically, so there is little interest in investing much time in them.

It is clear that a simple 3 day course will not allow a person to develop all these traits at once.
Many SMS courses in fact do not even address the so-called “soft skills” which are essential to get things done in any organisation.


Rather than organising a generic, theoretical course of a few days, the emphasis is on a custom-made approach to your personal situation, organisation and requirements. In order to do this, we apply a diverse set of tools, not just the standard ICAO or CAP publications, but personal know-how about the intricacies and pitfalls of SMS implementation and fine tuning.Toolbox with tools

To obtain a better work flow for yourself and your management team we can deploy a suite of up-to-date analysis, presentation and coaching tools, which you can also apply in your organisation to get a smoother decision making process, more effective communication and finally obtain better safety performance.

Through regular and brief coaching sessions, we can help you throughout your implementation of the SMS project, in a way that fits with your busy schedule and helps to solve your immediate problems, rather than creating information overload by cramming dozens of theoretical concepts in a few days training.

Training sessions can still be part of your program, but rather than trying to achieve everything at once, training sessions and workshops fit in a structured development plan and have specific measurable objectives.

In addition S/R/M coach can assist with temporary technical support which allows you the breathing space to get your SMS project back on track.

Safety / Risk / Management coaching is cost-effective, custom-made to your problems and fits your schedule.

It helps you every step of the way with the implementation and continuous improvement of your SMS;

  • clarifying goals and planning for the SMS through facilitation between management and the safety manager, to re-establish and clarify direction when needed.
  • Coach the management team in the use of SMS as tool to manage the operation more effectively
  • develop better ways to analyse and present safety and risk information
  • evaluating the performance of the SMS and help to identify Safety Performance Indicators which are meaningful to the organisation.
  • design more effective safety communication and training campaign

Let’s get to work!

Contact Details

Jan Peeters Safety/Risk/Management Coach

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