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SMS I -- Theory, Principles and Application Course -- Virtual

The class will run 4 hours/day for the two-week period, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. EST (GMT-4)

Senior executives, safety professionals and front-line personnel will acquire a thorough foundation in all areas of SMS theory, principles and application concepts. This course will present the "Four Pillars of SMS" (Safety Policy, Safety Risk Management, Safety Assurance and Safety Promotion) and will also include Human and Organizational Factors, Organizational Responsibilities, SMS Training and Implementation. This and all of the MITRE SMS courses meet the expectations of the ICAO Safety Management Manual 9859.

SMS I Curriculum:

Module 1: Welcome and Introductions

  1. Instructor and student introductions
  2. Why SMS?
  3. SMS References

Module 2: Introduction to SMS

  1. The evolution of Safety Oversight
  2. The Organizational Accident
  3. The high level theories and concepts of SMS

Module 3: The SMS Table

  1. The four components of SMS
  2. Data sources for Safety Risk Management (SRM)
  3. The relationship between SRM and Safety Assurance (SA)
  4. External Audits of SMS

Module 4: The SMS Business Case

  1. Balancing production and protection
  2. Mitigating risk to As Low As Reasonably Practical (ALARP)
  3. Case Studies of SMS savings at other organizations

Module 5: Human Error and SMS

  1. What is an Error?
  2. Causality of errors
  3. Real-life examples of systemic errors
  4. The MITRE Error Control Model

Module 6: Positive Safety Culture

  1. How do organizations exhibit a Positive Safety Culture
  2. Indicators for a Positive Safety Culture
  3. Five aspects of a Positive Safety Culture
  4. At-risk behavior

Module 7: SMS Requirements

  1. ICAO requirements for a State Safety Program (SSP) and a service provider's SMS
  2. The CAA/Service provider interface
  3. Acceptable Level of Safety (ALoS)
  4. Indicators (measures), Targets (goals), and Requirements (initiatives)
  5. Introduction to SMS guidance material

Module 8: SMS Policy

  1. Constructing the SMS Policy
  2. Turning policy into procedures with controls
  3. Quality Management Systems
  4. Emergency Preparedness
  5. SMS Record Keeping

Module 9: Organizational Structure and Responsibilities

  1. How to establish an SMS organization within your existing organization
  2. Understanding the interactions required of an SMS organizational
  3. Responsibilities of key safety personnel

Module 10: Safety Risk Management (SRM)

  1. The Risk Management process
  2. When to use SRM?
  3. Describe the system or task
  4. Identify hazards and their consequences (outcomes)
  5. Analyze and assess risk
  6. Risk mitigation strategies
  7. Apply SRM documentation

Module 11: Safety Assurance

  1. Methods to monitor and measure the effectiveness of risk controls
  2. Differences between internal self-audits and internal evaluation
  3. Multiple sources of operational data

Module 12: Safety Promotion

  1. Supporting the Positive Safety Culture
  2. State (CAA) Safety Promotion
  3. Corporate Programs for SMS Safety Promotion

Module 13: SMS Training

  1. The need for SMS training
  2. The requirements for SMS training: Who should be trained and what subject matter?

Module 14: Next Steps

  1. CAA Implementation of SSP
  2. Planning Your SMS
  3. Phased Implementation considerations


MITRE Aviation Training, McLean, VA
The MITRE Corporation
7515 Colshire Drive
McLean, VA 22102



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Since 2005 a total of 3,629 students from 51 countries have participated in SMS offerings conducted by MITRE.

Comments from past students

"One of the best classes that can be easily grasped and truly implemented into a company of any size!"
-Mr. Daniel Leskusky, Manager Cargo Safety, Delta Air Lines

"Excellent delivery of a complex topic in an entertaining and informative manner."
-Mr. Pat Fitzpatrick, Alaska Airlines MEC Safety Committee Chairman, ALPA

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Comments from past students    

"I loved this course. The course was so comprehensive and the instructor delivered it in a manner easy to understand and apply."
-Ms. Mlinda Sagum,
Cabin Safety Specialist, Hawaiian Airlines

"The instructors had a lot of knowledge about the subject and presented the material in a pleasant way."
- Ms. Barbara Vlaanderen,
Chief Security and Safety, Windward Islands Airways N.V.

"The class was very informative and the instructors were quite knowledgeable. The exercises were effective, relevant and useful. Use of the Organizational Failure Model was a very interesting way to explain the TAM 3054 accident's contributing factors and alignments."
- Ms. Midori Tanino,
International NextGen Lead, Federal Aviation Administration, United States

"The course was excellent for all users of SMS. From the experienced airline operator who already has an SMS program to the new user that is getting ready to develop an SMS, this course covers all the topics. The depth of knowledge of the instructors is excellent and they are all well versed in the innerworkings of SMS. All of the instructors took a real interest in the students and their SMS knowledge."
- Mr. Warren Abrams,
Air Safety Inspector, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

"One of the best classes that can be easily grasped and truly implemented into a company of any size!"
- Mr. Daniel Leskusky,
Manager Cargo Safety, Delta Air Lines

"Very dynamic, very well organized, best facilities, excellent support, knowledgeable instructors."
- Mr. Robert Vandel,
Vice President, Flight Safety Foundation

"The course includes everything needed to create and implement SMS and it has been prepared very systematically and easy to understand. It is very interactive and we all enjoyed it."
- Mr. Mehmet Korkmaz,
Line Maintenance, Turkish Airlines

"The course has organized and deep information that helped me to understand the tasks that I should do."
- Mr. Mohamed A. Al Owaify,
Surveillance System Safety Specialist, GACA Air Navigation Services, Saudi Arabia

"This is a course whose information is readily applicable once I get home. One of the best courses I have attended"
- Mr. Jorge Leite,
Director of Quality, TAP Maintenance and Engineering, Portugal

"It answered all of my questions. I also have a great basis upon which to build awareness and training for my dept./division."
- Mr. David Allen,
Manager of Airport Operations Systems, Continental Airlines

"It was all very nice, especially the way it fills the gaps existing in the ICAO SMS course."
- Ms. Doris Costa,
Chief Security, Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil

"The best course I have ever attended. Totally applicable and useful information to be a safe, just and forward looking manager."
- Mr. Atac Tunc,
System Engineer, Sky Airlines, Turkey

"Very powerful and very practical knowledge, all you need to kick start or enhance SMS operations in your company."
- Mr. Janis Lapins,
Head of Safety, Security, Quality, Environment and Audit Management, State Joint-Stock Company "Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme"

"Very clear explanations. Content was very complete and exercises give me a real view of how to deal with the system."
- Capt. Sebastian Rodriguez Barrueco,
Flight Safety Officer, Spanair

"Excellent delivery of a complex topic in an entertaining and informative manner."
- Mr. Pat Fitzpatrick,
Alaska Airlines MEC Safety Committee Chairman, ALPA

"The final exercise left a profound impression on me."
- Mr. John Ramsell,
Quality Manager, Marshall Aerospace Ltd., United Kingdom

"I am impressed by the level of professional competence of the instructors, their hands-on experience and knowledge, and the up-to-date information made available."
- Mr. Ganapathy Apparanda Mudapa,
Director, Commercial and Business Aviation Services PVT LTD (CBAS), Bangalore, India

"Content was incredible. Exercises were enjoyable and enlightening"
- Mr. Bill Hafner,
Director Quality, ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering

"This course is practical, relevant, and provides real-world applications that the aviation/safety professional can readily implement. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you."
- Ms. Yolanda Carr,
Senior ASO, Aviation and Product Safety
Sikorsky Aircraft - A Lockheed Martin Company

"Excellent course with very informed and professional instructors! The exercises were relevant and applicable to the chapter."
- Mr. Chip Henderson,
Helicopter Business Manager, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

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