ECAST Issues Best Practice Material on SMS

In order to support organisations in its implementation of Safety Management Systems (SMS), the European Commercial Aviation Safety Team (ECAST) issued best practice material for industry and civil aviation authorities.

This material is the result of the work of the ECAST Working Group on Safety Management Systems and Safety Culture. Its aim is to help stakeholders to meet ICAO standards and future rules of the European Aviation Safety Agency for Authority and Organisation Requirements, Part Organisation*.

The ECAST work focused on four main areas, where guidance was considered as most useful:

  • Review of reference material and safety culture, providing an overview of current SMS initiatives and guidance on the concept of safety culture, considered as an enabler of SMS;
  • Organisational structures, offering guiding principles and examples of organisational structures suitable for SMS implementation;
  • Hazards Identification, providing concise and useful material and references on definitions (hazard, risk, etc.), and on hazards identification processes, methods, and techniques;
  • Risk Assessment, presenting a suitable risk assessment method (Airline Risk Management Solutions - ARMS) for air operators and other organisations such as maintenance and Air Navigation Service Providers.

These documents can be freely downloaded from They have also been published on

* A proposal for future EASA rules for Organisation Requirements is currently the subject of public consultation as part of the EASA Notice of Proposed Amendment NPA 2008-22c.