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The Aviation Consulting Group


[Safety Management Systems]  [Human Factors]  [Crew Resource Management]

[Line Operations Safety Audit]  [Train-The-Trainer]  [Fatigue Countermeasures]





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Safety Management Systems


Global Experience, Including Developing Countries!



SMS Expanded Implementation Course Starts March 16th in Myrtle Beach, SC, USA...

Click here to learn more


Related reading

Quick Jump

TACG SMS Capabilities

For CAA's

"Four Pillars of Safety" Explained

SMS Implementation Packages

SMS Jumpstart Package

SMS Implementation Package

SMS Services

Gap Analysis

SMS Audits

SMS Implementation Plan

Hazard Identification and Risk Analysis

Safety Culture Assessments

SMS Courses

SMS Expanded Implementation

SMS Overview

SMS "Need-To-Know" for High-Level Management

Safety Culture Workshop

Related reading


TACG can help you implement your SMS...



SMS Pro can help you measure it!


     TACG provides training and consulting in Safety Management Systems (SMS) on a global basis. In the U.S., SMS is not currently mandatory for most operators, but this will soon change. We suggest being proactive and "staying ahead of the curve" by beginning your SMS implementation now, as SMS will be required by mandate in the very near future. For operators outside of the U.S., SMS may or may not be mandatory at this time, depending on your geographic location. Regardless, if your country is signatory to ICAO, your CAA will soon require you to have an SMS if you do not already have one. TACG works with operators on a worldwide basis to assist with their SMS implementation process.


     TACG has the experience and know-how to assist with your SMS implementation, whether your aviation organization is an airline, MRO, airport, or any other type of operator. We can assist your organization with a wide menu of options; these options include "a la carte" services all the way up to full SMS implementation for one flat fee! Additionally, we have partnered with SMS Pro, the leading SMS software provider, to offer you the most robust software solution available, to measure and monitor your SMS. We would be happy to set up an SMS Pro software demo for you to see for yourself why SMS Pro is the best software solution on the market! 


Check out our new Aviation Safety Management Blog!

Aviation Safety Management

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     TACG president and chief consultant Dr. Bob Baron began teaching and consulting in SMS in 2006, long before SMS became a buzzword in the United States. Today, it seems like everybody is (or wants to be) an SMS expert. Sadly, this has led to poor guidance, and ultimately, much frustration for organizations attempting to implement a functional SMS. SMS is not something that should be attempted by someone without the proper qualifications and experience. An analogy would be: Yes, you could have a nurse remove your gall bladder but you'd probably have much better results if you had a trained surgeon remove it! The same applies to SMS. Dr. Baron did not jump on the SMS bandwagon; instead, he has developed a foundation of academic and practical experience that has been time tested. He has a Ph.D in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (the things safety culture and SMS are built on), has conducted dissertation research on safety climate at an aircraft maintenance facility, and works globally (in the trenches) as an aviation safety consultant, implementing SMS and acting as a cultural change agent in some of the most challenging parts of the world.


Safety Management System Defined


A safety management system (SMS) is a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures (ICAO).


The Important Difference Between SMS and QMS

Attention Civil Aviation Authorities and Regulators!


     The Aviation Consulting Group, in conjunction with Northwest Data Solutions, presents our unique Hub and Spoke SSP (HSSSP) solution for CAA's and Regulators. HSSSP is a software solution that allows CAA's to monitor air operators' individual Safety Management Systems through a customizable "hub and spoke" portal system. 


"Hub and Spoke" Portal System


     To set up a free demonstration (via the Internet) of our Hub and Spoke portal system, please contact us. We can show, and discuss with you, the benefits of a centralized SSP SMS monitoring system. 

SMS Jumpstart Package



     Check out our popular SMS Jumpstart Package! This package provides you with the tools necessary to get your company's SMS off the ground. Upon completion of the "jumpstart," the company will be better able to understand the processes involved to successfully implement an SMS. Most companies will be self-sufficient upon completion of the jumpstart, however if additional assistance is required TACG is always available to provide additional help!


What do you get with our SMS Jumpstart Package?

(Note: this package can be revised/modified based on company size and/or client needs)


Nine (9) full days of SMS training and consulting. Including:



High-level training on SMS and safety culture specifically for top-management


Basic Gap Analysis


Walk-around assessment (including interviews, documentation, procedures, and real-time observations)


SMS Expanded Implementation 5-day course for the safety team

Comprehensive report upon conclusion of training/consulting engagement

To receive a quote or request additional information please click here


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SMS Implementation Package



     If you prefer to have more in-depth assistance with the implementation of your SMS, TACG is here for you! With our SMS Implementation Package you can rest assured that your organization will have an in-depth understanding of SMS rather than a "fill in the box" approach. To attain this goal, we include upper-management from the very beginning of the implementation process. Our shared goal is to build a strong safety culture; something that needs to start at the very highest levels of your organization and filter all the way down to the line employees.


What do you get with our SMS Implementation Package?

(Note: this package can be revised/modified based on company size and/or client needs)


Three (3) onsite visits within a 12 month period-


1st onsite visit agenda: Nine (9) full days of SMS training and consulting. Including:

* High-level training on SMS and safety culture specifically for top-management

* Pre Gap Analysis

* Pre safety culture assessment

* SMS implementation plan development 

* SMS Expanded Implementation 5-day course for the safety team


2nd onsite visit agenda: Three (3) full days of SMS consulting. Including:  

* SMS implementation assessment

* Walk-around assessment of operations

* Hands-on, face-to-face assistance with issues or questions


3rd onsite visit agenda: Five (5) full days of SMS consulting. Including:  

* Post Gap Analysis

* Post safety culture assessment

* SMS implementation plan final assessment and review

* Hands-on, face-to-face assistance with issues or questions


Continuous access to your own personal safety advisor from start to finish. We're with you all the way! 

* Through email and/or Skype®

* Response within hours, not days or weeks. We promise!


      Comprehensive report upon conclusion of training/consulting engagement


To receive a quote or request additional information please click here


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"A La Carte" Services


Gap Analysis

     One of the most important aspects of your SMS implementation is the Gap Analysis. The Gap Analysis is an audit-type checklist that allows the organization to determine which SMS elements are implemented and which elements are not (or not fully) implemented. We can provide objective, unbiased Gap Analyses at your location.


SMS Audits

     External SMS audits allow the organization to have an objective, unbiased assessment of the current state of their SMS. We can come to your location and conduct a thorough SMS audit to give you additional piece of mind regarding the status of your SMS!


SMS Implementation Plan

     Your implementation plan is your SMS "game plan." Along with the Gap Analysis these two components will form the foundation of your SMS for now, and for the future. Thus, it is important to have a robust (and realistic) SMS implementation plan! We can help you to avoid frustration by mapping out your SMS in a very detailed, realistic, and efficient manner! 


Hazard Identification and Risk Analysis (HIRA)

     We can provide an objective set of eyes to assist you with hazard identification and risk analysis. Our experience has repeatedly shown that it can be difficult for employees within an organization to see some of the latent and abstract hazards due to the fact that they are so "close to the action!" We can help you "dig deeper" to identify hazards and analyze their  associated risks!


To request additional information please click here

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SMS Expanded Implementation

5 days


The most comprehensive Safety Management course you can get for your money!



COURSE NAME: Safety Management Systems Expanded Implementation


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This is a total immersion course that will allow the attendee to fully understand Safety Management principles as well as how to implement a functional Safety Management System at his/her own organization. Our SMS Expanded Implementation course is developed in accordance with ICAO's Document 9859 (Safety Management Manual rev. 3) and easily meets and exceeds the recommended training requirements set forth by ICAO as well as CAA's and Regulators worldwide.


     This comprehensive course begins with an in-depth presentation on the fundamentals of safety and safety management then progresses into the heart of Safety Management System development, implementation, and ongoing operation. Additionally, attendees will receive extensive training on how to conduct a GAP analysis and develop their own customized SMS manual (template included in course). Attendees will also receive an SMS software demonstration with the option to purchase software through our world-class SMS software partner SMS Pro.


WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This total submersion course is geared towards those people responsible for the implementation of their organization's SMS


COURSE DURATION: 40.0 hrs. (5 days)


TIME: 8:00am-5:00pm daily (includes a one hour break for lunch)


WHAT TO BRING: Laptop computer with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Adobe Acrobat programs


WHAT TO WEAR: Business casual




 CD with all slides and videos shown in course

 SMS Manual Template (to help create your own manual. Most of the work has been done for you)


 SMS electronic library provided on CD

 Certificate of Training



 The Foundation of Safety (with an emphasis on safety culture)

 Introduction to Safety Management


 Safety Risks

 ICAO Safety Management SARPS

 Introduction to Safety Management Systems

 SMS Planning

 SMS Operation

 Phased Approach to SMS Implementation

 Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS)

 Human Factors in Safety Systems

 GAP Analysis Worksheet Review and Guidance for Your Company

 Making the SMS Manual Yours (template included in course)

 SMS Software Demonstration/Methods for Data Analysis

 Numerous Case Studies and Exercises/Activities



Courses are conducted at customer locations (onsite) as well as on a (scheduled) and (on-request) basis at our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA location.

Click here to view our scheduled courses


Click here for a quote for an on-request course at your location or ours


SMS Overview

1 day


COURSE NAME: Safety Management Systems Overview


WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This course is an excellent starting point for those people that are not that familiar with SMS or are currently in the "investigative stage" for SMS implementation within their own company. This course is also ideal for any person interested in gaining knowledge of SMS concepts, principles, and philosophies.


COURSE DURATION: 8.0 hrs. (1 day)


TIME: 8:00am-5:00pm (includes a one hour break for lunch)




WHAT TO WEAR: Business casual



 Slide Handouts



 SMS Fundamentals

 Introduction to SMS


 Safety Risk Management

 Safety Assurance

 Safety Promotion

 SMS Implementation Plan

 GAP Analysis

 SMS Manual

 Safety Culture

 Reporting Systems



Courses are conducted at customer locations (onsite) as well as on a (scheduled) and (on-request) basis at our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA location.

Click here to view our scheduled courses


Click here for a quote for an on-request course at your location or ours


SMS "Need-To-Know" for High-Level Management 

1/2 day


COURSE NAME: Safety Management Systems "Need-To-Know" for High-Level Management 


WHO SHOULD ATTEND? CEO, President, Accountable Executive, COO, CFO, and other high-level management


COURSE DURATION: 4.0 hrs. (1/2 day)


TIME: Flexible (morning or afternoon session)




WHAT TO WEAR: Business casual



 Slide Handouts



 Organizational Culture

 Safety Culture

 Introduction to SMS

 "Profit" from Your SMS

 SMS Four Pillars of Safety (with an emphasis on Policy)

 High-Level SMS Responsibilities

 "Talk The Talk and Walk the Walk"



Courses are conducted at customer locations (onsite) as well as on a (scheduled) and (on-request) basis at our Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA location.

Click here to view our scheduled courses


Click here for a quote for an on-request course at your location or ours


Safety Culture Workshop






     TACG's Safety Culture workshop is a 1-day (8 hr.) workshop that employees from all levels of an organization will find practical and useful. Whether it's top management or line employees, this workshop will allow attendees to understand safety culture and its effects on aviation organizations. 





Topics Include:

   - What is Organizational Culture?

   - What is Safety Culture

   - The Relationship Between Safety Culture and Safety Climate

   - Picks for the Best and Worst CEO's From a Safety Culture Perspective

   - The Organizational vs. the "One Off" Accident

   - Changing YOUR Safety Culture

   - How is YOUR Safety Culture?

   - A Just Culture is the Right Culture 

   - Measuring Safety Culture

   - Various Case Studies


The Safety Culture Workshop-

   - Is offered to operators on a worldwide basis (customer locations only) 

   - Includes slides    

   - Can be offered as a co-sponsored event (share costs between companies)

   - Can be conducted with a small or large group of attendees

   - Is very affordably priced based on a per-person basis



Workshop is conducted on-request at customer locations only

Click here for a quote for an on-request workshop


Safety Culture Assessments


Did you know you can quantify (and qualify) safety culture?


Did you know the NTSB uses a safety culture checklist when it investigates accidents?


Did you know that pathogenic safety cultures contributed significantly to the crashes of

Continental Express Flight 2574 and Chalks Ocean Airways Flight 101?


Have you checked your safety culture lately?


     The Aviation Consulting Group provides safety culture assessments for clients wishing to understand the current status of their safety culture. With the use of our proprietary Safety Culture Assessment Tool (SCAT), we can unobtrusively drill-down into your organizational culture to discover areas that could use improvement as well as your safety strong points!



     The SCAT is a short online survey that only requires 10-15 minutes to complete. Once the data are collected and analyzed by us, we provide a comprehensive report of our findings including recommendations and suggestions. It is important to keep in mind that a healthy safety culture is a pre-requisite for implementing and maintaining a truly effective Safety Management System.


     The SCAT is now available for flight operations as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities (MRO's). All data collected are anonymous and maintained securely at our office. We recommend conducting an initial SCAT and then conducting follow-up assessments on a six month or one-year basis. This ongoing process allows the organization to see what, if any, safety culture changes are occurring and in which direction.

     The fee for SCAT administration is based on company size, making the SCAT affordable for any size operation! To receive a quote for the SCAT click here.

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Every aviation safety professional must become intimately familiar with the four pillars of aviation safety management

By Bob Baron, Ph.D

Safety Policy - First SMS Pillar

aviation SMS four safety pillars for airlines airports

Safety policy is concerned with the structure and outline of how safe operations will be conducted. Among other things, it involves planning, organizing, compliance with regulations and law, documentation, and emergency preparedness and response. It is at this level that upper-level management must buy-in and continuously support the SMS. Without management buy-in and support, the SMS is bound to fail. Employees are highly influenced by management behavior examples and therefore if employees see management intentionally breaking rules or ignoring policy it is likely the employees will emulate this behavior.

Safety Risk Management - Second SMS Pillar

Possibly the most important component of the SMS, safety risk management is the process by which risks are identified, mitigated, or eliminated before they become a visible (surfaced) accident or incident. This is a proactive (as well as predictive) approach to error prevention and mitigation, which is a paradigm shift from the strictly reactive approach that has been used in the past.

Risk Management SMS Pillar for ICAO compliant safety programs

Risk can be thought of as the consequence of a hazard and is measured in terms of severity and probability. You will develop a Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA) that will be used to identify the hazards that exist in your operation. Hazard identification can be accomplished by a variety of methods that include observations, audits, safety surveys, investigations, and research. Other sources can include factual briefings from frontline personnel, subject matter experts, brainstorming, and analysis tools such as event trees, fault trees, FMECA’s, and so on. Once the hazards are identified you will then need to analyze the data to determine what type of controls may need to be put in place. Risks that have a high severity and high likelihood rating would be the ones you want to address as a priority. On the other hand, risks that have a low severity rating and a low likelihood of occurrence may be classified as acceptable risks that you can just live with.

Safety Assurance and Internal Evaluation - Third SMS Pillar

The well-known Heinrich Ratio states that, for every fatal accident, there will be three to five nonfatal accidents and 10 to15 incidents; but there will also be hundreds of unreported occurrences. Unreported occurrences are extremely problematic since no defenses can be employed if nobody knows they these occurrences exist.

Safety Assurance SMS Pillar for ICAO compliant safety programs

There are quite a few subcomponents in this category, one of the most important being error reporting; however, an error reporting system may be one of the most challenging SMS components to implement. Employees may feel that while there are clear advantages to error reporting, at the same time they may also feel that embarrassment and potential personal punitive implications far outweigh the organizational advantages. Yet, a good and effective safety culture must include an error reporting system. In order to attain this goal you will need to ensure that your organization has a Just Culture. A Just Culture is a culture that acknowledges that well-intentioned people still make mistakes and they should not be punished for slips, lapses, mistakes, and other unintentional errors. However, a line is still drawn where willful violations and purposeful unsafe acts will still be dealt with in some sort of punitive fashion. The bottom line of a Just Culture is trust. Employees must know that they can report errors without sanction.

safety promotion as fourth SMS pillar for aviation safety management systemsSafety Promotion - Fourth SMS Pillar

Subcomponents of this category include the development and continuous nurturing of a healthy safety culture, communication, training, and feedback of lessons learned. The most important point about safety promotion is that there needs to be an ongoing, palpable presence to the SMS. This requires, among other things, open communication between management and employees, feedback offered on a regular basis, and appropriate employee training on the SMS.


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