Safety Performance Indicators

Safety performance indicators are used to assess operational safety performance through monitoring. A safety performance indicator is defined in ICAO Doc 9859 as a measure (or metric) used to express the level of safety performance achieved in a system. They are generally expressed in terms of the frequency of occurrences of some event causing harm, e.g., the number of fatal aircraft accidents per year or serious incidents per 10,000 flight hours.

ICAO Doc 9859 further states that there is no single safety performance indicator that is appropriate in all circumstances. The indicator must be chosen so that it matches the application in which it will be used for a meaningful evaluation. The safety performance indicator(s) chosen to express global, regional and national targets will in general not be appropriate to individual

The complexities involved with defining and using appropriate indicators are often underestimated. To be able to really support performance management more specific indicators at a lower level are needed as well.

When working with indicators, the following questions need to be addressed:
1. What is required from regulations?
2. What are your ambitions regarding performance monitoring?
3. What are the appropriate indicators?
4. How to demonstrate the relationship between an indicator and overall safety performance?
5. What are the sources of data to support the selected indicators and how to collect the data?
6. How to continuously monitor and interpret the indicator performance?

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