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This course is intended to provide the student with an understanding of the principles that apply to an aviation safety system and an understanding the complex interaction between individuals and organisations to which those principles apply.

Modern jet transport systems now enable people to travel vast distances at high-speed, within a highly hazardous environment, yet paradoxically with minimal risk. A significant reason for this is the development of Safety Management Systems (SMS). Successful completion of this module is expected to equip the student with the theoretical knowledge of the requirements of a SMS as described by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Civil Aviation Authority (Australia) (CASA).

Another aspect of a modern SMS is the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents. In the past, engineering solutions led to significant improvements. However, over time, such investigations revealed that accidents and incidents were often not the product of a single cause, but were more likely to have resulted from a combination of factors. Many of those factors were linked to the ways in which the behaviour of individuals was adversely influenced by task related and systemic conditions, which has led to a breakdown in safety. With the growing complexity of aviation passenger transport operations it has therefore become increasingly necessary to look beyond the actions of individuals in order to understand those system based, error-producing conditions that adversely influence their actions.

Safety management systems are now increasingly used by organisations to ensure that all aspects of their operations that could affect safety have been adequately addressed. Typically, such systems provide for:

  • The establishment of organisational safety objectives and policy;
  • A commitment by senior management to safety;
  • The promotion of a positive safety culture;
  • The identification of safety hazards and the management of risk;
  • The means of measuring and maintaining organisational safety health:
  • Procedures for the rectification of safety deficiencies; and
  • Emergency response procedures.
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1



Delivery Mode

Fully online

Indicative contact hours


Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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