The next occurrence of this course will be delivered online, offering the flexibility to study from a location convenient for you. Using our digital teaching platforms, the course will offer a mix of sessions from live lectures, group exercises and self-study. For more information on the Safety and Accident Investigation Centre’s approach to online course delivery click here. If you require more information regarding the online delivery of this programme, please do contact us.

The safety of the aviation industry is of critical importance both in terms of accident / incident prevention and the financial performance of the industry. The development of Safety Management Systems (SMS) and their endorsement by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) facilitates a more coordinated approach of the various elements that create a safe operation.

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With over 30 years' experience delivering aviation safety related training for industry, Cranfield University Safety Accident and Investigation Centre has developed this new course to enhance material contained in the ICAO Safety Management Manual.

It brings together all the relevant academic expertise along with industry experts working in regulation and accident investigation. This course covers the fundamental concepts behind safety management systems and their practical implementation into the air transport environment.

At a glance

Course structure

In support of the theoretical material presented, as with other CSAIC courses, there are a number of supervised practical exercises built into the schedule with the purpose of embedding training objectives.

What you will learn

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the fundamental concepts behind Safety Management Systems (SMS), as defined by ICAO, UK CAA, CASA and Transport Canada
  • Select and implement techniques for the identification, quantification and management of hazards and risks
  • Critically assess strategies for developing and enhancing safety culture including the role of leadership, structure and reporting systems
  • Identify techniques for measuring safety performance.

Core content

Over five days, experienced presenters will cover the essential elements of an effective Safety Management System:

Day 1:    The fundamentals of a Safety Management System, and introduction to associated guidance material provided by ICAO and other State safety regulatory bodies.

Day 2:    Safety data, safety information and analyses; including reporting systems, investigation and FDM.

Day 3:    Hazard identification and risk management, including an introduction to Enterprise Risk Management (ERM).

Day 4:    Safety performance and safety health; including guidance on audits and safety promotion.

Day 5:    Safety organisations, including guidance on effective management of safety teams.

Who should attend

This course is designed for those personnel from industry with a functional responsibility for managing safety within an air transport related organisation.  It is also suitable for other middle management who have responsibilities that can impact safety performance. 


This short course is a module within the MSc in Airworthiness which is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).


Dr Simon Mitchell

Visiting Lecturer, Department of Air Transport, Cranfield University

Following a career as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot and Instructor, Simon was involved in a number of project management roles in industry before continuing to work as a pilot within the offshore oil & gas industry and VVIP helicopter operations. His PhD examined the economics of safety using the helicopter industry as a case study.


David Barry

Senior Lecturer in Aviation Safety

The core team will be supported by a number of guest lecturers from the regional aviation industry.


Group discount: Where three delegates or more are booking from within one site or one organisation, a discount of 10% will apply to the invoice for the course tuition fee. Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme. Please ask about our discount scheme at time of booking.

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.


Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.