ICAO 5 x 5 Risk Assessment Advantages & Disadvantages

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Sofema Online (SOL) www.sofemaonline.com considers the use of the ICAO 5 x 5 Matrix as a Risk Assessment Tool.


ICAO 5 x 5 Risk Assessment is a widely used risk assessment methodology in the aviation industry. It involves the assessment of the likelihood and severity of a potential risk and assigning a score to each based on a five-point scale. The scores are then multiplied to give an overall risk score.

Ensuring the following aspects should improve the process:

>> Risk assessment should involve all relevant stakeholders, including pilots, air traffic controllers, maintenance personnel, and other relevant parties.

o By involving all stakeholders, you can get a more comprehensive picture of the risks involved.

>> Use a systematic approach - This means identifying hazards, assessing the likelihood of occurrence, and assessing the severity of the consequences.

o Prioritize risks and allocate resources accordingly.

>> Make use of data: Using historical data to identify trends and patterns can help you to identify potential risks.

o Use data to develop scenarios and test the effectiveness of mitigation strategies.

>> Develop clear risk management plans.

o Outline the steps that need to be taken to mitigate or manage those risks.
o These plans should be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary.

>> Communicate effectively.

o Communication is key when it comes to risk assessment and management.
o Ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the risks involved and the steps that are being taken to manage those risks.

>> Train personnel.

o Ensure that all personnel involved in the risk assessment process are trained and competent in the use of the ICAO 5 x 5 Risk Assessment methodology.

>> Regularly review and update the risk assessment.

o Risk assessment is an ongoing process, and risks can change over time.
o Regularly review and update the risk assessment to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.

Considering the Advantages & Disadvantages of the use of ICAO 5x5 Risk Assessment


>> Simplicity: ICAO 5 x 5 Risk Assessment is a straightforward and easy-to-use methodology. It is widely accepted in the aviation industry and can be used by both experienced and novice assessors.
>> Standardization: ICAO 5 x 5 Risk Assessment provides a standardized approach to risk assessment, making it easier for organizations to compare risks across different projects or activities.
>> Flexibility: The methodology can be adapted to different types of risks and can be used in various stages of a project, from planning to implementation.
>> Consistency: The methodology promotes consistency in risk assessment and ensures that risks are assessed using the same criteria and methodology.
>> Efficient: ICAO 5 x 5 Risk Assessment allows for a quick and efficient assessment of risks, enabling organizations to identify and address potential risks in a timely manner.


>> Subjectivity: The methodology relies heavily on the assessor's judgment, which can lead to subjective and inconsistent risk assessments.
>> Limited scope: ICAO 5 x 5 Risk Assessment does not consider all possible factors that may contribute to a risk, such as external factors beyond the control of the organization.
>> Oversimplification: The five-point scale used in the methodology may oversimplify the assessment of risks, leading to inaccurate or incomplete risk assessments.
>> Lack of transparency: The methodology does not provide a clear explanation of how the overall risk score is calculated, which may make it difficult for stakeholders to understand and assess the validity of the results.
>> Inadequate risk mitigation: The methodology may not identify all potential risks or provide adequate guidance on how to mitigate identified risks. This can result in inadequate risk mitigation measures being implemented.

Maximizing the effective use of ICAO 5 x 5 Risk Assessment Matrix

Identify hazards: Start by identifying hazards in the aviation operation.

>> Hazards can be identified through safety audits, safety reports, safety meetings, incident investigations, or safety management system reviews.

Assess severity: Once hazards are identified, assess their severity by assigning them a rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most severe.

>> Severity can be determined based on the potential consequences of the hazard.

Assess likelihood: Assess the likelihood of the hazard occurring by assigning it a rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most likely.

>> Likelihood can be determined based on the frequency or probability of the hazard occurring.

Determine the risk rating:

>> The risk rating is determined by multiplying the severity and likelihood ratings. The resulting score will fall within one of the 25 cells in the 5 x 5 matrix, indicating the level of risk associated with the hazard.

Identify risk control measures:

>> Based on the level of risk identified in the matrix, identify risk control measures that can be implemented to mitigate or eliminate the hazard. These measures should be prioritized based on their effectiveness and feasibility.

Monitor and review:

>> Continuously monitor the effectiveness of the risk control measures and review the risk assessment periodically to ensure that it remains current and relevant.

Next Steps

Sofema Aviation Services (www.sassofia.com) and Sofema Online (www.sofemaonline.com) provide Classroom, Webinar & Online Training of EASA Regulatory Compliant and Vocational Training Courses, for questions please email [email protected]

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