Blog posts tagged in Effectiveness

Sofema Aviation Services (www.sassofia.com) considers key aspects related to Safety Management System (SMS) Root Cause processes.

Introduction

To fully engage with the RCA process and achieve effective risk analysis and assessment, requires that we first identify a process by which we can identify and report on hazards. 

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What are we Trying to Verify?

An Audit will typically generate a number of findings, and whilst the first step is usually to take an immediate “short term” action, the important business is ensuring the fundamental cause or “root cause” is addressed – the challenge is that this is far from easy!

Essentially, we are seeking evidence that the cause or “causes” of the problem have either been removed or mitigated in an acceptable way. (It is not always possible to completely fix the issue and sometimes the best outcome we can hope for is a reduction of the causes.)

Essential Evidence for Verification

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An essential element of any system is to be able measure the effectiveness of the various processes which are involved in delivering the overall product.

The Quality System consists of 2 distinct parts:

a) The Quality Control Processes – Embedded in all production areas
b) The Quality Audit Processes – An independent way of assessing point a) above

By measuring the effectiveness of both parts of the company’s quality system (QA & QC) we will be able to provide a detailed status of the strength of the Quality Management System (QMS) as well as to provide a detailed understanding which will facilitate management planning and development.

Step 1 - Organisation & Regulatory Review

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It is not uncommon for the operator to require the CAMO to maintain the reliability program to essentially demonstrate the minimum compliance of the regulatory requirements. Missing the opportunity to foster a genuine desire to engage with a serious investigate process related to the understanding of negative trends and take efficient corrective measures.

Possibly a major reason for this behaviour is related to a lack of understanding by the operator regarding the philosophical reasons related to the effective implementation of a fully active statistical process control. Unfortunately, the focus is on “living and surviving from day to day” solving problems without spending sufficient time on dealing with the underlying causes.

The benefit of a fully integrated Reliability program is that it does not over react to single events rather the focus moves to trends and system related problems.

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When a maintenance program is developed, it includes tasks that satisfy the criteria for both applicability and effectiveness.

The applicability of a task is determined by the characteristics of the component or equipment to be maintained.

The effectiveness is stated in terms of the consequences that the task is designed to prevent. The basics types of tasks that are performed by maintenance personnel are each applicable under a unique set of conditions.

Tasks may be directed at preventing functional failures or preventing a failure event consisting of the sequential occurrence of two or more independent failures which may have consequences that would not be produced by any of the failures occurring separately.

Maintenance Program task types include:

(1) Inspections of an item to find and correct any potential failures;

(2) Rework/remanufacture/overhaul of an item at or before some specified time or age limit;

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Let’s consider the difference between Assessment & Audit

Assessment

The evaluation process used to measure the performance or effectiveness of a system and its elements.

Our goal is to perform an assessment of the auditing process follow up to determine both the cost effectiveness and overall value to the business.

Audit

An EASA Audit is a systematic and independent examination to determine whether quality activities comply with external regulatory requirements and internal organisational specifications and whether these specifications are implemented effectively.

A primary indicator of a poor or failing system is repeat findings or findings which should be addressed at a lower level – for example the Competent Authority should not identify problems which are normally expected to be found within the internal Quality Assurance System audit process.

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Management Evaluation is a comprehensive, systematic, documented review by the management of the quality system, operational policies and procedures, and the results of quality inspections, audits and any other indicators. It measures the overall effectiveness of the management organisation in achieving stated objectives.

Management Evaluation is also an essential element of a fully working EASA Compliance Monitoring system marked with the introduction of the management system concept by Regulation 965/2012. It is related to the importance of ensuring full awareness of any non-conformities together with an effective process for follow up and closure.

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