Safety management systems (SMS) are a formal risk management framework to improve safety.

What is SMS?

Under SMS, organisations have systems for hazard identification and risk management, safety targets and reporting processes, procedures for audit, investigations, remedial actions, and safety education.

Implementing a SMS will provide an organisation with a simple and organised approach to preventing accidents or incidents, and is considered smart business management. A successfully implemented SMS will drive better safety performance. In turn, this will lead to a more profitable business.

Real people, real stories

Examples of SMS in action from the aviation community.

sms metservice video thumbnail(external link)

Safety at MetService

SMS resource kit

This series of four booklets forms part of our participant resource kit. The kit contains practical advice about how to improve current systems, and explains the steps that can be taken to successfully, systematically, and proactively, manage safety.

Free hard copies of each, or the complete kit, can be ordered by emailing sms@caa.govt.nz.

Booklet 01 - Safety Management Systems (SMS) An Introduction

Booklet 02 - From Quality Management Systems to Safety Management Systems An Enhancement Guide

Booklet 03 - Implementing Safety Management Systems Guidelines for Small Aviation Organisations

Booklet 04 - Aviation Risk Management - An Introduction

Other SMS resources

Part 141 SMS day - Nov 2019 [PDF 1.3 MB]

Draft appendix to Advisory Circular AC137-1 Agricultural aircraft operations [PDF 99 KB]
This appendix is intended to provide guidance material on how to develop an SMS manual and associated documentation for smaller organisations that have not previously been required to produce an exposition or manual.

Read more about New Zealand's Aviation State Safety Programme [PDF 347 KB] 

Part 100 Safety Management, which came into force on 01 February 2016, prescribes requirements for SMS.

AC100-1 Safety Management provides explanatory information and examples of how to comply with Part 100.

See our frequently asked questions about SMS.

Vector SMS articles [PDF 9 MB] - A collection of SMS-related articles from Vector magazine.

View all our SMS-related publications

SMS courses by industry

Southpac safety investigators course [PDF 544 KB] 27-29 November 2019
Southpac H.O.P & learning teams [PDF 882 KB] 10-12 December 2019
SMS Training by SIS Training & Consulting Ltd(external link)  
ASMS - SMS In Practice Training Course(external link)  

External SMS links

CASA SMS(external link)

EASA SMS(external link)

IATA SMS(external link)

ICAO Safety Management(external link)

Safety Management International Collaboration Group (SM ICG)(external link)

Southpac Aerospace Safety Investigator Course(external link)

Southpac Aerospace SMS resources(external link)

Transport Canada SMS(external link)

UK Civil Aviation Authority SMS(external link)

WorkSafe New Zealand - The Toolshed(external link)

 Ask us about SMS

If you have any questions about this topic, use our contact form, or email sms@caa.govt.nz