Quality and Safety. Two sides of the same medal?
Quality and Safety are two commonly used terms generally in various industries and particularly the aviation industry. For a comprehensive comparison between Quality and Safety, the first step would be to outline the basic dictionary definitions which are most relevant.
Quality is defined as:
The standard of something as measured against other things of similar kinds The degree of excellence of something
General excellence of standard or level
Safety is defined as:
The quality of averting or not causing injury, danger, or loss The state of being safe; freedom from the occurrence or risk of injury, danger, or loss A contrivance or device to prevent injury or avert danger
From the definitions above, quality is defined by standards, level and excellence as measured against other things of similar kinds denoting that it could be better (continuing improvement). Safety on the other hand is defined as the 'quality of averting or not causing injury danger or loss', which denotes safety as a resultant of quality therefore quality enhances, ensures and guarantees safety. This indicates that quality and safety by definition have a symbiotic relationship, but could Quality and Safety be seen as two sides of the same medal? The answer to this question from my point of view requires further comparison between Quality and Safety systems currently implemented by most operators globally. My research will be based on and with reference to the EU-OPS Quality System, ISO 9000 (International Organization for Standardization) quality management standards, International Labour Organisation (ILO) SMS Model and ICAO recommendation on SMS (Safety Management System).
The EU-OPS Quality System/ requirements Overview
The compulsory introduction of Quality management in European operations was initially promoted by the Join Aviation Requirements (JAR), now defined in Annex III(OPS 1) referred to as EU OPS 1 which is a transposition into EC law of section 1 of JAR-OPS 1. The EU OPS has become directly applicable as of 16 July 2008 and will remain in effect until the necessary implementing rules (IR) to EC 216/2008 are approved noting the fact that the European aviation regulation is in a transition phase. EU OPS 1 Quality System is a regulatory requirement for the validation of an Air Operator Certicficate(AOC) and is based upon International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)Annex 6 (Operation of Aircraft), which has no legal power unless by national legislation of contracting state.
OPS 1 basic quality requirement are prescribed in OPS 1.035, which are exactly the same requirements of JAR-OPS 1(3).035. The requirements limit the the scope of the EU-OPS Quality System, " ensure safe operations practices and airworthy airplanes" and to " verify that all operations are being conducted in accordance with all applicable requirements, standards and procedures".The EU-OPS is a minimal Quality System requirement that only concerns the activities of the operator's operations ( flight operations, training, maintenance, ground operations, safety).
ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems-Requirements/ Overview
ISO 9001:2008 provides a number of requirements which an Organisation needs to fulfil if it is to achieve customer satisfaction through consistent products and services which meet customer expectations. It includes a requirement for:
the continual improvement of the Quality Management System, having measured, monitored and analysed processes needed for the system.
The ISO QMS requires documentation that includes a quality manual, certain procedures, as well as work instructions. All documentation ( including quality records) must be controlled according to document control procedures.
ISO 9001: 2008 places great emphasis on top managements commitment to quality and...