MATEC Web Conf.
Volume 273, 2019International Cross-industry Safety Conference (ICSC) - European STAMP Workshop & Conference (ESWC) (ICSC-ESWC 2018)
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||International Cross-industry Safety Conference|
|Published online||22 February 2019|
When Compliance Checks are Just the Start of the Journey: an Aviation Case
Aviation Academy, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
* Corresponding author: +31(0)642537618, firstname.lastname@example.org
Compliance with standards is assessed through internal and external audits, the findings of which are viewed as imperfections to be quickly repaired. A zero-findings mentality underlies companies that want to excel before the eyes of the authorities, customers, insurance companies and competitors. However, scholars and professionals over the last decades agree that compliance is a necessary but not sufficient condition for optimum system performance. The current study was initiated by a Ground Service Provider that in 2017 underwent an IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations and revealed several findings, especially in the documentation, such as missing parts, non-compliant material and lack of detail. Their goal was to pass the next audit without any findings within the documented procedures of six operational departments. To assess the audit documentation criteria, the researchers visited the operational departments, analysed 186 procedures, and conducted six semi-structured interviews with managers/supervisors and nine interviews with operational personnel. The analysis showed that all documents were properly controlled, but four departments had duplicated generic guidance material from 6% to 83% of the text checked. The interviewees claimed that understandability was not optimum due to language barriers and the non-tailoring of the content to their needs, leading to some staff disregarding manuals and consulting their supervisor instead. Other remarks included the long length of the documents, lack of knowledge of how to access online material, ignorance of the existence of documentation access points, and low technical accuracy. Overall, the results suggested room for improvement. Most importantly, through this research, the specific Ground Service Provider gained a better understanding behind non-compliance and had the opportunity to improve the quality and communication of its procedures. This study showed that even when compliance is the target, substantial improvement moves beyond box-ticking and engages employees in the revelation and mitigation of system imperfections.
Key words: Compliance / Zero-findings / Ground Service Provider / Procedures / Documentation
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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