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Establishing safety cultures in organisations through world-class aviation standards

NATS (the UK's Air Navigation Service Provider) is helping to export its organisation-wide approach to safety management through self-assessment and best practice advice. The Safety Culture app is providing tailored advice to take the knowledge from air traffic control to the wider world.

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Fasten your seatbelts please, it's time for safety to take off

Safety is not just an issue within the aviation industry; it’s the absolute top priority.

NATS (The United Kingdom’s air navigation service provider) is the guardian of the skies above Britain, safely managing 2.6 million flights every year.

The aviation industry is the leader in strategic safety and developing frameworks that help to manage, develop and harmonise approaches to safety.

A safety culture is an organisational culture that is motivated by having safety at its core

NATS

The NATS team commissioned 3 Sided Cube to use our skill in app development to create a digital experience that helps to use their knowledge to support other organisations in policies, principles and procedures to improve safety culture around the world.

The Challenge?

NATS has more than a decade of experience in measuring and reporting on Air Navigation safety culture. They asked us to use that experience to help other organisations develop strong and reliable safety cultures of their own. Making NATS the go-to advisors for businesses aiming to align their business goals with the positive values of having a focused safety approach.

Building upon their foundation of world-class safety control and monitoring, we needed to create an engaging and intuitive mobile experience that enables self-assessment and provides advice for both individuals and groups, within any industry that is motivated by having safety at their core.

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The Solution

All organisations reinforce thousands of assumptions on a daily basis, many of these are intentional but even more are unintentional. The NATS approach to safety culture aims to understand what assumptions are shaping an organisations behaviour. The experience of managing huge quantities of air traffic in complex and congested airspace has given NATS an armoury of knowledge and advice that we needed to transform into easily digestible content.

We created a native app that guides the user through their safety culture and provides bespoke content to help implement change. The Safety Culture app provides a free and easy way to complete a self-assessment. On completion, a free report is automatically generated and produces a foundation for organisations to commit to continuous safety improvement.

What does the app do?

Enabling easy engagement

An easy to use self-assessment survey, to measure the key aspects of safety culture maturity such as attitudes towards responsibility, level of workforce engagement, and organisational cooperation.

Sharing knowledge and experience

Creates auto-generated reports tailored to the user's responses, matched with advice and improvement plans from NATS so that users can build a balance of operational demands and safety targets.

Offline generation access

The tailored reports are available offline so that users can monitor their progress and store their data, to help reinforce the assumptions we want to see emerging and discourage those we don’t.

Data capture and resilient security

The safety survey records users data in order to benchmark responses against other companies in the respondent's industry and other sectors. All data is encrypted and stored using best-practice, low-risk methods.

Animations

The Creative team wanted to enhance the onboarding of its users so they crafted animations and transitions to help guide the users into the survey in an informative and engaging way.

Encouraging open and honest conversations about safety culture.

The right safety culture uses positive values and beliefs to help people make the right decision when they need to. In today’s environment of high pressure and rapid change, it is important that people are able to make the right decisions at the right time.

NATS has worked closely with aviation stakeholders and safety-critical industries to conduct surveys that measure and improve safety culture. Taking the tried and tested methodology and translating this into an effective app was the biggest challenge. A progressive survey containing 16 questions over 4 categories made the important elements simple and helped people to consider their safety culture, enabling them to implement real change by identifying the strengths and vulnerabilities within their safety approach.

Allowing users to benchmark and assess their culture means that they can use valid and reliable standards and frameworks to implement a tailored improvement plan that is helping to troubleshoot safety problems, maintain best-practice and provide peace of mind.

Fun Fact

Each year NATS handles 2.6 million flights and 250 million passengers in UK airspace.

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