Considering the relationship between Aviation Quality and Aviation Safety, together with the relationship between Quality Assurance Auditing and Safety Assurance Auditing in Aviation, often it is apparent there is some confusion between the specific functions of the two different undertakings, namely a quality assurance management system and that of a safety assurance management system.
So consider that Quality is essentially looking at compliance, and Safety is looking at Risk.
In essence, Quality Assurance is determining gaps based on non compliance with either the regulatory requirements or organizational requirements.
Safety Assurance is looking at weakness in the organizational system which raises the exposure to risk. Safety Assurance is a forward looking process and Quality Assurance is a reward looking process
There are, for example, aviation companies that may have an excellent safety record, but in fact due to behaviors, which can be considered potentially unsafe, they are operating with either risky behavior, inadequate management structures, or indeed both! From a practical point of view, the simple truth is that they have not yet had an accident.
So yesterday’s good fortune should not be taken as a testament to a future safe record.