a. Incentives for voluntary reporting
In a voluntary reporting system, the reporter submits a voluntary incident report, without any legal or administrative obligation, To promote voluntary reporting, the rules of just culture must be applied, i.e. a non-punitive policy and tolerance towards errors. Reported information should not be used against the reporter to encourage further reporting of safety information.
b. Basic Principles of Voluntary Reporting
The following basic principles should be considered when establishing a voluntary reporting system within the overall framework of an organization's safety management system (SMS):
Reporters must be confident that the information will not be used against them, otherwise, they will be reluctant to report their mistakes. A positive safety culture environment in an organization provides the foundation of a successful incident reporting system.
The reporter is protected from legal, administrative, or disciplinary sanctions, except in cases of gross negligence, criminal activity, or intent (Article 16 (9&10) EU 376/2014).
Inclusive reference base
The systematic approach to sound safety management mandates that the voluntary report includes all aspects of aircraft operation, such as flight operation, cabin safety, aircraft maintenance, air navigation services, airport operation, aircraft servicing, etc. Gathering information about the same incident from different perspectives provides a complete analysis and understanding of the facts, risks, and their potential effects.
Non-punitive systems rely on confidential reports. The person reporting an incident must be sure that their identity and other information that can be used to identify other natural or legal persons involved will not be revealed. The Civil Aviation Authority encourages voluntary reporting and ensures through the Safety Management & Occurrence Reporting Section the confidentiality of reports.
An organization to further encourage reporting should make it clear to its staff that voluntary reports are valuable information, even rewarding individuals whose reports have positive results regarding the organization's safety level.
Promotion-dissemination of information
De-identified information obtained from the voluntary reporting system must be made available to the aviation community in a timely manner. A variety of information dissemination methods should be used to achieve maximum safety promotion, such as monthly newsletters, periodic incident reports, safety bulletins posted on the Internet, etc. This activity can help employees further improve safety incident reporting.