To: Commanding Officers/Officers-in-Charge, Survey Administrators, and Survey Respondents
Subj: POLICIES REGARDING THE AVIATION CLIMATE ASSESSMENT SURVEY SYSTEM (ACASS) PROCESS
1. Background. The ACASS process was designed to provide squadron-level COs/OICs with a means
by which to survey their aircrew, maintenance personnel, and supporting staff with regard to safety issues, and receive real-time feedback on their attitudes and perceptions. A key goal of this survey method is to identify and correct latent organizational conditions that may lead to increased mishap potential. Following survey administration, COs/OICs receive feedback concerning key issues regarding command climate, safety culture, resource availability, workload, estimated success of certain safety intervention programs, and other factors relating to safely managing fleet flying operations. The ACASS process helps squadron COs/OICs identify safety concerns (hazards) and highlight areas where they might best focus their efforts (hazard assessment). COs/OICs and Aviation Safety Officers are then in position to use this information to develop strategies (risk decisions) and then implement those strategies (controls) to better their organization's performance.
2. Policy. The following policies have been established regarding the ACASS system. These policies form the cornerstone for successful use of these tools, and protect the features that make the process as valuable as it has come to be:
- Survey Response Anonymity - An individual must be free to respond without fear of reprisal, whether the fear is real or perceived. Without this, the data gathered may be inaccurate and of minimal use to the CO/OIC.
- Organizational Survey Results are Confidential - The results of the surveys are not provided to higher headquarters to avoid the perception that the results are used as a unit safety report card. Without the CO/OIC's permission, the only survey results shared with anyone besides the CO/OIC are aggregated at a higher level.
- Restricted Access Codes Provided to the CO/OIC - Access to unit survey results are left to the discretion of the unit CO/OIC for distribution as they see fit.
- Ability of Higher Headquarters to Access Aggregate Data - Higher headquarters personnel have the ability to review aggregate survey data at a macro-level in order to address community-wide issues.
- Ability to Conduct Unfettered Research/Analysis of Data - Safety researchers in the academic environment have limited access to data, on an "as-needed" basis, to address issues regarding safety climate and culture.
It is imperative that we maintain these attributes in order to gather honest data. Any breach of faith might jeopardize the integrity and future value of this process.