About the Safety-Critical Systems Club
Safety-critical systems and the accidents that don’t happen
When a plane crashes, it makes headlines. That hundreds of thousands of flights each week do not crash is accepted as routine. Airliners, air traffic control systems, railway signalling,8 car braking systems, defence systems, nuclear power stations and medical equipment (increasingly including home medical electronics) are some of the complex, normally digital, systems in use, on which life and property depend. That these safety-critical systems do work well is because of the expertise and diligence of professional systems safety engineers, regulators and other practitioners who work to minimise both the likelihood that accidents will occur, and the consequences of those that do. Their efforts prevent untold deaths every year. The Safety-Critical Systems Club (SCSC) has been working hard for more than twenty years to ensure that this continues to be the case.
What is the Safety-Critical Systems Club?
The SCSC is the UK’s professional network for sharing knowledge about safety-critical systems. It brings together engineers and specialists from a range of disciplines working on safety-critical systems in a wide variety of industries, academics researching the arena of safety-critical systems, providers of the tools and services that are needed to develop the systems, and the regulators who oversee safety. It provides, through publications, seminars, workshops, tutorials, a web site and, most importantly, at the annual Safety-critical Systems Symposium, opportunities for them to network and benefit from each other’s experience in working hard at the accidents that don’t happen. It focuses on current and emerging practices in safety engineering, software engineering, and product and process safety standards.
What does the SCSC do?
The SCSC maintains a web site of useful resources. It publishes a regular newsletter, Safety Systems. It sponsors initiatives to develop methods and techniques (SCSC working groups are currently developing guidance for data in safety systems, Security aspects of safety, Autonomous Systems Safety and Assurance cases). It organises seminars, workshops and training delivered by experts in their field. Since 1993 it has organised the annual Safety-critical Systems Symposium (SSS) where leaders in different aspects of safety, from different industries, including engineers, managers, regulators and academics, meet to exchange information and experience, with the papers published in a proceedings volume. It also maintains a LinkedIn group, which is used for announcements and discussions. All these activities are there to meet its mission:
... to raise awareness and facilitate technology transfer in the field of safety-critical systems ...
The SCSC is a not-for-profit organisation that offers events and publications at competative prices that are set to cover the operating costs of the club. The club benefits from the active support of its members in all activities.
Why join the SCSC?
By joining the SCSC you get the benefit of the Club’s activities, receiving Safety Systems three times a year, participation in working groups, access to an archive of technical papers, advance notice of events, including workshops, seminars and the annual Symposium, and discounted entry to the events. You benefit professionally by being at the leading edge of knowledge on safety-critical matters.
You also help sustain the development of safety-critical systems in the UK and beyond. By taking part in the events you contribute to the spread of knowledge. And your subscription helps the SCSC survive. Without the membership fees to sustain the secretariat, it would be impossible to undertake all these activities.
The SCSC began its work in 1991, supported by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The Club has been self-sufficient since 1994, but enjoys the active support of the Health and Safety Executive, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT; all are represented on the SCSC Steering Group.
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