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Header image: Interconnected systems - source Pixabay
 Safety-Critical Systems Club 
 For Everyone Working in Systems Safety

The SCSC is the UK's professional network for sharing knowledge about system safety.  It brings together engineers and specialists from a range of disciplines and industries working in system safety, academics researching the arena of system safety, providers of the tools and services that are needed to develop the systems, and the regulators who oversee safety.

The SCSC provides seminars, workshops and tutorials throughout the year, with a three-day annual Safety-Critical Systems Symposium in February.

More about the SCSC

Latest news:

SCSC Post Office Horizon Position

* The Post Office Horizon system would not normally be regarded as a safety system, yet it is a computer-based system that has indirectly led to widespread harm.

* The ongoing public enquiry has raised important legal, ethical and technical concerns. Problems highlighted include: sub-postmasters could not see what was going on (for example, figures changed remotely without sub-postmaster knowledge), poor quality coding and lack of both audit and fault logging.

* The SCSC fully supports the public enquiry and other investigations, and we agree with professional computer bodies (e.g. the British Computer Society) that there should be a review of how computer-based system evidence is treated by the courts.

* We will look to adopt relevant recommendations and encourage our members to do the same once the enquiry and investigations conclude.

* We propose that organisations relying on computer-based system evidence in court should, where challenged, be required to justify that the system, including aspects such as hardware, software, data and service delivery, is reliable. Furthermore the evidence should be shown to be trustworthy. The justification should also show appropriate confidence in use, including in the way that reported problems are managed. Courts should not accept evidence relating to the computer-based system without this justification.

* Where there are disputes involving computer-based systems there must be fair treatment; i.e. where relevant, there must be access for both sides to technical experts who in turn must be given access to appropriate software and data.

* Post Office Horizon is an example of how systems, organisations, agreements, people and processes came together within a delivered service to result in indirect but severe harm. We suggest that the SCSC Service Assurance Guidance could be useful in such situations to reduce risks.

* We will extend the remit of the SCSC to cover any computer-based systems and services which could cause harm. This will include harm in the wider context of the system including all stakeholders, the environment and consequential harms, not just harm caused directly by the system or service itself.

Note: Here “computer-based system” includes aspects such as hardware, software, data and service delivery. 

AI Investment

Microsoft is opening a new office in London dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) research and development: https://lnkd.in/e7BVeV-N
This technology is going to impact us in so many ways - the SCSC will look at some of the safety implications in a series of seminars this year. The first seminar looking at frameworks is on 25th April: https://scsc.uk/e1081