Seminar: What Makes Good Evidence for a Safety Case?

  Event description   Programme    


What Makes Good Evidence for a Safety Case?

Thursday 30 November, 2023 - Wellcome Collection, London

Presentations from this Seminar are now available under the "Programme" tab above.

This seminar will examine the role of evidence in supporting a safety case. What makes strong, compelling evidence - and what is weaker evidence? If evidence is not available or is of poor quality what can be done to make up the gaps? If evidence is continually evolving or being updated how should this be handled?

Different types and characteristics of evidence will be highlighted, and their advantages and disadvantages discussed. 

Speakers include:

Paul Hampton, CGI - 'Assurance Evidence for a Satellite Datacomms to Civil Aircraft System'

Norina (Popa) Ratiu and Rebecca Wilford, Oxa - 'Autonomous Vehicles and Safety Case Evidence'

Sarah Tovey, MOD - 'Confessions of an auditor'

Sean White, NHS England - 'Addressing the Challenges of Evidence in Healthcare IT'

Andy Whalley, BAE Systems - 'Keeping an Operational Safety Case Alive and Well'

Helen Wright, Leonardo - 'Safety Evidence: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'

There will also be a discussion with the audience as to what makes the 'best' evidence and what approaches can be used to obtain evidence.

The event will start at 0930 and finish at 1700. 

This event will be held in-person at the Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. This is a fabulous venue with many things to see in free exhibitions.

Abstracts and Speaker Bios:

Paul Hampton, CGI - 'Assurance Evidence for a Satellite Datacomms to Civil Aircraft System'

Abstract: Increasing aircraft volumes and congestion on shared VHF channels is making voice communications between air traffic controllers and commercial aircraft more challenging. Voice comms are now therefore being augmented by datalink technologies that convey controller messages digitally for display directly onto the pilots flight management system. Paul introduces once such SATCOM datalink system and describes the risks and challenges of standards-based assurance when the system comprises subsystem of very different natures such as new, legacy, predeveloped software and software where alternative means of compliance argument are required. Paul explores how all these different evidential strands can be brought together to provide an overarching and compelling safety case.

Bio: Paul is a Chartered Engineer with over 30 years’ experience in IT. For the last 15 years he has been working in systems safety in a variety of capacities including safety engineering, consultancy, independent safety auditing and corporate governance and assurance. He has a strong technical and architectural background having spent 15 years of his career designing and developing enterprise systems in Energy & Utilities, Government, Criminal Justice, Healthcare and Aviation sectors. 



Sarah Tovey, MOD - 'Confessions of an auditor'

Abstract: This talk provides insight into recent trends and themes identified through audit across the Defence arena. Through the session, challenges experienced to improve and enhance the underpinning evidence will be discussed; whilst recognising the need to remain proportionate to the risk, in a changing world of procurement options.

Bio: Sarah is an acquisition Safety and Environmental Practitioner with over 17 years’ experience in both Safety and Environmental Management implementation and Audit in the Defence arena, with domain specialisms in Maritime and Land.  A Chartered Engineer of the Society of Operations Engineers and qualified Lead Auditor, with experience of implementing 2nd party audit across Operating Centres; reporting to Senior Leadership Safety Boards; and co-authoring an auditable methodology detailing how MOD would manage the risk from Unexploded Ordnance on long term sites (ranges).




Norina (Popa) Ratiu and Rebecca Wilford, Oxa - 'Autonomous Vehicles and Safety Case Evidence'

Abstract: Autonomous Vehicles' technology is innovating and this consequently leads to expanding and exploring its associated safety engineering aspects, including the type of evidence and the sufficiency of safety argumentation. Safety evidence for AVs need to cover aspects related to behavioural competencies, malfunctions (FuSa), functional insufficiencies(SOTIF), cyber threats (safety applicable cyber security), human misuse (safety relevant human factors analyses) and other, as well as splitting between different layers of safety argumentation: rationale, satisfaction, means and organisational environment (MISRA Safety Case Guidelines) and then various degrees of the actual quality of the evidence from fully documented and traceable to less so.

Bio: Rebecca Wilford is a Staff Safety Engineer. She built strong technical experience in the rapidly evolving motorsports industry, before pivoting to safety, supporting testing and AV trials at TRL and then joining the safety team at Oxa and leading the safety application activities. 



Bio:Norina Ratiu is a Principal Safety Engineer and is an established name in the safety engineering community, built up from over 10 years automotive safety experience in both engineering and leadership roles and demonstrated across a range of safety critical products from diverse systems to whole vehicles and through her work in the MISRA Safety Case guidelines.






Andy Whalley, BAE Systems - 'Keeping an Operational Safety Case Alive and Well'

Abstract: Keeping an Operational Safety Case current is essential in ensuring that an Operation remains safe. In this presentation, the use of Operational Safety Cases in the Defence Air Environment will be explored, with a focus on the development of a Safety Case and how the maturity of evidence from Concept of an Aircraft through to Out-of-Service is essential in underpinning the Arguments made through-life. It will also touch on the future challenges posed by emerging technologies that have the potential to disrupt a Safety Case

Bio: Andy Whalley is the Air System Safety Case Manager within the Air Sector of BAE Systems. He has worked in various Safety related roles in his career of almost 20 years with BAE Systems, from providing Independent Safety Assurance to supporting operators with the resolution of safety related issues, as well as leading the development and introduction of a novel SMS assessment tool across the Air Sector. Andy is currently responsible for the development and management of Operational Safety Cases for Hawk and Typhoon aircraft, as well as maturing future Safety Cases for aircraft such as Tempest and various R&D projects.



Sean White, NHS England - 'Addressing the Challenges of Evidence in Healthcare IT'

Abstract: Addressing the Challenges of Evidence in Healthcare IT provides an introduction to the safety management of digital technology in the NHS and highlights some of the challenges experienced in evidencing the safety of unregulated products.  It discusses the nature of the evidence that would be required to counter these challenges and explains some of the strategies employed to improve the “state of the art” in digital healthcare.

Bio: Sean is a Safety Engineering Manager at NHS England. He joined the organisation 14 years ago having previously worked as a safety engineer in the aerospace domain. He is the author and maintenance manager for the two risk management standards used in the NHS (DCB 0129 / 0160) and led the 2021 revision to the 80001-1 standard. He has worked on the development and delivery of the national portfolio of training. He is currently working in a strategic role, researching the use of AI in healthcare applications and the challenges associated with effective assurance. He also supports the safety assurance of national services such as the Electronic Prescription Service and cancer screening services. He has recently completed a research MSc in Computer Science, focusing on hazard identification and description.


Helen Wright, Leonardo - 'Safety Evidence: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'

Abstract: The production and management of evidence to support the safety argument is often overlooked. This can lead to a variance in the quality of evidence produced and can ultimately impact the confidence in claims asserted in the safety case report. In this talk I will seek to describe some of the challenges faced when reviewing safety evidence  with reference to past projects, and discuss opportunities to address the sufficiency of the evidence component of the safety argument. 

Bio: Helen is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Over the past 20 years she has worked in system safety and safety risk management predominantly in the civil and military aerospace domain. Her work has covered development projects through to entry into service and in-service safety cases.



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