SCSC - Group: Safer Complex Systems

Safer Complex Systems Working Group (SCSWG)

The SCSC Safer Complex Systems WG builds on the IET/RAE work already done in this area. It is recognised that the RAE work is ongoing and collaboration is encouraged.

Mission Statement

To produce practical guidance on developing, managing and assuring safety of complex systems throughout their lifecycle

Statement of the Problem

  • It is acknowledged that complex systems are becoming more prevalent with more opportunities to cause harm
  • There are also new complex systems arising from using combinations of existing systems and services which are then used for safety purposes 
  • Complex systems are not sufficiently addressed in current safety management practices and standards
  • In particular, complex interactions and emergent behaviours are not currently assessed and managed sufficiently
  • There could be benefit in developing new analysis, tools and techniques to manage complex system risks
  • There are clear business and societal benefits, in terms of reduced harm, reduced liabilities and improved business efficiencies, in improved management of complex systems risk

WG Operation

We meet approximately every 6 weeks online via Zoom. We already have quite a few existing members, some draft documents and lots of interest. We will build on this.

Upcoming Meetings

The SCSC Safer Complex Systems WG meeting #9 will be held 30th April 16:00-17:30 via Zoom:

Draft Agenda:

1. Guidance Document Progress & Questions

2. Accident Reports involving Complex Systems

3. Complex Systems in the News

4. Actions

5. AOB

Please contact Mike Parsons if you want to attend.

Past Meetings

8th Meeting 14th March 2024 - Slides, Minutes

7th Meeting 17th January 2024 - Slides, Minutes

6th Meeting 28th November 2023 - Slides, Minutes and Presentation by James Inge

5th Meeting 19th October 2023 - Slides, Minutes

4th Meeting 14th September 2023 - Slides, Minutes and Presentation by Simon Whiteley

3rd Meeting 13th July 2023 - Slides, Minutes and Presentation by David Slater

2nd Meeting 25th May 2023 - Slides, Minutes and Presentation by Simon Hutton

1st Meeting 26th April 2023 - Slides and Presentation by Simon Burton 

Kick-Off Meeting 29th March 2023 - Slides

Background Materials

David H. Slater and Ben J. M. Ale: Safety and Complexity

RAE: Safer Complex Systems: An Initial Framework

IET: Safely managing the emergent properties of complex systems

INCOSE: Appreciative Methods Applied to the Assessment of Complex Systems

Adam Johns: Complicated & Complex Systems in Safety Management

Peter Bernard Ladkin - Notes on Simon Whiteley's Überlingen Analysis

WORKING DRAFT Guidance from the IET initiative (under development)


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