This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Safety-Critical Systems Club and it is a testament to all those involved in running the club over the years and, of course, its members, that it continues to thrive, even under the adverse circumstances that Covid-19 brought into play. Covid-19 has nevertheless meant that the club has had to evolve in certain areas. In particular, after several years in happy partnership with the Universities of Newcastle and York, the club has now parted ways and become a Community Interest Company (CIC). As a CIC, the club is now its own legal entity with financial autonomy and the ability to set its own direction for the benefit of all club members. Mike Parsons explains the background and the impact on membership in detail on page 39.
Covid-19 has also meant that, for the first time in its history, its annual SCSC Symposium was run entirely online. See page 29 for my report on the event’s highlights. The club is now already preparing for next year’s event – SSS’22 – to be held in Bristol, UK. This will be a blended event with a mixture of physical and online attendance anticipated. As this is the 30th anniversary Symposium, there will be special events and activities to mark the occasion, so not one to be missed! See page 2 for further details, and see the back page for the call for abstracts if you would like to submit content for the event.
The SCSC Working Groups have however continued to thrive with the Service Assurance Working Group publishing an update to their Service Assurance Guidance (scsc.uk/scsc-156A) and the Assurance Cases Working Group publishing a new version of the Goal Structuring Notation Community Standard (scsc.uk/scsc-141C). The Safety Futures Initiative is also launching with two ‘Get to Know You’ events on 1st July 2021, details here.
Another exciting change for the club has been the launch of an eJournal to complement the Newsletter. The eJournal is intended as a platform to publish longer and formally peer-reviewed papers, with two issues planned per year. As with the newsletter, the eJournal will be free to download for SCSC members. John Spriggs, our new eJournal editor, provides more details on page 27. Authors of papers published in this Newsletter or in the eJournal will be offered a year’s free membership of the Safety-Critical Systems Club, so please get in touch with John or myself if you are interested in having your work published.
We also want the club’s work to be accessible to the wider community, so there are plans to make annual print volumes of the newsletter and eJournal available to purchase by non-members. We are also introducing a one-month access pass to all SCSC content for non-members. This is being established to allow SCSC material to be available to those who require access to it, but for whom it is not practicable to become full SCSC members.
In this edition of the newsletter, we lead with an article from Emma Taylor who asks “where next for complex software-based systems?” We then have an article from Mick Warren on the challenges with cyber security of autonomy on aircraft, and Michael Green discusses data safety risks with machine-to-machine wireless communications. Rick Vinter also reports on the recent Safety Culture Developments Seminar.
Our 60 second interview is with John Spriggs.
Paul Hampton SCSC Newsletter Editor