FAA Maintenance Safety Culture Assessment and Improvement Toolkit (M-SCAIT) Frequently Asked Questions

What is safety culture?
Safety culture can be defined as “the shared values, actions, and behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to safety over competing goals and demands” (Morrow & Coplen, 2017, p. 2). Every organization has a safety culture. Safety culture shapes every human interaction in the workplace.

Why should I do a safety culture assessment?
Periodic assessment will inform safety promotion efforts and empower proactive management of safety culture evolution across time. 

How often should I assess safety culture?
Safety culture, just like any other organizational Key Performance Indicator (KPI), should be assessed periodically. The exact timeframe can be tailored to organizational needs. 

Can FAA access the M-SCAIT results?
The data is collected by each organization for internal operator use.  It is not intended to be shared with the FAA.

Why is the M-SCAIT survey so long?
Safety culture is complex and multi-dimensional. Many questions are needed to give a full picture of the culture today and where improvements are needed. As explained in the user handbook, modifications (including deletions) are allowed, but the effectiveness and scientific rigor of any changes cannot be guaranteed. As an example, communication is a critical dimension of safety culture, so if you remove communication items from M-SCAIT, the modified survey would no longer be considered to be a complete safety culture assessment. However, users are welcome to use and modify the tools to suit specific organizational needs.

Can M-SCAIT be adapted for other workgroups (beyond maintenance)?
Yes, the survey can be customized for other job roles/demographics and specific operational issues that might arise during the course of regular work (e.g., error contributors).

Last updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2023