Safety Assessment Methodology (SAM)

SAM is a framework, a toolbox, containing methods and techniques to address the requirements of ESARR4. SAM V2.1 (pdf), published in 2006, was assessed as and declared an Acceptable Means of Compliance (with limitations) to ESARR4 by the Safety Regulation Commission (SRC).

SAM has been developed by the SAM Task Force from the late 90s until 2009; the objective was to regroup good practices to perform safety assessment in ATM.

Members of the SAM Task-Force were representatives from ECAC ANSPs and from the industry; they shared their practices and developed the required guidance materials.

SAM is organized in 3 levels:

  • Level 1 explains the "what";
  • Level 2 provides details on "how" to perform a Safety Assessment
  • Level 3 provides real life examples (from ANSPs and the industry).

SAM presents tools and techniques to perform:

  • FHA (identify hazards, assess their effects and the related severity)
  • PSSA (fault tree analysis, event tree analysis, common cause analysis …)
  • SSA (documentation of the evidence, collecting data, test and validation…).

SAM also includes the “Safety Case Development Manual”, providing details on how to build a Safety Case for a project or a Unit Safety Case.

It presents concepts like Software Assurance Levels (SWAL) and Procedure Assurance Levels (PAL).



As SAM regroups thousands of pages of documentation, an electronic tool was developed to support consultation of the guidance material.

This tool has been migrated to flash technology in early 2015 to allow its use on the most recent versions of MS-Windows.

eSAM V2.2 could be downloaded following “this link”.


The SAM Newsletter

In parallel to the activities of the SAM Task Force, a newsletter has been published providing hot-topics and latest update of the methodology. The newsletter has been published from April 2005 until October 2008.

The newsletters are currently (March 2015) being migrated to new servers and will be available for consultation shortly


SAME is a clear, complete, coherent and integrated approach to safety assessment

Safety Assessment Made Easier part 1 (pdf)

This document  is intended to describe the broad framework on to which the SAM-defined processes, and the associated safety, human-factors and system-engineering methods, tools and techniques, are mapped in order to explain their purpose and interrelationships.


Training on SAM

EUROCONTROL Institute of Air Navigation Services (IANS), in Luxembourg, provides different trainings on the safety assessment methodology.

  • Introduction to Safety Assessment [SAF-SA1]
  • Practical Safety Assessment [SAF-SA2]
  • ATM Software Safety Assessment [SAF-SW]


Note that those courses will be update in 2017 in line with the publication of the latest version of EASA’s regulations.

For the latest on IANS training, please visit:

SAM Support team

Contact us for more information.