SMIS and its forerunner BRIMS (British Rail Incident Monitoring System) were first introduced in the 1990s—a recommendation of the Hidden Report into the Clapham rail accident. BRIMS became SMIS shortly after privatisation. Since then, the system has developed hand-in-hand with a culture where operators openly share information to support safety improvement. RSSB owns, maintains and is continually improving SMIS. It does this on behalf of its members, to make it easier to use and to get more value from it.
RSSB’s SMIS+ Programme replaced the previous version of SMIS in 2017. The original vision for that programme included an aspiration to use the system to support business processes such as audit, inspection, and accident investigation. This is no longer in the forward plan for SMIS and is outside the system’s core purpose as defined above. RSSB owns, maintains and is continually improving SMIS. It does this on behalf of its members, to make it easier to use and to get more value from it.
The rail industry standard Reporting of Safety Related Information ensures consistent data entry using the web-based application Coruson. This is supplemented with training, guidance and data quality checks.
In an ideal world we would provide harmonised safety management system processes across the industry. However, one size does not fit all, and common processes may not be appropriate for everyone. And even if they are, significant resource from RSSB and its member organisations would be required to implement the business change.
Organisations that enter data can also access SMIS data using a business intelligence tool (Jaspersoft). This is used to query, design and schedule reports using data held in the SMIS data warehouse.
This video provides an introduction to SMIS.