Re: [SystemSafety] Software Safety Assessment

From: RICQUE Bertrand (SAGEM DEFENSE SECURITE) < >
Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2015 12:13:26 +0200

  1. Is it acceptable to use an obsolete safety standard to assess software?

As long as it is not in a regulated context, you can do whatever you want if the stakeholders agree.

2. Is the SIL1 claim for 10 year old Project A invalid because the checklist could have been better?

If "better" is understood as that the initial CL was far from state of the art at that time , It is invalid in any case. "State of the art" is whatever a very fuzzy concept. Some industry sectors sincerely "believe" that they perform very well, but compared transversally (say from a SW development perspective), they are just disastrous. If "better" is understood as that the initial CL is far from state of the art of today, it was valid in the past and is invalid today. The objective is not the compliance declaration, it is the actual safety level.

3. If Project B used the old checklist from Project A would that be adequate?

No, out of question. Times change.

Bertrand Ricque
Program Manager
Optronics and Defence Division
Sights Program
Mob : +33 6 87 47 84 64
Tel : +33 1 58 11 96 82
Bertrand.ricque_at_xxxxxx

From: systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2015 11:54 AM
To: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: [SystemSafety] Software Safety Assessment

Consider the following scenario:

In 2004 Project A software was assessed against a safety standard (let's call it Standard X). Standard X had a very prescriptive list of software safety requirements and a simple checklist was used for assessing SIL1 compliance.

In 2014, Project B began to integrate significant new functionality into Project A. Standard X, which was by 2014 an obsolete standard, was used to assess the significantly smaller software baseline of Project B. Under modern scrutiny, the simple Standard X checklist used for Project A in 2004 was not as explicit as it could have been and it was decided to use an improved checklist for Project B.

A couple of important questions can be raised with this scenario:

  1. Is it acceptable to use an obsolete safety standard to assess software?
  2. Is the SIL1 claim for 10 year old Project A invalid because the checklist could have been better?
  3. If Project B used the old checklist from Project A would that be adequate?

I've been having some interesting discussions with the Project Managers involved, any thoughts?

Regards
Carl


Dr. Carl Sandom CErgHF CEng PhD

Director

iSys Integrity Ltd.

+44 7967 672560

carl_at_xxxxxx

www.isys-integrity.com<http://www.isys-integrity.com>


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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Wed Jul 08 2015 - 12:13:38 CEST

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