The project

Human and Organisational Factors Aviation Taxonomy Innovation Project

The scope

As part of the development of Safety Management System (SMS) software tools, it is necessary to include a taxonomy for classifying human and organisational risk factors (HOF). Several taxonomies exist, for example MEDA, HFACS, Tripod Delta, ADREP, HEIDI, HERA, and are in use across the potential end users of the software. To maximise the applicability of the SMS software tool, one taxonomy should be included with strong mapping to the existing taxonomies in use by potential customers. The goal of this research project was to identify the main taxonomies used by potential aviation customers and to generate a single generic mapping for use within our safety management product.


This research carried out by the Centre for Innovative Human Systems (CIHS) Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in collaboration with Corballis Consulting was funded by Enterprise Ireland through their Industry Innovation Voucher programme. The research produced a three-tier universal human factors taxonomy that mapped to all the major aviation taxonomies currently in use.

The outcome

The new HOF taxonomy facilitated the broadest possible marketing of Corballis Aviation Safety Management System, while still allowing customers to continue to use their existing processes and supported the benchmarking and analysis of human factors across the different aviation stakeholders (airports, airlines, MROs, OEMs and ATMs).