Safety-Critical Systems Club

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Safety-Critical Systems Club
Established1991 (1991)
Legal statusCIC
PurposeEducation, Professional community
1,348[citation needed]

The Safety-Critical Systems Club (SCSC)[1] is a professional association in the United Kingdom.[2][3] It aims to share knowledge about safety-critical systems, including current and emerging practices in safety engineering, software engineering, and product and process safety standards.[4]


Since it started in 1991, the Club has met its objectives by holding regular one- and two- day seminars, publishing a newsletter three times per year, and running an annual conference – the Safety-critical Systems Symposium (SSS), for which it publishes proceedings.[5] In performing these functions, and in adding tutorials to its programme, the Club has been instrumental in helping to define the requirements for education and training in the safety-critical systems domain.

The SCSC also implements initiatives to improve professionalism in the field of safety-critical systems engineering, and organises various working groups to develop and maintain industry-standard guidance. Notable outputs of these groups include the Data Safety Guidance and Safety Assurance Objectives for Autonomous Systems, which have been adopted by UK government organisations such as the NHS,[6] Dstl[7][8] and the Ministry of Defence;[9] and the Goal Structuring Notation (GSN) community standard, which has influenced the development of the OMG's Structured Assurance Case Metamodel standard.[10]


The Safety-Critical Systems Club formally commenced operation on 1 May 1991 as the result of a contract placed by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC). [11][12] A report to the UK Parliamentary and Scientific Committee on the science of safety-critical systems led to the 'SafeIT' programme, which recommended formation of the Club.[13] As part of their safety-critical systems research programme,[14] the DTI and SERC awarded a three-year contract for organising and running the Safety-Critical Systems Club to the Institution of Electrical Engineers,[15] the British Computer Society,[16] and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, the last of these to implement the organisation.[12] The SCSC became self-sufficient in 1994, based at Newcastle University through the Centre for Software Reliability.[17] Activities included detailed technical work, such as planning and organising events and editing the SCSC newsletter and other publications. From the start, the UK Health and Safety Executive was an active supporter of the Club, and, along with all the other organisations already mentioned, remains so.

It was intended that the Club should include in its ambit both technical and managerial personnel, and that it should facilitate communication among all sections of the safety-critical systems community.

The inaugural seminar, intended to introduce the Club to the safety-critical systems community, took place at UMIST, Manchester, on 11 July 1991 and attracted 256 delegates. The need for such an organisation was perceived by many in the software-engineering and safety-critical systems communities.[18]

Management of the SCSC moved to the University of York in 2016.[18] In 2020 it became an independent community interest company.[4][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Safety-Critical Systems Club website". UK. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. ^ Bowen, Jonathan P. (1993). "Formal methods in safety-critical standards". Proceedings of the 1993 Software Engineering Standards Symposium. Brighton, UK: IEEE Computer Society Press. pp. 168–177. doi:10.1109/SESS.1993.263953.
  3. ^ "Safety-Critical Systems Club". NationalRural. 1 May 2007. Archived from the original on 22 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b "SCSC About the club". SCSC. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Safety-critical Systems Symposium". Google Books. Google. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  6. ^ Clinical Risk Management Data Safety, NHS Digital and SCSC, 27 September 2018, retrieved 13 October 2022
  7. ^ Dstl (12 October 2021), Crumbs! Understanding Data: a Dstl biscuit book, Ministry of Defence
  8. ^ Dstl (6 October 2021), Assurance of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems: a Dstl biscuit book, Ministry of Defence
  9. ^ DStan (28 July 2021), Defence Standard 00-055 Part 01/Issue 5 - Requirements for Safety of Programmable Elements (PE) in Defence Systems, Ministry of Defence
  10. ^ Structured Assurance Case Metamodel (SACM), Object Management Group, April 2022
  11. ^ Malcolm, Bob (February 1991), Safety Critical Systems Research Programme, DTI, London: DTI
  12. ^ a b "The National CSR – Structure and History". Centre for Software Reliability. City University of London. Archived from the original on 23 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Safety Critical Systems" (PDF). Briefing Note. Vol. 20. UK: Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. January 1991. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  14. ^ "SERC Critical Systems R&D Programme". SERC. 1991.
  15. ^ Safety-related Systems, Professional Brief, IEE, October 1991
  16. ^ "Safety-Critical Systems Club". The Computer Bulletin. BCS. July 2001. Archived from the original on 17 January 2019.
  17. ^ Redmill, Felix; Anderson, Tom, eds. (1997). "The Safety-Critical Systems Club". Safer Systems: Proceedings of the Fifth Safety-critical Systems Symposium. Brighton: Springer. p. ix. doi:10.1007/978-1-4471-0975-4.
  18. ^ a b Redmill, Felix (May 2016). "25 Years of Safety Systems and of the Safety-Critical Systems Club". Safety Systems. Vol. 25, no. 3. SCSC.
  19. ^ "Safety Critical Systems Club C.I.C." Companies House. Retrieved 31 August 2022.

External links[edit]