Policy and Guidance

Safety Management Systems (SMS) Training

We design and deliver SMS training to support agencies as they transition to SMS.

By: Jim Caton & Andrew Lofton

Our team of safety professionals designs and delivers Safety Management Systems (SMS) training to transit agencies to support their transition to SMS. Led by bcg CEO Jim Caton and SMS specialists Dan Maurino and Ream Lazaro, our team delivers guidance and knowledge to industry leaders and provides innovative approaches to training. 

We work closely with agency leaders and senior management to develop safety objectives and deliver training catered to improving an agency’s SMS. Our experienced SMS team can guide an agency from the initial stages of Agency Safety Plan development all the way to plan execution and SMS implementation. 

Our Experience


We have worked with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to develop and test SMS implementation pilot programs at several transit agencies, including the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Maryland Transit Authority. Our approach includes preparing agency-specific capabilities assessments, testing Safety Risk Management procedures, conducting safety culture surveys, and developing SMS training based on our findings. 

Our safety culture surveys are a particularly useful component of SMS implementation programs. These surveys can help determine what issues might arise and how an agency can address them through policies and training. When our team conducted an anonymous safety culture survey as part of an SMS implementation pilot program, the agency was able to pinpoint trends and potential issues within their agency and work to reorient their operations to improve their safety culture. 


We have developed numerous SMS training activities, from agency-specific training sessions to courses such as FTA’s first virtual instructor-led training course, Overseeing the Safety Management Process for SSOAs. We led the development and coordination of the entire course and authored all supporting materials, including the training plan, course completion checklist, course schedule, and more. 

In 2017, we partnered with FTA to launch their Introduction to SMS course for SMS lead personnel. We have also produced FTA’s Safety Management System Principles for Transit, SMS Awareness, and Rail Nomenclature courses.

Who We Serve

Over the years, we have partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Transit Institute, CTA, and Port of Portland, among many other agencies across the nation. 

Our SMS training provides key agency staff with the necessary tools and knowledge to support their ongoing progress toward SMS. Our team brings an arsenal of SMS knowledge and resources to the transit industry and is always looking for new tactics to creatively deliver SMS training and information to transportation professionals.