Adelard has been at the forefront of work in the UK and internationally to develop structured approaches to safety cases.
Our safety case manual, ASCAD originally developed for the HSE/NII and other government and industry partners, has been freely available for over 10 years.
ASCAD is based on many years of experience of developing safety cases, and on assessing safety cases as Independent Safety Assessors. The technical basis of the manual is the product of CEC and industry sponsored research.
This manual will be useful to: safety case developers both experienced and new; assessors and evaluators of safety related systems; project managers and procurers of safety related systems; designers of safety related systems; and anyone with an interest in the safe operation of a safety related system.
Claims, Arguments and Evidence is a simple yet effective notation for structuring arguments to communicate how a system is adequately safe in its environment. Users find CAE to be a powerful tool to both structure their safety arguments, and to communicate them to a range of project stakeholders. CAE is one of the notations supported by our Assurance and Safety Case software tool ASCE.
We wrote a set of pages for the IET Functional safety professional network, which provides an overview of the issues and problems affecting safety cases, particularly those containing software.
The material provides some background to the use of safety cases, outline a generic approach to safety cases and discuss notations and tools. The approach described has been applied by ourselves and others to a wide variety of systems, some containing PES others not. An introduction is provided for readers not familiar with the problems that software can bring to assurance and the issues of using SOUP/COTS are also discussed.
We are actively working to standardise approaches to structured argumentation. We currently chair the Structured Assurance Case Metamodel (SACM) FTF, a working group at the Object Management Group (OMG) which is developing an harmonised metamodel for Assurance Cases, based on experiences of CAE and GSN. We are also members of the committee that is standardising the Goal Structuring Notation (GSN).