The Australian Safety Critical Systems Association (aSCSa) is a non-profit organisation established to promote the co-operation of academic, industrial, commercial and governmental organisations in relation to the practice and advancement of safety-related systems, in particular those systems containing software, especially in Australia.
What is aSCSa?
To raise the awareness among, and provide leadership and guidance to, all communities regarding all aspects of safety surrounding systems that must be produced and operated safely and securely - especially software-intensive systems.
Computer systems and embedded computers pervade all aspects of modern daily life, and many implement functions that have the potential to cause death or injury if they do not operate correctly. Included among today's safety-critical systems are: emergency service dispatch, car braking, aircraft flight controls, railway control, telecommunications, and hospital dispensing and surgical-aid systems. These systems all require safety (and security) to be designed into them. Professionals (of more than one type) are needed for the production of such important systems,
The Australian Computer Society (ACS) was established in 1966 as a result of the merger of then separate State-based computer societies. It is now recognised as Australia's association for IT professionals, attracting a large and active membership from all levels of the IT industry, and providing a wide range of services and opportunities for networking and career enhancement.
The Technical Committee on Safety Critical Systems was established in 1992 to provide policy and technical advice to the ACS in matters of safety for computer-based systems, and since 1996 has conducted an annual workshop enabling the dissemination of industrial experience as well as presentation of the results of new research concerning safety-critical systems and software.
In October 2002, in conjunction with the annual workshop (held in Adelaide that year) the Technical Committee on Safety Critical Systems launched the Australian Safety Critical Systems Club (aSCSc) as a means to help sustain and develop greater awareness of many of the issues being presented at workshops.
Finally, at the annual general meeting (AGM) in 2005, a name change, from the Australian Safety Critical Systems Club (aSCSc) to the Australian Safety Critical Systems Association (aSCSa), was agreed.
aSCSa has continued to mature as an association, and in 2011 joined forces with the Australian Chapter of the United States System Safety Society (ACSSS) to jointly host the first Australian Systems Safety Conference (ASSC) which attracted nearly 100 delegates. aSCSa and the ACSSS also jointly hosted the national conferences in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2015 and 2016 the ASSC was co-hosted. Since 2017 aSCSa has managed the ASSC alone.
The aSCSa Constitution
As a legal association aSCSa must operate via a