The NBAA Safety Committee has identified six characteristics of organizational professionalism as a starting point for those who want to improve their organization and continue on a path of improvement: character; culture; business performance and industry engagement; competency in vocational skills; conduct and image; and continuous improvement. These concepts will be continually refined and improved upon as the committee receives feedback from peers and new research comes to light. These attributes are in parallel to and complement personal professionalism traits.

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Organizational Professionalism Characteristics


  • Integrity – Demonstrating uncompromising adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; doing what your organization says day in and day out. Steadfast commitment to your organization’s principles and those of the industry you work in.
  • Honesty – Free of fraud or deception. Being honest with your organization’s level of performance; always looking for ways to improve.
  • Forthrightness – Actively and consistently communicating with your organization’s team and the industry; deciding to provide answers or information in a clear and direct way.
  • Responsibility – Ablility to be trusted to do what is right or to do the things that are expected or required. Accept responsibility for your organization’s performance and behaviors.
  • Diligence – Earnest and energetic effort. Always striving to perform an honest day’s work.
  • Ethics – All activities and communications of your organization are deliberate and in full compliance with moral, government, industry and company standards.
  • Consistency – Holding your team accountable for high-quality, timely and effective performance.


  • Service Excellence – Having an attitude of service toward your customers and the community in which you conduct business.
  • Responsibility – Exhibiting responsible behavior by actively participating in industry improvement programs, identifying and mitigating safety issues and taking on needs within the business aviation community that are best served by your business.
  • Accountability – Practicing accountability for your performance and that of your team; knowing there is always room for improvement.
  • Determination – Continually striving to reach goals and higher levels of performance.
  • Transparency – Ensuring that your business activities are well known and understood.
  • Initiative – Taking action when appropriate to improve your team’s performance and the performance of the industry.
  • Proactivity – Taking immediate action to prevent or solve a problem. Actively assessing potential hazards and threats to safe operations and putting safeguards in place to prevent them or minimize their impact. Don’t wait for an incident before taking action.
  • Collaboration – Choosing to work with, listen to and assist employees and other business that are working towards the same goals and high levels of performance.
  • Mentoring – Developing a mentoring program that encourages the transfer of knowledge and opportunities from senior employees to junior staff, and vice-versa, so that everyone on the team learns from each other.

Business Performance and Industry Engagement

  • Performance – Performing every task the best way your team knows how, even if it means timelines will be extended, and always in accordance with your standards and practices.
  • Improvement – vStriving for continual improvement; making sure to stay on-track by solving the correct problems; actively seeking resources to perform better.
  • Evaluation – Implementing and continuously looking to improve an assessment program that will evaluate your business outcomes and enable you to apply lessons learned in policy and procedure, where appropriate.
  • Audit – Trust, but verify.
  • Feedback – Continuously providing your team with new knowledge and expertise, and requesting the same from your team members, so that your organization and the industry as a whole can improve. Viewing industry reporting systems as vital and required to improve performance.
  • Participation – Actively participating in industry programs that will improve your team’s knowledge and performance.
  • Partnership – Looking outside your immediate network to find new industry peers, resources and strategies for improvement.

Competency in Vocational Skill

  • Skill – Utilizing training, experience and practice to perform work properly.
  • Expertise – Being able to consistently perform the desired skill above and beyond what is expected.
  • Training – Comprehensive training is a hallmark of a professional aviation business. This is a product of motivation, resource, commitment and determination with recent and relevant review. Go above and beyond the minimum training requirements to gain a competitive advantage in safety.
  • Performance Standards – Having standards ensures that success is recognized and repeated. Make sure standards are equally and fairly applied throughout your organization and that all personnel understand and meet or exceed those standards.
  • Communication – Frequently convey the desired concepts to others in a timely and effective way to ensure consistent competency.

Conduct and Image

  • Maturity – Having and showing the mental and emotional qualities that follow the principles and standards of your organization.
  • Etiquette – Treating other organizations in a socially correct manner; treating other organizations as you would want your organization to be treated.
  • Loyalty – Showing continuing allegiance to employees, industry peers and customers.
  • Respect – Showing respect for authority and others in your industry; giving and requiring the respect that is deserved.
  • Discretion – Establishing confidences and maintaining confidentiality where needed.
  • Excellence – Providing a high level of routine performance so that your team and your customers know they can depend on you.

Continuous Improvement

  • Culture – Fair and just safety culture allows for tolerance and understanding of safety events. The events themselves are analyzed and causes are identified before the people within your organization are evaluated.
  • Management – Supporting, using and promoting safety management system concepts to engage your team in practices of excellence and continuous improvement.
  • Education – Continually improving the knowledge and capability of your organization through training, experience and practicing precision. Providing your organization’s personnel with knowledge, resources and opportunities for improvement so that everyone will benefit.
  • Debrief – Performing routine debriefs and evaluations of your organization’s performance, and that of your peers, in an effort to find new ways to improve.
  • Resiliency – Not succumbing to small bouts of poor performance; considering setbacks or mistakes as learning opportunities for major improvement.