Safety culture refers to the way patient safety is thought about and implemented within an organisation and the structures and processes in place to support this.

Safety climate is a subset of broader culture and refers to staff attitudes about patient safety within the organisation.

Measuring safety culture or climate is important because the culture of an organisation and the attitudes of teams have been found to influence patient safety outcomes and these measures can be used to monitor change over time.

It may be easier to measure safety climate than safety culture.

Safety culture and climate tools have also been used in industries such as aviation, transport and energy production. There are a large number of tools available to measure safety culture and climate in healthcare.

The most rigorously tested and well known tools are:

  • Safety Attitudes Questionnaire
  • Patient Safety Culture in Healthcare Organisations
  • Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture
  • Safety Climate Survey
  • Manchester Patient Safety Assessment Framework.


Further information

< Step 1: Define the problem

< The Improvement Journey