There is an expectation that the organization has a safety policy that is agreed to and approved by the accountable executive. An accountable executive is the person who is responsible for operations or activities authorized under the certificate and accountable for meeting the requirements of the regulations. Without accountability for meeting the regulatory requirements an airport, or airline is applying a reactive safety management system where it becomes a simple task to point fingers at the last link in the chain of an accident. It takes initiative, effort and planning for accountability to be effective with proactive operations and includes all links in the chain of event.
A safety policy expectation is to ensure safety for all.
Definition of accountability is often incorrectly applied as the definition of responsibility. Although accountability and responsibility cannot be applied independently, or one without the other, they cannot be interchanged with each other. Responsibility is a description of authority, while accountability is operations of that task, or the action of carry out that task of authority. Accountability the behavioral action as expected by responsibility.
The difference between responsibly and accountability could be described as the responsibly and accountability of driving down a two-lane highway. Opposing traffic, going 60MPH towards each other are only separate by an imaginary wall of a yellow line. This is not a logical separation of two vehicles approaching within just a few feet of each other at 120MPH. If applying logic to this, it could be categorized as an insane solution and not practical. However, when applying the variable of accountability into the equation it works. The responsibly to stay on the correct side of the yellow line remains with each driver, whether they are driving or not.
Accountability is the expectation of responsibility.