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Phase 2: Training and development

2A: Select and design training programme the methods of training are the tools and techniques used to deliver the training to the team. Salas and Cannon-Bowers (1997) distinguish between three different types of training delivery methods: information- based, demonstration-based and practice-based.

Information-based: information-based techniques are the most widely used method in training. these are passive lecture-type training for conveying information, which can be complemented with reading material and web-based information. advantages of this type of method include its ease of delivery to large groups and cost. it also works well when trainees are being introduced to unfamiliar concepts and topics. Disadvantages include that exposure to information is no guarantee of learning. It is not known if the participants are actually taking in, and processing, the information presented.

Demonstration-based: demonstration-based methods allow the participants to observe the required behaviours, actions or strategies. They may be presented with effective (or ineffective) examples. While actors can be employed, the most commonly used technique is to use video clips. For example, the airlines use films of pilots’ decision-making in emergencies with re-enactments based on cockpit voice recordings. Engineers are also able to recreate the technical setting for the last minutes prior to an accident from the black box recording. A graphic of the aircraft’s flight path and attitude, the position of the flight controls, the readings of key instruments, and the voice recording provide a detailed view of a flight crew’s activities prior to the crash. These types of recordings are used to great effect in the US Navy CRM programme. Watching these accident video clips allows participants to discuss where errors occurred and what could have been done to prevent them. Participants can also be asked to observe and rate non-technical skills demonstrated by the actors in these videos.

The aviation accident videos (several have been produced as television documentaries) can be used to good effect with other industries, although participants pay most attention to video re-enactments of events from their own work domain. Some companies make their own videos by filming simulated accidents at their own worksites. There are also a number of training videos for health care that illustrate the path of fatal error trajectories, e.g. a useful film about the errors relating to the drug Vincristine is available from the UK Department of Health website ( Home/fs/en). The advantages and disadvantages of demonstration-based methods are similar to information-based delivery methods. However, demonstration-based methods have the additional benefit of engaging the audience more by providing examples of situations to which the audience can relate.

Practice-based: practice-based methods are arguably the most effective method of non-technical skills training. However, to be genuinely useful, these methods need to be supported by activities such as cueing, feedback or coaching to help the participants to understand, organise and assimilate the learning objectives (Dismukes and Smith, 2000; Salas and Cannon-Bowers, 1997). Particular examples of practice- based methods are:

  • • Small syndicate exercises, typically used to discuss a scenario or case study. The class is broken into smaller groups of between three and five people to discuss a particular event. Each group reports their findings to the whole class.
  • • Role play involves acting a part in a make-believe situation. The aim is for the course participants to gain an understanding of a differing point of view or to practise a cognitive skill or a social interaction.
  • • Desktop exercises give participants a written scenario in which they are asked to indicate how they would respond. This type of exercise also includes tactical decision games (TDGs). A TDG is a scenario-based ‘what if’ facilitated simulation designed to provide the opportunity to make decisions, to review the consequences of these decisions, and to examine the rationale underlying the reason for the decision (Crichton et al., 2000). These ‘games’ can be used for groups of equivalent role-holders, or for teams. Facilitated debriefing encourages participants to enhance non-technical skills and to self-critique (see Chapter 3 for a more detailed discussion of TDGs).
  • • Many industries and health care organisations have simulators that can be used to model both normal and emergency work situations, or they can simulate using existing facilities on the worksite. Computer-based simulation can also be employed, for example the Vector Command system (www.vectorcommand. com) used to train fire officers and other incident commanders. Scenarios can be developed that emphasise particular non-technical skills, e.g. decisionmaking or team co-ordination. The events modelled can be based upon real incidents or on accident reports. See Riley (in press) or Rall and Gaba (2005) for information on simulation training in health care. For flight-deck crews, non-technical skills are often practised and assessed in flight simulator sessions known as line-oriented flight training (LOFT). LOFT refers to ‘aircrew training which involves a full mission simulation of situations which are representative of line operations, with special emphasis on situations which involve communications, management, and leadership’ (ch5-1: Civil Aviation Authority, CAA, 2002). It is important to indicate that the purpose of LOFT training is not to keep adding more problems for the team to deal with until they ultimately fail. Rather, the difficulties and emergencies included in LOFT training should be realistic (see CAA, 2002, for a detailed discussion of designing effective LOFT training scenarios).
  • • Full-scale exercises in which team members participate in a particular simulated event, such as a site emergency, can also be used for training. The advantage of this practice method is that it is very powerful for putting the learning objectives across to the participants. However, using a full-scale simulation can be costly and time-consuming to both develop and stage.
  • 2B: Design training strategy The training methods combine with training objectives to shape the development of specific training strategies. The strategy chosen should be theoretically based and use sound instructional principles (Paris et al., 1999).

The main method of training non-technical skills is in some form of crew resource management course, although these may be labelled human performance, human factors, non-technical skills, team resource management, crisis resource management or safety skills courses. The background to CRM training was presented in Chapter 1 and is covered in detail in other sources such as Wiener et al. (1993). There have been a number of recent publications on CRM training (e.g. CAA, 2006a; Salas et al., 2006b; 2006c), there are also specialist texts on CRM training, especially for aviation (e.g. Jensen, 1995: Macleod, 2005: McAllister, 1997; Walters, 2002), but also for other occupations, such as the fire service (Okray and Lubnau, 2004) and sources on CRM for health care professions (Bleakley et al., 2004; Baker et al., 2007; Flin et al., 2007; Howard et al., 1992). In addition, there are websites that include background material for CRM developers (e.g. the royal Aeronautical Society). These resources are listed at the end of this chapter. Therefore, only a brief description of the background to CRM training is included here.

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