Home Computer Science Safety at the sharp end a guide to non-technical skills
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 (www.dh.gov.uk/ 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:
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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