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Human factors skills are the cognitive and interpersonal skills often referred to as ‘non-technical skills’. Human Factors training largely originated from the Crew Resource Management training introduced to airline pilots in the 1990s, following the tragic loss of too many perfectly serviceable aircraft.

The findings of the air crash investigations that followed were irrefutable. The aircraft themselves were rarely at fault. The weak link between these accidents was found within the flightdeck, human error was attributable in all but just a few cases. Pilots were simply not working together in synergy and there was a divide in the flightdeck. The cockpit gradient (hierarchical structure) was often so great that junior pilots lacked the assertiveness required to question their Captain, even when safety was in jeopardy. Particular accidents, namely Tenerife 1977 and the Kegworth disaster 1989 led to drastic changes being made. A change in emphasis followed, from a largely reactive based training ethos to a more proactive ethos, with the focus on what is right, not who is right. Before long Crew Resource Management (CRM) training, as it was then known, became a mandatory part of flight crew training worldwide.    

Human Factors training within aviation today is broken down into the following core competencies; Leadership and Teamwork, Communication, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Threat and Error Management, Workload Management and Situational Awareness.

At Think Like A Pilot we are passionate about sharing these skills with other industries in order to minimise threats and errors. Investing in the Human Factors skills of your people with a Just Culture, provides the opportunity to learn from individual, team, systematic and environmental vulnerabilities in order to directly enhance safety, efficiency and performance throughout your organisation. 

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