Competency based training under which Evidence Based Training is spreading its web has a conceptual flaw. ICAO Doc 9868 defines competency as a combination of skills, knowledge and attitudes required to perform a task to the prescribed standard.
While attitude has not been defined in either ICAO or IATA documents, both have the behavioural indicators as a measure of the performance standard. Behaviour and attitude are not the same and the incorrect indicator is being used to populate the database and give feed back.
The reason attitude has been studied intensely is that it was believed to be the key to understanding why people do what they do (and predict what they will do). It’s a cornerstone of social psychology.
The question that arises is ” Is behaviour an indicator of attitude, if not then what is the difference between the two?”.
Behaviour is defined as the way a person responds, either overtly or covertly, to a specific set of conditions, which is capable of being measured.
Behavioral indicator is an overt action performed or statement made by any flight crew member that indicates how the crew is handling the event.
Robert Gagne puts forward the notion of conditions of learning, as opposed to a theory about learning per se (Quinn, 2000). He defines learning as an alteration in an individual’s capabilities or disposition which continues over a period of time that cannot be put down to the natural process of maturation (Gagne, 1985).
In addition, he regards learning as the means through which individuals and groups of people acquire the skills that are necessary for them to be accepted members of society. Furthermore, Gagne believes that learning is a direct result of different human capabilities (behaviours) which are required as a result of stimulation from both the environment and the thinking processes which happen within individual learners.
The foundations of Gagne’s work lie in the concept of Behaviourism, based on the notion that through analysing observed behaviours, the necessary components to acquire a specific skill could be identified.
According to Gagne, Briggs and Wager (1992), it is important to group learning goals according to their intended outcomes. This involves deciding, during the course of planning, what is meant to be learnt and what the learner should be able to do at the end of a specific session.
Once these instructional goals have been placed into different categories of learning outcome, appropriate, systematic planning can take place, allowing practitioners to design activities to create specific conditions which will allow learners to access skills, knowledge and attitudes.
In his classic book, The Conditions of Learning, Robert Gagne, defines attitude as “a mental state that predisposes a learner to choose to behave in a certain way.” Some think that attitudes are comprised of affect, behavior and beliefs.
Under the ABC model, attitude is composed of three parts: cognitive, affective, and conative(behaviour). It’s also referred to as affect, behavior, and cognition (hence ABC).
A person’s attitude can be positive, negative or neutral views, which shows one’s likes and dislikes for someone or something. So, the type of attitude we carry, speaks a lot about us, as we get into that mood and transmits a message to the people around us. There is no such thing like ideal attitude, for a particular situation as it is spontaneous and so we always have a choice to opt the right attitude for us.
The term ‘behavior’ can be described as the way of conducting oneself. It is the manner of acting or controlling oneself towards other people. It is the range of actions, responses, and mannerisms set by an individual, system or organization in association with themselves or their environment, in any circumstances.
In short, behavior is an individual or group reaction to inputs such as an action, environment or stimulus which can be internal or external, voluntary or involuntary, conscious or subconscious.
The difference between attitude and behavior can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
One reason attitudes may be studied so rarely is the difficulty many have in clearly identifying how attitudes should be measured. The characteristics of attitude contribute to this perception of difficulty, as does the recent move away from quantitative research procedures.
Since attitudes are defined as latent, and not observable in themselves, the trainer must identify some action that would seem to be representative of the attitude in question so that this behavior might be measured as an index of the attitude. This characteristic of attitude measurement is justifiably one of the most criticized of this area of educational evaluation. However, there are several generally recognized procedures used to determine quantitatively an individual’s, or group’s, attitude toward some object or person.
There are four widely used and accepted categories, or approaches, for collecting attitude information. These approaches are:
Within each of these categories, there are strategies for measuring attitude-related behaviors. Most commonly, attitude measurement is accomplished by one of the following techniques:
Attitude is the driving force behind an action or inaction. Behaviour is an outcome of the experience and can vary depending upon the circumstance. It takes a lot of time and effort to measure and document attitude therefore concepts like Competency based training with MPL and EBT taking the easy way out and they measure the behaviour.
Behaviour is not the true reflection or measurement of attitude but a shortcut methodology which has a high possibility of being inaccurate. The ICAO and IATA documents are not complete in themselves when they define competency in terms of attitude but fail to address attitude neither in definition nor in co-relation with behaviour.
Since the measured indicator is not accurate and consistent, the data fed into the system is inaccurate. This results in corruption of database and a false perception of achievement giving inaccurate feedback.
On 19th Aug 1980 Saudi Airlines SV163 turned back soon after takeoff due onboard fire and after landing met with an unfortunate fate and all 301 onboard perished.
36 years later Singapore Airline B777 flight SQ368 to Milan, turned back soon after takeoff and landed back with an engine fire which soon engulfed the wing. Fortunately, all aboard disembarked the aircraft safely.
Both aircrafts turned back and landed safely.
Both crew had issues identifying the appropriate procedure applicable in the scenario they were facing.
Cabin crew of both crew had the authority and training to initiate evacuation in the absence of any command from the flight deck and the situation warranted so.
Both Crew decided not to evacuate but Singapore Airlines managed to save all lives but Saudi Airlines lost all lives.
The origin of the onboard fire could not be determined by the investigation. The Captain formed his mental image of the aircraft and the intensity of the fire based on the inputs he gathered from various sources.
Note: There was no common frequency between the Tower, Fire trucks and the Crew.
Could not be determined by the investigation.
As the aircraft arrived to land, fuel was still leaking from the engine through various leakage areas.
In the initial communication, the FC advised the PIC “…we are still trying to contain the fire…the fire is pretty big…will like to advise…disembarkation on your port side”. As the commander of the aircraft, the PIC was aware that the decision to evacuate lay with him and that he could order an evacuation even if the FC advised a disembarkation.
Although the PIC was the only person actively communicating with theFC, the rest of the flight crew members were listening to the communication and the decision not to evacuate was reached collectively.
On the one hand, the operator’s flight crew training manual recommends that in a situation that a persistent smoke or a fire which cannot positively be confirmed to be completely extinguished, the safest course of action typically requires the earliest possible descent, landing and evacuation. The manual also recommends that pilots should utilise all available sources of information in making a decision regarding evacuation. The manual also highlights that key factors to be considered include the urgency of the situation (e.g. possibility of significant injury or loss of life if a significant delay occurs). The manual also recommends that, in case of doubt, an evacuation should be considered.
On the other hand, the operator’s flight crew training manual also recognises that fire may be spreading rapidly from spilled fuel or other flammable materials, which may endanger the people who have left the aircraft or are still on the escape slides.
Whereas both aircraft landed safely, both did not evacuate for different reasons. The Capt. of SV 163 did not get accurate and timely information from the crew members and ground based Tower and RFFS.
The SQ 368 Captain had the FC communicating directly and relied on the information passed on by him. The Capt. held back his order to evacuate even though he had all the authority.
For many years the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has identified deficiencies in standard operating procedures (SOPs) as contributing causal factors in aviation accidents.
The ICAO has recognized the importance of SOPs for safe flight operations. ICAO Annex 6 and PANS-OPS Document 8168, Vol I, establish that each Member State shall require that SOPs for each phase of flight be contained in the operations manual used by pilots.
One size doesn’t fit all, therefore the SOP’s must be critically analysed, developed and disseminated. The intent of the procedure must be clear since a particular SOP has the desired objective. If in a particular situation the desired outcome is not achievable, then using good CRM practices and background knowledge, the SOP can be bypassed considering all risks.
Background of Safety Enhancement Initiative (SEI)
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are universally recognized as being basic to safe aviation operations. Effective crew coordination and crew performance, two central concepts of crew resource management (CRM), depend upon the crew’s having a shared mental model of each task. That mental model, in turn, is founded on SOPs.
A study of CFIT accidents found almost 50 per cent of the 107 CFIT interventions identified by an analysis team related to the flight crew’s failure to adhere to SOPs or the AOC holder’s failure to establish adequate SOPs.
James Huntzinger, the former Vice President of Safety, Security & Compliance at Korean Air has been credited with coining the terms procedural intentional noncompliance (PINC) and procedural unintentional noncompliance (PUNC) (Agur, 2007). Quite simply, these acronyms are used to label behavior as pilots’ unintentional or intentional deviation from company-prescribed SOP. The Air Safety Foundation (2007) reported that a review of accidents involving professionally flown aircraft shows that four out of five events included PINC or PUNC by pilots.
Additionally, ‘‘PINCs and PUNCs are reduced dramatically when an effective safety culture exists.’’
To achieve consistently safe flight operations through adherence to SOPs that are clear, comprehensive, and readily available to flight crew members.
Which ones of these are recommendations and which ones mandatory?
2. The above seven elements are further reinforced by effective Crew Resource Management (CRM) skills, such as task sharing and communication, as well as a disciplined approach towards checklist philosophy. A process of continual open feedback, review and modification of all procedures will serve to enhance the organization’s overall level of safety.