What Defines Aviation Safety Training

Aviation safety training is an critical building block for safety culture. Training is a part of the Safety Promotion component of the Four Pillars of Aviation SMS. Safety training can often be the deciding factor in the successful or failure of an aviation SMS program for:

  • Attaining safety goals and objectives;
  • Demonstrating continuous improvement;
  • Ensuring large return on investments for the aviation SMS program;
  • Building confidence in the company and safety program (i.e., lack of accidents);
  • Creating a mature safety culture; and
  • Ensuring compliance is met.

Unfortunately, the aviation industry is littered with so called “training courses” that offer very little substance. Here are the main signs of good safety training.

What is aviation safety training

Signs of Good Aviation Safety Training

Not all aviation risk management training is created equal. The quality of aviation safety training ranges as much as training price tags. And more expensive does not always equal better quality either. Getting good aviation SMS training is about knowing what to look for.

You can often assess the quality of a training course from a course syllabus. Here are some indications of a good training course:

  • Pre-training assessments;
  • Practical application of ideas rather than definitions or concepts;
  • Topics that are relevant to your aviation SMS program;
  • Hands-on training that stresses “doing” rather than “listening”;
  • End-of-course assessments; and
  • Take home materials.

Good training is made operational risk management rather than theoretical risk management.

Most training courses fail to move beyond lecture based, conceptual models of risk. These kind of training courses are a waste of money. They will make little to no difference on safety performance.

What to Expect from Aviation Risk Management Training

Don’t be lured by false expectations about safety training. Training can help your program. Training may make no difference. The success of aviation safety training depends:

  • Safety culture;
  • How hands-on training materials are;
  • History of safety training; and
  • Quality of a training course.

When the above requisites are not met for quality training, safety managers develop extremely unrealistic expectations – these false expectations are that:

  • Safety training will improve safety performance;
  • Ideas and concepts result in improved safety behaviour; and
  • Risk management training was a good use of resources.

The above can be true, but training by no means guarantees it. Only quality aviation safety training grants these benefits.