Evidence-Based Training (EBT) at the foreground of Tomorrow's Safety

13/01/2020 – Thomas Bessière

In early December 2020, the Official Journal of the European Union deals with the subject of an amendment to the regulation concerning the requirements about the skills and training methods of flight crews as well as the delay in the dates of application of a number of measures within the context generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, various requirements have been released by European Union concerning the maintenance of operational skills and the control of aircrews. The EBT (Evidence-Based Training) standard is the technical support of these evolutions. EBT covers all aspects of pilot training, technical and non-technical aeronautical knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Main pillars of Evidence-Based Training Philosophy

There are two new and important aspects brought by EBT approach, which distinguish this type of training from the “check-focused” training of the past :

  • Core competencies – what excellent pilots do to make things go well. This behavior is captured in the form of Performance Indicators (sometimes called behavioral indicators). The core competencies are observable and measurable and include everything a pilot needs to operate safely, effectively and efficiently in today’s aviation environment.
  • Evidence – the results from the analyses of global safety and training data. The evidence ranges from normal operations monitoring (LOSA) and FDA, to data collected from training, accidents and incidents.

The evidence is used to determine the need for training (called training criticality) across aircraft of different generations. These results drive a 3-year cyclic program called EBT Baseline, published by ICAO in 2013.

Another important aspect of EBT is the notion of resilience. In aviation terms, resilience is the capability of an individual or crew to recover and “bounce back” from a challenging situation or serious threat. EBT is fundamentally a learning concept, which reduces significantly the emphasis on checking. This training allows and even precipitates making mistakes in a controlled environment so as to create resilience through effective learning.

EU statement on EBT implementation, applicable from 29th December, 2020

To implement the EBT standard, the operators must develop processes, sets up a scale of criteria and establish sufficiently precise and useful details while also regulating the of EBT data privacy. The EBT program includes a minimum of 6 modules within a 3-year program. Each module includes an assessment phase and a training phase for a validity of 12 months.

Before being able to implement a full EBT program within the training programs, operators must have a minimum of 3 years experience in a “Mixed-EBT” program and have demonstrated the following issues :

  • 2 years of an instructor concordance assurance program
  • 1 year of valid equivalency of malfunctions
  • 1 year of integration of training data in the training program
  • an existing verification of the grading system.

As the law has been in place since 29 December 2020, operators will have to comply with the new guidelines in order to be able to include an EBT program in their future training sessions.

The reports that helped us to write this article :

Commission Implementing Regulation EU, 9 December 2020

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