Evidence Based Training is a new training programme for commercial air transport pilots. The current provisions for EBT in EASA and ICAO guidance relate to recurrent training within an airline. In the future the EBT concept may be extended to other types of training such as initial operator training, type-rating courses, business jets and helicopter operations.
It’s called ‘Evidence Based Training’ because the content is determined by the evidence of many years of airline operations. The evidence has been gathered by flight data monitoring, line-oriented safety audits, accident reports and analysis of training and standards within airlines. A mature EBT programme (enhanced EBT) will add operator-specific and even pilot-specific data into this programme so that every pilot receives training relevant to the actual risks she or he will face in daily operations.
EBT is an example of ‘competency based training’. Competency based training is nothing new, although it has not always been the standard in pilot training. In a competency based training programme the training content is determined by the required outcome, i.e. what the trainee should be able to do once the training is complete; the pace of the programme is determined by the trainee not by a set schedule and assessment is an integral part of the programme. The trainee is assessed by whether he can successfully complete tasks rather than by passing an exam or completing a fixed number of training hours. Most apprenticeships for skilled trades have always been competency-based.
EBT makes use of a ‘competency framework’ for the assessment that is embedded into the training. A competency framework is needed so that we have a consistent means of assessing whether tasks are completed to the required standard. If a pilot experiences an engine failure on take-off (which is very rare these days) then we are interested in more than whether she stayed airborne and avoided all obstacles. We also need to know that, for example, she configured the aircraft correctly, provided ATC and crew with the information they needed, didn’t overload the First Officer, made the right decisions and prepared for the next phase of flight. The competency framework addresses both the technical and non-technical aspects of the trainee’s performance.
EBT has the potential to improve safety and efficiency. Implemented correctly it will mean that training resources (time and money) are deployed more effectively but the introduction of an EBT programme needs to be managed carefully. Everyone involved needs to understand the concepts and the terminology used and we need to be careful that instructors apply a common standard. If there are inconsistencies in assessments, or if the assessments too complicated then pilots will have no confidence in the new programme and it will fail. A gradual introduction of EBT concepts may be more effective than a ‘big bang’.
If you need to decide if EBT is right for your airline, then McKechnie Aviation have a one-day seminar that could help. We have a specific learning objective those who attend: ‘to be able to assess whether EBT is suitable for my organisation and understand the next steps to commence implementation’.