Evidence Based Training
Evidence-based training (EBT) is a new standard for recurrent practical training of airline pilots. It is an application of competency-based training and assessment (CBTA).
Supporters of EBT say that the traditional requirements for initial and recurrent pilot training are out of date. Pilots have to practice manoeuvres representing the risks pilots faced flying the first generation of jet aircraft 50 years ago. Over the years, additional items have been added to the list of required training (CRM, windshear, ACAS etc.), but, before EBT, there was no comprehensive review of how pilots are trained.
EBT introduces a new schedule of training items and addresses how training should be conducted. In EBT, the list of training topics is derived from data analysis of aircraft operations and accidents. Training is conducted in a full-flight simulator if a task requires the highest level of fidelity, but where full fidelity is not required, other devices can be used. Training tasks are 'clustered' to avoid repeating multiple items that require the same skills. Most importantly, the emphasis is on training to enhance skills and knowledge rather than 'checking' to catch people out.
Implementing EBT is a complicated multi-year project. Operators need to develop a pilot competency framework and behavioural marker system; rewrite training syllabi; retrain instructors, and implement a comprehensive standardisation programme to ensure instructor concordance (or inter-rater reliability). The list of training topics is much longer than before, and there may be a need for new software and systems to support assessment and record-keeping. Initially, an operator can introduce 'mixed EBT' where the LPC/OPC check items must be completed. Subject to satisfactory data gathering and analysis, the LPC/OPC can be removed after a transition period (minimum three years). The revalidation of pilots' ratings is then based on continued enrollment in the EBT programme.
EBT is not mandatory; airlines can continue to follow the standard training requirements. The business case for EBT has yet to be proved. EBT airlines can reduce the frequency of line checks, producing some cost savings, but each operator will need to determine if this offsets the start-up and maintenance costs of the EBT programme.