Evidence Based Training – an aviation concept applied in maritime navigation?

Adam Flaws | May 8, 2023

It’s always a privilege to work with both aviators and mariners and often to be able to reflect on how developments and practice in civil airlines can inform thinking in the maritime sector. BRM is the obvious example – with MPOSA being a more recently developed example.

More recently we’ve been discussing how Evidence Based Training (EBT) as developed in the aviation sector could inform sea-pilot and PEC master training and for ongoing currency training.

As developed in the civil aviation sector, EBT is a training and assessment method based on operational data that is characterised by developing and assessing the overall capability of a pilot or crew across a range of core competencies as opposed to measuring the performance in individual events or manoeuvres.

The aim of an EBT programme is to identify, develop and assess the competencies required by pilots in order to operate safely, effectively and efficiently. It focuses on the management of the most relevant threats and errors (termed, ‘threat and error management’).

EBT is based on the need to develop and evaluate crew performance according to a set of competencies – both ‘non-technical’ (e.g. CRM – read BRM) and the ‘technical’ (e.g vessel handling) to operate safely.
Under EBT, pilots are required to demonstrate competency in: Application of Procedures; Communications; Aircraft Flight Path Management, (read passage plan / tracking); Leadership and teamwork (BRM again); 6. Problem Solving and Decision Making; Situation Awareness; and Workload Management (e.g. getting ahead of the game and not getting distracted).

Given the now routine use of ship simulators (similar to aviation) and now the ability to collect and statistically analyse operational performance data (as aviation does and MPOSA enables) …. Seemingly aviation style EBT can now be adopted in the maritime sector.