Education Journal

Special Issue

Competency-based Training in Aviation Personnel Training Programs: A New Concept of Training Standards Based on Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes (KSA)

  • Submission Deadline: 31 March 2022
  • Status: Submission Closed
  • Lead Guest Editor: Rejane de Souza Fontes
About This Special Issue
The theme competency-based training (CBT) in aviation programs has been discussed by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) with the aim of ensuring operational safety in pilot training programs around the world. However, the number of studies is still limited in this area of knowledge. Over the past 20 years, various civil aviation authorities have been looking for ways to implement this concept in different countries and cultures. Competence-based training is a training and assessment method based on operational data that develops and assesses the overall capability of a trainee across a range of core competencies rather than by measuring the performance in individual events. The aim of this training is to identify, develop and assess the competencies required by pilots in order to operate safely, effectively, and efficiently in a commercial air transport environment by managing the most relevant threats and errors based on evidence collected in operations and training. It is a new concept of training standards based on knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA). CBT aims to develop and evaluate crew performance according to a set of competencies without necessarily distinguishing between the ‘non-technical’ (e.g. CRM and TEM Model) and the ‘technical’ competencies needed in order to operate safely. Competency-based training is training that is designed to allow a learner to demonstrate their ability to do something. In aviation, competency-based training involves two important concepts: CRM (Crew Resource Management) and TEM (Threat and Error Management). Competency-based training in pilot training is based on the idea that it is not possible to train for emergency situations and unexpected events. However, it is possible to prepare the pilot for these situations through scenario-based instruction (problem solving), in which key competences must be worked on in training the 21st century pilot. Learning is thus based on the mobilization of superior mental schemes in the face of real or simulated challenges imposed by the environment, which would result in significant professional learning. CRM means the application of team management concepts in the flight deck environment. It was initially known as cockpit resource management, but as CRM programs evolved to include cabin crews, maintenance personnel, and others, the phrase “crew resource management” was adopted. This includes single pilots, as in most general aviation aircraft. Pilots of small aircraft, as well as crews of larger aircraft, must make effective use of all available resources; human resources, hardware, and information. A current definition includes all groups routinely working with the flight crew who are involved in decisions required to operate a flight safely. These groups include, but are not limited to pilots, dispatchers, cabin crewmembers, maintenance personnel, and air traffic controllers. CRM is one way of addressing the challenge of optimizing the human/machine interface and accompanying interpersonal activities. The purpose of the TEM Model is to understand error management and not just focus on its causality. Thus, by detecting the error in a timely manner and knowing how to manage it properly, unwanted conditions in the aircraft that reduce the flight safety margins are eliminated or reduced. In this sense, error management has a formative potential, whose learning can be transferred to other similar situations. Any area of competence assessed by CBT instructors not to meet the required level of performance needs to be associated with an observable demonstration that could lead to an unacceptable reduction in safety margins. Mastering a finite number of defined competencies will allow a pilot to manage previously unseen potentially dangerous situations in flight. The creation of this area of knowledge can help in the formation and development of aviation training standards, as well as in the search and dissemination of the best training practices in the world.


  1. Competency-based Training
  2. Civil Aviation
  3. Safety
  4. Pilot Training
  5. Assessment Criteria
  6. CRM
  7. TEM Model
Lead Guest Editor
  • Rejane de Souza Fontes

    PhD in Education – Rio de Janeiro University, Brazil; National Civil Aviation Agency, Niterói, Brazil