Competency Based Training and Assessement (CBTA)

The Safety Paradox

Recent years have seen a significant improvement in the quality and reliability of both aircraft and infrastructure, procedures and training. And yet: some recent high-profile accidents have highlighted pilot failure when confronted with sudden and unexpected situations.

Why is this happening?

Traditional training and checking is quantitative and task based; whilst this was suitable for legacy aircraft, it is not sufficient to master the latest advanced aircraft technology.


In recent years, significant research has been conducted to improve the effectiveness of training and assessment methods. The focus of training and checking is shifted towards total pilot performance and is assessed by nine individual competency descriptors. Some will assess technical abilities, such as manual flying skills; and several deal with human factors, such as the ability to maintain an awaress of the condition of the aircraft, the environment and the people involved. A competency based approach includes the management of human factors.

While pilot knowledge and skills can be measured directly by an instructor/examiner, human factor aspects can only be assessed indirectly through the observable behaviours of the candidate.

Competencies assess the ability of the pilot to manage threats and errors. It is assumed that threats, such as weather, technical or other issues will occur; and that pilot errors will also occur by virtue of human nature. CBTA therefore focuses on pilot resilience when confronted with unexected threats and errors.

CBTA Assessment in FOCA Examination Forms

FOCA will now introduce an competency based assessment and grading section in its common check forms. This is in line with ICAO/EASA endeavours and will contribute to increased safety through state-of-the art training and checking methods.

Specialist staff
Last modification 28.09.2022

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