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Competence Assessment of Air Traffic Controllers: A transition from Safety-I to Safety-II

Petri, Anne-Mette LU (2015) FLMU06 20142
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
The reality in terms of operational competence has changed. The past tradition of assessing procedural compliance of the individual Air Traffic Controller is today challenged in a dynamic and intractable socio-technical system like Air Traffic Management. Changes in technology and complex system interdependencies, call for an enhanced understanding of the interaction and coupling between the human operator and the system. As the skill sets change, new competencies emerge and the assessment or measurement of these must follow.

A study, using the framework of Grounded Theory, was conducted to explore the existing practice of the yearly competence assessment of Air Traffic Controllers. The purpose of this research was to examine if the... (More)
The reality in terms of operational competence has changed. The past tradition of assessing procedural compliance of the individual Air Traffic Controller is today challenged in a dynamic and intractable socio-technical system like Air Traffic Management. Changes in technology and complex system interdependencies, call for an enhanced understanding of the interaction and coupling between the human operator and the system. As the skill sets change, new competencies emerge and the assessment or measurement of these must follow.

A study, using the framework of Grounded Theory, was conducted to explore the existing practice of the yearly competence assessment of Air Traffic Controllers. The purpose of this research was to examine if the compulsory competence assessment can be utilised as a means of transitioning from the individual centric approach that characterises today’s competence assessment, towards a system centric view where the interaction between the Air Traffic Controller and the wider system is incorporated.

Sixteen semi-structured interviews, four of which were conducted as small focus group interviews, provided qualitative data for this research.

The study found a need for calibrating the traditional view of competence to encompass the many new functions of normal work. An enhanced six stage competence model was derived from the research data to ensure an augmented emphasis on understanding the daily activities of work. The six elements of the competence model are:

• Skill-based competence
• Knowledge-based competence
• Experience-based competence
• Adaptive competence
• Service-driven competence
• Social competence

The competence model represents a synthesis of individual and systemic based competence elements, as both approaches need to coexist within the concept of competence assessment.

This study advocates the importance of recognising Air Traffic Controllers as system informants to gain a comprehensive picture of the complexity of operational work. Assessment of competence is only meaningful if one understands the contextual parameters and practices of normal work. (Less)
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author
Petri, Anne-Mette LU
supervisor
organization
course
FLMU06 20142
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Competence assessment, FLMU06, Air Traffic Control, Safety-II, Competence assessment synthesis, System informants, Adaptive competence, six stage competence model, Social competence., Service-driven competence
language
English
id
8232927
date added to LUP
2015-12-02 15:34:57
date last changed
2017-11-27 15:08:55
@misc{8232927,
  abstract     = {The reality in terms of operational competence has changed. The past tradition of assessing procedural compliance of the individual Air Traffic Controller is today challenged in a dynamic and intractable socio-technical system like Air Traffic Management. Changes in technology and complex system interdependencies, call for an enhanced understanding of the interaction and coupling between the human operator and the system. As the skill sets change, new competencies emerge and the assessment or measurement of these must follow.

A study, using the framework of Grounded Theory, was conducted to explore the existing practice of the yearly competence assessment of Air Traffic Controllers. The purpose of this research was to examine if the compulsory competence assessment can be utilised as a means of transitioning from the individual centric approach that characterises today’s competence assessment, towards a system centric view where the interaction between the Air Traffic Controller and the wider system is incorporated.

Sixteen semi-structured interviews, four of which were conducted as small focus group interviews, provided qualitative data for this research.

The study found a need for calibrating the traditional view of competence to encompass the many new functions of normal work. An enhanced six stage competence model was derived from the research data to ensure an augmented emphasis on understanding the daily activities of work. The six elements of the competence model are:

•	Skill-based competence
•	Knowledge-based competence
•	Experience-based competence
•	Adaptive competence
•	Service-driven competence
•	Social competence

The competence model represents a synthesis of individual and systemic based competence elements, as both approaches need to coexist within the concept of competence assessment.

This study advocates the importance of recognising Air Traffic Controllers as system informants to gain a comprehensive picture of the complexity of operational work. Assessment of competence is only meaningful if one understands the contextual parameters and practices of normal work.},
  author       = {Petri, Anne-Mette},
  keyword      = {Competence assessment,FLMU06,Air Traffic Control,Safety-II,Competence assessment synthesis,System informants,Adaptive competence,six stage competence model,Social competence.,Service-driven competence},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Competence Assessment of Air Traffic Controllers: A transition from Safety-I to Safety-II},
  year         = {2015},
}