Can competency-based training fly?: An overview of key issues for ab initio pilot training
Competency-based training (CBT) for pilots was formally introduced in 1999 by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for training leading to the issue of aeroplane private and commercial pilot licences. This initiative followed the Australian government's introduction of CBT policy for vocational and workplace training in the late 1980's. Since then CBT has been criticised for supporting the teaching and assessment of complex skills by breaking them down into sets of simple skills or sub-routines. This paper argues that in the case of aviation in Australia, codifying flying skills for the purpose of standardising and regulating flying instruction and assessment in early flying lessons has resulted in unintended consequences for pilot training policy and practice. It proposes that while CBT may be used appropriately for initial development of physical flying skills, its application is limited in areas of pilot training which require complex decision-making and critical judgement. The paper considers alternative approaches to pilot training that may be more suitable for teaching and assessing complex flying skills, whilst also addressing the identified limitations inherent in CBT.
International Journal of Training Research
Vocational Education and Training Curriculum and Pedagogy