Airline Pilots' Perceptions of and Experiences in Crew Resource Management (CRM) Training

Most attempts to validate the effectiveness of Crew Resource Management (CRM) training have focused on assessing the trainees' reactions to their CRM training. A small number of studies have also assessed trainees' learning (e.g., changes in attitudes towards CRM or knowledge about CRM principles) at the end of training. In general, CRM training has been found to produce positive reactions and enhanced learning. Unfortunately, many of these studies are based on extremely small samples, trainees from a single airline, anecdotal data, or weak evaluation designs.

Because the Advanced Qualification Program is now being implemented at a large number of carriers, we felt that there was a unique opportunity to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to CRM training (Part 121, SVT, AQP), the results of which could be used to improve all CRM training programs.

In the sections below, we describe the results of a large-scale survey of pilots' perceptions of and experiences in their training. In particular, we focus on their responses to a series of questions concerning CRM training. This project was a unique opportunity to conduct a scientifically rigorous, large-scale comparison of CRM training programs across multiple airlines. Nevertheless, we recognize that participants' reactions to training are only one measure of a training program's effectiveness.