Human Factors Training: Face-2-Face v’s Online Delivery


Organisations have an important decision to make when considering how to meet the compliance requirements for Human Factors (HF) training. Should they have a tailored in-house training course delivered or use the various online training providers?  

This is a tough question for the organisation and sometimes the decision of choice is made on cost, the quickest and simplest means of compliance. This maybe a cultural approach for many organisations however, they are really not considering the true impact of their decision long term, the potential financial risks to the organisation (e.g. the cost of negligence, cost of the incident etc.…), their staff are not engaged and the management teams may not encourage staff to participate in HF principles.

We as humans are sociable animals and need the interaction when talking and learning about HF. Especially when it comes from people sharing experiences in a social forum. This is something the online training does not offer.

Having delivered in-house HF training courses to numerous organisations, where delegates have learned about how our courses have made an impact on improving staff engagement, they have moved away from online training because of the following reasons:

  • Online is generic and does not fit every organisation – just a form of compliance!
  • Organisations cannot demonstrate to the Competent Authority (e.g. CAA) how it meets their organisational requirements.  Hence, this is an immediate Level 2 Audit Finding!
  • Employees completing the online training do not fully engage in making HF part of their everyday working practices, which is increasing the potential financial risk to the organisation in the long term and can makes their staff feel unconnected, not valued and sadly unheard.
  • When employees start the online training, they tend to press the play button on the screen, let the program run and do something else at the same time.  I think the word is multitasking! So, employees are not really engaging and the organisation is not getting value for money!

As an industry example; read the Air Accident Investigation Unit Ireland, Synoptic Report dated 15th August 2015 – DHC 6-300: C-GSGF, whereby the Operator determined the Online computer based HF training is not suitable even though it met the mandatory requirements and still had an incident.

Solution? If organisations wish to continue with the Online HF training approach then, that is up to them. In our opinion, they are just ticking the box of compliance and don’t care about their culture, safety or want to make a difference.

If the organisation wants to re-engage with its staff, and wants HF to have some form of meaning then the only solution is committing to having HF delivered in-house. It does make a difference and it may just be enough to influence the behaviour & attitudes of those individuals the organisations relies and depends upon for making the right decisions.

Over to you! If you would like to know more about Blue Altitude’s Human Factors Initial or Refresher training courses then, contact us: sales@blue-altitude.com to learn more about it.