Human Factors

Optimising the Human Contribution

The ‘Human Factor’ is crucial to the safe and efficient operation of any complex safety-critical system. Recognising the human element of the system not only leads to a safer operation but also leads to greater productivity and smoother implementation of technology.
Whatever the subject, our courses and services are delivered by an expert in that field.

Whatever the subject, our courses and services are delivered by an expert in that field.

The NATS Human Factors team delivers real safety and performance benefits to both NATS and our clients’ operations by optimising the human contribution, of which training and the assessment of knowledge, skills and abilities is an essential part.

Being the best at what we do

The Human Factors team have a wealth of experience gained from applying HF expertise to ATC and aviation challenges, helping to optimise the performance of the key ‘human element’ in the ATC system. All of our HF trainers are practitioners, giving them unparalleled first hand knowledge of radar, tower and engineering environments and the challenges that humans face day in, day out within these environments. Thus the key benefit of our HF led courses is that they relate Human Factors issues directly to the operational ATC and aviation environment, allowing our trainers to use a range of real life operational scenarios to bring the courses they deliver to life and to address clients’ operational needs.

Our Human Factors training courses

Our Human Factors experts have developed a range of key training courses specifically designed and developed for ATC. The current range includes:
  • Introduction to Human Factors
  • Incident investigation
  • Visual scanning in the operational environment
  • Building resilience & confidence to achieve success
  • Fatigue risk management
  • Team resource management
All of our training courses are used within NATS. They have also been successfully delivered to a growing number of other ATC and aviation customers worldwide. Recent external customers have included:
  • The UK Civil Aviation Authority who asked NATS to run two HF courses for their staff
  • Birmingham Airport benefited from both HF and Team Resource Management training
  • Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore received a 10 day ‘Introduction to Human Factors’ course (accredited by the British Psychological Society)

Want something unique?

In addition to our standard courses, we also offer tailored courses where we adapt the course length, content and focus in order to meet clients’ specific requirements. We can also design and deliver bespoke training in which we work with clients from scratch to identify specific learning objectives and develop the right solution for them.

Tangible benefits

Within NATS, developing HF skills in our staff has brought tangible performance improvements and has ultimately helped to enhance safety, efficiency and the service provided to our customers. For instance our visual scanning training leads to controllers using the information around them to make optimal, safe decisions. Very often, HF training interventions save money too: for example our confidence and resilience work with trainees has helped to increase the likelihood that they will validate, whilst also helping highly experienced air traffic controllers to ‘bounce back’ after incidents and other issues.

Our Courses

Introduction to Human Factors

Equips delegates with a basic understanding of Human Factors, so that they can begin to provide a positive constructive and supportive environment to optimise performance in the workplace.

Topics Include: Human Information Processing, Human Communication Factors, Risk Management, Designing Workstations & Equipment, Learning and much more!

Why Attend: Having a strong foundation in HF means you can identify and resolve issues early, which enhances how effective, efficient and economical the operation is.

Team resource management

Enables delegates to understand the importance of effective teamwork and learn a range of approaches, tools, and techniques for building high performance teams

Topics Include: Teamwork Behaviours: An Integrated Model, Team Types & Their Associated Challenges, Integrating Different Perspectives, Decision Making and Leadership & Management.

Why Attend: Implementing TRM in the operation will lead to enhanced continuity and stability of team work and a reduced number of teamwork related incidents.

Incident investigation

Gives delegates the skills and confidence to carry out high quality investigations and make practical recommendations to mitigate future safety incidents, through both technical and practical sessions.

Topics Include: Understanding Human Error,Gathering Information Through Interviews, Capturing Lessons & Recommendations, Practice & Mock Interviews.

Why Attend: Through knowing why an incident occurred can the right actions be identified to reduce the risks of recurrence.

Building resilience & confidence to achieve success

Provides delegates with strategies and tools to develop the skills and attitudes that help to make them more resilient to change in the workplace and give them the confidence to deal with setbacks and pressure effectively.

Topics Include: Dealing With Pressure/Stress, Bouncing Back From Difficult Feedback, Self-Belief After A Failure, Support Following a Confidence Knock and Resilience & Change in the Workplace.

Why Attend: Having resilient and confident staff reduces trainee failure rates and the amount of time it can take to validate. Increases in traffic levels, complexity and workload can also be managed effectively ensuring that the operation remains safe.

Fatigue risk management

Tackling fatigue risk in ATC is vital to maintaining a safe & effective operation. This course helps managers and staff to understand, identify & tackle the real fatigue issues at their unit.

Topics Include: Understanding Fatigue Risk, Strategies to Manage Fatigue, Boosting Alertness, Developing a Unit Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS)

Why Attend: Fatigue permeates all ATC roles and its impact can be difficult to assess. With the right awareness and strategies, ATC managers and staff can put in place mechanisms to mitigate fatigue risk.

Visual scanning

Gives delegates practical skills to critique the way they scan the visual environment when carrying out their ATC role and make improvements to enhance their situation awareness.

Topics Include: Assimilating the Visual Environment & Strip Display, Seeking Important Features in the Visual Scene, Best Practice & Breaking Bad Habits

Why Attend: Recognising how best to scan and the pitfalls is a vital tool in keeping ATC safe and efficient. Missing one vital thing can often make a huge difference.

Download a summary of our Human Factor courses

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