A well-trained workforce is vital to the success of any company but when we look at the aviation industry, the importance of adequate training is hard to overplay. It goes without saying that passengers will expect the pilot flying their plane to be fully trained and in receipt of all the legal requirements, but passenger safety depends on a lot more than the man or woman responsible for piloting the aircraft. In fact, safety and security in an airport setting has wider implications for the UK as a whole, which is why training compliance for the airport community is such a major topic.

Who sets airport regulations for training?

The aviation industry has its own governing body, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA oversee all aviation security regulatory activity and compliance monitoring. As well as screening airport staff and carrying out risk assessments and contingency planning, they also oversee assessment, training and recruitment standards for all airport employees. For airport training facilitators, this means adequate staff training isn’t just a “nice to have” but a legal requirement. 

Why is airport training so important?

It’s widely recognised that the comprehensive training of airline and airport staff can help to reduce risk and incident occurrence. As global portals to the rest of the world, airports can be targets for acts of unlawful interference and the job of airport staff – from the security staff to the baggage handlers and just about everyone in between – is to safeguard the public against threat. Well-trained and educated staff will also improve efficiency and effectiveness and can, ultimately, reduce airport operating costs and increase profit margins.

What are the barriers to training for airport employees?

Staff training is usually mandatory for new staff so take up is high but as staff become accustomed to and familiar with their role, the numbers taking up training can start to decline. This is in no way a problem that’s exclusive to aviation. In virtually all industries, existing staff may incorrectly assume they don’t have the time for training. Experienced staff may feel like they “already know it all” and perceive that the information provided in further training not to be relevant or applicable. And, if training isn’t firmly built into the company culture, staff may feel it’s not important anyway. Here are three ways to encourage airport employees to attend and complete all necessary training.

  1. Make training simple

Aim to make training as simple and accessible as possible for your staff to complete. 

What’s the best way to assess your candidates? Is it a sit-down test in a silent exam hall or could the training be carried out virtually? With AIRDAT’s Passport systems you can configure bespoke learning pathways and target training precisely where it needs to be. It’s also possible to create online multiple-choice tests, webinar training and competency assessments with ease – tests and assessments that are relevant and useful for the staff in question.

  1. Empower self-management

We’re living in a digital age so training looks different to how it did as little as ten years ago. Forget the textbooks and paper tests and instead invest in an engaging online platform that provides tests and competency assessments on a tablet or PC. Aim to deliver eLearning that’s accessible anywhere and everywhere (and yet will still be evidenced and audited every step of the way). You can also gamify the process to make it more appealing, and with the right training system, credit points to those who take up the training and miss out those who don’t.

With Passport’s easy-to-use and intuitive customisable dashboards, your staff (and you) will be able to see at a glance where they’re at with their training and what needs to be done to ensure they meet their targets. You can issue permits and licenses and even record penalties and generate reports against those who do not take up their training (with a clear and simple route back to compliance made available to them).

  1. Foster a knowledge-sharing mindset

Knowledge sharing in the workplace can increase productivity and trust amongst teams. It seems obvious that experienced staff members – particularly in skilled fields such as aviation – will have a lot of relevant experience and expertise that can and should be shared with newer members of staff. But, how can you ensure that junior members of the team are gaining valuable knowledge from experienced aviation professionals? 

  • Manage communication barriers – establish an online portal or platform where team members can check in with each other regularly to discuss work related matters. So much work is carried out remotely these days that this is more important than ever.
  • Lead by example – ensure that senior staff members are involved in knowledge sharing activities from the get go.
  • Recognise and reward knowledge sharing – offer bonuses or incentives to staff who are actively sharing their knowledge with others. 
  • Ensure external trainers are experienced in the field of aviation – when choosing external trainers, be sure that they speak from experience. All AIRDAT trainers are highly qualified, experienced educators with experience in the aviation industry. 

The final word

Encouraging staff to take up further training is a problem in many industries but aviation may require more support than most. If you’re struggling to encourage your staff to take up training then help is available. If you’d like to know more or see how AIRDAT could help you, get in touch with us today.