The effects of Crew Resource Management (CRM) training on flight attendants' safety attitudes

INTRODUCTION: A number of well-known incidents and accidents had led the aviation industry to introduce Crew Resource Management (CRM) training designed specifically for flight attendants, and joint (pilot and flight attendant) CRM training as a way to improve teamwork and communication. The development of these new CRM training programs during the 1990s highlighted the growing need for programs to be evaluated using research tools that had been validated for the flight attendant population. METHOD: The FSAQ (Flight Safety Attitudes Questionnaire-Flight Attendants) was designed specifically to obtain safety attitude data from flight attendants working for an Asia-Pacific airline. Flight attendants volunteered to participate in a study before receiving CRM training (N=563) and again (N=526) after CRM training. RESULTS: Almost half (13) of the items from the 36-item FSAQ showed highly significant changes following CRM training. Years of experience, crew position, seniority, leadership roles, flight attendant crew size, and length of route flown were all predictive of safety attitudes. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: CRM training for flight attendants is a valuable tool for increasing positive teamwork behaviors between the flight attendant and pilot sub-groups. Joint training sessions, where flight attendants and pilots work together to find solutions to in-flight emergency scenarios, provide a particularly useful strategy in breaking down communication barriers between the two sub-groups.

Source: Ford J, Henderson R, O'Hare D. J. Saf. Res. 2014; 48: 49-56.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2013.11.003

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