A Creeping Error: More Training, More Frequently

Author: Scott Macpherson


When TrainingPort.net first started, we had a core list of topics, client needs, and requests. The growth of the company, as well as our research into likely needs, has resulted in a current list of 60 topics that we keep up to date through our revision process.

Our model is to provide you with a steady stream of short lessons with regular exposure to keep you fresh on the myriad topics that apply to you. However, just taking more topics or taking topics more frequently does not equate to better, more effective training. Confirming a view that we have long held, we recently extracted a data sample to make this case for a submission in response to a proposed regulation.

Using Aircraft Critical Surface Contamination (ACSC) as an example, a simple analysis of scores of over 10,000 lesson tests shows that there is little difference between the comprehension of those taking annual versus biennial training, with the results slightly favouring the less frequent training regime.

Below: Correlation between training periodicity and first attempt test scores

Blog - Online Aviation Training Periodicity

This demonstrates that the belief that more frequent training makes aviation safer is overly simplistic. Training topic selection and periodicity should be driven by an analysis of the operator’s risks.

As for training on every possible topic, while our full solution service clients are always welcome to everything, we use the Training Needs Assessment to ensure that your topics and frequencies are appropriate and effective in your particular context. There are topics that many departments choose to take over one or two years that can easily be justified for triennial delivery, reducing the trainee load while likely resulting in equal or even better training value.

Our challenge in the next few years is going to be to rationalize the training “load” so that it is helpful and not a hindrance to operations.




Scott Macpherson is the President and Founder of TrainingPort.net and Vice-Chairman of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) Governing Board. He is currently Captain on a Falcon 900LX.

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