Why Chapter 5?
June 30, 2016

12674675 - why - isolated question in vintage letterpress metal typeIn the Fundamentals of IS-BAO or IS-BAH workshops, there is a lot of information covered including key standards from chapters 3 – 15. Just by the nature that there are only so many hours in a training day, the workshop instructors work hard to cover key main points of each chapter. There is one chapter, however, that we could spend a lot of time on: Chapter 5 – Training and Proficiency. While this chapter on the surface may not be as “flashy” as those dealing with operations, it nonetheless is a crucial chapter.  At first glance, Chapter 5 standards and recommended practices may appear to only require or recommend training to ensure competent employees; which may already be required training by State regulations.  However, rather than looking at the implementation of Chapter 5 as a requirement for registration, it is important to consider the direct and ancillary benefits of providing training in your organization. With that being said, here are five reasons to answer “Why Chapter 5?”:

 

  1. Training improves competency and on-task performance in the near-term.

This one seems self-evident, but yet is so important. When an individual is properly trained, learning takes place which will improve the performance with a task or job function. Additionally, changes in the environment or job requirements can manifest into errors and lack of self-confidence. The aviation environment, specifically, is an industry in flux as we see changes in regulations, airspace procedures, equipment, and even dispatch requirements to name a few. Formal training within your organization can mitigate negative manifestations as a result of change. By formal training, I mean not ad hoc training which is unstructured and unmeasured. Formal training requires a plan to include learning objectives, materials to be used, and measurement of success as examples. In Chapter 5, Standard (BAO/BAH) 5.1.2 asks that training programs include or make reference to a training course outline to provide a plan for the training. The end result will be training delivered that increases the employees’ proficiency and confidence.

 

  1. Developmental training reaches beyond the now.

Developmental training is training that has a longer view than proficiency training and is something every organization should consider within their training program. Developmental training is inferred in, for example, IS-BAO 5.1.3a (iii) – Upgrading Training – but is a worthy investment for all members of the organization or department. Proficiency training will help to ensure competent employees, but developmental training will help to ensure sustainability through development of competencies over a longer period in anticipation of organizational needs. Through developmental training, employees will engage in career development and leadership activities that will provide value to the organization in the future.

 

  1. Organizations that make training available attract key talent and retain good talent.

Generally speaking, people would like to advance in their careers, maybe become chief pilot, director of maintenance, lead supervisor, or some other position that may challenge their current skills and abilities. In order to meet the qualifications of career goals, people can pursue training opportunities on their own outside of the organization, however the most attractive solution is training provided by the organization. Organizations that strive to elevate the importance of learning within the organization, through provided training, are considered learning organizations. Learning organizations are desirable to key talent due to the fact these potential employees see a company that cares about career development through committing the resources to training. Regarding current members of the organization, frustration and dissatisfaction are fostered in employees if there is a perceived lack of organizational commitment to career development. Which leads to next point –

 

  1. Training increases job satisfaction.

Good formal training, both proficiency and developmental, are opportunities an organization can provide employees which in turn helps to enhance engagement and job satisfaction. Training and development are perceived as career advancement opportunities by organizational members, which in turn is likely to make the employee feel more committed to the organization, improve confidence in that employee, and make that employee less likely to leave. Retention of key talent is challenging in today’s organizations and providing training can go a long way to keeping good people.

 

  1. Training increases trust in the organization.

In his book The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, Stephen M.R. Covey explains how to create an organization of trust. One of the four areas Covey suggests the organization focus on to increase trust is Capabilities of the Organization. Within this area, he mentions ongoing training and mentoring to create a satisfaction among the employees, which fosters trust in the organization. Why is trust important in an organization? Besides the obvious pitfalls that would be experienced if there was no trust, trust is a key attribute of a robust safety culture. Increasing trust in the organization through training and development opportunities would not only improve morale, but also help to improve the culture within the organization.

 

While Chapter 5- Training and Proficiency – may be looked at as standards that are self-evident and sufficed through various regulations already in place, maybe a second look at the training opportunities your organization may or may not have would be beneficial. Formal training that focuses on near-term performance and competency is crucial to ensure safe and efficient operations. However, training for future organizational needs would help sustainability in operations as well as enhance employees’ perception of career advancement opportunities. Additionally, organizations that commit to training and development attract and retain key talent as well as build organizational culture through increased trust. So maybe, just maybe, when Chapter 5 comes up in the workshop or in your reading of the IS-BAO or IS-BAH, you can say resoundingly “Yes, that’s why Chapter 5!”

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5 things you should do before submitting an audit
March 25, 2015

So there you are….it is about that time to click “send” which will whisk your recently completed audit away to the IBAC audit manager. Before you make that final mouse click your mind starts running over your audit report. You start wondering if you have completed the protocols correctly, if there are enough sufficient comments and supporting evidence, if all non-conformities have been properly analyzed….basically wondering if IBAC will be happy with the audit and agree with your recommendation.

Lawrence “Fletch” Fletcher, IBAC Audit Manager, has a few pointers to help you ensure that the audit you submit accurately represents the audited organization, provides value to that organization and ultimately has a better chance of being accepted.

 

1. Ensure all protocols and sub-elements are answered.

You would be surprised at how many audits we receive where several protocols haven’t been answered. More so, we have received audits where supporting comments and/or evidence have been entered in the right-hand column, but the associated protocol hasn’t been answered. According to the IS-BAO Audit Procedures Manual (APM), Chapter 4.7.3, “When a detailed protocol (8.2) item includes sub-elements, the auditor shall indicate their assessment of each of these sub-elements…” Simply put, any protocols and sub-elements used in support of the audit must be fully completed.

 

2. Ensure that all protocols are answered “Y, N, or NA”.

Continuing from above, the APM is very specific in how the protocols are answered. While it may be very tempting to put an “X” in the appropriate column when responding to a particular protocol, IS-BAO APM 4.7 again requires the auditors to indicate conformance, non-conformance or non-applicability with a “Y, N or NA”. While this may seem like a trivial requirement, the necessity also lies in the audit review. As the review team reads line by line, the required “Y, N, NA” provides a more visible and discernable response over a check or an X.

 

3. Make sure you do not use Civil Aviation Regulations as a response to a protocol question.

It is very comforting and impressive that so many of our auditors are so savvy with applicable Civil Aviation Regulations. However, if you remember from the Auditing Workshops, APM 4.2.1 states that “The basic standard to which the audit is conducted is the IS-BAO.” Therefore, all references should be made to the applicable standard(s) in the IS-BAO. While some IS-BAO standards do require compliance with State regulations, the guiding standard is still rooted in the IS-BAO.

 

4. Comments and analysis at the end of the chapter need to be made fully in view of the operator.

You know that box at the end of each chapter in the protocols called “Comments, Observations and Recommendations”? This is the area where the auditor can really provide value to the operator. In APM 7.1.5, it states “…comments also provide audit reviewers with valuable insights into the operator’s program and how the standards are being applied.” This means that by providing comments related to the operator’s success and areas for improvement, the auditor is not only providing a value-add for the operator but also allowing the audit review team better insight into this organization.

 

5. Read the APM.

While this may seem self-evident, it is still very important to mention. The Audit Procedures Manual is the guiding document that the audit review team uses to ensure the protocols and audit report form have been completed correctly as well as to determine if the recommendation by the auditor is consistent with the evidence provided. While this may not necessarily be an action completed in its entirety prior to every audit submission, the astute auditor will continually reference it during the completion of the audit. Beyond that, a full read at least yearly would work to keep you fresh not only on the audit procedures, but also on any of the annual changes to the document.

 

Performing an audit on an organization can be a laborious, tedious and stressful event. When it comes time to submit the report and protocols, you should be putting your best foot forward by submitting a correct and concise report to ensure the audited organization is correctly represented. The five tips above should help to put you on the right track to accomplish that goal and ultimately allow the organization to benefit.

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