Threat and Error Management is key to safety

What is TEM?

Threat and Error management is a process which can build robustness (‘Robustness is more about how we respond to challenges when there are ways that were trained and skills and resources that are provided”) and resilience (“more about how we go beyond that and how we continuously adapt to changing situations for which we may not necessarily have procedures”) – Shawn Pruchnicki

Previous paradigms of training looked at practicing the most commonly expected events. Competency based training and then evidence based training have looked to not train for specific events but instead build up a tool box for any event.

Black Swan events cannot be trained for, but the competencies to (hopefully) deal with them can be practiced.

How do we do it?

  • During briefings
    A briefing enables crew to share a mental model (what to expect). Part of the briefing should involve an interactive discussion on the plan and strategy (what we want to have happen, how we will make it happen).

    A major part of this is threat and error management (What are the threats or possible errors? What can we do about them?)

    Mitigation is as important as identification.
  • Through self-evaluation
    Learning and developing your skills and experience from previous events is critical to developing more robustness, and resilience, for future events.
  • Point something out, say what you’ll do
    Very simply put, to really ‘manage’ threats and errors you need to first identify them (or the potential for them) and then think about what you will do about it.
    Not all can be avoided or trapped, so how will you mitigate if they cannot be?
  • In training
    Competency and evidence based training, as well as CRM discussions, should be utilised to help build and understanding and “tool box” for crew to utilise
  • Company culture
    Safety culture, and general cultures and values can promote an “attitude” for learning and development.

A very useful video

This has several very insightful people discussing how training should focus on resilience.

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