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CBTA Instructional System Design

Training solutions design following the principles of competency-based training and assessment (CBTA)

The objectives of the CBTA training solutions are to:

  • Validate that pilots are competent and confident for a safe and efficient return to operations

  • Support the design of training sessions that covers equivalent or more training objectives compared to traditional recurrent training and checking

  • Provide operators with an alternative mean of compliance to their approved recurrent training and checking program

The pilot competencies

IATA recommends following the latest ICAO provisions for competency-based training and assessment.

AOCs and ATOs should use two sets of competencies:

  • 9 Pilot competencies (8 Pilot competencies as proposed by ICAO and the competency "Application of Knowledge" as proposed by EASA for EBT - see Annex 1), and

  • 5 Instructor/Evaluator competencies (5 Instructor/Evaluator competencies as proposed by ICAO - see Annex 2)
The 9 pilot competencies (PC) are:
  • PC 0      Application of Knowledge

  • PC 1      Application of Procedures and Compliance with Regulations

  • PC 2      Communication

  • PC 3      Aeroplane Flight Path Management, automation

  • PC 4      Aeroplane Flight Path Management, manual control

  • PC 5      Leadership and Teamwork

  • PC 6      Problem Solving and Decision Making

  • PC 7      Situation Awareness and Management of Information

  • PC 8      Workload Management

The 5 instructor/evaluator competencies (IEC) are:

  • IEC 1     Pilot competencies (see above)

  • IEC 2     Management of the Learning Environment

  • IEC 3     Instruction

  • IEC 4     Interaction with the trainee

  • IEC 5     Assessment and Evaluation

Note: Detailed information can be obtained in the IATA / IFALPA Guidance Material for Instructor and Evaluator Training. 

CBTA principles


This white paper describes a competency-based approach for pilot training sessions. Following the ICAO "ADDIE" (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate) model, the CBTA training program should include the following five components and related outputs:





Analysis of the training need

Training specification


Design of the competency model including performance criteria

2.1. Competency model

2.2. Training assessment plans


Development of the training and assessment materials

Training materials, assessments, examinations


Conduct of the course

Competent and confident  pilots


Evaluation of the course including the assessment and training plans

Course report

Preparing the CBTA training sessions

The first step (No. 1 above) of the ADDIE model is to thoroughly analyze the training need, which will result in a training specification.


The resulting training specification should provide answers to questions regarding the purpose of the training, the tasks associated with the purpose, the operational environment, the technical, regulatory and organizational requirements. For the refresher training, these questions can be answered by referring to the existing documentation of the AOC/ATO.


Output No. 2.1 requires the design of the competency model, including the performance criteria (the competency standards and conditions).  For the refresher training it is assumed that the competency model of the AOC/ATO is already in place.


Standards: For the refresher training it is assumed that the final competency standard is already defined and implemented for the existing recurrent training and assessment scheme.

Conditions: The conditions under which the competencies of the trainees will be assessed (nature and complexity of the operational and environmental context; tools and systems/equipment) comprise the given operating environment of the AOC/ATO.


Development of the assessment and training plans (No. 2.2) and the training materials (No. 3) is based on the training specification, which will include any special emphasis of the program. 

Special emphasis

The pilots need to be trained and assessed in all 9 pilot competencies to the organization's final competency standard. However, the AOC and the ATO may decide to put special emphasis on the competencies that have been identified, during the training gap analysis, as critical for the successful performance in the context of return to operations. 


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