Chapter 4: Training and Education

Learning Outcomes

On completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Determine the fatigue training needs of your organization.

  • List the resources required to support a fatigue management training program.

Determining Training Needs

There are three main factors to consider when designing and implementing an FRMS training program:

  1. Level of existing knowledge within the organization

  2. The level of fatigue-related risk within the organization

  3. Requirement of resources for training within the organization

Training is an essential component of a fatigue risk management system. Before designing and implementing a training program, an organization should determine the level and method of training required. For example, if fatigue risk management is relatively new to an organization, it may need to start with a basic training program about fatigue and how to manage it at a personal level (i.e., An Introduction to Managing Fatigue (TP 14572E). An organization that understands the risk of fatigue may choose to go directly to more detailed instruction about applied management strategies (i.e., Fatigue Management Strategies for Employees, TP 14573).

A risk assessment of the various work tasks and the work environment also helps in developing a training program. Companies with low fatigue-related risk may decide to launch a basic workplace awareness program. Companies where fatigue-related risk is high or extreme may require employees to follow competency- based training with regular refresher courses.

Another factor to take into account is the size of the organization. A small company with only 20 employees in a single location may choose to hire an external trainer to present the training package to all employees at the same time. A company with several locations may choose to use a web-based package that employees can complete in their own time and at their own location. If an organization already has an in-house safety training program, it can train its own trainers to deliver a fatigue management training program. The Fatigue Risk Management for the Canadian Aviation Industry: Trainer's Handbook (TP 14578E) may be useful for companies that choose this option.

Factors to consider when designing a fatigue risk management training program
Level of Fatigue Risk Resources Employee Characteristics

Working hours

Work tasks

Work environment

Frequency of fatiguerelated accidents

Likelihood and consequences of fatiguerelated error

Regulatory requirement

Financial commitment

Time for development

Time for implementation

Workplace culture – most effective methods of training

Availability of in-house trainers

Training materials

Geographic location

Literacy skills


Rates and reasons for sickness/absenteeism

Current knowledge

Existing competencies

The table above provides a summary of various things to take into consideration in implementing a training program.

When the training needs and levels have been identified, it will be necessary to:

  • determine the content of the training package

  • determine the time frame and schedule for completion of training

  • allocate the necessary resources to ensure the successful roll-out and follow-up of the course

Fatigue Management Education and Training

Fatigue training is most efficient when it provides both knowledge and know-how.

The aims of any fatigue training should be clearly stated in the course outline. The time devoted to the course should reflect the priority and importance of fatigue issues for the organization. Typically, face-to-face training can run from 60 minutes to eight hours. In the past, organizations typically provided short educational sessions about fatigue. While such sessions are important for raising awareness, there is often a low rate of knowledge retention with this type of training. Employees may take some information away but since details are quickly forgotten, they are unlikely to alter any of their habits at work or away. More recently, organizations have begun using competency-based training techniques, which require employees to apply what they have learned to their individual situations. This approach promotes better knowledge retention among trainees. In addition, formal competencybased assessments can assure an organization that employees understand the concepts presented and can apply them to their work situation. Refresher training should be given annually for the first two years, and every two years after that. Refresher courses also provide an opportunity to disseminate new information from the evolving field of fatigue management and allow employees to consolidate prior learning.

The Training Environment

Investment in training can be wasted if it is not framed by a real learning environment. Employees who attend training courses may not actually know why they are there or how they will be followed up. Some managers may show little interest in helping or encouraging employees to implement changes based on their training. It is important to develop a training environment as well as a training course. An environment that promotes learning provides:

  • appropriate notice for course attendance (i.e., several weeks compared to several hours)

  • any prior reading required (i.e., refresher course materials, background information, etc.)

  • course location and aims

  • facilities for training (i.e., training room rather than lunch room, airconditioned environment, quiet, etc.)

  • training support materials and facilities (e.g., printed materials, audio - visual presentations, white board, paper, pens, etc.)

  • appropriate record keeping of course attendance and future courses required

  • assessment process outlined, conducted, and recorded (e.g., oral and written assessment, log book, etc.)

  • support of trainees (e.g., time, resources, follow up, mentoring, etc.)

  • skilled trainers and their contact information

Fatigue Management Training and Education Outcomes

On completion of training, it is expected that:

  • Employees know and understand the organization's fatigue management policies and procedures.

  • Managers and employees know and understand their responsibilities in managing fatigue.

  • Personnel know how to identify and manage risks associated with fatigue at both a personal and organizational level.

  • Those responsible for decisions influencing sleep opportunities for employees know and understand their responsibilities and implement appropriate fatigue-reduction strategies where necessary.

  • Training records have been made and stored in an appropriate place.

- Determine the need for fatigue training within your organization.
- Develop a training program for the organization.
- Develop a training report that you would present to senior management; within this report, identify (1) resources required, (2) training times, and (3) trainer to conduct the fatigue training course for employees.

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