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The Broader Values of a Competence Assurance Program

How did the airline industry fly 39 million commercial flights without an incident in the U.S. last year? By ensuring competence in their personnel.

When we brief our clients on the value of a Competence Assurance Program, we always discuss the airline industry and how they achieve their incredible safety record while flying millions of miles around the globe, 24/7, in all kinds of weather, and in dangerous terrain.


An effective competency assurance program uses formal systems, tools and processes to ensure personnel are competent to complete assigned tasks to an expected standard. Competency-based training instill confidence in your organization’s personnel.


To accomplish the airline industry’s unprecedented safety record, their programs include the following critical components:


  • Total commitment by all stakeholders
  • Comprehensive training programs by trained and experienced instructors
  • A structured framework that ensures consistent and reliable results
  • Delineation of required tasks to be demonstrated with appropriate conditions and standards for assessment
  • Assessments of knowledge, skills, and abilities at regular intervals by trained assessors
  • A method for verifying effectiveness and quality of the program
  • Ensuring lessons learned result in program improvement and organizational learning


Clearly, comprehensive programs such as these result in increased safety throughout an organization, however we also explain that there are much broader benefits beyond improving safety. For example, our clients are noting an increased confidence and pride within their workforces. They are also seeing an increased openness to ask questions, and to challenge each other with technical questions to improve team capabilities. Finally, thanks to a quantifiable reduction in human error related failures (greater than 10%), one company is enjoying a clear improvement in employee morale as unnecessary rework decreases.


Another unexpected benefit, and one that is critical to the airline industry, is improvements in scheduling flexibility. When all crews in a specific role are assessed to the same level against a structured set of tasks (i.e.: competencies), moving individuals between teams and shifts becomes on non-event. Also, as our clients are seeing during the pandemic, it also allows personnel to switch job categories quickly to fill vacancies caused by illness. To fill an open position, the employee is trained and assessed in any competencies unique to the new role, and they are ready to shift positions quickly and confidently. Our clients are using this flexibility to meet current, and plan for future, resource requirements. 


As our clients are realizing, CA programs are providing many benefits beyond an improvement in safety. They are also seeing their competence assurance programs as a key contributor to a positive shift in corporate culture within their organizations.

Vetergy’s Competency Assurance program instills confidence in your organization’s personnel to help them reach new levels of performance and efficiency. To learn more about our program and how it can benefit your organization, click here.

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