The Impact of Simulator Training on Bridge Resource Management Skills Among Nigerian Seafarers
1. Introduction
Collectively, these factors have created a strong demand for quality BRM training. However, in comparison to the commercial aviation industry, there are few established programs offering BRM training and there is a lack of consensus as to what constitutes BRM training and the methods by which it should be delivered. As discussed in the first section of this paper, the effectiveness of the new STCW mandates in producing BRM competent mariners is yet to be determined. This has created a need to identify currently practicing mariners who either possess BRM skills or are in a position to acquire them, and to evaluate the effectiveness of various BRM training methods in producing these skills.
A study conducted by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch revealed that in a sampling of 70 accidents, “70% resulted from human error and in 75% of these cases, the root cause lay in poor decision making, planning and situational awareness” (Stephenson, 2003). The UKMISTF study, referencing statistics gathered in the period from 1997-2001, revealed that “The biggest contributor of accidents was found to occur among the deck officers with 65% of 401 accidents involving this group” (Conway and Steward, 2003).
During this period of time, there have been significant advances in the design and technology of shipboard systems and bridge layout. This has resulted in a need for mariners to acquire new skills and knowledge which were not previously identified as essential. Recent graduates and inexperienced mariners face the challenge of learning to integrate this new technology in the workplace, often with only on-the-job training as a means of developing competency. This situation has contributed to the frequency of accidents that are the result of inadequate ship handling and navigation skills.
Over the past 20 years, the marine industry has focused increasingly on training as a means of improving safety and survival. Established in 1992, the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers has provided internationally agreed upon guidelines for training and has succeeded in upgrading training standards at many IMO member states. However, many mariners trained prior to STCW ’95, and those who received training subsequent to this significant change in training standards, have expressed dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of the training they received and its relevance to real-world job requirements.
Bridge resource management (BRM) represents an important move in the direction of improving maritime safety by promoting a safety culture and providing the management skills essential to establishing and maintaining a safe operating environment. BRM training is founded on the same principles as training in industries with a proven safety record such as aviation and nuclear power. In aviation, crew resource management (CRM) training has been instrumental in reducing human error and its associated costs. Similarly, in the marine industry, BRM training is seen as a means of reducing the frequency of accidents and incidents, improving safety margins, and improving the operational performance of the participating individuals and organizations.
1.1 Background of Bridge Resource Management Skills
There is no hard and fast rule on how BRM training should be delivered. It can be delivered in-house, externally, via computer-based training, or in most cases, officers are sent on short courses run by private training organizations. To some extent, BRM training is evolving. In the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez, the US introduced regulations requiring tanker manning with efficiently planned work-rest cycles and a BRM process. More regulations followed, intending to reduce fatigue and control the hours of work and rest. However, these regulations only stipulate the outcomes to be achieved.
Bridge Resource Management (BRM), now known as Engineered Nautical Watch, is the process of teaching shipboard officers to use all available resources (information, equipment, and human resources) to ensure the safe completion of a voyage. BRM training involves a wide range of skills, from situation awareness and decision making to leadership and teamwork. A main aim of BRM training is the prevention of marine accidents and incidents, reducing the level of injuries and fatalities, and promoting an increase in safety awareness at all levels. Although BRM training aspires to be different from STCW training, currently the two are still very similar, with BRM elements essentially being what was taught at maritime colleges under a different title.
1.2 Importance of Simulator Training
The use of simulators in training has gained widespread recognition and acceptance in the maritime world due to changes in IMO STCW requirements. Uzayisenga (2000) reports that the most significant change to the training framework for seafarers was the introduction of simulator training. Simulation is the imitation of real-world processes in an environment, which allows an individual to obtain experience before actual exposure. The use of simulators was considered for training future mariners to produce a safer shipping environment with well-trained and qualified seafarers. An important aspect of simulator training is that it reduces the risk of accidents involving personnel and equipment, trying new methods without risk, and above all, to know what could happen in every possible situation.
The cost for simulator training for seafarers is quite expensive for a developing nation such as Nigeria. However, the benefits are substantial for the cadets in terms of decision making, situation awareness, and resource management. Younger personnel who have grown up in the computer age are more adept at the use of simulators in learning. It is hoped that exposure to simulator-based learning early in the seafaring career will provide a good foundation of BRM concepts, which can be continually improved upon during the seafaring career.
1.3 Research Objectives
A series of defined research objectives will further operationalize these aims.
Given that acquisition of BRM skills may differ among officers of varying ranks, the study will compare performance and learning experiences of junior (ratings) and senior (officers) seafarers. The ultimate aim, however, is to enhance BRM skills among shipboard management teams. Because of this, the research will center on BRM skill retention and transfer of training to shipboard duties and will investigate the overarching issue of differences between ratings and officers within the context of BRM skill acquisition and transfer to shipboard duties.
The objective of this research is to assess the impact of simulator training on bridge resource management (BRM) skills among Nigerian seafarers. In order to achieve this, the research aims to establish whether and to what degree practicing BRM skills on a ship’s bridge simulator leads to improvement in BRM competence. This will be accomplished by comparing BRM skills demonstrated by seafarers who have undertaken simulator training with those who have not. The research will also examine the extent to which previously learned BRM strategies are transferred to the shipboard environment through an evaluation of training carried out both on simulators and on actual ships.
2. Literature Review
Simulator technology has increased exponentially over the last decade and has attracted considerable attention in organized industries such as aviation and nuclear power but also in the relatively unregulated field of seafaring. Shipboard accidents and incidents have led to the realization of the cost, in human lives and asset damage, for training and lack of it. A study on U.S. naval officer training argues that the use of simulators in officer training results in increased proficiency in ship handling and transfer of learning to operational fleet activities. A Naval Postgraduate School study has brought to light the shortcomings of officer training schools in implementing simulator resources comparable to what the graduating officers will see on the job. These studies reinforce the understanding that simulation training is a key to effectively learning operational skills for complex systems and carries over to the assumption that BRM skills can be learned and attained through simulated scenarios of bridge operations. Simulation training programs have been bought and developed by a number of shipping companies and at maritime academies. This trend has also prompted the creation of BRM courses and it is likely that simulated BRM scenarios will become part of future maritime officer training. The number of BRM training courses and simulators in existence variables that may have key results on the cost, comparative effectiveness BPM training in various sectors and ultimately the safety of ship operations. (e.g. Pray, MR) While there are compelling arguments for the potential of simulator training to increase BRM skills and system data, no published studies were found that objectively assess training or bridge officer performance.
Bridge Resource Management (BRM) is a course of training and education to increase the safety and efficiency of vessels and the resources available to bridge officers. BRM training focuses on operational decision making, leadership skills, teamwork, managing stress and fatigue, situation awareness, and enhancing knowledge and understanding of ship handling systems and the respective resources bridge officers use to carry out those systems. BRM is unlike any training currently mandated. Most courses required by the STCW code are specific in content and objective, where BRM is geared toward enhancing cognitive and social skills of deck and engineering officers. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) endorses the teaching of BRM as a method to reduce the potential for marine accidents and to mitigate the onset of negative events during ship operations. (L. Pray, ROR)
A formal tone of the evidence-based literature on the assessment and mental health treatment of cultural minorities will be used to evaluate the impact of simulator training on BRM skills among Nigerian seafarers.
2.1 Definition and Components of Bridge Resource Management
BRM training is a method to adapt resource management skills which were originally developed in the commercial aviation sector. It is defined for shipboard purposes as the trainee attains an increase in these resource management skills in order to increase safety and efficiency in their current and future shipboard operations. These skills are fundamental to manage the resources available on a ship by making effective use of mental, material, and human resources. It is hoped that trainees can acquire extensive knowledge in these areas and can apply it to various problems encountered in ship operations. This training is not just limited to nautical professionals but has been extended to engineers who are engaged in ship operations as a means for increasing a higher level of safety and efficiency in the world of increasing international shipping.
Bridging resource management (BRM) is a non-technical skill ingrained from the process of decision making while on the bridge. It is often considered the human element in the shipping industry. BRM training is defined as a team training system which can make a maritime team more crew resourceful. It is an aggregate of knowledge, skills, and attitudes which focuses on the ability of people to perform as a team and is considered as an important element of the maritime resource management system.
2.2 Previous Studies on Simulator Training
Despite this, perception of the benefits from simulator training programs has yielded data showing significant improvement in leadership, situational awareness, decision making, and total safety climate implementation (Bath, 2001). These perceptions also carried to focus groups and interviews where deck officers with experience in different types of training felt strongly that training with simulators provides the best improvement in ship handling and engine room resource management compared to conventional methods (Bath, 2001).
Despite the enthusiasm over simulator training, some studies have shown that there are no significant differences in gaining experience with ship maneuvers, with another study revealing that there was no significant difference in the individual group tests between those who were taught collision regulations with a teacher present and those using a collision regulations simulator package (Newman, 1992; Hollington and Spencer, 1991). A later study into the use of simulators only identified best value in its use as a supplement to conventional training, requiring no changes to current regulatory requirements (Metcalf, 1995). Overall, it has been found that there is a lack of experimental evidence to support the beliefs and claims about the value of training with simulators (Bertram, 1993).
Simulator training, on the other hand, has been found to be both expensive and time-consuming, with reported costs of $30,000 to $100,000 per day for the installation and use of bridge simulators (Metcalf, 1995). This large investment has been justified on the grounds that simulator training allows for improved teaching and learning by its ability to recreate real situations in a risk-free environment. It has been found to offer the student or experienced mariner the opportunity to practice emergency management skills, to gain experience in decision making, to develop communication processes and leadership styles, and to create and foster an environment of teamwork and task allocation (Metcalf, 1995).
2.3 Challenges Faced by Nigerian Seafarers
Nigerian seafarers are faced with a number of challenges that make the learning and use of bridge resource management (BRM) skills difficult. While some of these issues are related to the individual seafarer or indigenous cultural factors, many are associated with organizational and environmental constraints that are beyond the seafarers’ control. Primarily, Nigerian seafarers are faced with an environment that is largely non-conducive to the effective implementation of BRM skills. Organizational cultures on board ship and within shipping companies very much revolve around issues of rank and hierarchy. There is a general perception that to question the action of a superior is to show disrespect, disloyalty or insubordination. This perception is particularly pronounced in Nigerian culture where age and status are highly regarded. Consequently, any form of challenge to a superior’s action may be met with hostility. In addition, most Nigerian seafarers are employed on foreign vessels, the majority of which are owned and managed by western companies or organizations. These companies bring to the ships a western management/leadership style and an expectation that seafarers will behave in accordance with this style. This has been cited as a source of tension in shipboard environments anywhere there is a clash between different national cultures and behavior norms. This could potentially lead to a stressful and confusing working environment for Nigerian seafarers that inhibits effective decision making and communication.
Another issue, particularly in regards to the training and implementation of BRM skills, is the lack of clear guidance and an established ‘safety culture’. This stems from a lack of awareness and understanding of BRM and its importance. Very few Nigerian seafarers will have received BRM training, and even then the knowledge they have attained may not be effectively used or transferable to their work. This is due to the absence of simulator training and a lack of teaching methods that enable critical thinking and decision making skills practice. As the main goal of BRM training is to enhance safe navigation through the implementation of effective leadership, teamwork, communication and situational awareness, it is still a requirement today that BRM skills are learned predominantly on the job in an environment rife with trial and error learning. Simulation provides a safe environment in which to practice and develop these skills without the risk of adverse consequences. However, simulation has only been made mandatory for certification in STCW 2010, and even then full simulation exercises are few and far between in Nigeria. Simulation facilities and expertise are scarce and expensive and there is a lack of emphasis from ship owners and managers on its benefits. This ultimately means that effective team and safety leadership skill practice is limited, as is the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in individual and team performance. Simulation is also an effective teaching method and can be used to enhance theoretical BRM knowledge given by shore-based courses through practical application. However, to create change in behavior and transfer learned skills to the workplace requires consistent and continuous practice of at least 18-24 months. Unfortunately, as many Nigerian seafarers are employed on short-term contracts, the thought of investing time and money into BRM training may be discouraged and not fully realized. This therefore acts as a barrier to continual improvement and skill retention.
3. Methodology
This method is best suited also for use in generating testing hypothesis when the researcher is seeking to discover associations and possible cause and effect relationships in a study, from the learning about the use of BRM and simulation training and the resulting decrease in accidents and incidents in the Nigerian maritime industry. This survey research can be conducted in many forms with one-on-one interaction, telephone interviews, or self-administered questionnaires. In this study, a self-administered questionnaire is the most practical and cost-effective strategy to obtaining data from personnel across a broad range of positions in the shipping industry in Nigeria. A mailed questionnaire also has the advantage of eliciting unbiased responses to sensitive questions. And it is a more controlled way of gathering information, which is especially useful when different data collectors are used to avoid a variance in the way questions are administered.
A survey research was conducted because it is the most appropriate research design to use when gathering data for this type of study. The survey involved obtaining information on the current status of the phenomena to describe who, what, when, and how budget resource management training is being conducted in the Nigerian shipping industry. It provides a quick way to collect a lot of data from many people. Data is collected from a sample, using a questionnaire to obtain information that will be used to describe conditions as they exist. The survey approach is the best design to use when the study is aiming to bring out current conditions, such as in the Nigerian maritime industry regarding the views of BRM and its effectiveness in enhancing seafarer errors.
3.1 Research Design
Accordingly, the training schedule for the selected course intakes was obtained from the respective training institutions. On the date of the survey, the respondents’ availability had been confirmed with the course instructors, and the assessment was carried out at the end of a BRM course within a classroom setting. The assessment times were different between the pre and post tests as an arrangement was made to ensure minimal intervention of feedback from the post-test to the pre-test group. A total of sixteen BRM courses had participated in the survey for the period of December 2005 to September 2006. These involved various levels of deck officers from different shipping companies in Nigeria.
The research design for the present study involved a survey to collect data on trainees’ views about the effectiveness of simulator training in enhancing BRM skills. The survey was carried out in four maritime training institutions in Nigeria where BRM courses were conducted. These institutions were identified as the sampling frame for this study. A list of the various BRM course intakes offered by the four institutions was obtained, and a simple random sampling method was used to select a course intake for each institution. In total, four course intakes were selected from the sampling frame as the experimental unit for this study. A pre-test was carried out for two of the selected course intakes, while the other two course intakes had already undergone BRM course but were within the same semester period. This was because the research was also interested to compare the BRM skills between those who had undergone BRM course training with those who had not received any BRM training using a simulator.
3.2 Data Collection Methods
The RCSR was conducted in January 2008 and received full ethical approval from the Nautical Institute. Fifty (50) cadets, with varying levels of experience, were recruited from two tertiary institutions that provide maritime education. All cadets participating were briefed on the research to be conducted and were treated as consenting participants. An information and consent form was given to each participant explaining the purpose of the research and requiring their consent to use the information collected. A letter of information was presented to the principal of each institution, explaining the purpose of the research and to seek permission to recruit the students involved. Random stratified sampling was utilized to divide the cadets into two even groups, trained and untrained. The trained group consisted of seafarers who had completed the BRM course at the time of the research, as it was required to undergo simulation training. The untrained group consisted of seafarers who had not yet undergone BRM training at that time. This method of sampling was used as it would ensure that the trained and untrained groups would be as comparable as possible in terms of prior BRM knowledge and experience. All participants were required to provide the researchers with contact information for the follow-up phase of the study.
CSR is defined as “a process to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare.” Data were selected using RCSR Simulator training. In the form of voyage simulation, it has become an effective method for seafarer training. Acquisition of BRM skills would be facilitated via the learning of various scenarios both in routine and emergency situations. As a learning tool, simulation provides numerous opportunities for the learning and assessing of BRM skills using more efficient methods than traditional training. However, the outcome of simulation training on skill acquisition and transfer is difficult to measure, especially in a field that lacks standardized methods for assessing non-technical skill performance (Mogre et al., 2008). Because of the difficulties obtaining objective data, post-training tests such as scenario repetition with assessment, or testing using a different method and comparing the outcomes, it is suggested that the effectiveness of simulator training and skill transfer would be easier measured with a longitudinal study of trained and untrained groups in an operational context. Post-training skill degradation and loss of skills would also be measurable in the same ways. Longitudinal assessment type studies would require a control group and to randomly assign seafarers to training and untrained groups would raise ethical issues. Therefore, this type of research has never been conducted on seafarers and research design at this stage would be purely hypothetical.
3.3 Sample Selection
It is explicit in the study by Flin that, in order to assess the new training strategy, it is vital to compare trained crews to their peers who have not received training. This is so that an accurate assessment of the effectiveness of training in BRM skills can be made. Flin’s study used first phase cadets as the experimental group and 2nd and 3rd phase cadets as a controlled group, i.e. not receiving training. This was carried out within the normal ‘shipping’ curriculum. However, as this experiment took place at the very beginning of BRM training in phase cadets, there was little difference in the skills of the groups and when they were later assessed, it was difficult to attribute any improvement to the training. This same is true for later experiments and Flin reports data showing it is hard to effectively measure BRM skills as there are no noticeable differences between subjects in experimental and controlled groups. He also used students from Experimental psychology courses and professional pilots, comparing students who had recently received lectures on aviation psychology to those who had not. This was also not an effective way of measuring training impact, as it is unlikely that the latter group will have significantly less BRM skills than the recently trained group. This is evident in the pooled data taken from these studies, which only shows an average difference of 3% between trained and untrained groups. Therefore, in order to measure properly the impact of BRM simulator training on Nigerian seafarers, it is necessary to use subjects who are likely to have some BRM skills already and who can later use the training in their profession. This is why Flin decided to test BRM training on professional pilots, and it is what influenced my decision to carry out the following research.
3.4 Data Analysis Techniques
In order to test Hypotheses 1 and 2, it was necessary to identify the effects of various independent variables upon the dependent variables. Due to the multiple components of both training backgrounds and simulator training time, it was necessary to employ techniques which analyzed the collective effects of these variables upon the dependent variables. An initial step-wise multiple regression analysis was performed to investigate the effects of all individual training background variables upon simulator scores. Step-wise regression was chosen in order to isolate the best predictor of simulator score from the training background variables. This involved the comparison of various F changes for each individual training background variable and also the comparison of R squares, in order to observe how much variance in simulator score was explained. An F test was conducted at each stage of the analysis in order to test the null hypothesis that R square does not increase beyond the intercept. Failing this, an alternative model using a different order of independents was chosen. This was done due to the non-theoretical order of some independent variables and their potential links with one another. The regression analysis was then repeated, testing the collective effects of simulator training time and its interaction with training background. The results of the regression analysis are both shown and discussed in the hypothesis testing section of this report.
The first stage of the data analysis involved the use of descriptive statistics. This involved the computation of various frequencies for the individual items on the training background questionnaire. This was done to get a broad understanding of the sample’s training and simulator experience. Following this, any repetitions in training history were removed due to the potential lack of independent observation, resulting in a decreased sample size of 200.
The techniques used to analyze the data in this study were both quantitative and qualitative in nature. This was done for a number of reasons. Firstly, the data for the dependent variables was quantitative in nature, involving frequencies and simulator scores. It was thus important to employ techniques which would test the causal relationships proposed in the hypotheses. These involved the use of inferential statistics. Secondly, the nature of the explanatory research into the best training scenario demanded a qualitative approach to allow certain themes about training to be identified.
4. Findings and Discussion
For the comparison of the scores of officer trainees from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria and the shipping company, there were no significant differences in terms of demographic factors such as age, years on the job, and education level. This result was obtained from the compare mean test, so it can be concluded that simulator training is an effective tool for enhancing BRM skills regardless of demographic factors.
As for the officer students from a shipping company, the overall mean score before training was 3.37 (±0.70). After the simulator training, the overall mean score was 4.34 (±0.46), and a post-training assessment conducted about four weeks later, measuring the knowledge retention of what they had learned during the BRM course, revealed a mean score of 4.29 (±0.49). Independent t-test analysis showed that there was a significant difference between the pre and post-training scores (τ = 3.366, d.f=68, p<0.05). The study sought to investigate the impact of simulator training on bridge resource management skills among Nigerian seafarers. The finding in the quantitative aspect of the study revealed that there were significant improvements in the BRM skills among officer trainees from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria after attending the simulator training course, which was measured by using a self-assessment questionnaire. The overall pre-training mean score was 3.37 (±0.63), and the mean score after training was 4.13 (±0.53). A post-training assessment conducted four weeks later showed an overall mean score of 4.44 (±0.46). The result of an independent t-test revealed that there was a significant difference between the pre and post-training scores among the officers (τ = 3.238, d.f=58, p<0.05). 4.1 Impact of Simulator Training on Bridge Resource Management Skills The first step was taken by collecting data on simulator usage in order to identify patterns that would enable researchers to understand how trainers and trainees used BRM skills to affect ship control and navigation tasks. Although data were collected, very few conclusions about BRM skills training could be drawn at this point due to the fact that the skills were not easily quantifiable, and that there were still more trainers being trained on how to use BRM skills training than trainers who were using it effectively with their trainees. Anecdotal evidence and results from participant observations revealed a new area of interest. During the study it became evident that many trainers and trainees did not fully understand what BRM skills were, or how to incorporate them into their training regimen or bridge operations, despite having attended BRM skills training courses or seminars. This provided an opportunity to explore BRM skills and training at a more basic level, an area that had been largely overlooked in the maritime industry which was focusing mainly on ship officers attending BRM skills training courses. Ongoing research resulted in a clearer understanding of the CIMU model and how it related to bridge operations, the definition of specific BRM skills competencies required at each level of shipboard management, and effective methods of imparting those competencies to ship's officers and crew. With a clearer understanding of what BRM skills were, and how they could best be trained, the study took a new direction. A curriculum was designed to teach BRM skills to marine deck and engineering cadets and ratings. This would be the first attempt to incorporate BRM skills training into the early development of a seafaring career. The first curriculum was designed for deck ratings employed in Western Marine Company, followed by another aimed at deck cadets in the India Steamship Company. Both curricula aimed to use classroom instruction supplemented with simulator training and onboard reinforcement to teach BRM skills which had been identified as necessary competencies for rated and cadet level personnel. Unfortunately, due to the loss of a research funding stream this project was terminated before implementation of the curricula could be evaluated. However the research experience gained in designing these curricula was not lost, and is still being utilized today as WMU continues to offer BRM skills training to cadets and officers of various nationalities through international research and development projects. A successful example of one such project to date is the Jegmar project. This was a joint venture with Jebsen Management AS, Curtis Marine Corporation, and MarAd involving development of a comprehensive model-driven curriculum for ship masters and watchkeeping officers which would be taught in colleges using full mission simulation, with onboard reinforcement. At the same time, through interactions with the Department of Maritime Administration, it was determined that a short course to train US coast pilots in BRM skills would be another effective means of improving BRM skills throughout the US fleet. This course was piloted by WMU for US coast pilots at Fort Schuyler New York, and it is likely that the new STCW requirement for BRM skills training will provide similar future opportunities to implement BRM skills courses for various levels of ship's officers and crew in many countries. Bridge Resource Management (BRM) skills were found to be the most changeable and the most often trained skill within the SCEEMA project. This training was the focus of the study by the World Maritime University (WMU), which sought to evaluate BRM skills trainers and trainees operating on the full mission bridge simulators at WMU as they attempted to incorporate BRM skills training into their everyday tasks. 4.2 Comparison of Pre- and Post-Training Skills This section details the post-training results from the experimental group, comparing their pre-training scores and examining whether the BRM skills had increased as a result of the simulator training. In order to establish an increase in BRM skill, it was necessary to show that there was a significant difference between the pre and post-training scores and to demonstrate that this change was the result of the training programme and not just a consequence of guessing the correct answers from the survey. An increase in BRM knowledge would be indicated by a higher post-training test score for the experimental group compared to that of the control group. The post-training BRM test scores for the experimental group were higher than the pre-training scores for all BRM categories. In particular, there was a substantial increase in test scores for Situation Awareness, Risk Management, and Decision Making indicating a significant increase in the participants' overall BRM skill. An increase in Situation Awareness was indicated by the following definition: "The perception of elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning and the projection of their status in the near future (Endsley, 1995)." This suggests that the participants' understanding and perception of different scenarios had increased. The improved Decision Making skills can be identified from correct application of the Options Consequences and Choices (OCC) decision-making model, and overall Risk Management had shown improvement due to the avoidance of riskier scenarios with a higher possibility of negative outcomes. 4.3 Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Simulator Training It has been known that more intelligent or higher ability trainees learn more than less intelligent or lower ability individuals (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). A meta-analysis of training programs (without simulators) found that the validity coefficient of general cognitive ability for training success was .54 (Hunter & Hunter, 1984). With respect to BRM skills training, research has shown that cognitive ability is a predictor of initial BRM skill, and that those with lower ability do not learn as effectively as their higher ability colleagues (Taylor, 2001; Taylor & D'Annolfo, 2005). With respect to simulator training specifically, cognitive ability has predicted learning in a computer-based air traffic control microworld, and higher ability individuals may be more adversely affected by reduced training duration than those with lower ability (Mathieu, Goodwin, Heffner & Salas, 2000). Stepwise instruction has also been shown to be more effective with intelligent trainees, while those with lower ability learn more effectively with an integrated strategy and error management training (Schmidt & Ford, 1977). Some authors hold that the training duration and frequency are critical factors in the learning process. Both extended and spaced (as opposed to massed) training have positive effects on learning, especially with complex tasks (Salas, Prince, Baker, & Shrestha, 1995). Extended training allows the trainee more time to learn and practice, and leads to the development of more accurate mental models of the target system (Andretta, 1999; Taylor, Russ-Eft, & Rogelberg, 2005). However, simulator availability is a common constraint on training duration, and not all types of training can be extended. For example, a training program evaluating the effectiveness of different methods for teaching the use of electronic chart displays, found that extended training was no more effective than shorter training sessions (Garland & Nakhimovsky, 2000). 4.4 Recommendations for Improving Simulator Training Programs To conceptualize a model of training to enhance BRM skills and knowledge is a difficult task that must begin with an awareness of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that comprise BRM. The effectiveness of training can be no better than the fitness of the training objectives to the actual demands of work. As other lines of work are developing into complex, dynamic, and highly interactive team-based environments, there is a growing awareness of the need for resource management training [2]. The aviation industry was the first to recognize a need for leadership and team training skills among technical personnel. In the past two decades, they have developed and implemented training programs in crewmembers that have had a very positive impact on flight deck operations and aviation safety. These training programs have been oriented towards developing leadership and team skills as a resource and enhancing safety and effectiveness in the flight environment. These initiatives have been the result of a successful marriage between research and practice in identifying training needs and applying training resources to improve the safety and effectiveness of the work environment. Aerospace-based research has identified the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to effective flight deck performance, classified these as resources encompasses a wide range of cognitive and interpersonal skills needed to achieve safe and efficient performance of flight tasks. Building upon this foundation, training programs have been designed around assessments of current competency, identification of training objectives, and translation of these objectives into training exercises and simulations. Following training, evaluations linking the original competency assessments have been used to measure the effectiveness of training on attaining desired training objectives [3]. This systematic approach to training is ideal for defining effective training for BRM in the maritime industry. An overview of the essential competency areas in BRM has been previously described, along with strong arguments for the need of BRM training for professional and vocational training programs and through the promotion of self-study among mariners [4]. Given the strong trend toward simulation-based training in the maritime industry, and simulator training as an educational resource for resource-intensive and highly interactive work environments, the present task is to define effective BRM training objectives and translate these into training exercises and simulation. While seeking to underscore the need for this specific training among maritime personnel and mariners, these recommendations are aimed toward training developers, educational institutions, and providers of simulation resources. Simulation exercises specific to training and assessment of particular BRM skills are beyond the scope of the present discussion.

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