Pilot and Peer Assistance
3-day course I Classroom & Virtual training
- Classroom courses in London Gatwick
- Endorsed by the UK CAA and delivered by the UK CAA experts on mental health and wellbeing
- Gain the know-how to conduct peer-to-peer conversation
- Develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours to act as a Peer
What is Pilot Peer Assistance?
Pilot Peer Assistance is a support programme designed to help pilots facing personal or professional challenges. It provides a confidential and non-punitive environment where pilots can seek guidance, advice, and assistance from experienced peers. The programme aims to promote mental well-being, address substance abuse issues, and enhance safety by identifying and addressing potential concerns early on. Pilot Peer Assistance programmes typically involve trained volunteers who provide support, advocacy, and resources to their fellow pilots. These programmes play a vital role in maintaining a healthy pilot community, ensuring that pilots receive the necessary support to navigate difficult situations and maintain their well-being, ultimately contributing to safer and more resilient aviation operations.
Aviation safety is enhanced when all aviation safety sensitive personnel are fit to operate. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA), in line with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), has mandated all Commercial Air Transport (CAT) operators to implement a Support Programme (SP) for flight crew designed to inform and educate pilots, flight crew and other safety sensitive personnel on their wellbeing and health and to be fit to operate. The role of Peer Assistance is central to the Support Programme.
This course provides delegates with the opportunity to understand the skills, knowledge and behaviours, needed to provide Peer Assistance to colleagues and employees within organisations.
Peer Assistance promotes and supports the whole health and wellbeing of safety sensitive personnel. It provide an environment for confidential and independent peer-based support and assistance when peer require help, advice or assistance with a developing social, personal or health related issue.
Trained peer volunteers, working with the oversight of qualified health professionals enhance the wellbeing of industry personnel, preserving careers and enhancing aviation safety.
- Peer volunteers
- Crew members
- Senior Managers from CAT operators who have oversight of support programmes
- National Aviation Authorities (NAA’s) and Regulatory Bodies SMEs on SPs or Peer Support
- Regulatory requirements for Support programmes and the use of trained peers
- Role of a Peer, their function, responsibilities, competencies and associated safety risk factors in aviation
- An appropriate and agreed code of practice and ethics and importance of confidentiality
- Knowledge of CAA medical regulatory considerations in aviation medicine
- Human Factors, Basics of psychology and the understanding of how the human mind and body respond to stressors and the manner by which health and wellbeing issues develop
- Mental health first aid principles and intervention techniques
- How Peer Assistance works – Peer Assistance model
- The skills required for initiating and directing a peer assistance call
- Empathic and active listening skills and unconditional positive regard
- Helpful conversations in peer assistance calls; preferred future state, solution-focused conversations, shared understandings
- How to handle concerns raised by others including how to verify the veracity of a report (to limit potential misuse of the system)
- Mutual support Peers and for ‘difficult’ cases, how to look after themselves including access qualified assistance themselves, if needed
- Governance and organisational support arrangement
By the end of this course delegates will demonstrate an understanding of the following through presentation and interactive discussion:
- The function and role of a Peer and Pilot Peer Assistance
- The skills, knowledge and behaviours to act as a Peer
- The mental health and wellbeing of pilots in the aviation workplace
- The ability to have peer to peer conversations
- The mitigation of risk of pilot impairment and risk resulting from the fear of loss of licence
No pre-requisites for this course.
In the context of a support programme, a ‘peer’ is a trained person who shares common professional qualifications and experience, and has encountered similar situations, problems or conditions with the person seeking assistance from a support programme. This may or may not be a person working in the same organisation as the person seeking assistance from the support programme.
A peer’s involvement in a support programme can be beneficial due to similar professional backgrounds between the peer and the person seeking support. However, a mental health professional should support the peer when required, e.g. in cases where intervention is required to prevent endangering safety.
Meet your Instructors
Nick Goodwyn MA Dip Psych cfs RAF (Ret)
Nick Goodwyn, on behalf of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA), leads the strategic overview of Pilot and Human Performance and the implementation of Pilot Peer Assistance in developing a national programme for the benefit of all UK commercial pilots in promoting and supporting their whole health and wellbeing.
Nick has a 36 year career as a military and civilian Fast Jet Pilot, Instructor and Examiner. Focused on Flight Operations as well as learning and development, Nick is a qualified Aircrew, Executive and Business Coach specialising in flight crew welfare and personal growth. Additionally, Nick's expertise extend to Human Factors, Performance and Crew Resource Management.
As a front line fast jet military pilot, on operations and having flown over 4500 hours (including multi-engine and rotary experience), Nick was latterly responsible for the delivery of Ab-Initio Human factors training to all Royal Air Force and Royal Navy Pilots. Nick was also responsible for the cognitive development and performance of pilots and instructors through a unique Performance Coaching Programme and Human Performance for Instructors Course as well as a military and civilian Airmanship model. Additionally, he undertook bespoke flying training projects as an independent service consultant for defence senior officers. In January 2015, he was seconded to work with the UK CAA and left the RAF in September 2016 to become Director of Elite Performance Training Ltd (Aviation Services), working in the commercial air transport sector, re-joining the CAA in October 2018 to undertake the Pilot Peer Assistance project lead role.
Nick has a Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching Psychology and was awarded a Masters Degree in Executive and Business Coaching focusing on Pilot Peer Assistance and mental wellbeing.
We offer two different ways to attend this course:
- Face-to-Face Classroom Course: Embrace the traditional learning method by attending our physical training venue. Benefit from direct interaction with our instructors and fellow participants, creating an immersive and hands-on learning experience. To book a classroom course, please check the booking table at the top of this page and select your preferred training venue location.
- Instructor-Led Virtual Course: Enjoy the flexibility of attending this training remotely from your home or office with our live virtual course. Engage in interactive learning from anywhere in the world. We usually use WebEx or Zoom for our virtual courses. To attend this course virtually, look for the ‘online’ venue option in the booking table above.
Please note that course durations may vary slightly between our face-to-face and virtual deliveries. Please refer to the start and end date of your chosen course.
Our goal is to offer flexible, effective and convenient course delivery methods that suit your preferences and learning needs. Please choose the option that works best for you!
If you can’t see a classroom or virtual option, we likely haven’t released the next set of dates. Please get in touch to find out when we’ll announce the new dates, and we’ll be sure to keep you informed once they are available or even add you to our waiting list.
There is no formal preparation for this course; however, we would encourage further reading of the associated regulatory AMC and GM to CAT.GEN.MPA 215 and the European Pilot Peer Support Initiative (EPPSI) Manual of Peer Support documents available through the CAA website.
Other courses you might be interested in
Organisational Peer Support Programmes – Regulatory Requirements and Awareness
This course provides delegates with an understanding of the organisational, management and senior leadership responsibilities needed to meet the requirements of regulation to develop a Support Programme and implement a Peer Assistance programme for employees and colleagues.