Crew resource management training in the maritime industry: a literature review
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionWMU Journal of Maritime Affairs (JoMA). 2018, 17 (3), 377-396. 10.1007/s13437-018-0150-7
The study is based on a literature review of recent empirical research on crew resource management (CRM) training in the maritime industry, organised around what non-technical skills to learn and how. The review indicates that existing work is dominated by individualistic theories of learning with less focus on learning as a social process. Five main categories of skills that need to be trained are identified: assertiveness, decision-making, communication, situation awareness and team coordination. We argue that it is necessary to operationalise these broad concepts further, emphasising the work context and crew-specific needs. The review also shows that a combination of classroom lectures and simulator-based exercises is commonly used in maritime education and training in these skills. The learning effect seems to be suffering from training programmes that are exported ‘as is’ from aviation and not adjusted to the maritime domain or to operation-specific needs. This paper examines maritime crew resource management training from a social learning perspective, involving the view that learning is a context bound, social process that might take place in communities of practice (CoP). A CoP is a group (e.g. a crew) wherein members share an activity and learn from each other. It is argued that CRM training programmes will benefit from including a social learning perspective. Factors that enable the assessment of teams are discussed, and it is argued that the training should be tailored to existing crews, emphasising a learning environment as close to reality as possible.