The AFAP Resilient Pilot program is a professional development initiative designed for pilots seeking to enhance their skills and confidence. It introduces the concept of Competency Based Training (CBTA) and provides a no jeopardy environment for pilots to rehearse and develop competencies and behaviours.
Initially aimed at redundant pilots returning to flying, it has evolved into a comprehensive continuous development program that includes group workshops, virtual simulator scenarios, and the option to work with a mentor and/or coach. The program helps pilots shift from task-focused thinking to developing behaviours that help them be more adaptable and have confidence in handling normal day of operations and unexpected situations .
The three key pillars of the program are Competency, Confidence, and Connection.
It is entirely voluntary and benefits various types of pilots at different stages of their careers.
Types of pilots in the program
- F/O’s soon to upgrade to Captain
- Pilots facing ANY next step in their career and wanting to be proactive
- Post operational events
- Post training or performance challenges returning to line
- New CPL holders getting exposure to multi crew before they are in the hot seat
- Captains for currency
- Pre sim and line checks to rehearse real time events (virtual style)
- Pilots needing a boost to confidence and self-belief.
The program includes competency development scenarios, technical and non-technical workshops, access to a Resilience Hub for self-paced learning, and the ability to book sessions via the Resilient Pilot app or website. Pilots can choose their own adventure and use only some or all the program elements.
Figure 1 Figure 1 Example of Competency Development Scenario (CDS) virtual simulation. The scenarios are different aircraft, airspace and runway configuration as the focus is on non-technical competencies and not about physically flying the aircraft. Participants can rehearse behaviours and competencies without the testing conditions.
The program focuses on the five non-technical ICAO competencies (see QR code Page 75):
- Leadership and Teamwork (LTW)
- Problem Solving and Decision Making (PSD)
- Communication (COM)
- Situational Awareness (SAW)
- Workload Management (WLM)
Within each competency there are Observable Behaviours (OBs) that pilots can tweak to develop the overall competency. E.g., when a company check form is suggesting developing ‘Workload Management’, using the OBs a pilot can dig deeper into HOW they can develop this particular skill.
Figure 2 Courtesy of Resilient Pilot this is the list of ICAO Competencies with OBs (Observable Behaviours). Use the OBs to see HOW you can tweak each one which then develops the whole competency.
It is offered as a 12-month subscription, with all fees going to Resilient Pilot to provide the ongoing service. AFAP members receive a discounted rate, making it an accessible option for pilot professional and self-development. The program is most effective when used over 12 months, and pilots can choose the elements and timeframe that suit their needs.
We collaborate with Resilient Pilot from the UK, and you can check them out here: www.resilientpilot.com
For more information or to join the program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For AFAP members please also ask for the member information video link.
Q: Do I have to go through AFAP, or can I subscribe to the Resilient Pilot program myself?
A: You can do either. However, joining the program through AFAP will give you 25% discount on the yearly subscription price and additional support by becoming a part of the AFAP Resilient Pilot group. Local connection is found to be highly valued by participants.
Q: What does the program offer?
A: The program is designed to grow your Confidence and raise Competence, which in turn will develop your Resilience.
There are 5 modules you can explore, which are grouped under either Confidence or Competence:
- Virtual Mentoring
- Performance Coaching
- Personal Development Workshops (focused on Human Factor Behaviours and performance)
- Competency Development Scenarios (CDS), i.e., virtual sims where you can work on your non-technical ICAO competencies
- Competency Development Workshops (focused on exploring different possible outcomes and solutions of a given unfavourable flying scenario in a group environment).
Q: Do I have to attend every module?
A: The program is designed to give you a wide range of tools you can work with to improve various skills, and to empower you to take ownership of your own personal and professional development.
You do not need to participate in every module, it is 100% your choice what you want to develop.
If you feel you will benefit from working on your non-technical competencies, you can focus only on the two modules from the Competencies section.
If you feel you could do with some improvement in your Human Factors regime, you can focus only on the three modules from the Confidence section.
You may also find that you shift between the competencies and confidence module during your yearly subscription, or use them simultaneously, depending on what happens in your career and personal life.
Q: Do I need to prepare for the virtual sim (CDS)?
A: No, no preparation is required although attending the monthly Competency Development Workshops may be beneficial to see how the virtual Scenarios work.
The purpose of the virtual sim is providing a non-jeopardy environment and NOT a test environment. It allows the opportunity to rehearse competencies and self-identify what you do well first then be open to develop others.
Q: What is the best way to learn in the program?
A: There is no one best way to learn as everyone is different. You are the captain of your own learning ship, and you can steer it the way that you find most beneficial to you.
Our suggestion would be to attend each module at least once or twice when you join the program and see which elements fit into your own continuous development plan. It will become clear for the individual the best way to use the program.
Q: What is a difference between a mentor/coach and a performance coach? Can I do both mentoring and coaching?
A: The best way to use a mentor/coach is to attend some sessions and find out for yourself what competencies you would like to develop. Then you can take them to a mentor/coach who is a pilot and dig deeper into developing them. It is a combination of mentoring which is about imparting knowledge, and coaching which draws your style from within.
You can also work with a pilot mentor/coach to navigate through your chosen career path and/or transition/upgrade to a new flying role.
A performance coach is not a pilot but a professional coach and tends to follow a more structured and formal approach and provides you with clear and intentional feedback during the session.
They tend to be used to address more immediate topics related to your skills and performance you feel you need to work on. These could be both technical and "soft" skills, such as working out how to achieve a better work-life balance or how to manage your time more efficiently.
You can do either mentoring or performance coaching sessions, or both.
The list of mentors and perf coaches can be accessed on the program’s website under Competence/Meet Your mentors.
Q: How do I book a session?
A: You can book via the website or the Resilient Pilot app on your phone or iPad. Once you click on "Book Now" button, it will take you to a section outlining various modules you can select.
Upon clicking on your chosen module, it will take you to a calendar where you can see all current and future availability with session times and facilitators' names. The best thing is that these times are now shown in your local time zone on the app!
Session availability is usually published a week or two weeks in advance. We also have a WhatsApp group specifically for AFAP members, where the last-minute CDS availability is announced on the day or the day before. With varying rosters pilots find this last-minute reach out useful to jumping on a session.
Monthly group workshops generally take place on the last Tuesday and Thursday in the evening, so you can plan your attendance in advance.