Non-technical skills for the train driver’s job – SNCF Voyageurs

What are the key HOF issues?

With the influx of HOF specialists in 2008, the Traction Department (SNCF Voyageurs) has undertaken in-depth work to develop the non-technical skills of train drivers. Our work was based on the scientific definition of competence, which distinguishes three components: knowledge, technical skills and non-technical skills.

What did you do?

We have therefore created a competency model for train drivers (cf. figure 1). This model is structured around three components (knowledge, technical and non-technical skills) with sub-families.

We then undertook two major projects concerning:

– The overhaul of our event analysis methods and our REX database (event storage).

– The evolution of our train driver certification methods.

For these two major developments, we piloted the change with working groups made up of all the stakeholders (one of the principles of the integrated safety culture) and developments, particularly on the technical changes to the IT tool that stores the REX events and the traceability of drivers’ skills.

This work, which took place over several years, required a large volume of training for all the driving managers and referents.

We also took advantage of the launch of the skills model to introduce simulator training sessions with instructors specifically trained in non-technical skills. The aim of these sessions is to make it easier to develop robust working methods including Non-Technical Skills (NTS).

Competency model for train drivers (Figure 1)

What were the results?

Today, with little hindsight, we can nevertheless observe significant progress:

– The training sessions are much appreciated by the drivers,

– The quality of event analyses has improved and the causal factors linked to non-technical skills are much better identified,

– The quality of event analysis has improved and the causal factors linked to non-technical skills are much better identified, Driver managers have a good understanding of what non-technical skills are and how they fit in with technical skills.

– Management practices have evolved to better recognise drivers’ positive contributions to safety.

Author: Eric GOURLIN – SNCF Voyageurs