Frontline managers need to understand what NTS is all about
Non-technical skills (NTS) have become increasingly important in safety-critical organisations in general, and particularly in the rail industry. Our frontline managers have a pivotal role to play in putting NTS to work to help improve safety amongst their employees. A key step to introducing NTS into any organisation is to give key managers an in-depth understanding of what NTS are all about, their benefits and how managers can use them in their day-to-day work with their employees. Both the Head, and Assistant Head, of Drivers at Virgin Trains were keen to embark on this key step with their Driver Team Managers and Driver Depot Managers by raising NTS awareness and understanding.
Virgin Trains commission the OPC to run NTS workshops with their managers
OPC Psychologists were commissioned by Virgin Trains to design and deliver a bespoke three day introductory NTS workshop that was informative, fast moving, fun and highly interactive. It involved the following key steps:
Distance learning: Managers completed bespoke distance learning materials prior to attending their workshop
Running the workshops: Small groups of managers attended each 3 day NTS workshop. The workshop explored over 20 NTS that could impact on a train driver’s safety performance. To facilitate learning, extensive use was made of UK rail case studies drawn from the OPC’s 25 years of rail experience. Video clips from sport and entertainment were also used to consolidate learning.
Assessing knowledge and understanding: Managers were formally assessed at the end of the workshop to assess their understanding.
A work based assignment: To consolidate their learning, managers finally completed a work based NTS assignment back in their depots. Upon completion of this assignment, the managers were certificated.
The thumbs up from the managers
The feedback from the managers attending the workshops was extremely positive. Every manager rated their workshop as at least ‘good’. In fact, 32% rated it as ‘very good’ and over 60% rated it as ‘excellent’.
“First course in a long time I have not wanted to end”
“Course contents 110% job relevant”
“A fantastic learning experience”