Does Crew Resource Management Training Work? An Update, an Extension, and Some Critical Needs
Objective: This review provides the state of crew resource management (CRM) training evaluations since the E. Salas, C. S. Burke, C. A. Bowers, and K. A. Wilson (2001) review and extends it to areas beyond aviation cockpits. Some critical evaluation needs in CRM training are also covered. Background: Because of the purported success of CRM training in aviation, other high-consequence domains have begun to implement CRM training for their workforces. However, the true impact of CRM training in aviation and these other domains has yet to be determined. Method: Using D. L. Kirkpatrick's (1976) framework for evaluating training (i.e., reactions, learning, behavior, and organizational impact), we reviewed 28 published accounts of CRM training to determine its effectiveness within aviation, medicine, offshore oil production and maintenance, shipping/maritime, and nuclear power domains. Results: Findings indicate that CRM training generally produced positive reactions from trainees; however, the impact of training on learning and behavioral changes suggest mixed results across and within domains. Furthermore, and as was found by Salas, Burke, et al. in 2001, we cannot ascertain whether CRM has had an impact on the organization's bottom line (i.e., safety). Conclusion: Based on the results, there are several critical needs that the CRM training community must address before CRM training can have the desired impact on safety: a mandate, access to data, and resources. Application: As CRM training expands to organizations beyond aviation, it is critical that its impact be understood such that it can be improved and achieve the intended results.
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