From tomorrow, UK aviations Confidential Human factors Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP) is to be extended to include reporting from commercial flight and cabin crews about bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation where the circumstances had, or could have had, a detrimental effect on flight safety.
Steve Forward MSc FRAeS FCMI, Director (Aviation), CHIRP.
Those wishing to make such a report can do so through the usual CHIRP reporting system at www.chirp.co.uk
Whilst the CHIRP team won’t be investigating individual reports themselves, all submitted reports will be processed by CHIRP and disidentified aggregated information will be passed to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on a regular basis to help with its safety oversight of UK aviation. Only CHIRP staff will have access to the individual reports and there is no connectivity to CAA systems - reporters’ details will only be seen by CHIRP staff.
The CAA has provided funding for this extension to CHIRP’s normal confidential reporting activities and, although the scheme will initially only be open to commercial flight crew and cabin crew, it will be expanded to cover the full range of aviation practitioners at a later date once initial lessons from the introductory programme are incorporated.
Steve Forward, Director Aviation at CHIRP, said: “Incidents of bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation not only have serious health implications but they can also directly impact aviation safety by causing stress, distraction or reduced performance in those who are subjected to these unwanted behaviours. By extending CHIRP to cover these areas we will be able to provide a more detailed picture of its prevalence in the aviation sector, the human factor and safety impacts this may have, and highlight improvements that might be made.”
Rob Bishton, Safety and Airspace Regulation Group Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Aviation has worked hard to develop a culture of open reporting and the tangible improvements that it makes to safety. We never stop learning and recognise that we can always do more. Adding bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation reporting to the UK’s confidential system, run by CHIRP, therefore makes absolute sense. Tackling issues in these areas is just as important to maintaining and enhancing safety.”
The aim of CHIRP’s aviation programme is to contribute to the enhancement of UK Commercial and General Aviation flight safety by providing a totally independent confidential reporting system for all individuals employed in, or associated with, aviation. The programme is available to flight crew, cabin crew, air traffic controllers, licensed engineers and maintenance/engineering personnel, engineers and technical staff involved with design and manufacturing processes, ground-handling & security personnel, and individual aircraft/drone owners/operators.
The fundamental principle underpinning CHIRP is that all reports are treated in absolute confidence in order that reporters’ identities are protected. Aviation safety and security related concerns or experiences are communicated in a dis-identified format to the agencies and organisations best placed to resolve them. The sensitivity of these topics requires that anonymity of the reporter must be and always has been, fully protected.
The CHIRP Aviation programme compliments the Civil Aviation Authority Mandatory Occurrence Reporting scheme.