This paper addresses the use of total quality management principles in the
evaluation of aviation training outcomes. The paradigm shift to quality
management in aviation training is explored in four areas: quality
management implementation, quality management tools for training managers,
quality management strategies for training, and the quality training
culture. Together, the four areas create a system and a process for
establishing total quality management at the training manager level for the
evaluation of aviation training. Items discussed in detail include training
analysis methods, training design processes, training objectives, training
assessment, the economics of training, and continuous improvement. The
paper concludes with recommendations for training managers drawn from
experience and from the literature.

The concepts of total quality management (TQM), statistical process control
(SPC) and continuous quality improvement (CQI) have evolved and flourished
over the last five decades. (Pierce, 1991) Though many improvements and
adaptations are sure to characterize their continuing evolution, arguments
can also be made that TQM, SPC and CQI are in a mature state. This does not
mean that these processes have outlived their usefulness by any means. They
have proven their worth and have been refined to maximize their usefulness.

TQM, SPC and CQI will be discussed collectively as "quality management."
The training of people is entering its own revolution, partly the result of
quality management principles. Both TQM and CQI demand a high emphasis on
employee support and training. Training is rapidly becoming a science and a
growth industry. It has taken on a new importance in business, education,
athletics, government and the armed forces worldwide. This new emphasis on
the quality and quantity of
training is the result of the increasing complexity of systems and
technology, the decreasing availability of skilled labor, the increasing
demands for defect-free products and services, and quality management
efforts. While quality management requires training, training management
has not fully applied TQM, SPC and CQI for quality. This paper adapts
quality management philosophies, policies, practices and tactics for use by
the training manager. The results should be higher training effectiveness
and efficiency - better trainee skill and knowledge, for lower cost and in
less time.

Quality Management:
Quality management refers to management processes, disciplines and tools
that are coordinated to ensure that the organization consistently meets and
exceeds its goals and objectives. (Capezio, 1993) For the training manager
this generally means a high level of performance from trainees at the end
of the training with little variability, done at low cost and in short
time. Quality management requires innovation, change, discipline, logic,
motivation and commitment. It has been said that quality management, as a
concept, is nothing more than a buzzword for the collection of things that
managers should be doing anyway. This may be true, but the positive impact
of the emphasis on quality in the world's industries cannot be overstated.

Using the tools of quality management will allow training managers to
achieve outstanding results and to enlist the support of top management for
training and for quality management. Whether the training is for office
clerks, shop workers, sales people, athletes, college students, airline
pilots, soldiers or toddlers learning to swim, the management of training
must measure the actual performance after training against the training
goals and objectives. Training managers also have to manage scarce
resources, mostly money and time.

This paper presents a system of quality
management for trainers, training supervisors, coaches, team leaders and
educators working in aviation. The principles will, however, apply in any
training organization. The work is intended as a description of practical
tools and strategies that can be used in the training of people. These
tools and strategies are drawn from the more general teachings of TQM, SPC
and CQI, as well as from experts in the training industry. They are chosen
for their applicability to aviation training, ease of use and benefits to
the training manager. Together, the tools and strategies should help to
create an organizational culture change that embraces quality management,
much like TQM has done in so many other applications.

The literature describing quality management is very extensive. As
mentioned earlier, the concepts and processes have evolved into a mature
state. Quality management principles are proven tools leading to
effectiveness, efficiency and excellence. Along similar lines, the value of
good training is also shown in effectiveness and efficiency. In fact,
excellence cannot be achieved without it.

The training literature, primarily produced by the behavioral sciences,
educational sciences, social sciences and psychology, is also quite
extensive. Much of it is theoretical in nature. While this theory is
important to further the knowledge of mankind, it is not of great interest
or use to the training manager "where the rubber meets the road." Another
group of writings about training concerns itself with training systems,
training delivery, curriculum design and how people learn. This is also
very important for the advancement of the field of training, and the
practical application literature about training and learning. There is very
little written about the management of training operations, particularly in
relation to TQM. TQM has been applied to educational management at
universities and colleges, though this literature is also surprisingly
limited. It has been hypothesized that some educators are reluctant to
emphasize quality management for themselves, because the measurements of
performance and statistical processes require unprecedented evaluations of
the professor's ability to teach. Whether this is true or not is a matter
of debate, but the available literature remains very limited.

An extension of this literature for quality management of the training
profession is even more limited. Training has less glamour than traditional
education and has just recently been recognized for its importance. Airline
pilots used to train only according to regulatory requirements. Today,
airlines have developed their own training programs under a new set of
regulations allowing "Advanced Qualification Programs" (AQP), because
airline management recognizes the increases in effectiveness and efficiency
that can be achieved. Similar changes are being made in the nuclear power
industry, as the emphasis on quality training grows. AQP requires many
quality management principles, like statistical process control and
continuous improvement, and quality training principles like task analysis
and training assessment. These concepts are discussed herein. The airline
and nuclear power industries are trend indicators for other training
applications, because they are characterized by complex technology and zero
tolerance for the effects of errors. Other industries will fall in line as
the level of technology increases everywhere and the tolerance for errors

The tools and strategies presented in this paper are designed to help
training professionals regardless of the training application, though
aviation examples are used. It is assumed that all training has specified
goals and objectives, and a limited amount of resources. The challenges for
training management are very similar across disciplines.

Quality Management Implementation
TQM is designed to optimize resources and performance while meeting the
necessary condition of quality. TQM should emphasize the key success
factors of the organization. (Stein, 1994) In aviation training, these are
consistent changes in behavior affected with the allotted resources.

Aviation training programs generally do not allow a great deal of variance
for any of the variables, resources or performance. A high level of safety
is assumed in this case, since safety management is beyond the scope of
this work.

TQM requires that quality be a necessary condition. Each organization must
define quality in terms of its critical success factors. (Stein, 1994) The
quality of the training activity is determined by the limitations on the
system. These limitations are the target of quality
management. Student throughput is determined by the resource constraints.

The use of resources must be optimized with quality management techniques
to create and protect throughput. The following list is a non-exclusive
list of quality management components drawn from the literature (Stein,
1. Orientation to continuous quality improvement
2. A customer oriented quality focus
3. People-oriented management
4. TQM must be valued throughout the organization
5. Suppliers must be involved
6. Focus on quality improvement
7. Long-term business focus and commitment
8. Unencumbered information exchange
9. Controlled reduction of variances
10. Employee empowerment
11. Employee-based process controls
12. Comprehensive internal training
13. Valid decision support mechanisms
14. Local benchmarks in line with global benchmarks
15. Team approach to problem solving
16. Internal and external application of the customer concept
17. Prudent use of statistics
18. Prevention oriented quality controls
19. Valid and optimum scheduling
20. Philosophies, strategies, policies, practices and tactics that are in
21. A dynamic system for learning, managing and adapting to change
Statistical process control (SPC) is an integral part of TQM. It
encompasses many of the tools that training managers can use to measure and
benchmark the program outcomes. SPC compares actual outcomes to pre-
established benchmarks in an objective manner. The tools are not very
complicated. The data collection methods are generally manual (instructor
and check airman input) , though sophisticated automated systems exist as
well. SPC generally looks for trends and outliers as targets for quality
management. Continuous improvement and variance reduction are key goals of
SPC. Specific SPC tools are presented later.

TQM Implementation:
The commencement of a quality management program in an aviation training
setting requires many of the same steps as in any other industry.

We can simplify the implementation process by dividing it into five phases:
awareness, assessment, preparation, action planning and evaluation.

Awareness of the quality management issues generally requires a change
agent in the organization. The momentum created by this person or persons
should help others to recognize the opportunities created by improving
processes. This awareness and subsequent commitment must also exist at the
top of the organization. (Capezio, 1993)
The assessment process will identify the key success factors for the
training program(s), measure the general organizational performance
regarding these success factors and identify benchmarks for each. These
benchmarks must come from the market - customers, suppliers and

Preparation for quality management in aviation training follows the
strategic planning model. The data gathered in the assessment phase is used
to develop the general strategies and goals. The required resources are
also identified and allocated in this phase.

Development of the action plan extends the preparation phase to the details
required for quality management. A team approach, using training managers,
instructors, check airmen, customers and support personnel, should be used
to identify roles, tactics, policies and tools. This phase incorporates the
details needed for SPC within the framework of quality management. (Pierce,
The evaluation phase is ongoing and should ensure continuous improvement.

The key is constant dissatisfaction with the status quo and increasing

The TQM implementation process must have the support of all top-level
managers, particularly the CEO. These leaders will be the change agents
affecting changes in attitudes, changes in relationships, and changes in
processes. The quality of learning outcomes and the optimization of
training resources should be the principal goals of the change. These goals
cannot be overstated or mentioned too frequently. The team has to stay
focused on the
main goals.

TQM implementation in aviation training also requires coordination with the
regulatory authorities, since most processes have to be approved by the
inspector(s). Resistance from regulators is unlikely, since their job will
be easier once SPC has been adopted. Progress reports, program validation
and training trends will be much easier to record. More and better data are
the main benefits of quality management in aviation training to the

Labor management presents another possible obstacle to TQM implementation,
though this is not unique to aviation training. Most organizations have
found a participative approach with labor to be best. The message to labor
is that quality management is supposed to improve the quality of work life,
and the productivity and quality of training. A collaborative effort with
labor can ensure this.

It should also be recognized that the above TQM implementation discussion
describes the ideal scenario. The real world is rarely so kind to well-
intentioned training managers. While involvement of the entire organization
with top-level leadership is best, the program manager or training manager
can still use many quality management principles in his/her area of
responsibility. Most of the SPC tools and quality training strategies will
work in isolation as well. Their benefits will still improve the training

Training Evaluation and Assessment:
Training evaluation is the systematic collection of descriptive and
judgmental information necessary to make effective training decisions
related to the selection, adoption, value and modification of instructional
activities. Training assessment uses this data to benchmark the program
against its own goals and against the performance of competitors.

(Goldstein, 1992)
Many new training tools have been introduced recently. Aviation training
organizations are making large investments in computer-based-training, task
trainers and other simulation. These investments do not guarantee that the
correct knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) are being learned and used
on the job. Data, like that gained from SPC, is needed to verify the
benefits of new technology.

Grove and Ostroff (1990) describe the following barriers to training
1. Top management does not emphasize training evaluation.

2. Training directors often do not have the skills needed to conduct
training evaluation.

3. The training evaluations often done by human resource professionals do
not measure the correct KSAs.

4. There is a view that training evaluation can be risky and expensive,
particularly if weak areas become public knowledge.

Four strategies are presented for training managers seeking better
evaluation and assessment:
1. Training evaluation should be used to revise the program to meet its
goals and objectives.

2. Good evaluation data can demonstrate the usefulness of the training

3. Legal issues can also be supported with training data. Evaluation data
can be used to show job relatedness to the training program. It can
also be useful to show training validation during post-
incident/accident litigation.

4. The investments in training technology have to be backed with data for
shareholders and other stakeholders in the organization.

The Task Analysis:
Proper training requires knowing what KSAs to train. These KSAs have come
from task analysis studies in aviation. A task analysis is expensive and
time-consuming, but it is required for valid aviation training, for FAA-
approved AQP and for scientific training evaluation. Consequently, a task
analysis is essential before quality management processes can be applied
properly in a training program. The task analysis will provide the base
data for what is to be trained, measured and continuously improved. The
task analysis should be first and last step of the training program
development. For SPC, it will tell the training manager which data to
measure. (Mitchell, 1987)
The Needs Analysis:
The combined task analysis data will lead to a needs analysis, which
articulates the need for training within the organization. The needs
analysis defines the present practices and projects what the desired
results of the training should be. This data is also essential for building
the SPC program. (Mitchell, 1987)
The importance of the task analysis and the needs analysis are very clear
in aviation training. A word of caution is warranted, however. Many
organizations have overemphasized both, wasting resources that could have
been used in the commencement of training. In extreme cases, consultants
have been hired to conduct task and needs analysis work, but the results
took so long that the training program started without them. When the
analysis was complete, it was out of date and irrelevant to the already
flourishing training program.

A complementary approach is presented by Goldstein (1992). This approach
merges an analysis of the intended trainee population (pilots, mechanics,
etc.) with the task analysis KSAs to include the human element and to
provide a clear starting point as the status quo.

It is also important to align the philosophies and expectations of the
various stakeholders in the training program: the trainees, the trainers
and the organization. The trainees expect to learn the KSAs needed in their
work. The trainers expect these KSAs to be used in the work. The
organization expects results. While these sound complementary,
misunderstandings and conflicts can occur. Good communication during the
implementation phase is the key.

Quality Management Tools
Statistical process control (SPC) requires the use of training data and
benchmarking to determine the adequacy of outcomes and quality trends. In
short, learning outcomes should continually improve in a system that
optimizes the training resources. So, these items must be measured. The
critical learning outcome from the task analysis and the organization's
resources in equipment, time and financial expenditures create the basis
for measurement.

Dr. Deming, often called the father of quality management, stated that
everyone must learn the basics of statistical theory and application, since
this is the language of improvement. The statistics used in quality
management are very basic and do not require extensive knowledge of
mathematics or statistics. This is an important point, because most
aviation training managers are experts in their fields, not mathematics
TQM tools:
The TQM tools that are most applicable to aviation training are simply
pictorial displays of processes or variances.

The control chart, for example, provides a clear visual display of the
variability of measures. It plots the variances of one variable over time
or over several trainees. (Sashkin, 1993) Applied to a simple aviation
datum, altitude deviation in this example, the control chart can show the
performance of one flight crew over a flight:
The control chart can also show the variances of the pilot population for a
similar condition of flight:
picThese are obviously simplifications used to illustrate a point. The
control chart can be used best in conjunction with technology that allows
this data to be extracted from flight simulators without any instructor
action or by simply pressing a button. Such data collection program exist
to provide periodic training outcome
reports to the training manager. The training department or standards
department would set upper control limits (UCLs) and lower control limits
(LCLs) for each variable. The control charts can then be analyzed for
problem areas or the software can be programmed to report any problem areas
as defined by the training manager. This process removes any emotion or
anecdotal evidence from the training evaluation process. (Fellers, 1992)
picThe pareto chart is another simple, effective tool for quality
management. The underlying principle of the pareto chart is that 80% of the
training problems can be traced to 20% of the varied possible causes. To
get the most out of quality management, training managers should
concentrate on the leading 20% of causes. (Fellers, 1992) The following
pareto chart lists recent failures noted in recurrent training for a
transport category aircraft:
A run chart or trend chart shows a variable over a specific period of time.

This allows the training manager to see any impacts of changes in the
training program. If the control chart or pareto chart indicates a problem
area, a change in training emphasis can be made. This change is then
tracked with a run chart. Once again, this data can be collected manually
by instructors and check airmen or the data can be collected by software
programs on the market. (Capezio, 1993)
The following run chart shows the number of daily training sessions lost to
simulator malfunctions:
picA histogram is another bar graph showing the distribution of a
variable. A histogram can be used to visually display this distribution.

Stein, 1994) Most distributions like trainee test scores, extra training
times, tutoring sessions, etc. should be distributed normally (shaped
roughly like a bell.)
picThe following histogram depicts the number of CBT sessions required to
pass a knowledge test:
Scatter diagrams provide a pictorial view of how one variable relates to
another. The results are graphed, with one variable expressed on the x-axis
and the other on the y-axis. (Stein, 1994) The following scatter diagram
shows the relationship between total flight hours logged by a pilot and
simulator hours needed during initial training:
picBrainstorming and process designing tools used in TQM can also help
the aviation training manager. (Capezio, 1993) While many training
decisions are made for the industry by regulators, a large number of
decisions have to be made in designing and improving a training program.

The tools discussed previously can be used to identify areas for
brainstorming and process design. A control chart may indicate a training
problem in high altitude airport operations, for example. The training
manager can assemble a small group of instructors and check airmen for the
training meeting.

Affinity diagramming involves open brainstorming concerning a single issue.

(Sashkin, 1993) The training manager would pose the question: "Why are we
seeing more training problems involving high altitude airports?" Each
participant then writes down one answer and reads it. No discussion of the
ideas is allowed until all potential ideas have been exhausted. The ideas
are then arranged in related stacks according KSAs and each is evaluated on
its own merit. This process removes the personality from the idea and
encourages open participation.

Relationship diagramming is an extension of the affinity diagram. Each
selected idea is brainstormed as to its causes in another open idea
generating session. The causes are then linked to each idea, building the
relationship diagram.

A tree diagram can be used to identify the steps needed in a process. An
open brainstorming session is used to name the actions required in
completing a stated goal. The resulting tree diagram is a pictorial display
of the process. This can be particularly helpful in developing new training
programs, because the steps identified by the tree diagram can then be
assigned and timelines can be established. The combined information will
then form a GANT chart showing the entire process in a series of timelines.

This approach to project management makes the process easier and more
efficient. Project management principles are very important to efficiency
during training development. (Fellers, 1992)
Another project management tool useful in aviation training is the arrow
diagram. It also shows the schedule of activities required to achieve a
goal. It can be used with the tree diagram or other similar tools like the
Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) or the Critical Path Method
(CPM.) (Fellers, 1992) Detailed explanations are beyond the scope of this
paper and are readily available in the literature. In an arrow diagram,
arrows indicate the direction of flow of a task and the approximate length
of time required to perform that task.

The matrix diagram is another relationship-displaying tool. It shows the
degree of correlation between two sets of data such as KSAs to be taught
and the training media used to teach them. The matrix diagram simply places
one variable down one axis and the other variable along the other axis.

(Fellers, 1992) The crossing boxes are used to describe the relationship in
terms that describe correlation: Primary, Secondary, Contributor, etc.

||Sim |CBT |Grd |Text |
|Systems||Prim |Con |Sec |
|SOPs |Sec ||Prim |Con |
|Instr.|Prim ||Sec |Con |
|Emergencies|Prim |Prim |Prim |Prim |
|Landings|Prim ||||
This simplification shows the concept. As with the other charts shown in
this paper, proper use will require extensive development and comprehensive
display of the variables.

While the tools are very helpful, it is important to recognize that quality
management uses tools, but is not the result of those tools. Quality
management benefits from quality processes. These processes are the product
of good actions, good decisions, good planning, prudent controls and
teamwork. The goals of the processes should be good problem solving and
continuous improvement. The tools mentioned above contribute to both areas.

Good problem solving also benefits from managerial principles, such as open
communication, non-jeopardy incident reporting, brainstorming, empowerment
and quality teams. Quality teams in aviation training organizations
consists of instructors, managers, evaluators and support personnel. Each
quality team should have a finite charter to oversee the data collection,
data analysis and process improvement in a certain operational area. Each
organization must assign teams according to operational needs. Note that
these quality teams must not match the organizational chart. Participants
will need training in the use of quality management tools and proper team

The TQM tools discussed are only as good as the data displayed by them.

Hence, data collection is critical. The training managers and operational
managers already determined the critical success areas of the organization.

These will require data to show performance. Data should be collected
automatically wherever possible. Training hours come from scheduling
systems and payroll. They are used to show usage rates and efficiency.

Trainee performance is generally still manually recorded by instructors,
evaluators and on written tests, though the technology exists to collect
data directly from simulators, computerized tests, CBT (computer based
training) programs, aircraft and other training devices. Automatic
collection is preferred because it is more efficient and effective. Human
bias is eliminated as a variable.

The data to be collected is also a philosophical issue. Most aviation
training efficiency measures are expressed in terms of course or hours
presented, employees trained or dollars expended per training hour. All of
the data also tends to focus on formal training, when, in fact, most
aviation training occurs outside the formal training programs. Since the
primary job of training is to promote overall learning, the data should
reflect learning (KSAs) in the formal and informal setting.

Once the data has been used to assess current performance, the quality team
can set goals for improvement, implement tactics and track the progress
toward the goals. Goals for improvement should involve benchmarking.

Internal benchmarking will track the performance of similar functions
within the organization. Training programs can be compared to other
training programs; support services to other support services. Competitive
benchmarking compares the training program performance to that of
competitors. Data can be difficult to collect in some cases, but is
generally available through industry groups. The quality team does not have
to know which competitor the data came from, which allows industry groups
to collect and disseminate useful data. Most trade associations conduct and
publish benchmarking surveys.

Quality Management Strategies For Training
The use of proper management techniques, quality teams, quality tools and
benchmarking are the core of quality management. Some quality management
strategies are more specific to training. These include focusing on
performance, training analysis, training design, training objective
evaluation, training assessment, just-in-time (JIT) training and structured
OJT (on the job training).

Focusing on performance:
Aviation training managers must know what training can and cannot do.

Training is designed to modify behavior through the teaching of KSAs. It
can increase KSAs, changing what individuals know how to do and are able to
do. The training organization cannot improve the means to do the task or
motivate the aviation specialists. Training managers must focus on their
task of increasing KSAs. This should constantly be verified via good
feedback processes. (Carr, 1992)
Training analysis:
The need for a good analysis was discussed in a previous section. Though
most training departments understand the need for good training analysis,
few have the resources or the skills to conduct one properly. The aviation
training analyst must understand aviation training and analysis work. The
process usually involves the in-house trainers and an outsourced analyst or
consultant. Various barriers to communication can cause problems in this
process. Participants must conduct the analysis with openness and candor.

Teamwork training is recommended. (Carr, 1992)
Training design:
A similar dilemma exists in the next step of training design. Most aviation
training organizations assign the task of course development to a technical
specialist, usually one of the instructors. This person understands the
KSAs required, but typically has no formal experience or education in
instructional design. Instructional design requires specialized knowledge
in learning theory and application. Professional instructional designers
should work together with subject matter experts during the training design
phase. (Carr, 1992)
Training objective evaluation:
Training objectives must relate back to the KSAs, must be stated in detail,
must be measurable, and must be realistic. This training objective
evaluation may be conducted through formal tests, performance measurement,
simulation, trainee attitudes, and observation. (Mitchell, 1987)
Training assessment:
Since training is designed to increase KSAs and to change behavior, we must
be able to measure these. This assessment should take place throughout the
training program, not just at the completion of the training. Trainees and
instructors should receive constant feedback. Many assessment tools exist
and they are covered well in the training literature. The details are
beyond the scope of this paper. The important elements of assessment in
terms of quality management are that they are done, are communicated, are
analyzed and are acted upon. (Mitchell, 1987)
Just-in-time (JIT) training:
The longer the delay between training and use, the less effective the
training will be. This concept is not unlike just-in-time inventory
management in other industries. The KSAs learned are similar to inventories
and are perishable if not used soon after acquisition. Similarly to
inventory stocking costs, the period between training and use represents an
opportunity cost, because the organization has spent the resources before
they were required to be spent. The time value of money applies. Hence, it
is recommended that aviation training be scheduled just before the
applicable KSAs are needed by operations. (Carr, 1992)
Structured OJT:
On the job training (OJT) is by far the most common form of training in the
aviation industry. We tend to think of training in terms of classroom or
training device hours. In fact, most safety related training for pilots,
technicians, dispatchers and ground personnel occur on the job. OJT can be
very effective and terms of performance and cost. Unfortunately, most
aviation OJT is not conducted in a structured manner. Structured OJT
requires prior planning, training for supervisors and instructional design.

In short, structured OJT requires many of the same formal processes that
any training program deserves. Analysis, design, evaluation and assessment
all apply to structured OJT. (Carr, 1992)
The Quality Training Culture
TQM is a culture change. It requires total support and total acceptance to
be optimally effective. The quality training culture must produce superb
training programs and it must do so within the limited resources governed
by economics.

Training for TQM:
Quality management requires a permanent, ongoing training effort. (Stein,
1994) The KSAs to be trained are those required to gain and maintain
control over quality processes. Two obstacles must be overcome: fear and
the "not invented here" syndrome. The initial training effort should
address both. The training staff should be involved in the process. Many
organizations designate one current staff member as the "quality management
trainer." Outsourced training is, however, almost always recommended.

(Capezio, 1993)
Training wastes:
Training efficiency is important in aviation. Device usage and human
resource expenses are very high. Training wastes might include the teaching
of unneeded KSAs, unused device time, excess waiting time, unneeded travel
or reliance on outdated technology. Training wastes should be identified by
quality management analysis and they should be eliminated. This may also
require a culture change as the training staff adjusts to new ways of
delivering their services. (Stein, 1994)
Economical training:
Most aviation training is measured economically in terms of hours and
dollars (resources used). The preferred economics of training maximize the
performance improvement for its expenditures, while satisfying the
regulatory authorities. The strategic and scientific approach discussed as
quality management for aviation training is the best way to achieve this.

(Carr, 1992)
The training department mission:
The aviation training department should develop and maintain an overall
training strategy, identify training to meet this strategy, identify KSAs
to be trained, match the training programs to strategic and tactical needs
by developing the courses, and deliver the training. The department should
also complete the feedback loop through the assessment methods discussed
earlier. (Carr, 1992) These activities go well beyond the usual aviation
training department mission, which only states that "...we deliver the best
training programs possible at industry-competitive costs."
Quality management in aviation training requires that training managers
keep the processes simple, stay focused on critical areas, strive for
continuous, measured improvement, and align the philosophies, policies,
procedures and practices in the company.

Most training managers are technical specialists, not statisticians or even
professional managers. The quality management and operational processes
must be kept simple to be usable. Most data collection should be automatic
and non-intrusive. Most data analysis should also be automated or
centralized. Quality management does not have to be complicated. The tools
and concepts discussed are truly just good management. They are applied by
few aviation training organizations, however.

The goals of improvement must stay focused on the critical success areas of
the organizations. Most critical success areas will be some expression of
efficiency or effectiveness.

The training manager should never be satisfied with the status quo. Setting
higher, yet achievable, goals will motivate and stimulate the organization.

There has been much discussion in the human factors and aviation safety
literature about the alignment of philosophies, policies, procedures and
practices. None of these four layers of operational guidelines should
conflict with another. Conflicts cause confusion, loss of training
effectiveness and safety hazards. The training department, through the
proper analysis and data, is the front line of defense against these
conflicts. This should be kept as a central theme of aviation training's
quality management efforts.

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