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AVN5102 Safety Management and Human Factors in Aviation

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Safety Mgt & HF in Aviation
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Business
Student contribution band : Band 4
ASCED code : 080399 - Business Mgt not classified
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Paul Bates


Aircraft accident and incident data has consistently shown that around 70% of all accidents and incidents are caused by humans performing sub-optimally. Safety management systems are now mandatory in aviation in most developed countries and have replaced quality management systems as a data-driven means for identifying safety risks, for promoting safety, and for training employees in evidence based areas of safety concerns. Within the processes of an SMS, human factors training is administered at an umbrella level. Human factors training aims to equip staff with the knowledge, skills and attitudes, to enable them to safely perform within the pressures of a dynamic and high-risk environment.


In this course students wishing to enter the aviation industry in a managerial or supervisory capacity will acquire an in-depth knowledge of human behaviour and performance limitations and the ensuing risks to safety caused by such breakdowns. They will learn to understand the systemic processes in place to mitigate for human performance failures within an aviation system, and to understand the sources of data which drive risk mitigation strategies appropriate for a high risk industry. A range of non-technical skills will be examined as part of the course.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. explain in detail the components of a safety management system (SMS) and the systematic processes used to gather data for use in ethically improving safety within an SMS;
  2. describe the concept of risk and how it is managed within safety management systems in aviation;
  3. explain the relationship between human factors training and an SMS;
  4. identify the fundamental concepts in the aviation human factors topics of human information processing, situational awareness, decision making;
  5. formulate the fundamental concepts in the aviation human factors topics of communication, workload management, stress and fatigue management, leadership and teamwork in aviation;
  6. evaluate and communicate in writing how human factors training is integrated across several safety critical areas within an organisation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to safety management systems (SMS) and the use of data for improving safety 5.00
2. Managing risk in aviation 10.00
3. SMS and human factors training 10.00
4. Human information processing, situational awareness and decision making 15.00
5. Communication, workload management, stress and fatigue management 15.00
6. Leadership and teamwork in aviation 15.00
7. Integrating human factors training across organisations 30.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Flin, R, O’Connor, P & Chrichton, M 2008, Safety at the sharp end: a guide to non-technical skills, Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, UK.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 36.00
Private Study 89.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PEER COLLABORATION 20 20 22 Apr 2021 (see note 1)
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT 1 35 35 22 Apr 2021
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT 2 45 45 04 Jun 2021

  1. Submission dates for peer collaboration to be advised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    2. To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    APA is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Date printed 18 June 2021