Keynote: Safe in their Hands? Non-Technical Skills and Competence Assessment

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Presented By
  • Professor Rhona Flin, Industrial Psychology Research Centre, University of Aberdeen
Annual Meeting, Continued Competence, Delegate Assembly, Practice
Board Members, Board Staff, Executive Officers, General Public, Health Care Organizations, Policy Makers

In safety-critical domains, clinical practitioners, such as nurses, need both technical and non-technical skills. The term non-technical skills comes from European aviation and they are defined as ‘the cognitive, social and personal resource skills that complement technical skills, and contribute to safe and efficient task performance’. They are not new or mysterious skills but are essentially what the best practitioners do in order to achieve consistently high performance: the skills include situation awareness, decision making, team work and leadership. We have been developing methods for training and assessing the non-technical skills of nurses and ODPs (operating department practitioners) who assist anaesthetists (ANTS-AP), and assist surgeons (SPLINTS), as well as for surgeons (NOTSS) and anaesthetists (ANTS). Applications are being developed for other clinical specialists. In this presentation, Flin will briefly outline the nontechnical skills approach, describe the tools for nurses and will explain how this could become part of the demonstration of continuing competence.