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Survey Reveals Gaps in Inspector Training

A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (GAO 05-728) examines FAA efforts to ensure that its inspectors receive adequate technical training needed to do their jobs. It includes a GAO analysis of the inspector training program, and the results of a survey of FAA inspectors. The GAO generally approved of the FAA’s achievements but stressed the need for better evaluation of the effects of training on inspector performance. The results of the survey, however, painted a very different picture.

The FAA inspectors surveyed generally felt they did not receive adequate technical training. The FAA’s own data shows that less than half of FAA inspectors have completed at least 75% of essential technical courses. Only slightly more than half of the inspectors surveyed said that they thought they had enough technical knowledge to do the job. Almost 60% said their training was delivered in a timely manner “to some or no extent.”

GAO consulted ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod and VP-Operations Paul Hawthorne in preparing the report, which is entitled Aviation Safety: FAA Management Practices for Technical Training Mostly Effective; Further Actions Could Enhance Results.



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