Cabin Crew Training: The keys of success - by Ahmed Haouaria

02 Jan 2018

I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’.”


Muhammad Ali



In aviation, training has always been a key factor of success and in enhancing human proficiencies both in operational performances and in safety improvement. The effectiveness of training is also determined on the basis of its achievement of a well-adjusted growth between these main components- safety and performance.


Cabin safety has been a vital part of overall flight safety and covers an extensive area in its training. On the contrary to its previous focuses on the evacuation of an aircraft in the event of an accident, cabin safety these days’ aims to:


 Contribute to the prevention of accidents and incidents;

 Protect the aircraft’s occupants from possible safety hazards in the cabin;

 Minimize injuries and maximize survivability in the event of an emergency situation.



Why to consistently train Cabin Crew?

After successfully passing the airlines recruitment process, new joiners systematically go through company initial training. The training period takes between 4 and eight weeks, during which new flight attendants learn airlines operating policies and how to act in safety, security, first aid and in flight service scenarios.

Generally defined by the airlines country civil aviation authorities, the safety and first aid content is the foundation of the cabin crew members’ professional competence. Additionally, service communication and cultural awareness as well as the airlines vision and principles of good customer service are essential topics of the course. After the initial training, the trainees will have the elementary level of proficiency to work as a Cabin Crew member.

The training is conducted by Cabin Crew Instructors CCI’s authorized by the airlines country civil aviation. They will guide and help new hire Flight Attendant during all the phases of the training. Hard work, focus are expected to follow the course to get good results on all the related exams, lessons and drills.

Conscious evaluation is part of the training. Commitment will pay off when new joiners become certified Cabin Crew Member, CCM especially with competency-based training trends.

Why Move Towards Cabin Crew Competency-based Training?

Competency Based Training is training that is designed to allow a learner to demonstrate their ability to do something.

ICAO defines a competency as: a combination of skills, knowledge and attitudes required to perform a task to the prescribed standard. ... Competency-based approaches are characterized by an emphasis on job performance and the knowledge and skills required performing on the job.

Cabin Crew Safety Training - ICAO


Is flying still the safest way to travel?

This year commercial aircraft will carry nearly four billion passengers, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), nearly double the number of just 12 years ago, and over half of the world’s population.

On an average day, there are roughly 90,000 commercial flights around the world. The bellow spectacular animated map displays them all in 4 seconds.

animated map

Air travel remains one of the safest forms of travel, so there's little reason for travellers to delay their trips, experts say.

ICAO, IATA and all worldwide Civil Aviation Authorities require airlines to provide the highest possible degree of safety in the public interest. Air carriers are responsible for safety management, quality assurance and quality control.

Cabin safety plays an important role in maintaining safe aircraft operations, and airlines are continually seeking ways to improve cabin safety.


What is Cabin Safety?



According to IATA “Cabin Safety is a vital part of any safety management system (SMS). It ensures that the cabin product and service is designed and delivered to the customer as safely as possible. Because of this, the role of a Cabin Safety professional involves risk management, training, reporting, investigation, auditing, and fatigue risk management, formulating safety and emergency procedures and more”.


The role of Cabin Safety exceeds the pre-flight safety demonstration. Cabin Safety includes a range of different topics and processes which are not always evident to airline customers.  

If the customer services role of cabin crew varies from one airline to another all airlines tasks are carried out with a major focus on safety. Cabin safety is about preventing injury, and preventing the escalation of an abnormality into an emergency. 



ICAO developed competencies-based approaches to cabin crew safety training so that cabin crew members may be proficient to perform their duties and responsibilities, and with the goal of establishing an international baseline for cabin crew competencies. 

The cabin crew training generally covers major Cabin safety aspects and focuses on:


  • Regulations relating to cabin operations

  • Standard Operating procedures SOP’S

  • Documentation

  • Cabin crew training and qualifications

  • Crew resources Management - Human factor

  • Dangerous Goods Training

  • First Aid & Medical Training for Airline Crews / Aero medical aspects and first aid

  • conversion & differences training

  • Product & Service Training

  • Security

  • Safety Equipment on board aircraft


These aspects are generally covered in following mandatory cabin crew training:

  1. Cabin Crew Initial training;

  2. Conversion and differences training;

  3. Recurrent training;

  4. Refresher training.

  5. Senior cabin crew member training;

Bellow will help you far better understand 


  1. Cabin Crew Initial training


Cabin Crew Initial training comprises both theoretical and practical learning components. This ensures the fundamental learning conditions. 

By completing Cabin Crew Initial training course the trainees gains basic job knowledge and will be eligible to work as Cabin Crew in most international airlines.

Initial Training Theoretical Part
  • Standard Operating Procedures SOP’S

  • Passenger Handling - Crowd Control – Communication

  • Meteorology

  • Fire and smoke training

  • Water survival training

  • First aid / Aero-Medical aspects

  • Initial Human Factors and Crew resource management (CRM)

  • Dangerous Goods Regulations Training (DGR)

  • Safety and Security Procedures

  • Grooming and Service Training

Initial Training Practical
  • Fire Drill. Real Fire and Smoke

  • Swimming test in a swimming pool

  • Water survival training in a swimming pool

  • Oxygen administration to patients

  1. Conversion and differences training


Conversion and differences training provides to trainees safety-relevant differences between aircraft types, variants Conversion training must be completed and should provide:

    • Operational aspects of a new aircraft type, by identifying differences and similarities, in terms of:

  • Aircraft/cabin interior

  • Equipment and systems

  • Normal and emergency procedures.


    • Operational determination of a variant to an existing aircraft type, by identifying differences and similarities in terms of:


  • Main doors operations

  • Emergency exit operation

  • Location and type of portable safety equipment

  • Specific emergency procedures


    • Recommendations with regard to special features on existing and new aircraft types.


  1. Recurrent training


Recurrent Training is intended to sustain the level of competency and refresh the knowledge in skills used in normal and emergency situations relevant to aircraft operations as well as generic subjects. The course consists of the theoretical and practical training, as well as individual practice.

Recurrent training includes:


  • Safety and Emergency procedures (SEP)

  • Aircraft type and systems

  • Doors, exits and slide training (every 3 years)

  • Passenger briefing and safety demonstration

  • Emergencies, drills and evacuation procedures

  • Irregular situations and procedures theory and practice

  • Crowd Control

  • Emergency and Safety equipment

  • Crew Resource Management training (CRM)

  • First Aid / Medical Aspects

  • Aviation Security

  • Dangerous Goods training (every 2 years)

  • Fire Fighting and Smoke training (every 3 years)


The training covers equipment and the necessary drills with regard to the respective aircraft type.

  1. Refresher training


Refresher training must be undertaken if a Cabin Crew Member has not flown on a specific aircraft type within 6 months Refresher Training modules will include:

  • Emergency procedures including pilot incapacitation

  • Evacuation procedures including crowd control techniques

  • Operation and opening of each type or variant of normal and emergency exits in normal and emergency modes, including failure of power-assisted systems. This includes the actions required to operate and deploy evacuation slides

  • The operation of all other exits including flight deck windows

  • The location and handling of emergency equipment, including oxygen systems, issuing lifejackets, portable oxygen and protective breathing equipment

  1. Senior Cabin Crew Training

The objectives of the Senior Cabin Crew Training are to provide the promoted Cabin Crew with the knowledge and confidence to act as a Purser, and to be responsible for the leadership and coordination of the cabin safety and emergency procedures.

Training Modules for Senior Cabin Crew Member Training Programme include: 


  • Leadership Skills

  • Regulatory Overview

  • Flight and Duties

  • Communication and Coordination Procedures

  • Communication systems and inflight entertainment systems

  • Briefings / Debriefings

  • Identification of roles in the event of an emergency situation

  • Aviation Medicine / on-board medical emergencies

  • Security

  • Administration and Documentation e.g. Flight Reports, Incident Reports

  • Passenger Handling

  • Post Flight Duties


A further focus topic is the interface between the cockpit and the SCCM.


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