Debriefing surgical trainees on non-technical skills (NOTSS)

S. Yule, R. Flin, N. Maran, G. Youngson, A. Mitchell, D. Rowley, S. Paterson-Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Surgical trainees must maximise the educational and developmental opportunities of time spent in the operating theatre. Post-operative debriefing on performance based on observed skills is one way of achieving this and is regularly done in other high-risk professions. The non-technical skills for surgeons (NOTSS) behaviour rating system allows surgeons to observe trainees’ behaviour in the workplace and provide feedback for skill improvement in a structured manner. This paper describes the process of debriefing using NOTSS and presents the results of a usability trial. Two case studies also illustrate how the system was used. The majority of surgical trainers who participated reported that the NOTSS system provided a common language to discuss non-technical skills and was a valuable adjunct to currently available assessment tools. Some trainers found interpersonal skills more difficult to rate than cognitive skills but 73% (n = 8) felt that routine use of the system would enhance patient safety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalCognition, Technology & Work
Issue number4
Early online date24 Aug 2007
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • surgical training
  • education
  • debriefing
  • non-technical skills
  • patient safety


Dive into the research topics of 'Debriefing surgical trainees on non-technical skills (NOTSS)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this