Developing a prototype behavioural marker system for farmer non-technical skills (FLINTS)

Amy Irwin* (Corresponding Author), Nejc Sedlar, Ilinca-Ruxandra Tone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Non-technical skills, the social and cognitive skills thought necessary for safe and effective working, have been studied within the farming context over the past six years. However, these skills are not yet taught as part of a safety curriculum for farmers, due, in part, to a lack of defined framework and assessment system. The current paper describes the development of the FLINTS behavioural marker system for discussion, observation, evaluation and feedback on non-technical skills for farmers.
Method: The development of the behavioural marker system proceeded through three key stages. First, the current research knowledge on non-technical skills was synthesised to compile a list of non-technical skill categories and elements. Second, a series of discussion groups with subject matter experts was conducted to develop behavioural markers for each element. Lastly, refinement and review of the system was undertaken by academics and experts.
Results: The FLINTS taxonomy containing five non-technical skill categories and 16 elements was produced. The non-technical skill categories comprised situation awareness, teamwork & communication, leadership, task management and decision-making each with specific elements and behavioural markers.
Conclusion: FLINTS represents the first behavioural marker system for farmer non-technical skills, constructed through expert knowledge and advice via discussion and review groups, combined with underpinning research findings. This represents the first step towards the development of non-technical training and assessment for farmers. The FLINTS system was produced as a handbook and is freely available to all potential users (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Issue number2
Early online date18 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

open access via T&F agreeement
The author(s) reported there is no funding associated with the work featured in this article.


  • non-technical skills
  • safety
  • behavioural marker system


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