The development of the Helicopter Non-Technical Skills (HeliNOTS) behavioural marker systems

Oliver E. D. Hamlet* (Corresponding Author), Amy Irwin, Rhona Flin, Nejc Sedlar

*Corresponding author for this work

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Behavioural marker systems (observational frameworks geared towards the assessment of non-technical skills by way of behavioural markers) exist across a variety of high-risk occupations, however, no identifiable system currently exists developed from rotary operative data. In this study, discussion groups (n = 9) were undertaken with subject matter experts (n = 20)—including pilots and technical crew operating across search and rescue and offshore transport environments—with the objective of identifying role-specific behavioural markers. Systems were reviewed on an iterative basis by the academic team and received final reviews by additional subject matter experts (n = 6). Two behavioural marker systems were constructed: HeliNOTS (O) for offshore transport pilots and HeliNOTS (SAR) for search and rescue crews; each with domain-specific behavioural markers. Both represent a significant step towards a nuanced approach to training and assessment of helicopter flight crews’ non-technical skills and are the first publicly available systems tailored to these distinct mission types.

Practitioner summary: There is no publicly available behavioural marker system based on data from rotary operatives. Across this study, two prototype systems were developed: HeliNOTS (SAR) for helicopter search and rescue, and HeliNOTS (O) for helicopter offshore transport. Both HeliNOTS systems represent a nuanced approach towards rotary CRM training and assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2232-2241
Number of pages10
Issue number12
Early online date3 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Open Access via the T&F Agreement
The authors would like to thank all of the pilots, technical crew personnel, CRM trainers, and aviation consultants for taking the time to participate in this study.
This research was collaboratively funded by the ESRC and Bristow Helicopters [grant number: ES/P000681/1].


  • training evaluation
  • crew resource management
  • pilot/crew behaviour
  • pilot decision making
  • situation awareness


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