Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Aviation Academy

Master Class Human Factors & Safety

With special guest prof. Sidney Dekker

The Aviation Academy of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the Northumbria University are proud to jointly present a master class on Human Factors and Safety with a special guest appearance on the closing day by Professor Sidney Dekker. In this inspiring, thought-provoking and demanding master class you will be confronted with your own preconceptions about safety, accountability and retribution.

During the four-day master class, multiple Human Factor and Safety related subjects will be discussed:

  • The week commences with a discussion on the fallacy of “Human Error”. The term disguises real causes of adverse events and is a symptom over problems deeper in the organization. We introduce the concepts of Work-as-Imagined and Work-as-Done, resilience, Safety I and Safety II, and complexity. What do we mean by these terms, and how does it help us to better understand safety?
  • We introduce heroes that strive for Safety Leadership, and discuss what it takes to become one.
  • We then present the ten steps to achieve Safety Leadership: identifying exemptions between work as it is executed and the procedures, finding out what to do about them, and how to involve the shop floor. 
  • We explain how to protect the organization from drifting into failure. How does this happen to apparently safe systems? What can we do to prevent it? 
  • We discuss what to do if even after implementing all these suggestions something goes wrong. How to learn from incidents, and how to apply a Just Culture. We discuss that accountability does not necessarily imply sanctions and punishment. Rather, accountability means being able to 'tell the account' so that others can learn too, and the system can improve.
  • During the last day, we welcome prof. Sidney Dekker who will answer any questions that have arisen over the course of the week. Together we will explore questions such as: What does this all mean for me and my business?

The master class will include a combination of live and video lectures, discussions about the theory, application to well-known and lesser-known cases, and ample room for reflection on your own practice. We will send all participants a copy of Sidney’s books "Drift into Failure" and the 2014 edition of "The Field Guide to Understanding 'Human Error'”. We expect these to be read beforehand so that discussions are based on a solid understanding of the theory. The number of attendees has been limited to 25 to ensure a lively discussion and excellent group sessions.

This master class is aimed at managers, safety experts, accountable managers and all others involved in the improvement of Human Factors and Safety in an operational environment (aviation and non-aviation). A working knowledge of Safety Management Systems is expected.

Robert Jan de Boer

Robert J. de Boer (PhD Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, 2012) will lead the workshop from Monday till Thursday. Prior to his appointment as Professor ("lector") of Aviation Engineering at the Amsterdam University of Applied Science in September 2009, he has initiated and developed team collaboration in technical environments in a variety of line management and consultancy roles. These experiences inspired his current scientific interest in organizational safety and process improvement, and he has authored numerous peer-reviewed conference proceedings and journal articles. See for a full list amsterdamuas.com/aviation.

Sidney Dekker

Sidney Dekker (PhD Ohio State University, USA, 1996) is currently professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, where he runs the Safety Science Innovation Lab. He is also Professor (Hon.) of psychology at The University of Queensland, and Professor (Hon.) of human factors and patient safety at Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane. Previously, he was Professor of human factors and system safety at Lund University in Sweden. After becoming full professor, he learned to fly the Boeing 737, working part-time as an airline pilot out of Copenhagen. He has won worldwide acclaim for his groundbreaking work in human factors and safety, and is best-selling author of, most recently, Second Victim (2013), Just Culture (2012), Drift into Failure (2011),  and Patient Safety (2011), Safety Differently (2014). His latest book is The End of Heaven: Disaster and Suffering in a Scientific Age (2017). More information: sidneydekker.com.

Anastasios Plioutsias

Anastasios Plioutsias, MSc, is Assistance Professor of Safety and Human Factors at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He is a PhD candidate in Risk Management (National Technical University of Athens), and he holds an MSc in Project Management and a Bachelor in Business Administration and Management (University of Thessaly). He was a fighter Pilot (F-16) in the Hellenic Air Force (HAF), graduated from Hellenic Airforce Academy with Bachelor in Aeronautics and he has been an Accident Investigator since 2011. He graduated from the USAF Safety Center, and he served in various safety-related positions in HAF. During his service, he taught, amongst others, Accident Investigators courses at the HAF as well as the National Technical University of Athens.

Maria Papanikou

Dr. Maria Papanikou holds a Ph.D. in Aviation Safety focusing on systemic – safety studies through interdisciplinary research. Before joining the Aviation Academy as Associate Professor of Safety and Human Factors, Maria worked in the United Kingdom as flight crew trainer, and as a researcher and academic. During her years in the UK, Maria collaborated with international organisations, regulators, and other aviation stakeholders, such as Airbus, IATA, EASA and the CAA, on addressing the future of safety in commercial aviation and positive learning. In addition, Maria helped airlines establish or further develop their SMS, and advising them for audits and certifications. Maria serves as organising and scientific committee in conferences internationally. She sits in and has chaired Scientific Advisory Boards on Systems Interactions and Safety Management.

The program runs for four full days from Monday until Thursday; the program times are 9:00 to 17:00. The price to attend is €1950, VAT exempted. The early bird fee is €1755 until 21st of October 2018. Aviation Academy Alumni, EAAP and NAG members can register for early-bird fee (equivalent with 10% discount) during the entirely registration period.

All lunches and welcome drinks on Monday are included in the price, as well as your own copy of Sidney’s books "Drift into Failure" and the 2014 edition of "The Field Guide to Understanding 'Human Error'”. 

Venue: (Direct train connection from Schiphol Airport)
Holiday Inn Amsterdam Arena Towers
Hoogoorddreef 66A, 1101 BE Amsterdam-Zuid Oost 

For practical information please contact ms. Gieta Inderdjiet at
E: g.m.inderdjiet@hva.nl
T: +31 (0)20 595 1361

In a few weeks we will add online payment option for this master class. At the moment you can register without online payment and pay via bank transfer. Soon after your registration you will receive an invoice with the payment details.

For practical information please contact ms. Gieta Inderdjiet at
E: g.m.inderdjiet@hva.nl
T: +31 (0)20 595 1361

Published by  Faculty of Technology 25 July 2019

“One of the best classes I have ever had!!! I learned a lot during this week. Also the conversations and assignments were great and helped a lot to keep the program interesting. Perfect!”

Martijn Zagwijn, Fire Brigade Twente, Master Class participant 2017 -