The BizAv PSP
EC regulations and EASA requirements are that CAT AOCs provide their pilots with access to a confidential peer support programme. The implication for BizAv AOCs is that while they have to make this provision, the availability of such programmes, with a few notable exceptions, is largely non-existent for this sector of aviation.
Some operators might have the economies of scale to create their own programmes, however, smaller operators – and especially those in the BizAv sector – are better suited to joining a network of operators sharing resources and costs.
The BizAv PSP is a network of trained pilot peers throughout Europe and the rest of the world. The peers have been selected from participating PSP members and have received training from CAP to support fellow pilots wherever they are, whatever they fly and whoever they work for.
Pilots from participating AOCs have access to the trained peers via this website and the support they provide on the telephone. Peers are supported and supervised by CAP’s world leading clinical aviation psychologists.
The BizAv PSP is based on the successful tailor-made PSPs that we run for multiple AOCs covering >15K pilots. The entire programme is administered and governed to the highest standards of confidentiality and data security, with the ability to provide trend data (never individual) to participating AOCs.
Aedrian Bekker, one of the Directors of CAP, speaking to the RAes about the benefits and challenges facing PSPs.
Why PSPs work
Like many professionals, pilots can be reluctant to ask for help for their mental well being. Social stigma, career implications, the perception that mental health professionals don't understand the particular pressures of flight crew and the myth that all pilots are made of the 'right stuff' contribute to this reluctance.
It turns out of course, that pilots are human beings too. Providing peer support simply makes it much easier to for pilots to ask for help. Not just any help - but the support of a trained peer who knows exactly what it's like to be a pilot and the lifestyle and operational challenges this involves.
In conjunction with other resources an AOC may offer (e.g. employee assistance programmes, health insurance), PSPs are a particularly cost effective way of supporting pilots who might not otherwise seek help, but who may be desperately needing it.
Our experience is that most AOCs see the value of a well-run PSP in managing what is in part, a known risk.
The BizAv PSP provides the independence, confidentiality, clinical governance and relevance that pose a particular challenge for many BizAv operators.
The Centre for Aviation Psychology
The Centre for Aviation Psychology (CAP) promotes psychological well-being through confidential access to our specialist psychologists and resources.
In response to the wake of the German Wings incident and to meet future EASA and FAA directives, the Centre for Aviation Psychology was established in 2016 to support aviation professionals as they adapt to this new and emerging landscape.
We know that there are problems to be solved by those in Aviation - and we know that these issues are incredibly sensitive. We believe they require practical delivery with professional expertise. Our teams provide the reassurance you need on both fronts - we have years of clinical expertise and a track record of delivering successful organisation-wide interventions.
See our main website for further information.