3 November 2021 IQ Cluster

Report Improving Quality (IQ) Cluster | November 3rd 2021

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On November 3rd the meeting of the Improving Quality (IQ) cluster took place. The meeting was hosted by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences Aviation Academy.

The theme of the meeting was competence assessment (measuring competences, monitoring), but also building blocks to achieve competence. The topic will be approached from the perspective of education, HR, operations and quality.

The meeting started with a number of introduction presentations:

KLM E&M - Ben Gooijer: competence assessments at KLM E&M against the background of Teaming.

KLM E&M works since a couple of years according to the Teaming concept (inspired by GE Durham – 300 workers direct under the plant manager). This means on the shop floor maintenance teams of 30 technicians who take on all the organisational and support roles in the team.

Each team is focussing on specific defined work packages and performance is measured using KPI’s on technology, time, cost and human resources) To address certain generic topics over the teams councils are established (prepare the work/commercial aspects like changes, operational issues and bottlenecks, continuous improvements.

Competences are managed (assessed, developed) during:

  • Selection
    • Team is involved
    • Supported by tools
  • Retain and Development
    • Via formal type and technical training – using a skills matrix and push mail – worker is self-steering
    • Via part 145 assessments (based on on the job coaching and feedback, monitoring trainings and keeping records); team leader assesses technical skills
    • Via personal development (TOP – talent ontwikkelings plan) – worker is self-steering

A culture lead and several online tools help to address HR and competence development topics.

ADSE consulting and engineering – Frank Kaiser: building and sustaining (certification) competences in a Design Organisation

ADSE started with an inherited team from Fokker Aircraft engineering and this formed the basis for the DOA organisation, a strictly regulated “quality” organisation. Over time people retired and new staff was hired. Transferring experience is however not a simple thing. After a first focus on building experience under a buddy system of a senior and a junior on the projects, ADSE moved over to a more structured approach with defined skills and “have to go through” experiences. The DOA HR processes are an extension of the regular personal development planning and execution processes.


CvBLo | Renee van de Watering: How do we connect aeronautical engineering education even better with the Dutch aviation industry?

Topics that were addressed are:

  • Life-long learning (covered in the Groeifondsaanvraag)
  • Curriculum alignments
  • What to do with lateral entrants (zij-instromers)

MBO College Airport - Lydia Kes: Competence Based Training in Aviation Maintenance Basic Training

Topics that were addressed are:

  • Competence based training
  • HR working group
  • Modules (as being used in the part 145 trainings are not suitable for 16 year old students / to be used only for basic skills and experience build up)
  • Trends are:
    • Move from reactive/preventive maintenance to predictive/prescriptive
    • Ageing workforce (vergrijzing)
  • Competences are defined as knowledge (conceptual, cognitive), skills (practical, psychosocial), attitude
    • ICAO list of behavioural skills instead of exams
    • Observable behaviour, reflection on behaviour

HvA - Geert Boosten: How to connect applied research and education?

Topics that were addressed are:

  • Accelerating curriculum development through cooperation on teaching methods, assessment/test/exam development
  • Translating research in applications
    • Teaching programs
    • On shop floor
  • The involvement of the educational staff is key to close the gap between business needs and educational solutions
    • Bring the teachers to the shop floor
    • Bring the shop floor to the school/university

GKN – Bert Folkers: Learning Development

Program consist of:

  • Introduction (onboarding)
  • Function specific training (within 3 months, within a year, recurring/repeating)
  • For authorizations (additional/specific trainings for special processes, operator self-control)
  • Programs require generic trainings and specific – a matrix captures the requirements

4 systems for QM, HR, certifying staff >> should migrate to 1 in due time

  • The QMS covers the trainings
  • The LMS is set up for registrations (the Fokker heritage Learning Management System), Wilbur is the GKN equivalent
  • Processes covered in Handbooks
  • Access Database for…

After the presentations, the participants had the opportunity to discuss the themes even further in the following knowledge cafés:


  • Production competencies belong to processes and procedures that are derived from product and system key characteristics
  • Requires a modular database with unambiguous links so that product passports can be made for Q and Environmental Impact, but wherever, perhaps with blockchain also traceability questions
  • Also requires more digital skills (ERP, MES, library systems) and approach from business continuity (ref recent crash of Facebook)

Human capital/education:

  • By working together with several companies and institutions, tough issues or competence development can be tackled, both development of the competencies themselves and standards and tools
  • Asks coalition of the willing (companies, institutions (WO, HBO, MBO and various disciplines), various disciplines) and a list of important, non-urgent things (e.g. testing correct behavior in on the job training)


  • Can be used in routine environment as MRO but also in engineering environment
  • Senior – junior buddy system (master-journeyman) if projects allow it
  • We can still learn a lot from each other
  • Pooling in innovation projects could help
  • Experience sometimes also gets in the way of change / innovation

Engineering and certification:

  • For certification there is actually no training, is versatile and has extensive aspects, so must be learned and experienced in practice. Training institutes can create awareness and pay attention to Verification & Validation methods
  • Job rotation for juniors helps discover who has talent and interest for what;
  • Activities around quality are often underestimated, budgets must be sufficient, for redundancy and transfer / follow-up you should use teams, not just 1 “quality manager”
  • Many companies go under market pressure for high volume, low cost and then certification expertise is too expensive
  • Students often learn to use tools, but gaining real insight is difficult

The meeting ended with a network drink.