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

The theme of the meeting was competence assessment (measuring competences, monitoring), but also building blocks to achieve competence. The meeting was hosted by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences Aviation Academy.

Jan Verbeek, vice-chairman at NAG, Partner Knowledge Management and Innovation at ADSE and chairman of the quality meeting preparation group acted as moderator of the meeting.

Geert Boosten, Lector Aviation Management Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences kicked of the meeting with a welcome.

The meeting started with a number of introductory presentations:

KLM E&M – Ben Gooijer, director Safety & Quality: 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, Head of Design Organization ADSE: 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.

Education and training

CvBLo (College van Belanghebbenden Luchtvaartonderwijs): Renée van de Watering, Program Manager: How do we connect aeronautical engineering education even better with the Dutch aviation industry?

In her presentation Renée addressed the following topics:

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

MBO College Airport – Lydia Kes, Head of Education aerospace engineering: Competency Based Training and Assessment in Aviation Maintenance Basic Training

In her presentation Lydia addressed the following topics:

  • 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

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) – Geert Boosten, Lector Aviation Management: How to connect applied research and education with the developments in the aviation industry: the knowledge hub model

In his presentation Geert addressed the following topics:

  • 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 Aerospace – Bert Folkers, Quality Excellence Development Lead, European & and Asian Pacific: Learning Development

The 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 discussion was deepened in four knowledge cafes in which the participants participated in small groups on the subjects: manufacturing, human capital&education, teaming and engineering&certification.


  • Production competencies belong to processes and procedures that are derived from product and system key characteristics;
  • Manufacturing requires a modular database with unambiguous links so that product passports can be made for Quality and Environmental Impact, but perhaps also require traceability with blockchain;
  • Manufacturing 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 such as competence development can be tackled, both development of the competencies themselves and standards and tools;
  • Human Capital /Education requires a 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)


  • Teaming can be done in routine environments such as MRO but also in engineering environments
  • Senior – junior buddy system (master-companion) 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
  • Jobrotation 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 deploy 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