Developing professional competencies and learning from experience

SAFERA SAF€RA is a partnership between 19 research funding organizations from 10 European countries who collaborate on research programming and launch joint calls in the field of industrial safety. It prolongs the work developed in the SAF€RA ERA-NET, which was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.

The 3rd SAFERA call contains human factors related research questions e.g.

  • What is the relative effectiveness of the methods for developing professional competencies and skills, in particular concerning their safety impact? What relevant metrics can be proposed?
  • What key factors can improve the effectiveness of these methods for developing professional knowledge and competencies?
  • Which new mechanisms and procedures for learning in industrial safety, including serious games, simulator-based techniques, e-learning platforms, debriefings, storytelling and “enriched learning from experience” can be proposed? What are the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches in developing knowledge, skills and competencies?
  • Do managers appreciate the importance of debate within a work group or community of practice for the development of knowledge and skills, and hence for safety? How can this bottom-up “invisible work” be made more visible and better integrated with the top-down dimensions of safety management?
  • Can new types of training, based on discussion concerning situated work activities, the risks of specific tasks and the possible conflicts between safety procedures and work situations, be proposed and tested?
  • Is there potential to learn more from success (and not only from failures) and to share this learning within work groups and communities of practice?

The following types of research are expected:

  • case studies which analyze existing practices and highlight their key features and obstacles to
    their application elsewhere;
  • development and evaluation of new approaches to develop professional skills and
  • exploratory studies (appreciative inquiries).

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