Critical Incident Stress Management in ATM

Critical Incident Stress Management in ATM


Welcome to the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) page of SKYbrary!

Here you will find a brief overview on CISM and the implementation guidance materials provided on SKYbrary.

According to the EU Regulation No 2017/373 each ANSP in Europe should have established a CISM programme since January 2020.


CISM is an interlocking and comprehensive peer-based programme to support colleagues after experiencing a critical incident. The aim is to manage the stress reactions caused by the critical incident and restore the individual's ability to work.

A critical event is not defined by the severity of the event, but always refers to the individual reactions of the person affected.

The internationally recognized definition of a critical incident is therefore:

A critical incident is any situation that causes a person to experience unusual strong stress reactions that the person perceives as disturbing or disabling.

The CISM Programme

Some European ANSPs have already gained valuable and also scientifically evaluated experience with the CISM programme, which has been incorporated into the newly published CISM Implementation Guidelines.

EUROCONTROL supports the implementation of a CISM programme with the following material:

  • CISM Implementation Guidelines – a comprehensive compendium
  • CISM Quick Reference Guide - an abridged version of the comprehensive one
  • Two video clips

The ‘CISM Implementation Guidelines’ is a comprehensive compendium that includes background of CISM, definitions, CISM intervention tools, basic structures, an implementation plan including the promotion of the programme; peer selection and CISM trainings, maintenance of the programme, useful checklists and samples.

The CISM Quick Reference Guide provides a quick overview and summarizes the most important steps in a condensed form.

The two video clips visualize:

  • the steps of the planning, promotion and implementation of a CISM programme
  • an example of how a CISM intervention is conducted, from the critical incident happening to the relief of the CISM call and finally to the return to work

All material available supports the implementation of a CISM programme in ATM at various levels and levels of detail and its sustainability. It can be used as a first overview, general guidance, for checklists, to promote the programme internally, to motivate potential peers, to find suitable trainers.

EUROCONTROL also offers support for the introduction of a CISM programme and for the referral to experienced ANSP's or suitable trainers for peer-trainings.


Video Clips on:

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Further Reading




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