Human Performance Standard of Excellence (HPSoE)

Human Performance Standard of Excellence (HPSoE)


People create safety. The air traffic management industry relies on the performance of people to deliver a safe, effective and efficient service 24 hours each day.

A white paper on Human Performance was produced by Action Plan (AP) 15 (a collaborative working arrangement with the participation of EUROCONTROL and FAA human performance experts) in 2010 and was found to be useful by ANSPs. However, despite that paper and a number of other supporting initiatives, there has been little noticeable adoption of human performance considerations by ANSPs. AP15 looked at the reasons for the limited engagement of the industry and asked more questions to better identify human performance needs. It concluded that Senior Management are looking for effective human performance that will drive business performance using key performance indicators (KPIs) such as safety, cost, efficiency and service delivery. To achieve this, they want to know:

  • Which elements of human performance should they focus on?
  • In which areas are they already doing well, and where would investments for improvement help business performance?
  • What are their peers and future ANSP partners doing in this area?
  • How far do they need to go, considering their size and scale of operations?
  • What are the first steps they need to take?

At a Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) member’s request, AP15 has developed a Human Performance Standard of Excellence (HPSoE) to help ANSPs answer the questions listed above. The AP15 HPSoE has followed the same format as the existing CANSO Standard of Excellence in Safety Management Systems (SMS SoE).


The HPSoE includes 12 elements of human performance,three being of particular importance. These three are:

  • Policy, strategy and resources i.e. the organisational focus on human performance
  • ATM equipment and support tools
  • Investigation and learning

Each of the 12 elements has 5 levels of maturity and each ANSP should assess their current maturity and improvement plans relative to their business goals.

HPSoE's 12 Elements of Human Performance (Reproduced from the White Paper)


Initial assessments against the HPSoE have been undertaken by 14 ANSPs of differing sizes encompassing different scale and complexities of operations. They believe that the HPSoE will help them to determine:

  • Their current level of human performance
  • Their target level of human performance
  • The actions required to sustain and / or improve human performance

The HPSoE could therefore be a useful tool for ANSPs to assess their human performance status and to show the general level of human performance for the industry.

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