What does the new EASA psychological assessment regulation mean for airlines?

EASA.CAT.GEN.MPA.175 is a new regulation set by EASA that will be effective from early 2021. The regulation calls for airlines to ensure all Pilots receive a psychometric evaluation within 24 months of employment and in advance of commencing line flying. This evaluation must be overseen by a psychologist with at least 3 years’ aviation experience and with expertise in psychological assessment. The regulation lays out what should be tested, the timescale and who should be involved in the testing.

What does EASA.CAT.GEN.MPA.175(b) mean for pilot recruitment?

Airlines and commercial air operators will need to conduct pre-employment psychological assessment of Pilots as part of their hiring processes. Airlines need to document the procedures followed, the personnel involved, the assessment criteria and instruments used in the assessment, and the validity period.

Airlines will need to conduct a psychological assessment of pilots covering at least the four key assessment criteria identified by EASA that pilots must be assessed against in order to be compliant with the new regulation. These are i) Cognitive Abilities, ii) Personality Traits, iii) Operational & Professional Competencies and iv) Social Competencies in accordance with Crew Management Principles.

IATA’s Guidance Material and Best Practices in Pilot Aptitude Testing details five measured dimensions which can be used to assess the key criteria set by EASA in the regulation.

The measuring dimensions are:

Basic Mental Abilities
Composite Mental Abilities
Operational Abilities
Social-Interpersonal Abilities
Personality Traits.

How can Symbiotics help you become EASA.CAT.GEN.MPA.175(b) compliant?

Symbiotics support airlines by providing an online test battery for the recruitment of direct entry pilot candidates that complies with the new regulation for Pilot Psychological Assessment. We recommend the following test battery aligned to IATA ‘Guidance Material and Best Practices for Pilot Aptitude Testing’.

Personality questionnaire

Our Personality Questionnaire (PQ) is widely used within the aviation sector, and includes traits that are specific to this sector, such as Hazardous Attitudes, in addition to the general traits of the Big Five Factor personality measures.

Crew Resource Management

This questionnaire is designed to identify a candidate’s decision-making and communication skills in response to various situations.

FAST

This test assesses a candidate’s multitasking, learning, cognitive, situational awareness and physical skills.

Cognitive Reasoning

A range of aptitude tests that are designed to measure an individual’s cognitive abilities in numerical reasoning, perception speed and accuracy, verbal reasoning, spatial reasoning, working memory and abstract reasoning.

To find out more on how these tests map onto IATA pilot competences and measuring dimensions please read our response document found here.

Who needs to conduct the Assessment?

To be compliant with EASA.CAT.GEN.MPA.175(b) the assessment will have to be validated and either directly performed by, or overseen by, a psychologist. This psychologist should fit the following criteria:

(This may vary depending on the country you are based in, but the following is a good starting point)

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Chartered Member of their national Psychological Society (or local equivalent), preferably with EuroPsy accreditation for cross-border recognition.
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In the UK Registered with HCPC – as shown by the use of Clinical or Occupational title
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Experienced in assessment - the person conducting or overseeing the assessment should hold BPS TUO-A and TUO-P certification (Test User Occupational, Ability or Personality respectively)
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Have acquired aviation knowledge generally recognised as a minimum three years’ experience and/or Member of the European Association of Aviation Psychologists –Ideally this should include the psychological assessment of aviation personnel.

All our psychologists have a minimum of three years’ experience within the aviation industry and all hold the TUO-A and TUO-P certificates. The team is led by Karen Moore, our Principal Occupational Psychologist who is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, registered with HCPC, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, an Associate Member of the European Association of Aviation Psychologists, a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and holds the highest level of assessment accreditation in the UK, the ‘BPS Specialist in Test Use, Occupational’ certificate.

What is ADAPT?

ADAPT is our online assessment and reporting platform that delivers our psychometric and aptitude tests to candidates and provides oversight, reports and management to clients.

Candidates undertake each test of the assessment one at a time and if required this can be over several sessions. Once the candidate has completed the assessment, ADAPT provides a comprehensive consolidated output report in English. Results are also available to download as a spreadsheet from ADAPT, to provide data summaries for all candidates.

See our candidate video and client video of our ADAPT system to experience it for yourself.

Going beyond compliance to look at Mental Health...Introducing MindQ™ Assessment

Several airlines are choosing to incorporate MindQ™ into their organisation to regularly assess the mental wellbeing of their general pilot population. MindQ™ provides an airline with the ability to assess an individual’s mental health at a given point in time to be able to monitor mental health risk associated with pilots.

MindQ™, developed by MHS Assessments, is a clinically validated online mental health risk assessment to identify early issues in employee mental health, which can be delivered alongside other assessments within ADAPT.

The assessment covers life dissatisfaction (material, job, personal), stress coping risks, emotional distress (anxiety and depression) and substance abuse risk. The test identifies those areas that are having an impact on the individual and reducing their mental wellbeing.

Find out more about MindQ™.

Additional EASA.CAT.GEN.MPA.175 (b) Resources

EASA.CAT.GEN.MPA.175 (b) PDF Front cover

Whitepaper introducing the EASA.CAT.GEN.MPA.175(b) regulation in more detail and introducing how our bespoke ADAPT solution can help you become and remain compliant. Written by Symbiotics’ Managing Director and Chief Psychologist Karen Moore CPsychol CSci AFBPsS MRAeS

Slideshare presentation cover

Slideshare presentation created by Symbiotics’ Managing Director and Chief Psychologist Karen Moore CPsychol CSci AFBPsS MRAeS detailing the history behind the new regulation, what the new regulation means for airlines and how the ADAPT system can be utilised to help you become compliant.

What are the next steps?

If you would like more information about Symbiotics tests to help you meet EASA.CAT.GEN.MPA.175(b) including demo codes to have a look at our tests, we would be delighted to discuss your requirements with you further. Please contact us on any of the below and one of our team will be in touch with you.