First Eleven: Guidance for Designers on Maintenance Human Performance

First Eleven: RAeS Guidance for Design Organisations on Maintenance Human Performance

The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Human Factors Group: Engineering (HFG:E) has published a short guidance document on 11 steps an aviation Design Organisation (DO) can take to “deliver safer, more effective and reliable aircraft through improved design for maintenance”.

The RAeS say:

Aircraft safety and in‐service maintenance performance can be significantly improved through integrating maintenance Human Factors (HF) principles into aircraft design…

Research shows that many aircraft incidents and accidents are caused or contributed to by maintenance errors that are induced or aggravated by aircraft design and technical documentation.

Improved, user‐centred design and documentation reduces maintenance error and its consequences.

Many DOs already recognise…their products can be improved through applying HF principles to reduce in the probability and consequences of maintenance errors, reduce lifecycle costs and improve operational reliability / availability.

However, research by the HFG:E suggests that identifying practical steps to realise these benefits remains a significant challenge for many DOs.

Consequently, the ‘First Eleven’ guidance was developed over several years of engagement with DOs, air accident investigators and regulators to be a practical series of steps for a DO to fully integrate the best practices for maintainer-centric design.

first 11

A First Eleven gap analysis is a practical way to identify opportunities for improvement.  The RAeS say:

These are the ‘First’ Eleven because striving for enhanced maintenance human performance should be a continuously evolving process.

The full guidance document can be found here.

Aerossurance is pleased to have sponsored the RAeS HFG:E conference on 12 May 2015 at Cranfield University on Human Factors in Engineering – the Next Generation (as well as its staff actively participating in the HFG:E since 2005).

We see the First Eleven as one way that DOs can contribute to next generation solutions that enhance maintenance human performance.

Aerossurance is pleased to support the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors’ (CIEHFHuman Factors in Aviation Safety Conference that takes place at the Radison Blu HotelEast Midlands Airport, 7-8 November 2016.  Our presentation will discuss the importance of HCD.

UPDATE 2 March 2018: An excellent initiative to create more HCD by use of a Human Hazard Analysis (HHA) is described in Designing out human error

HeliOffshore, the global safety-focused organisation for the offshore helicopter industry, is exploring a fresh approach to reducing safety risk from aircraft maintenance. Recent trials with Airbus Helicopters and HeliOne show that this new direction has promise. The approach is based on an analysis of the aircraft design to identify where ‘error proofing’ features or other mitigations are most needed to support the maintenance engineer during critical maintenance tasks.

The trial identified the opportunity for some process improvements, and discussions facilitated by HeliOffshore are planned for early 2018.

A systems approach in healthcare:

UPDATE 24 October 2022: The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has launched the Development of a Strategy to Enhance Human-Centred Design for MaintenanceAerossurance‘s Andy Evans  is pleased to have had the chance to participate in this initiative.

Aerossurance has extensive airworthiness, design assurance, certification, maintenance error management and human factors experience.  For professional design / maintenance HF support you can trust, contact us at:

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