Timely, objective, and thorough investigation of aviation safety events is a key element of any safety management system (SMS). When conducted within a "just culture", investigations will help to identify hazards, as well as opportunities for organisational learning and enhancement of safety culture.

For 2024, we have redeveloped our Accident Investigation for Aviation Management course to ensure that we focus on the application of best practice in investigation to the type of events that are typically investigated in-house by an Operator, Manufacturer, Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) or Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) organisation as part of their SMS.

Attendees will benefit from the expertise of experienced investigators, technical specialists and leading academic staff and learn through a series of lectures, workshops and a 3-day simulated investigation. Additional materials are provided online so that investigators understand how they interact with major (ICAO ‘Annex 13’ State-led) investigations, the news media and so on.

The Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre has delivered air safety investigation training for over 45 years and works closely with industry partners to deliver courses that are both practical and rigorous.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 18 - 27 Mar 2025
    • 17 - 26 Mar 2026
  • Duration2 weeks
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£3,600. The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately. Concessions available

Course structure

The course is designed to take delegates through the entire investigation process from the notification of an event through to the publication of an investigation report and recommendations. Through expertly facilitated and interactive lectures, workshops and practical exercises, delegates will get the opportunity to develop their skills as an investigator. There will be an investigation tutorial based around the University’s accident investigation laboratory and guest speakers from the aviation safety and investigation community including from airlines and State investigation agencies. A key element of the course is a simulated investigation of an occurrence which will involve the collection and analysis of evidence, including from witnesses, to deliver meaningful and effective safety recommendations / actions. An optional element to the course is to submit a written investigation report for personalised feedback.

Prior to the start of the course, delegates will also have access to important background material and recorded lectures on topics such as ICAO Annex 13 State investigations, Handling the News Media, and Cabin Safety Investigations.

What you will learn

Upon successful completion of the course, delegates will be able to:

  • Conduct safety investigations within an aviation service provider as part of their Safety Management System; and in accordance with the guidance contained in ICAO Annex 19.
  • Apply just culture principles to the investigation process to ensure it is objective, evidence-led and focused on improved safety performance.
  • Operate as an Adviser in support of a serious incident or accident investigation as conducted by a State Investigation Agency in accordance with ICAO Annex 13.

Core content

  • Notification and reporting of incidents and accidents. 
  • Initial response actions. 
  • Investigation within the context of safety management systems / ICAO Annex 19. 
  • The application of "just culture" in safety investigations. 
  • Legislation and Regulation (ICAO Annex 13, European regulation 996/ 2010).
  • Managing the risk of accident site hazards. 
  • Identification, preservation, and collection of evidence. 
  • Accessing and using recorded data.
  • Interviewing techniques.
  • Investigating human and organisational performance.
  • Analytical techniques. 
  • Management of investigations. 
  • Working with State Investigation Agencies (SIAs). 
  • Dealing with the news media. 
  • Working with families and affected parties. 
  • Safety investigation report writing. 
  • Developing and managing recommendations and safety actions. 
  • Practical investigation simulation. 
  • Operator case studies.

Who should attend

The course is designed for those who will conduct safety investigations as part of an aviation service provider’s safety management system. It is suitable for safety professionals who may work for aircraft operators (airlines, general aviation, and military aircraft); manufacturers, Air Navigation Service Providers; or Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) providers. It is also appropriate for those who may work within safety regulators who want a deeper understanding of the investigation process.

Note: those who play an active role in Annex 13 State-led investigations may find that the Fundamentals of Accident Investigation (3 weeks) and Aircraft Accident Investigation courses are more appropriate (6 weeks)


The course is led by Graham Braithwaite, Professor of Safety and Accident Investigation and Marc St-Laurent, Lecturer in Air Safety Investigation. Graham has over 20 years experience in delivering investigator training at Cranfield University and for operators around the world including British Airways, easyJet, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific Airways and Hong Kong International Airport. Marc has a wealth of experience of state level investigations through the Transportation Safety Board and airline safety investigations through Cathay Pacific Airways.

The lectures, workshops and simulations are facilitated by an experienced group of investigators, technical specialists, and academic staff with experience across a range of areas vital to the process of accident investigation. Guest presenters come from airlines, manufacturers, and investigation agencies.


For the 2024 course we are able to offer a special group discount: Where two delegates or more are booking from within one organisation, a discount of 10% will apply to the invoice for the course tuition fee. Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme. Please ask about our discount scheme at time of booking.

Accommodation options and prices

We are pleased to offer an exclusive accommodation package at Mitchell Hall. Located on campus, all rooms are en-suite and available on a half-board basis from Tuesday 19th March to Thursday 28th March 2024.

The cost of this package is £1,080 (includes all meals for the weekend 23rd and 24th March). N.B. The accommodation fee for 2025 and 2026 is to subject to change.

If you would like to book our accommodation package for this short course*, please indicate this on your registration form.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

*Subject to availability.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road 
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.