The Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre in co-operation with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch is proud to offer its world-renowned two-week investigation course for aviation managers.

The investigation of incidents and accidents is an important component of a safety management system. Done correctly, within a "just culture", investigations will help to uncover opportunities for organisational learning and enhance an organisation’s safety culture. 

This course will help delegates to develop the skills and behaviours required to conduct investigations and to work alongside other investigation agencies. You will benefit from the expertise of investigators, technical specialists and leading academic staff, who deliver a course that is tailored to those working at management levels.

We work closely with industry partners to deliver courses that are both practical and rigorous. Our courses are scrutinised by our advisory board to ensure their relevance.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 20 Nov - 01 Dec 2023
  • 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 made up of a mixture of lectures; practical workshops; an on-site accident tutorial; and a 3-day investigation simulation. Delegates also visit the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch at Farnborough (subject to investigation caseload) and the University’s Accident Investigation Laboratory. The investigation simulation takes place on the University’s Global Research Airport.

What you will learn

The aim of this two-week course is to provide safety professionals and operational staff with the skills and behaviours required to:

  • Conduct incident investigation as part of a Safety Management System and in accordance with the standards and recommended practices contained in ICAO Annex 19; 
  • Operate as a technical advisor in support of a serious incident or accident investigation as conducted by a State Investigation Agency in accordance with ICAO Annex 13;
  • Conduct accident investigation within an operator, regulator or manufacturer in parallel with a State investigation.

The course covers the full investigation process from notification and response to report writing and making recommendations.

Core content

  • Notification and reporting of incidents and accidents
  • Investigation within the context of safety management systems / ICAO Annex 19
  • Legislation and Regulation (ICAO Annex 13, European regulation 996/ 2010)
  • The application of "just culture" in accident investigation
  • Site hazards and risk management
  • Identification, preservation and collection of evidence 
  • Accident site photography
  • Accessing and using recorded data
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Investigating human and organisational performance
  • Engineering investigations
  • Analytical techniques
  • Management of investigations
  • Crisis communication
  • Dealing with the news media 
  • Working with families and affected parties
  • Investigation report writing
  • Developing and managing recommendations
  • Visit to the AAIB at Farnborough
  • Visit to Cranfield University Accident Investigation Laboratory
  • Practical investigation simulation

Who should attend

The course is designed for those working within the safety function or at a management level within airlines, airports, ground handling providers, manufacturers, regulators, air navigation service providers or professional associations/unions.

In particular, the course is aimed at those who may be required to carry out investigations into occurrences as part of a Safety Management System, or who may act as a technical advisor to a serious incident or accident investigation under ICAO Annex 13.

Professional accident investigators working for State Investigation Agencies may wish to consider our six-week Aircraft Accident Investigation course, which starts twice per year in January and May.


The course is led by Graham Braithwaite, Professor of Safety and Accident Investigation at Cranfield University.

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.


Group discount: Where three 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 our CMDC hotel. Located on campus, all rooms are en-suite and available on a half-board basis from Sunday to Friday. The cost of this package is £1,800.

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.