EBT vs ATQP: What’s the difference?

Evidence Based Training, also known as EBT, is set to be the biggest disruptor to aviation training in over 50 years.

Although the introduction of EBT will revolutionise the way in which commercial airlines train their pilots, many who have already adopted an Alternative Training and Qualification Programme, more commonly known as ATQP, are asking a very good question: what are the differences between ATQP and EBT?

What is ATQP?

ATQP was introduced as a different way for airlines to conduct their recurrent training and testing of pilots. Whilst there was still a requirement for companies to revalidate licence proficiency, ATQP allowed these checks to follow a far less rigid methodology of assessment compared to the monotonous ‘box-ticking’ required by traditional training programmes. Under ATQP, operators can create tailored training sessions and conduct competency assessments using more realistic scenarios, with a particular emphasis and focus on training.

The ATQP methodology allows operators to implement different training programmes for different fleets and operational needs. Some mandatory tests are still required, but ATQP allows for additional training time to be made available by reducing the frequency of line checks and statutory tests. Through focusing on the specific needs of fleets and groups of pilots, this method of targeted training has been proven to improve standards and knowledge whilst also driving down training costs.

This all sounds great, so how does EBT differ?

The EFOS EBT Solution

See how EFOS could help you deliver your EBT training

Evidence Based Training 

Current training methods are mainly based on outdated air accident data from early generation jets, the likes of which were substantially less reliable and more difficult to operate than today’s modern equivalents, and the traditional method of repeating these set tasks has remained largely unchanged for several decades. EBT was born out of an industry-wide consensus that pilot training needed a strategic review and dramatic overhaul.

EBT has been designed to shift away from rigid training methods, instead equipping pilots with a finite range of skills and core competencies to better prepare them for dealing with ‘black swan’ events. EBT not only introduces a new programme of training items but also addresses how this training should be managed and delivered.

Ok, so EBT sounds great too, but isn’t it the same as ATQP?


It is certainly true that both provide a tailored training programme relevant to the operator’s needs and move away from the traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach of legacy programmes. Likewise, each methodology reduces the amount of checking and increases the amount of training that can be achieved in the available time allocated for recurrent training. Both also require data from the operators Flight Safety and Quality systems, and from training reports, to identify both what training is required and if the provided training is effective, with consistent and reliable methods of assessment required to ensure accurate analysis of pilot performance can be undertaken. However, there are some fundamental differences between the two.

Under ATQP the training programme is skill based, comprised of a set of training tasks which have been identified by analysis to be those which the pilot needs to be able to perform to a defined level of proficiency. The EBT programme is competency based, and although a similar set of scenarios may well be used during the training, rather than being the reason for the training themselves they are used to practice and develop competencies. In effect the question being posed under ATQP is ‘was’ the standard achieved for the defined scenario, whereas under EBT the question is ‘how’ was the standard achieved.

The ATQP programme allows an operator to create a programme which is specific to its pilots needs and more relevant to its aircraft, and type and area of operation. Again, this may sound similar to EBT, but ATQP is limited to the specific technical skills, knowledge and behaviours that the operator has determined are relevant to their own operation. And as we know, history shows us it is the unexpected events that cause the problems.

The EBT approach is to train pilots with key competencies so they are better equipped to handle all events they may have to deal with, both expected and unexpected. Training under EBT is based on the individual and can be tailored to a pilot’s specific needs rather than the more generic operator or fleet approach that is used in ATQP.

Evidence Based Training is certainly set to be the biggest disruptor that aviation training has ever seen. To find out more about implementing EBT within your airline, be sure to check out our article “An Introduction to EBT”.


Check out our article "An Introduction to EBT" for a comprehensive overview of Evidence Based Training, how it came to be, and how you can implement it within your airline.