What can I use this service for?
Anything where you would value talking to a peer. This may cover topics such as:
your psychological well being; life stressors and changes; relationship problems; fatigue; work/life balance; bereavement; sim check worries; work pressures; colleague concerns; career options; financial problems; health concerns etc.
The trained pilot peers are there for you, your well-being as a person and as a pilot. While they cannot act on your behalf, provide expert opinion, advice or even ‘fix’ your problem, what makes them superbly qualified is that they are pilots like you. They have all had further/advanced training in supporting fellow pilots and they in turn are supported by a team of independent psychologists. They are willing to listen to you, understand your challenges and help you figure it out (or at least point you in the right direction).
Like most things, it is better to deal with problems and talk to others before they start to boil over. Things needn’t get to a crisis point before you contact us. In fact, the sooner you do, the better we can support you.
What happens when I make a request?
Once you have requested contact you will receive an email/text message confirming your contact request. The first pilot peer to pick it up, will either text or email you (whichever preference you indicated) and arrange a suitable time to talk on the phone.
The initial conversation will be to understand how we can best help you - or which direction to point you in. You may have a specific request for guidance or information, or you may be seeking support on a particular challenge you are facing. Either way, we are here for you.
Can I use this service in an emergency?
No, we are not set up to deal with emergencies. If you think that your own (or someone else’s) safety is in immediate danger, please contact you local emergency service or Flight Operations Manager.
What if I am concerned about a colleague?
It is always better for people themselves to make contact with this service. However, sometimes they are too fearful to do so, or have lost perspective on the impact that this is having on their performance or those they work with. If you believe that their situation has an immediate safety implication, then you are obliged to act directly and contact your line manager or pilot helpline.
However, if you believe the impact is more ‘slow burning’, cumulative or may put a less experienced or assertive colleague in a potentially difficult position, then we suggest discussing this through with a peer.
To be clear, this is not about 'reporting' your colleague, this is about discussing it with a trained peer and together working out what your best course of action is.
Having read this and find you still have concerns, contact us anyway: that's what we are here for!
Why are there different contact request times i.e. 12/24/48hrs?
As this is a Peer Support Programme, we want your first contact to be with a volunteer pilot - and not a call centre operator. Given that they are working pilots too, it is not always possible to immediately connect you to one. However, they will do their best to respond to you as soon as is reasonable - and within your requested timeframe.
You can help us identify the level of need from your request:
If you ask to be contacted within 12hrs, we will assume that it is urgent and will do what we can to respond as soon as possible.
If you request to be contacted within 24hrs - we will assume your request is important, and not urgent. However, you would prefer to talk to someone sooner than later and we will respond to you within daytime hours.
If you request to be contact within 48hrs - we will assume that whilst your request is important, you are happy for us to contact you during daytime hours, Monday - Friday.
How do I complain about this service?
If something isn't working for you, the only way we can fix it is if you let us know. Please direct your complaint to us, directly and be assured that we will deal with them in a discreet and appropriate manner.
What does the training of a peer consist of?
Peers are trained in essential mental health and counselling skills. They are trained how best to support a colleague in a time of need and the role, responsibilities and boundaries of a PSP peer.
I have made a contact request but haven't heard back - what should I do?
In this unlikely event, please sent us an email and we resolve this asap.
Can the peer intervene, advocate on my behalf or declare me unfit to fly?
No. As this is a peer support service, the aim is to support you to make decisions and take action in resolving a particular problem or issue you are dealing with.
They are not qualified nor in a position to decide on whether you are fit to fly. Even following your conversation, that decision remains your responsibility. However, as a peer they can help you work this out yourself and/or figure out your options and how best to progress them. This is what they are here for.
What if the peer can't help me?
Your peer is supported by a clinical psychologist which they have access to, who in turn has access to a range of resources and channels. If for some reason, your peer can't help you, they will do their best to find out or direct you to someone who can.
Is this service really independent?
Your AOC recognises that for this to work, it needs to be independent of the company, the unions and the Regulator. This is in line with recent EASA and CAA recommendations.
While this service is staffed by trained peers, it is managed and supported by an independent company, The Centre for Aviation Psychology, to ensure standards are met and the service is professionally managed. This company consists of clinical psychologists who specialise in aviation psychology and are market leaders and subject matter experts in this field.
How is confidentiality assured?
Details of individual users are strictly confidential and are protected in the same way medical records would be protected. We are EU GDPR compliant.
We keep a protected and encrypted record of your contact details. We also keep a separate, anonymised and encrypted record of your contact with the peer supporting you - and to which their clinical supervisor has sight of. However, no other peer has sight of this. In exceptional circumstances and within an established protocol, the Clinical and Operational Directors of the CAP PSP (both Clinical Psychologists) can access this information. Within your rights under the Data Protection Act, you can request to see the information we hold on you.
To do so, please
contact us and we will send you the address to which you can direct your enquiry and the process in which we can verify your identity.
What are the limits to confidentiality?
We take your confidentiality very seriously. However, if you tell us anything that gives us demonstrable concern about your safety or anyone else’s, just as in other healthcare settings, we are ethically and legally obliged to waive your confidentiality. In this extremely rare event, your peer will follow an established protocol of contacting their clinical supervisor and together deciding on the most appropriate course of action. However, they will always work with you first to figure out a way in which you and others can be safely protected and with your consent.
What connection do peers have with Flight Ops Duty Managers or BALPA reps?
Just as you can, peers are always able to speak to a duty manager or BALPA rep. However, they will never talk to them about a particular person or provide identifying details if talking about a general situation. However, they may call them for information or advice on a company process or available resources.
How will you know that I work for a company who subscribes to the CAP PSP?
We will never turn away a pilot in need.
However, during the first call, we will ask you for your employing company. We will then cross-check your initials against the list of initials we have been provided by each member AOC on a half yearly basis. At no point will we share any personal information about you with your employer - even if we cant find your initials on our list. This process of cross checking is our best and simplest way that we can monitor usage per member company. The only information we will share with your employer is half yearly aggregate and trend data, and only if anonymity can be assured. In other words, we will not be sharing this information in anyway, if it is possible to identify individuals in doing so.
Who are our trained peers?
We have taken great care in selecting a wide range of experienced peers who work in our other peer support programmes. We have trained them and watched them work at close quarters and they come highly recommended by us as among the best. More importantly though, they understand the pressures of working as a pilot in a scheduled airline. They have weathered many of the same personal and professional challenges users of this service may be currently experiencing.
In our peers you will find a confidential and empathic listener who is trained to be non-judgemental, supportive and 'on your side'.