Policy and System Interventions
This job description is designed to give an indication of the type of work and performance expected of the jobholder. It does not
provide an exhaustive list of duties or performance standards and the jobholder agrees to undertake any other tasks that are
consistent with the position and with the provision of quality service to the organisation.
The role’s purpose is to support the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) goals of safe and secure
aviation by providing high quality and timely investigations.
Overview of the role
To contribute to the Civil Aviation Authority outcomes by carrying out event, and themes and
systems safety investigations into occurrences, incidents or accidents which occur in the
New Zealand civil aviation sector.
Team Leader Safety Investigation / Manager Safety Investigations
National Office, Wellington
Team Leader Safety
Manages Ambiguity –
Deals comfortably with the uncertainty of change
effectively, even when things are not
Effectively handles risk
certain or the way forward is not clear
Can decide and act without total picture
Is calm and productive, even when things are up in the air
Deals constructively with problems that do not have clear solutions
Being Resilient –
Is confident under pressure
setbacks and adversity when facing
Handles and manages crisis effectively
Maintains a positive attitude despite adversity
Bounces back from setbacks
Grows from hardship and negative situations
Ensures Accountability -
Follows through on commitments and makes sure others do the
and others accountable to meet
Acts with a clear sense of ownership
Takes personal responsibility for decisions, actions and failures
Establishes clear responsibilities and processes for monitoring
work and measuring results
Designs feedback loops into work
Decision Quality –
Making good and
Makes sound decisions, even in the absence of complete
timely decisions that keep the
Relies on a mixture of analysis, wisdom, experience and
organisation moving forward
judgement when making decisions
Considers all relevant factors and uses appropriate decision-
making criteria and principles
Recognises when a quick 80% solution will suffice
Self- Development -
Actively seek new
Shows personal commitment and takes action to continuously
ways to grow and be challenged using
both formal and informal development
Accepts assignments that broaden capacities
Learns from new experiences, from others, and from structured
Makes the most of available development resources
Manages Complexity -
Making sense of
Asks the right questions to accurately analyse situations
complex, high quality and sometimes
Acquires data from multiple and diverse sources when solving
contradictory information to effectively
Uncovers root causes to difficult problems
Evaluates pros and cons, risks and benefits of different solution
Customer Focus -
Gains insight into customer needs
customer relationships and delivering
Identifies opportunities that benefit the customer
customer centric solutions
Builds and delivers solutions that meet customer expectations
Establishes and maintains effective customer relationships
Manage field and themes and systems based safety investigations of occurrences,
incidents or accidents as either the Investigator in Charge, or assisting other SIU
members or Operational Units.
Investigate events of a singular occurrence, or multiple events of a systemic nature. In
undertaking an investigation, it is expected that:
Travel is required on a frequent or semi-frequent basis, including:
Travel to occurrence, incident or accident scenes within New Zealand; and
Some international travel to attend conferences and training.
Domestic travel includes travel to accident sites, and can sometimes be hazardous
and may include:
Being winched to a site by helicopter;
Alpine or remote locations;
Walking and/or mountain climbing; and
Extreme climatic conditions
Medically fit, i.e. no significant health problems.
Physically fit i.e. able to work in remote locations and extreme weather conditions
without undue risk to self or others.
Responsible for managing CAA investigations as assigned, with respect to reported
occurrences, incidents or accidents, as either the Investigator in Charge or assisting
the Investigator in Charge, including:
Site, security and personnel management.
Managing occupational health and safety issues/matters with respect to the
investigation team and other personnel/persons present at an investigation site per the
requirements of the Health and Safety in the Workplace Act 2015.
Physical site investigation and inspection.
Hardware evidence gathering and data logging for removal from an investigation site
for further analysis.
Liaison with personnel from emergency services (e.g. Police including Serious Crash
Unit & DVI, Fire Service, NZLSAR, RCCNZ, NZDF etc), aircraft owners and operators,
pathologists, funeral directors, etc
Conduct interviews of witnesses.
Provide briefings and site inspections with the Coroner and his staff.
Where possible, ascertaining the causal factors of an occurrence, incident or accident.
Identifying possible breaches of rules and advising these in a timely fashion to the
appropriate units/groups of the CAA for their action. Accurately entering data and
information into the CAA’s databases.
Preparing investigation reports that are robust, factually accurate and logical.
Manage media at accident or incident sites and keep the Communications Manager
briefed with respect to media inquiry.
Exercising delegated powers and functions as required. Exercising delegated CAA
powers, functions and financial responsibilities.
Act as Duty Investigator
as required on a roster basis outside of normal working hours.
Delegated powers and functions are exercised appropriately and in accord with the
conditions of the ‘Instrument of Delegation’.
Exercise the powers duly authorised by the assigned ‘Warrant of Delegation’.
Remain within the authorised amounts and obtain further authorisation if additional
expenditure is required.
Manage the CAA’s response to the notification of serious incidents and accidents
from the NZ Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
Notify key CAA personnel as required.
Co-ordinate the CAA’s response with other organisations (e.g., Police, emergency
services, TAIC, etc) as required
Provide support to the team investigating the incident or accident, as required.
Contribution to Aviation Safety
Provide a clear understanding to CAA Operational Units and external clients concerning
safety related matters identified as a result of a safety investigation.
Identify casual factors and recommend preventive actions, in-line with international
practices, and advise these to the operational groups/units of the CAA for their
consideration and action.
Work with operational groups/units within the CAA with respect to preventive actions
that have been identified at the conclusion of an investigation, with the intention of the
preventive action being implemented if appropriate.
Negotiate preventive actions with operators/document holders as required, and
monitor implementation. Close the preventive action upon implementation.
Make recommendations, following consultation with operational groups/units and
legal to foreign manufacturers, regulatory bodies and international organisations (e.g.,
ICAO) as appropriate.
Maintenance of Relationships
Establishing and maintaining effective and productive relationships with internal and
external clients, managing stakeholder expectations
Interacting empathetically and sensitively with accident victims, next of kin and interested
parties, while remaining objective and professional with respect to the investigation.
Provision of Specialist Advice
Providing appropriate subject matter expertise and advice to CAA groups/unit and external
agencies regarding CAA safety investigations.
Support CAA’s commitment to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunities and the
Treaty of Waitangi in all aspects of work.
Provide a positive influence to maintain the health, safety & wellbeing of fellow
Accurate and timely completion of safety investigations; in accordance with CAA
Produce safety investigation reports that enable the Director and Operational
Groups/Units to make informed, reasoned and timely decisions to maintain or improve
Important safety information and risks identified during the course of an investigation are
proactively disseminated within the CAA.
Holders of aviation documents are provided with advice and guidance in undertaking
their own comprehensive safety investigations to help ensure or improve aviation safety
within their organisation.
Causal factors identified by operators/document holders through their own
investigations are accurate and robust. Where causal factors have been mis-identified,
these raised with the operator/document holder, and challenged.
Assurance is provided to the Director and Operational Groups/Units about the holder of
an aviation document ability to maintain an appropriate level of safety; via an objective
assessment of the robustness of the safety investigation systems the certificate holder
has in place.
CAA safety performance is enhanced through the identification of current or emerging
safety related matters that if addressed will contribute towards ensuring or improving
safety within the New Zealand aviation system.
Assess and analyse possible breaches of the CAA Rules and means of compliance and
where possible ascertain causal factors.
Identify initiatives that will help prevent recurrences of safety failures and advise
Ensure appropriate dissemination of safety information both internally and externally
Develop and maintain excellent working relationships and networks internally and
externally with relevant industry groups, organisations and individuals. Ensure
participant issues are directed to the appropriate CAA Unit.
CAA safety sector performance is enhanced from SIU safety investigations.
CAA sector relationships are strengthened through proactive engagement with SIU
The Manger and Team Leader of Safety Investigations are fully informed of risks and
harms relating to aviation.
CAA is considered a proactive, effective, credible and best practice aviation regulator.
The Safety Investigator position will operate in a delegated authority model and be
accountable for delegated authorities.
The Safety Investigator position has no Financial or Human Resources Delegations.
Must hold or have held a PPL, CPL, ATPL,ATC, AME
Areas of specialisation are to be agreed, and may include one or more of the
following, but are not confined to:
Air Traffic Systems;
Flight Operations for all aircraft operation types;
Airworthiness/engineering for small aircraft through to complex and heavy aircraft;
Airworthiness/engineering for rotary winged aircraft
Human Factors – Aviation Psychology
Desirable to have a tertiary qualification Bachelor of Engineering - Aeronautical,
Bachelor Aviation Management or Bachelor of Psychology with complimentary aviation
human factors experience.
Preferably has completed safety or accident investigation training in aviation.
Have a valid passport and maintain a current driving licence.
Must have vaccinations for Tetanus/Diptheria/and Hepatitis within four weeks of
commencement of role.
A membership or registration with a relevant professional body is an advantage.
In depth comprehensive knowledge of the aviation system through industry experience
of a minimum of eight years as a pilot, engineer, or ATC, cognisant of other fields.
Preferably at least 4 years of practical, aviation safety investigation experience
Has demonstrated an ability to influence improvements to aviation safety systems
Experience in undertaking investigations of a singular or multi-occurrence nature with
the ability to apply systemic analysis techniques in identifying contributing factors.
A sound understanding of the regulatory environment of the New Zealand civil aviation
system and the role of the CAA within that system is an advantage but not essential.
Strong understanding of quasi-judicial processes, particularly the rules and
requirements applicable to a Commission of inquiry e.g. having the integrity to
remain impartial and independent throughout the investigation.
Strong emotional and psychological maturity to handle stressful and emotionally
difficult situations, including (for example) dead bodies and, in some cases, severely
traumatised bodies with empathy for survivors and distraught relatives.
Confidence working with people from all walks of life and respecting diversity.
Confidence handling difficult and stressful situations with sensitivity, diplomacy and
An ability to anticipate and identify risks/issues, identify possible solutions and apply
Excellent time management skills, including the ability to effectively manage
competing work priorities.
An ability to follow oral and written instructions and to seek clarification when
A self-starter approach to work. Able to work independently and with minimal
Skills & Abilities
High level of power of expression verbally and in written reports outcomes of safety
Manage investigations in the field at remote and barren locations in various weather
conditions. Includes having to access a site either on foot or, via aerial winching and
undertake physical activities i.e. carrying in own and team equipment and lifting.
In depth theoretical knowledge of aviation human factors preferably with a related
Critical thinker with demonstrated ability to solve complex problems.
Ability to work un-supervised while maintaining professional standards and
requirements. Includes planning and managing own workloads outside the normal office
Ability to build and maintain professional and technical integrity and credibility within the
CAA and aviation industry.
Ability to identify the impacts that recommendations may have in the broader context of
the CAA’s role as a regulator.
Ability to influence key stakeholders and communicate effectively at all levels of
Manage multi-agency operations through pro-active influence, a credible knowledge
base and an adaptable communication skill set.
Establish effective and productive relationships with participants in the civil aviation
Operators and document holders;
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission;
Incident/accident victims and their families;
Foreign and local aircraft manufacturers and suppliers; and
ICAO and other organisations as required.
Deliver services in a professional, competent and timely manner.
Responds promptly to inquiries or requests.
Establishes the nature of the issues/inquiries being made by interested parties and
responds to these in an appropriate manner.
Maintain and enhance knowledge of technical specialities (e.g., Air Traffic Systems,
Flight Operations, Airworthiness/engineering, etc)
Maintain and enhance knowledge of investigative procedures.
Thematic and systemic investigation techniques
Comply with all relevant CAA policies and procedures, and where weaknesses or
risks have been identified with the policy/procedure in use, identify these and raise
with your immediate manager as appropriate.
Participates actively and positively in unit meetings, planning and initiatives designed
to improve the units effectiveness, integration (with other parts of CAA as required)
Actively supports the manager and other unit members, by meeting the objectives set
for the individual and contributing effectively to meeting the units objectives and
goals, thus contributing the CAA’s goals and objectives.
Support other members of the unit, including induction training as required of new
unit members, acting ‘in role’ (e.g., as the Investigator In Charge or investigator
supporting the Investigator in Charge).
Working with other parts of the CAA constructively from the outset of an investigation,
and escalating decisions where and when required expeditiously.
Engages other groups/unit within the CAA as early as practical with respect to an
investigation, by working with other groups/units.
Participates in and supports CAA initiatives to improve service and enhance
organisational integrity and credibility.
Engages in work and relationship in a way that supports the CAA’s commitment to
the principles of Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) and the Treaty of Waitangi.
Ten years of experience in aviation (general aviation, airlines, air traffic systems, etc.)
Five years of experience in management or supervisory roles.
Experience of investigations — practical experience in undertaking investigations,
and knowledge of investigatory practice as it relates to civil aviation.
Membership of professional organisations, such as ISASI, IRCA, etc., is desirable.
With respect to areas of specialisation, highly developed understanding of the
knowledge and principles applicable, including the associated systems and the use
and limitation of those systems.
A sound understanding of the regulatory environment of the NZ civil aviation system
and the role of safety investigation within that system.Ability to work un-supervised in
difficult and trying circumstances or environments, whilst meeting the professional
standards and requirements of safety investigations.
Proven, excellent communication and networking skills with the ability to build and
maintain relationships, manage media inquiries, and coach and support staff and
Demonstrated effective and empathetic inter-personal management skills, and
Self-recognition of stress, and the willingness to seek assistance in managing the
stresses of safety investigations in emotionally challenging situations.
Able to lead teams in remote and challenging environments with consideration toward
Highly developed analytical/problem solving and written communication skills.
Sound judgment and the ability to build and maintain professional and technical
integrity and credibility – within CAA and the industry.
Ability to make sound and reasoned safety recommendations, and to identify the
impacts the recommendations may have in the broader context of the CAA’s role as a
Planning and organization skills to manage intensive workloads outside the normal
Outcome focused — understands the role of safety investigation within the gambit of
the CAA’s role and function, and the relationships that exist between safety
investigation and the functions and roles of other groups/units of the CAA.
Tenacity and determination.
Persuasiveness and ability to manage sensitive and sometimes emotionally
The ability to maintain an independent, professional perspective even under