What is CHIRP?

The UK Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP), has been operating since 1982 and receives confidential incident reports from professionally licensed pilots, air traffic controllers, licensed engineers and approved maintenance organisations employed within the UK air transport industry.  The Programme was extended to include Cabin Crew in July 2001.  Reports are also received from individuals involved with General Aviation and Maritime. 

The aim of CHIRP is to contribute to the enhancement of aviation safety in the UK and maritime safety worldwide, by providing a totally independent confidential (not anonymous) reporting system for all individuals employed in or associated with these industries.

CHIRP is totally independent from all company reporting schemes and our primary purpose is to represent safety-related issues to the relevant organisation(s) without revealing the identity of the reporter.  CHIRP is not intended to be a “whistle blowing” programme.

The Air Transport Programme is sponsored by the Civil Aviation Authority in the form of a grant of funding.  The Maritime Programme has a number of sponsors including Trinity House, Lloyd’s Register, IFAN, Standard P & I, Cammell Laird, TK and Britannia P & I.

Who are ‘CHIRP’?

The Cabin Crew Programme Manager is Stephanie Colbourne.  Stephanie deals with all cabin crew reports and liaises with airlines and the Cabin Safety Office of the Civil Aviation Authority (Safety Regulation Group).  Stephanie presents matters raised by the Cabin Crew Programme to the Cabin Crew Advisory Board and is also the editor of Cabin Crew FEEDBACK.  She has also completed the British Airways SEP course.  Stephanie reports to the Chief Executive and also deals with the day to day running of the office.

Ian Dugmore is the Chief Executive but is also the Director of the Air Transport Programme and deals with all flight crew, air traffic control and general aviation reports.  Ian is the editor of Air Transport FEEDBACK and General Aviation FEEDBACK, he is also a former Director UK Airprox Board and RAF Air Commodore. 

David Tattersall is Deputy Director (Engineering), he is responsible for all the engineering reports and the CHIRP MEMS Programme.  David was an engineer and was employed at a senior level within British Airways Engineering. 

Captain John Rose is Director (Maritime) and deals with all Maritime sector reports and the publication of Maritime FEEDBACK.  John is a former Ship's Captain and Harbour Master and previously worked for Shell for many years.

What can I report?

Reports which contain any safety-related incidents/events involving yourself, other people or the organisation you work for or deal with.  Incidents/events can include errors, individual performance, H&S matters which affect operating/maintenance procedures, regulatory aspects or unsafe practices.  We cannot accept reports on behalf of another person.

What can’t I report?

Any incidents/events with no safety content, any issues involving conflicts of personality and any Industrial Relations or Terms of Conditions of Employment problems.  For Industrial Relations and Terms and Conditions issues, if reporters are a member of the cabin crew union they should discuss the issues with a company union representative.  Anonymous reports are not encouraged as the information provided cannot be validated. 

When do I report?

When you are concerned and wish to protect your identity, when you wish others to benefit from an important "Lesson Learned", when other reporting procedures are not available or when you have exhausted company/regulatory procedures without the issue being addressed. 

CHIRP encourages all reporters to submit reports through company reporting processes as well as CHIRP whenever possible to ensure that the company are also aware of the individual reporter’s concerns.  This then enables the company to trend and monitor reports and data and complete investigations if necessary.

What happens to my report?

When CHIRP receives your report, you will receive a response from us to acknowledge receipt.  Each report is allocated a unique reference identification of which you will be advised.  If you do not receive a response CHIRP have not received your report.  Sometimes further information may be required from you along with your permission to raise the report, at a suitable level, with your Company or the Regulator depending on the report subject, please be assured that you will be consulted on the action to be taken. 

Information provided by CHIRP to any third party is completely disidentified - this involves removing all personal details together with other information such as aircraft type and location which may infer the identity of the reporter.  

No personal details are retained from reports received once closed.  Once a resolution has been found and you, the reporter, have been informed of this, your report is closed.  The original report sent to CHIRP is deleted or destroyed and all personal details are removed from our system.  Disidentified data is recorded in a secure database for analysis of key topics and trends and disidentified data can be made available to other safety systems and professional bodies.

After the removal of personal details, CHIRP is unable subsequently to contact reporters.  Reporters may, if he/she wishes, contact the CHIRP office for additional information by using the report reference identification.

How is the information disseminated?

A newsletter, Cabin Crew FEEDBACK, covering current topics from disidentified reports and including new report forms, is circulated quarterly to most UK operators in hard copy via crew rooms.  Some operators choose to distribute via electronic means, so some cabin crew may receive this via email also. 

The publication of reports is to provide cabin crew members with "lessons learned" and to hopefully provide information and guidance. 

Cabin Crew FEEDBACK is also available on the CHIRP website - www.chirp.co.uk - some of the reports are disidentified further (e.g. time and place, company, reporter's gender) before being published in Cabin Crew FEEDBACK, and this will be discussed with the individual reporter so as not to change the report too much. 

Items of interest which appear in Cabin Crew FEEDBACK will also be published in Air Transport FEEDBACK which is circulated to over 20,000 UK-licensed pilots for their information and vice versa. 

If you wish to subscribe to Cabin Crew FEEDBACK, please contact Stephanie Colbourne to be added to the distribution list. 

How do we decide if a report is suitable for Cabin Crew FEEDBACK?

A selection of reports are reviewed by the CHIRP Cabin Crew Advisory Board at their quarterly meetings, who provide the Cabin Crew Programme Manager with guidance as to the suitability of reports and whether they are airline-specific etc.  Agreed reports will then be published in Cabin Crew FEEDBACK with an accompanying CHIRP comment.  Reporters will be advised of this and if they have a specific wish for their report not to be printed, they must advise at the time of submitting the report.  Some reports may relate to specific incidents on flights and may not be suitable for printing as it would identify the crew members onboard.

What is the Cabin Crew Advisory Board?

The role of the Cabin Crew Advisory Board or CCAB is to provide counsel in the most appropriate way in which specific issues might be resolved.  The composition of the Board is reviewed regularly to ensure that the membership is appropriate to the scope of the Programme.  

Advisory Board members act as individual expert advisers and not as representatives of their sponsoring organisations.  Information is provided to the Advisory Board on a confidential basis and all means of identifying the individual reporter are removed from reports prior to any discussion.  There are four different Advisory Boards; Air Transport, General Aviation, Cabin Crew and Maritime.  Details can be found on the CHIRP website.

How do I report?

The most common and frequently used method of reporting is via the CHIRP website or email.  However report forms can be downloaded from the CHIRP website and then posted to the CHIRP address below.  Cabin Crew report forms are also included in each issue of Cabin Crew FEEDBACK.

How do I contact CHIRP?

By FREEPOST: CHIRP, FREEPOST RTSX-BHUH-BTUX, Centaur House, Ancells Business Park, Ancells Road, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UJ


By Telephone:    0800 772 3243 Freefone - (UK only) or + 44 (0) 1252 378947

                                      [Both lines are confidential and are manned between the hours of 0830-1630 Monday-Friday, voicemail is available out of office hours.]


By e-mail:           mail@chirp.co.uk – For general enquires and information.

                             reports@chirp.co.uk – For all new and existing report correspondence.

                                      [CHIRP does not recommend the use of non-encrypted e-mail systems for submitting sensitive information.]


UK Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme