Is this service really independent?
The company recognises that for this to work, it needs to be independent of the company, the pilot associations and the national regulator. This is in line with the recent EASA directive in ensuring that all pilots have access to an independent and confidential pilot peer support service.
While this service is staffed by trained pilot peers, the overall service is managed by an independent company, The Centre for Aviation Psychology, to ensure standards are met and the service is professionally managed. This company specialises in aviation psychology and are market leaders and subject matter experts in this field.
While this programme is independent, peers are supported and supervised by Ms. Daniela Teuscher, the Psychological Advisor Flight Safety. While Ms Teuscher is employed by SWISS, she is a professional psychologist and bound by the same levels of confidentiality that other medical professionals are governed by. In addition to her clinical expertise, she is also best placed to understand company specific processes and resources as well as what is available outside the company. She is ideally suited to guide your peer in giving you the best possible support and advice available.
Read further below to see how this supervision is conducted and your details kept confidential.
How is this service governed?
It is operationally accountable to the Swiss Steering Group.
This group consists of the Head of SWISS Flight Safety, the Head of Eidelwiess, the Pilot Association representative(s), the SWISS Psychological Advisor Flight Safety, the SWISS Medical Officer and the Centre for Aviation Psychology representatives.
They meet several times per year and to discuss overall usage patterns. However, they never discuss individual cases.
What are the limits to this 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 (Prof Rob Bor, Centre for Aviation Psychology) 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 information is stored about me?
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 PSP (Prof Rob Bor and Mr Aedrian Bekker, Centre for Aviation Psychology) 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 if I bump into the peer supporting me in a different setting (e.g. down route; training event; socially, etc.)?
Unless you are vaguely aware of each other prior to using this service, your peer will have only ever spoken to you on the phone. If you do realise that you know each other, your peer will greet and acknowledge you as colleagues normally would - in a friendly and collegiate way. They will make no reference to the fact that they are or have supported you via this service.
It would not be advisable to discuss anything regarding your situation in this setting. This is because: we want to respect your privacy and boundaries; others may overhear you; and as you are both at work (even if we are down route or socialising in a group) it would be the wrong setting to discuss these topics.
What connection do peers have with Flight Ops Duty Managers or my pilot association?
In order to get information about company processes, the peer may contact the Flight Ops Duty managers or relevant pilot association representatives. However, they will never talk to them about a particular person or provide identifying details if talking about a general situation.
If my peer is supervised by Daniela Teuscher, Psychological Advisor Flight Safety, how are my details kept confidential?
Your peer will not reveal your identity or identifying features of your case to the Psychological Advisor Flight Safety. Only in cases of escalation (see: what are the limits to this confidentiality) will your identity be revealed to the Psychological Advisor Flight Safety as a last resort
What if I am (or have been) a client of Daniela Teuscher, Psychological Advisor Flight Safety and would prefer that she did not supervise my peer?
In this instance, please let your peer know this and they will receive supervision from the Clinical Director of CAP.
What is the difference between the service available to me from the SWISS Psychological Advisor Flight Safety and the Peer Support Programme?
SWISS has long recognised the need for supporting the psychological wellbeing of its pilots. As you may be aware, the SWISS Psychological Advisor Flight Safety has been providing a confidential and professional service to its pilots for the past 30 years. The Peer Support Programme is a further addition to this existing service.
Some people may wish to speak to the professionally trained SWISS Psychological Advisor rather than a peer. They may feel they need professional advice and support and would rather not discuss their problem with a peer. On the other hand, others may think their issues aren’t serious enough to seek professional help, but would rather speak to a trained peer.
Both services compliment each other well and provide multiple points of support, depending on the issue and the preferences of the individual.