Analyse : Investigate : Report

HF-AIR® is a complete online incident investigation system that has Human Factors at it’s heart. The integrated analysis tools provide a rich understanding of both technical failures and human behaviours and are pulled together using an interactive timeline. Report writing and analysing the data are now a seamless task.


A secure password protected system with data encryption and user access management.
A responsive design for mobile and desktop devices which can be tailored to company branding.
Customisable management of data in line with company GDPR strategy. Archive investigations and set reminders to delete unrequired data.
Content and methods based on the latest research in psychology and human factors.

The Timeline

The interactive timeline is the hub of an HF-AIR® investigation. The investigator enters the Critical Moments (CM) into the system which will allow the investigation team to see at a glance when events have occurred. Users can zoom in and out on the timeline, view CM descriptions and associated photographs. This is also where they select a CM to analyse. The CM’s can either be 5M Causes (Machinery; Methods; Materials; Mother-nature; Measurement) or Behaviours.

Cognitive Origins Analysis®

Behaviours are analysed using Cognitive Origins Analysis® (COA® ) which is designed to help support an understanding of the type of failure that has occurred and why (the Cognitive Origin). The investigators will firstly seek to understand at which of the 5 cognitive steps (Scan; Understand; Predict; Plan; Act) the behaviour first failed. They will then look to identify the high-level causes of the failure (e.g. Vigilance) and finally the related Cognitive Origins (e.g. Under stimulated).

The key features of COA® are:

The cognitive steps

The cognitive steps (Scan; Understand; Predict; Plan; Act) are based on a wide range of research including models of Situational Awareness (e.g. Endsley, 1988 and Takano and Reason, 1999) and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991)

Cognitive Origins

Cognitive Origins can be external (e.g. colleague distraction) or internal (e.g. cognitive overload) and are defined in clear and simple terms.

Single cause

COA® recognises that rarely does a behaviour occur because of one single cause – therefore the investigators can identify up to 4 cognitive origins for each behaviour

“Blame” terminology

COA® moves away from “blame” terminology such as violations. Instead, ‘planned deviations’ are integrated into the model to understand situations where individuals felt it necessary to deviate from given rules and procedures.

Additional Contextual Factors

As well as the Cognitive Origins selected, the investigators can identify any additional Contextual Factors that have influenced the behaviour. These are a carefully selected group of 36 Contextual Factors (Job; Individual; Organisational) that investigators can identify as having a weak, medium or strong influence on the behaviour.

Recommendation guidance

Recommendation guidance is given for each Cognitive Origin selected. The guidance is typically two or three simple but effective actions that are specific to that Cognitive Origin.

5M-Cause Analysis

A 5M-Cause is a description for anything that is not a behaviour (Machinery; Methods; Materials; Mother-nature; Measurement) which has contributed to the incident. 5M-Cause Analysis allows investigators not only to understand why the 5M-Cause has occurred but also if there are any relating behaviours that need to be added to the investigation. In order to understand the 5M-Cause the investigators ask and answer ‘why?’ until it no longer makes sense to do so (i.e. the root cause has been identified) or there is insufficient evidence to support a response. The evidence that supports ’why’ is recorded alongside along with any linked behaviours. If there are any additional behaviours associated with the 5M-Cause (not covered already in the Critical Moments) these can be added and analysed using COA® . In this way, behaviours that have occurred further back in the timeline, that might have been initially missed, can be identified.

Incident Analysis

Analysing incident data has never been easier. After selecting search criteria HF-AIR® produces a range of graphs that display the themes that have occurred over that chosen period. This allows users to identify areas of concern that need to be addressed. All graphs and data can be exported at the click of a button. The graphs illustrate the breakdown of Cognitive failure types, Critical Moment types, 5M Cause types, Cognitive Origins (top 10) and the Contextual Factors (standard plus those rated as having a strong impact).


Reporting is easy with HF-AIR® . All the data that has been captured during an investigation is exported into an MS Word report template at the click of a button. The report template themes the data and includes supporting evidence such as photographs in the appendix. The report can also be tailored by the organisation to fit their reporting structure and styling. Once downloaded the user can edit the report and upload the final report to the system.

Investigation Management

HF-AIR® has many useful features for managing investigations including:
  1. Restricting access and permissions on investigations to named investigators
  2. Collection of background information such as project summaries and evidence
  3. Amending terminology so it is company specific
  4. Moving old investigations to archiving

About Us

The HF-AIR® system was developed by a team of Registered Occupational Psychologists, Chartered Ergonomists and IT developers. It is delivered in partnership with Integrated Human Factors Ltd (IHF). IHF is an award winning HF consultancy with a background in aviation and an impressive track-record in applying HF tools, methods and techniques. https:// ihf.co.uk.
HF-AIR® can be licenced and used by internal investigators on a yearly basis. We provide training and followup coaching for those using the tool. Alternatively, we have our own set of investigators who are specifically trained to support you in HF investigations using the HF-AIR® tool.

Competent users

One of the potential downfalls of any system is when the users of the system are not adequately competent. We assure competency with our system in 3 ways.

  1. Guidance/Definitions - Throughout the tool there are clear definitions of all concepts and terms as well as comprehensive recommendation guidance.
  2. Training - A 1-day interactive training course is compulsory for all users covering the core theory and functionality of HF-AIR® . An additional day can be added to cover other key topics such as interviewing skills.
  3. Coaching - An additional 1/2 day coaching and review of a completed investigation is also required to become fully certified HF-AIR® user.

    Arrange a trial

    For more information or to arrange a demo/trial please contact:

    Email: info@www.website.ihf.co.uk;

    Mobile: +44 (0)131 297 7355


    If you have any questions about HF - AIR, please don't hesitate to contact us.