Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

The Role of Mentors in Safety and Crisis Management Training Exercises

Hege Christin Stenhammer1,a, June Borge Doornich1,b and Gunhild Birgitte Sætren1,2,c

1Business School, Nord University, Norway.

2Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Department of Organisation, Leadership, and Management /EADDRESS/


To sustain professional safety and crisis preparedness in a high-risk context, simulation and training are imperative. Mentors who are specialists and highly experienced in their field are found to play an important role in safety and crisis management training exercises. The exercises span from mass rescue operations to oil spills, hybrid threats, and natural disasters. Students are to play out the roles of crisis management of organizations that should mobilize following the disaster, such as the police, municipalities, and other organizations. The students of the crisis preparedness and management master program at Nord University are already working in safety-critical industries but rarely have practical knowledge of their roles in the exercises and crisis management in general. Exercises are therefore conducted to bridge the gap between the students' theoretical and practical knowledge. The research question is as follows: How can the role of mentors help optimize learning processes in safety and crisis management training? Specialists and highly experienced practitioners function as mentors who, in this research, are found to be valuable in bridging the aforementioned gap by supporting the students in their learning process through (1) facilitating reflection, (2) ensuring safe interaction and the students' ability to feel a (3) sense of achievement.

Keywords: Safety, Mentorship, Training, Safety management, Crisis management, Education, Safety psychology.

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