What Is Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training (AICC)?

AICC, which stands for Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training (CBT) Committee, is one of those eLearning acronyms that you’ve probably heard, but maybe you didn’t know what it stood for or what differentiates it from the other acronyms that speckle the eLearning industry. Perhaps you haven’t heard about AICC at all, and you don’t associate any meaning with that acronym. You might even be an eLearning veteran in need of a refresher. Regardless, we’re here to inform.

First, we need to differentiate between the AICC as an organization and AICC as a training content standard. The organization formed in the late 1980s to develop guidelines for training in the aviation industry (AICC). The organization disbanded in 2014, citing low membership as the primary reason. The AICC transferred it’s copyright for the training content standard to the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative in the same year. 

 As a content standard, AICC refers to any training content that complies with one or more of the 9 AICC Guidelines and Recommendations, called AGRs for short. It should be noted that the AICC generally disliked the terminology “AICC-compliant” because it implies that the AICC endorses or verifies compliance. Their preferred language is “designed to AICC guidelines” (AICC). 

How Is AICC Still Relevant?

Let’s return to the date of the AICC’s creation: 1988. That’s three decades ago, which is a massive amount of time for eLearning, an industry that’s often characterized by the rapid progress of technological capabilities. You might be assuming that there have surely been advances in technical standards in the past 30 years, and you’d be correct in that assumption.

In the late 1990s, the ADL developed the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), which adopted and expanded upon some of AICC’s guidelines. SCORM is now the most popular content model in the eLearning industry. More recently, Experience API (xAPI) has surfaced as the most advanced eLearning content standard. 

The point being: there have been major technological developments since 1988, so how is AICC still relevant?

Like most things, the answer has a lot of moving parts, but we’ll help keep it simple with two particularly relevant answers. First, AICC historically sets the standard for later content models. Second, many content providers still deliver training using AICC, so LMSs still need to be able to support it.

What Is AICC’s Historical Importance?

We mentioned that content needs to meet one or more of the 9 AGRs to be considered “designed to AICC guidelines.” The two that most content creators adhere two are AGR-006 and AGR-010, which correspond to content interoperability across file-based and web-based systems respectively (AICC). 

Allows us to translate some. AGR-006 determined how content must be packaged for file transfer using disks. The increasing availability and use of the internet quickly made that style of file transfer obsolete, which heralded the need for a guideline for file transfer on web-based systems. 

That’s where AGR-010 comes in. AGR-010 determines how files must be transferred in web-based systems and is actually one of the bases for SCORM’s interoperability guidelines. So, without AICC guidelines, we wouldn’t have such prevalent technologies like SCORM.

How Is AICC Still Used?

Though it’s now unusual for content creators to choose AICC over SCORM or xAPI to deliver online training, AICC content still exists, and, as such, any relevant LMS supports AICC. Enough content providers choose AICC content to train employees, that profitable LMSs need to be “designed to AICC guidelines.”

How Can Sciolytix’s DigitalChalk Help?

DigitalChalk fully supports AICC content. Also, with our online learning solution, DigitalChalk Control Tower, you can share, track, and administer your AICC content all from one central, secure location. With this innovative technology, called a content licensing solution, all the control is in your hands. 


Author: Dario Priolo

Dario brings over 20 years of experience in the sales enablement and talent development industry. He has led marketing and strategy as CMO for leading companies like the Hay Group, Miller Heiman and Profiles International and has been part of 4 successful exits, including his own start-up.