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Attaining technical knowledge through training, and maintaining technical knowledge through continued awareness, further training and development, are essential elements in the competent conduct of any task, job or role. Attaining and maintaining technical knowledge also goes hand-in-hand with gaining and maintaining skills (physical, mental and interpersonal), and procedural knowledge. Each of these elements is facilitated by (framed by) experience, which provides relevant contextual knowledge.

Within aviation, engineers, pilots, air traffic controllers, and cabin crew, have their technical knowledge routinely evaluated. On the one hand, technical knowledge is evaluated by exam (written and oral) to achieve qualifications and licences, and, on the other hand, technical knowledge is observed in practice when it is applied during simulated or real operations. Inappropriate practical application of knowledge, or inadequate technical knowledge, during operations can introduce error

Typically, training for engineers, pilots and air traffic controllers is provided in technical subjects to provide a broad grounding prior to skills training. Syllabi vary depending on type of licence and qualification, as well as the State in which the application is made. Below are some examples of technical subjects for which knowledge is expected; the lists are not exhaustive.