Fulcrum Labs Wins Brandon Hall Group Excellence Award

Fulcrum Labs
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This week, the Brandon Hall Group announced the winners of its 23rd annual Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards. These awards recognize…

“the best organizations that have successfully deployed programs, strategies, modalities, processes, systems, and tools that have achieved measurable results. The program attracts entrants from leading corporations around the world, as well as mid-market and smaller firms.”

We’re proud to announce that, in partnership with our client, the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), we have won silver in the Best Results in a Learning Program category for our Professional Aviation Maintenance program. (You can read more here.)

Here’s a brief overview of how AIM is tackling aviation’s skilled labor shortage with better training and certification prep:

Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards Entry:


AIM’s existing training programs were not adequately preparing learners with the confidence and direct pathway for the FAA certifications.

Low pass rates were jeopardizing FAA accreditation and student success:

The FAA requires its aviation maintenance career schools to maintain a minimum pass rate. AIM found that several of its campuses were below the minimum for some of the written FAA mechanic certifications. For example, in 2016, the national average for the General written certification exam was 90 percent, while only 63 percent of AIM learners at its Houston campus passed.

FAA Aircraft Mechanic Certifications are high stakes exams that dramatically impact a learner’s prospects and earning ability. For example, the income difference between a between a certified FAA mechanic versus an auto mechanic technician is a $39,000/year. This compounds at the “Supervisor” level, where certified FAA mechanics make $80,000 more annually than auto mechanic supervisors. With low pass rates at some campuses, AIM wasn’t delivering on its mission to prepare future mechanics for successful careers.

Despite completing the course, few students went on to sit for FAA certifications:

Additionally, while 68 percent of learners completed AIM program, only 36 percent went on to take the FAA certification exams. The low turnout let AIM know that its solution needed to address more than just the exam content. The company needed to build learner confidence and mental endurance as well.


AIM partnered with Fulcrum Labs to improve pass rates on the written portions of the FAA’s airline mechanic certifications. Together we created an online, FAA test-prep program designed to build learner confidence and mastery of competencies for the written FAA certification exams.

Our solution was four-fold as it related to the design, development and implementation of online courses that would:

Create learner familiarity with the actual FAA certification questions, language, style, and content by mimicking the actual certification content, terminology, and visual style;


Build learner confidence through mastery learning and motivational tone, content and instant feedback;

Focus on preparing for the FAA certification instead of reviewing the information learners learned in the training program;

Employ a self-paced personalized, adaptive technology-driven model accessible to learners still completing their AIM courses and/or working full-time jobs.


According to AIM, “The results have been exceptional.”

In the last quarter of 2016, AIM experienced the following increased pass rates as a result of the improve prep course:

  • 95% pass rate on the FAA General written certification
  • 94% pass rate on the FAA Airframe written certification
  • 86% pass rate on the FAA Powerplant written certification

Additionally, as a result of this prep course AIM experienced a 25% increase in the number of its students sitting for FAA exam right out of the gate.

“The biggest change that the Fulcrum course has brought to our A&P school is that we actually spend time preparing students for the A&P exam at the end of the program, whereas we have not in the past. As all A&P schools know, the FAA strictly forbids any of the required 1900 hours of the program to be spent doing test preparation. As a result, almost every A&P school in the country teaches the 1900 hours of curriculum but ignores targeted test preparation. As we build our Capstone course in 2016 and added the online Fulcrum material to it, we became a true innovator in the A&P education world by having a test preparation module at the end.” – Joel English, VP, Aviation Institute of Maintenance

The AIM case example demonstrates just how deeply a career certification can impact the life of a learner. The auto mechanic v. FAA airline mechanic example above is particularly revealing. As our economy strives to fill skilled labor positions, certified applicants are will increasingly be in demand.

To best serve these learners, career schools, apprenticeships and skill-based learning providers should take a cue from our friends at AIM. AIM recognized its critical role in helping students achieve lasting career success, and stepped up its efforts to better prep them for the industry’s high stakes certifications. As a result, they delivered an adaptive learning program that helped improve knowledge levels AND boost their test-taking confidence. The results speak for themselves.

Feel free to see how we’re working together to change the career trajectory (and lives) of AIM aviation maintenance students. Want to learn more about The Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards and Fulcrum? See previous wins here or visit The Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards for a full list of this year’s winners.


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Aviation Institute of Maintenance Press Release