Accelerating Workforce Training: Introducing the CTA in E/Affect Challenge

CTA in E/Affect


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Stage Two: In Affect

Goal of the Initiative

Funded by Schmidt Futures, the NDMA aims to strengthen the case for investment in Cognitive Task Analysis by: (a) documenting the return on investment (ROI) of past research in CTA; and (b) identifying high-value CTAs that could be supported by governments and/or through public-private partnerships.

In Stage One, we are soliciting evidence-based case studies illustrating the value of CTA from the global community of practitioners, to publish and promote. Stage One will be executed from December 2022 through March 2023.

In Stage Two, we will seek to understand where applications of CTA offer opportunities to improve the workforce in significantly meaningful ways. Stage Two will be executed from January 2023 through December 2023.

The Potential of CTA

The NDMA will conduct research and publish analyses identifying high-value targets for CTA that could be funded by the government (e.g. U.S. Department of Labor), or through public-private partnerships — with the specific goal of significantly accelerating the achievement of proficient performance by workers in high-demand, high-consequence positions.

Building from this stage and working with Schmidt Futures, the NDMA will encourage the Department of Labor — and other public and/or private sponsors — to launch at least one sectoral workforce development initiative that uses CTA, within one year of the completion of the project.

Expected long-term value will be realized from gains in workforce productivity, reductions in risks including safety, and increasing wages for traditionally lower paid workers.

Candidate Sectors and Roles

CTA has previously been applied in scores of domains, including:

  • Military
  • Healthcare
  • Aviation
  • Intelligence
  • Finance
  • Consumer Goods
  • Energy
  • Autonomous systems
  • Weather Forecasting
  • Sport
  • Law Enforcement
  • Child Welfare
  • Transit
  • Software
  • Engineering
  • Space


Stage Two will seek to identify roles within these and other domains characterized by:

  • Frequently recurring decisions that are high consequence and have high demand;
  • Hallmark NDM contexts, including uncertain goals and organizational constraints; and
  • Opportunities for significant ROI resulting from the application of CTA.