CLEAR is an acronym for decision making.
C – Clarify (what is the problem)
L – Look for and share information
E – Evaluate different solutions
A – Act on your decision
R – Review performance
CLEAR is a structured team approach to decision making. It is designed to provide focus for non-routine events in a team (multi-crew) environment. It is problem orientated as opposed to solution orientated.
Clarifying the problem is determining what has gone wrong and what is going on by way of summarising what you perceive the problem to be to the entire crew. This keeps the crew informed and aware of the situation. Different people will perceive the situation differently so crewmembers may be considering different issues or scenarios. Clarifying ensures everyone is working on the same problem in a coordinated manner.
Look for and share information is focusing the teams’ attention on looking for and sharing information on the problem clarified earlier. Each different perspective and experience will add to the knowledge base. This stage is not just involving flight crew, cabin crew may have valuable information, with technology such as ACARS company pilots and engineers may have further information on the situation, ATC may be able to help depending on the event (ground speed check, position checks etc.) More information will lead to more effective decision making.
Evaluate the different solutions. There may be many solutions, each with their risks and benefits. These need to be evaluated and the best option within the parameters to be chosen.
Act on the decision. This should be done after going through the previous stages, rather than rushing in. CLEAR is problem centered by determining all the facts before acting on them, the Act stage is being solution oriented.
Review is an ongoing, not solely when the actions are complete. It is needed to ensure that everything is proceeding according to plan, and the expected safe outcome is likely. If this is not the case the process can be started again to clarify what has changed or what is not working and then adapt as necessary.