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Proposal S0 Rating


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It seems that we now have a catch 22 where I can't get a new student on the network unless they pass a written AND practical test.

While sweatbox has a place, I don't think it is enough to justify issuing a full S1 rating without network experience.

 

Can we please add an S0 rating or something similar that allows me to get my student in training for S1 on the network and not stuck only with sweatbox.

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Rob Nabieszko | VATCAN3

Director of Training, VATCAN

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24 minutes ago, Rob Nabieszko said:

It seems that we now have a catch 22 where I can't get a new student on the network unless they pass a written AND practical test.

While sweatbox has a place, I don't think it is enough to justify issuing a full S1 rating without network experience.

 

Can we please add an S0 rating or something similar that allows me to get my student in training for S1 on the network and not stuck only with sweatbox.

While it might sound like a good idea, and I am not going to critique the idea by its self.

The server limitations are massive for adding another rating like this.  
The VATSIM servers, every atc client, every vatsim map, every pilot client, every division/sub-division website/roster, the vatsim api, etc. would all have to be updated to reflect this change and it would all have to be released at the same time. 

Frankly there are too many parts to add a new rating and there are much more important things that I would rather see done for the network than allow S1 student to train on the network.  I am a mentor, and there has not been 1 time in 6 months where I wished I could train my student on the network.  I have much more control over the scenario than putting it up to the pilots on the network.

One thing my ARTCC and training staff does is an orientation session on the network.  After the OTS and given S1, we schedule a session where we hop on a Class C and I work APP while the student is on GND allowing me to monitor the student to make sure they are able to control on the network.

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Adding ratings isn't technically possible in our current network construct. If it were, we would have been able to do a lot more in this policy.

OBS candidates can still do ground school and basic practical training via sweatbox. The scenarios they would be working with instructors in theory would be just as hard as live traffic for a minor airport. They're obviously not going to be given the keys to the restricted and major airports right away.

 

Matt Bartels
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1 hour ago, Collin Koldoff said:

 

The server limitations are massive for adding another rating like this.  
The VATSIM servers, every atc client, every vatsim map, every pilot client, every division/sub-division website/roster, the vatsim api, etc. would all have to be updated to reflect this change and it would all have to be released at the same time. 

 

I get that adding a new rating is technically difficult. But perhaps given the other technical overhauls happening, now would be the time to consider implementing it.

 

I have just never felt that a student is really ready after the sweatbox. A few rate bright stars are. But most need some time clashing with real people to learn the soft skills of interpersonal communication and managing different needs.

I stand by my statement that we should not be mandating issuing a full S1 rating without time on the network itself. Students need to be exposed to the network prior to being issued the new and improved S1.

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Rob Nabieszko | VATCAN3

Director of Training, VATCAN

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It's not technically difficult, it's technically impossible in the current construct of the network. I advocated for it hard when we started this project. The reality is with the way our FSD is coded it can't be done. Off topic, but we tech is working on a new backend that would allow something like this in the future.

There are tweaks that can be made in this policy regarding your concern.  Essentially you're looking for a way to award the S1 but keep them from controlling solo until you're happy signing them off. I think in the current construct you can do that by rostering. Not on the roster, can't control no matter what rating they have.

Matt Bartels
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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The other option would be to water down the S1 or even basically change it back to resemble the current S1.

Could we consider moving GND under the S2 umbrella and making S1 DEL only. At least then the S1 won't have to have a fast, well-practiced scan to monitor for GND conflicts. Of course revising flight plans on the live network still requires a lot of tact and negotiation to be done well. Things a student will not learn well in a sweatbox. Students become comfortable with their instructors quickly, and will react on sweatbox differently than with other "real" pilots who make be antagonistic or possibly just unfamiliar with how to change things.

 

Again, there is a big disconnect here. The S1 has a huge knowledge component, bigger than any other. And yet the practical test here will be the most fast-tracked since we can only perform training in the sweatbox. (There are quite a few knowledge areas under S1 that should probably be moved higher, but that is a separate issue.)

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Rob Nabieszko | VATCAN3

Director of Training, VATCAN

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2 minutes ago, Matthew Bartels said:

There are tweaks that can be made in this policy regarding your concern.  Essentially you're looking for a way to award the S1 but keep them from controlling solo until you're happy signing them off. I think in the current construct you can do that by rostering. Not on the roster, can't control no matter what rating they have.

Just seems counter-intuitive. The test should be a chance to prove they can do it. Not to prove that you could do it in the sweatbox but in fact your S1 is worthless for another few weeks until you've trained online.

 

If we take the rostering technique, this idea of 'not having them on the roster' is not very workable, as it makes it very hard to keep track of who you have. Unless we can use rosters that are allowed to specify what they are approved for or not. Most of the Canadian FIRs now have a system that blocks Red (not approved) Yellow (Training) or Green (Approved) for all the various positions.

Can we continue to use this system?

For example:

  • Student applies.
  • Studies and Passes S1 written.
  • Sweatbox Training with instructor
  • Sweatbox Practical Exam Passed.
    • At this point, student is listed on roster as S1 but is marked as not approved for DEL or GND (Minor Airports).
  • Training on the network (a few weeks, 3-6 sessions).
    • Instructor approves student for DEL and GND (Minor Airports) on roster.

This seems to be the only practical process to force this to work.

Would denying the DEL/GND approval to an S1 be considered contravening the GCAP? Because I don't see too many other ways to make it work.

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Rob Nabieszko | VATCAN3

Director of Training, VATCAN

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Having trained 200+ students over the years, I disagree that they need live network seasoning for the S1 rating. A S1 should be able to handle average daily traffic at a minor field with the S1. Seasoning helps them earn the Major certification. Would it be nice if we could "solo" the S1 as an OBS? Yes, but that is not possible.

Moving the GND portion of S1 to S2 also defeats a lot of issues. If your S1s need a high level of scan to earn it outright, then maybe you are setting the bar too high. A scan is necessary, most certainly, and yes its hard to teach, but to work daily traffic there is no need for an S1 to have the same level of scan as an approach controller.

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VATUSA Mid-west Region Manager | Former VATUSA Training Director | Former ZDC ATM/DATM/TA/WM

VATSIM Network Supervisor | Team 5

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2 hours ago, Rick Rump said:

A S1 should be able to handle average daily traffic at a minor field with the S1. Seasoning helps them earn the Major certification.

What about vACCs that don't really have many GND positions at airports that aren't their major? Besides Lisbon we only have one more airport with a GND position in our FIR, which however does not have a DEL position, and doesn't see much traffic, thus limiting the controllers a bit when trying to continue training towards the major certification.

Once again, you (not you directly, but the policy/its creators) are forgetting that not each sub-division has hundreds of airports, with all sorts of positions available for members to train at. In Portugal all our training is done directly at our Major, and there's very good reason for it. 

 

EDIT: And there are several vACCs who have only 1 Ground position (at least defined in their sector files). Will S1s immediately start working the Major, without any sort of live-network experience?

Edited by Andre Almeida
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3 hours ago, Anthony Santanastaso said:

Having trained 200+ students over the years, I disagree that they need live network seasoning for the S1 rating. A S1 should be able to handle average daily traffic at a minor field with the S1. Seasoning helps them earn the Major certification. Would it be nice if we could "solo" the S1 as an OBS? Yes, but that is not possible.

Moving the GND portion of S1 to S2 also defeats a lot of issues. If your S1s need a high level of scan to earn it outright, then maybe you are setting the bar too high. A scan is necessary, most certainly, and yes its hard to teach, but to work daily traffic there is no need for an S1 to have the same level of scan as an approach controller.

I disagree. There is no substitute for dealing with real people. You can train in a sterile sweatbox all you want. How will they deal with the first time they have a newb that doesn't know how to turn on the transponder? Or a youtube fan that thinks they know the right way to file a flight plan that is completely wrong but starts arguing anyways. I am not as concerned about technical skills. Its the human interactions that are key to this network that can't really be trained in the sweatbox.

And I don't think the S1 needs a scan level of an approach controller. But I have seen plenty of S1s that have no scan whatsoever. Ground controllers need some monitoring ability, even just for day-to-day ops. You can't issue a clearance and turn away and assume it goes to plan.

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Rob Nabieszko | VATCAN3

Director of Training, VATCAN

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6 hours ago, Rob Nabieszko said:

But I have seen plenty of S1s that have no scan whatsoever. Ground controllers need some monitoring ability

I see the S1 as an entry rating myself, so that is experience they can get, I mean its a STUDENT after all. No one should be looking for perfection from them. So again, to me, they get the experience they need beforehand. This concept of network traffic is not required by the GRP nor GCAP. Should it be? That is a good topic.

VATUSA Mid-west Region Manager | Former VATUSA Training Director | Former ZDC ATM/DATM/TA/WM

VATSIM Network Supervisor | Team 5

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17 minutes ago, Rick Rump said:

I see the S1 as an entry rating myself, so that is experience they can get, I mean its a STUDENT after all. No one should be looking for perfection from them. So again, to me, they get the experience they need beforehand. This concept of network traffic is not required by the GRP nor GCAP. Should it be? That is a good topic.

In the present (GRP) situation, the S1 truly is an entry rating. It alone does not convey any privileges except the privilege of learning.

In the new version (GCAP), S1, as written, conveys privileges for DEL and GND. It is no longer just a ticket to learn, but also a ticket to already do something on the network without any further supervision.

 

While we can respectfully disagree about whether or not students need exposure to real network pilots prior to being allowed to control alone on this network, I don't think that the possibility of doing so should be blocked off completely. If some divisions feel that their sweatbox training is strong enough to issue the S1 with no further restrictions, then please do so.

However, I do not believe that this kind of training is sufficient, and I would like to continue to encourage our division to expose our students to real world situations before turning them loose on the network.

I am not asking for everyone to be forced to do it this way. I just want it to be available to those who choose to do it.

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Rob Nabieszko | VATCAN3

Director of Training, VATCAN

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18 hours ago, Rob Nabieszko said:

owever, I do not believe that this kind of training is sufficient, and I would like to continue to encourage our division to expose our students to real world situations before turning them loose on the network.

I do not think that is unreasonable, however it ruins the "global" aspect of the ratings to work minor positions globally. I would not expect an S1 to work YYZ after just earning it though, but maybe something like YXU out the gate?

VATUSA Mid-west Region Manager | Former VATUSA Training Director | Former ZDC ATM/DATM/TA/WM

VATSIM Network Supervisor | Team 5

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14 minutes ago, Rick Rump said:

I do not think that is unreasonable, however it ruins the "global" aspect of the ratings to work minor positions globally. I would not expect an S1 to work YYZ after just earning it though, but maybe something like YXU out the gate?

YXU is all well and good. Its not complex. Its not about complexity. Its about dealing with people. Especially how to handle conflicts. You can read about it till you're blue in the face. But there is no substitute for real personalities.

Rob Nabieszko | VATCAN3

Director of Training, VATCAN

[email protected]

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