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8.06 Vatsim's aversion of downgrades and its consequences


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19 hours ago, Matthew Bartels said:

I’ve seen this happen before. The controller is told they’re not good enough and can’t be bothered to improve. They just stop controlling.

 

[Citation Needed]

So what you are saying is that you would rather have someone control a position they are not competent on, and provide bad service to pilots than force them into retraining. Cool. A lot of the GCAP now makes more sense, and the places where you have stated "the BoG doesn't care to inflate numbers" is complete and utter BS, when you look at this statement and the fact that the BoG doesn't want controllers removed for inactivity. The "educate" part of VATSIMs motto is a joke.

Edited by Karl Mathias Moberg
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Karl Mathias Moberg (KM) - C3/I1
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5 hours ago, Anthony Santanastaso said:

If after showing the student various ways in which they can get back on the right track they fail to accept their end of the bargain, then their dismissal is not only acceptable but necessary to maintain the integrity of our environment.

This is the crux of the issue. An incompetent controller who refuses to improve will drive away competent controllers.

@Matt In the examples you provided, two of them refused to comply with the standards or re-train themselves in order to comply with standards. In the follow-up, you asked "So you would prefer to fly on unicom than fly with a controller who's not perfect?" No one is demanding perfection here, what we want is competence that simulates reality which is vastly different from perfection.

I would rather fly with no ATC than be vectored in circles by an incompetent controller 10 out of 10 times. As a controller, I would in fact not log on if I know I'm going to have to fix and undo the errors of another controller who refuses to follow procedures or make an effort to do things the right way. It is not worth the effort and frustration I would have to put in when the other person refuses to put in any effort of their own.

Edited by Alex Ying
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New York ARTCC

Instructor // ZNY/ZWY Facility Coordinator

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4 hours ago, Matthew Bartels said:

A tower controller in the UK who has been active on a minor for years but didn't keep up with the changes happening around him. It finally got to the point where the individual was compelled to improve.  End Story, controller no longer controls.

And you think this is a BAD THING??? If the controller doesn't care to keep up with changes, then why the heck would we keep him around? If you kept insisting that 2+2=5 after spending years doing my taxes, I sure as heck would not keep you as my accountant just to "connect an accountant to a tax payer"?

If we're going to have this kind of standard, we're going to end up in IVAOs "no ARTCC" levels at some point - i.e. controllers who don't even know what a runway is and I for one, don't think I want to stand for - or be associated with that sinking ship.

Matt - your comments come across like VATSIM 1. Has a severe lack of controllers online, and 2. Has no competition and won't in the future. It's becoming very clear that the BoG is interested in getting numbers, no matter if someone is an S1 forever, rather than keep their C1s around who is VATSIMs biggest issue - C1 retention.

Edited by Karl Mathias Moberg
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Karl Mathias Moberg (KM) - C3/I1
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5 hours ago, Matthew Bartels said:

Ok. Here goes.

A center controller in North America would separate aircraft by issuing ground speeds. This controller did this for years. One day he was finally given the ultimatum. Fix it, we can help you do it or no longer control.  The response email "kindly" said thanks for your time and the controller hasn't been online since.

A tower controller in the UK who has been active on a minor for years but didn't keep up with the changes happening around him. It finally got to the point where the individual was compelled to improve.  End Story, controller no longer controls.

A controller in the Middle East comes back after an extremely long hiatus and causes problems because all of the procedures have changed. The controller is told by his staff that he must seek remedial training to get caught up. The controller says "You can't make me, because GRP." The controller was compelled by a personal friend on the network to seek the remedial training which they eventually did. A positive outcome, but one that would have been negative and likely resulted in loss of controller had there been a downgrade.

Now you may see these as acceptable losses and maybe they are. I see it as a lost opportunity to connect a pilot to a controller. The spirit of VATSIM which is to foster of a community of pilots and air traffic controllers. Exclusivity tears down communities, it doesn't build them. There's more to us than just great ATC. Not all of us want to or can be at the same level of controlling. That doesn't mean they're bad, in fact it's one of the things that makes the experience unique. VATSIM is about being inclusive of all peoples, skill levels, etc.

The very fact that a mechanism to protect our quality of ATC even exists in this policy is a massive departure from what would have been entertained by the BoG even 5 years ago. We need to remember that all of us are on the same team. It may not seem like that right now, as emotions are running high but we all want what is best for VATSIM.

 

Plenty of examples where you rather have a lower quality of controllers to please the few that don't even want to improve themselves. Sorry, but we might actually be better off without those unwilling to train on a network that is focussed on training and education. And again, I get extreme artificial inflation of controller numbers again. Sorry, but this really seems like a prank show to me.

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4 minutes ago, David Solesvik said:

Quality over quantity

I'm not sure if I'm the only one, but it seemed the way around for st least couple of months/years now on VS. I mean it's great to put pressure on people to be more newbie friendly, educative and so on, but we need a borderline between "learning environment" and "i will play the way I like it, and I don't care I'm gonna ruin your experience as well".

Edited by Mateusz Zymla
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Mateusz Zymla - 1131338

VATSIMer since 2009, IRL pilot rated.

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Quote

1 Scope and Purpose

The VATSIM Global Air Traffic Controller Administration Policy (GCAP) has been established to increase access to Air Traffic Control positions for VATSIM members who wish to provide Air Traffic Control services whilst maintaining a standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known.

You may be increasing access to Air Traffic Control positions for VATSIM members, but this fails to fulfil the second part "whilst maintaining a standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known".  

If controllers are allowed to continue controlling after showing they do not want to maintain the "standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known." then we are not upholding the purpose of the document that lets them do that.

This is truly all about quantity over quality.

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On 7/23/2021 at 3:58 PM, Matthew Bartels said:

So you would prefer to fly on unicom than fly with a controller who's not perfect?

This is nearly the case. I would prefer to fly on unicom than fly with a controller who is so stubborn that they leave the network after being asked to engage in training to bring them up to standard. Because that proves that the controller is intent on only pleasing themselves and not those that fly under their control.

If someone has been away for X number of years, is so outdated and unfamiliar with the demands of modern VATSIM traffic levels, is clueless of (complex) procedure changes in their area… and then makes no effort to improve on this themselves - bye Felicia! 👋🏻 

A key reason why I think rating downgrades matter is because having, for example, returning S3s who have only a fraction of the skills remaining of a wannabe S3 who is going into a CPT/exam completely undermines the value of that assessment process. We should just give out the rating if there are qualified S3s who are hopelessly worse than them already.

The logical outcome of (consistently) failing a competency check post-inactivity or failing to engage with an improvement programme after being recognised as lacking in skills = rating downgrade. Then, if they have the right attitude, they will stick with it and it’ll be no loss to VATSIM!

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ATC Examiner, VATSIM UK

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On 7/24/2021 at 7:52 AM, Collin Koldoff said:

You may be increasing access to Air Traffic Control positions for VATSIM members, but this fails to fulfil the second part "whilst maintaining a standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known".  

If controllers are allowed to continue controlling after showing they do not want to maintain the "standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known." then we are not upholding the purpose of the document that lets them do that.

This is truly all about quantity over quality.

Here's where your argument falls down.

1) The proposed GCAP has measures in place to enhance controller quality and provide for retraining/suspension of struggling controllers, the GRP does not.

2) VATSIM has been operating without such measures for many years under the current GRP and has become known for this "standard of quality ATC service".

How is a new policy with specific measures in place protecting ATC quality, going to negatively impact that ATC quality, compared to an old policy that has none of these specific measures? 

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Greg Barber

VATPAC3 - Director ATC Training & Standards

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11 hours ago, Greg Barber said:

Here's where your argument falls down.

1) The proposed GCAP has measures in place to enhance controller quality and provide for retraining/suspension of struggling controllers, the GRP does not.

2) VATSIM has been operating without such measures for many years under the current GRP and has become known for this "standard of quality ATC service".

How is a new policy with specific measures in place protecting ATC quality, going to negatively impact that ATC quality, compared to an old policy that has none of these specific measures? 

I disagree.

I think the key point here is that we have seen many global regulations within GCAP that are quite lenient towards inactive controllers and the general quality of ATC. In my view, a lot of what has been discussed points to quantity being a more important factor within GCAP, than quality. It has been made clear that the goal of the policy is to loosen local restrictions that have been placed by divisions and sub-divisions. In this case, although the GRP is very vague in this sense, local regulations placed by divisions and sub-divisions regulate this quite fine. What GCAP does, is it does NOT allow divisional and sub-divisional policies to overrule GCAP regulations, or create new regulations that are concerned with activity, ATC quality, etc. This is where we have this problem.

When you say that the new policy has measures in place protecting ATC quality, compared to the old policy (GRP); the truth of the matter is, as far as I can see, such that the new policy has measures in place that are simply too lenient, compared to when the old policy was/is in effect, where local divisions/sub-divisions had such proper measures in place. 

Please correct me if I'm wrong in the above.

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C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic Operations Director & Instructor | VATSIM Spain Events Director & Operational Assistant | Eurocontrol West Sectorbuddy

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13 hours ago, Greg Barber said:

2) VATSIM has been operating without such measures for many years under the current GRP and has become known for this "standard of quality ATC service".

Just because something has been in operation for a long time does not mean it’s inherently good (or bad, or similarly effective or ineffective). This thread depicts, however, that aversion to downgrades muddies the meaning and integrity of ratings.

This standard of service does not come to fruition when training ratings (what skills others perceive you to have) do not reflect what actual skills you have. If a C1 is rusty and missing a/some key en route skill(s), then the C1 standard that their rating implies is not truthful to what they can actually provide to pilots.

On the other hand, if that C1 demonstrates (or is observed to have) lost skills that is better reflected by a different rating, then that rating should be assigned to maintain the integrity of the C1 rating altogether.

Of course, there are good ways and bad ways of approaching this change of rating. Your gut might tell you a rating change (in the downward direction) will always be perceived negatively and will cause controllers to become discouraged to a point where they may leave the network—an intuitive response, no doubt. However, there are plenty of ways to work around this response and encourage students to engage in re-certifying.

One possible way would be to engage in consistent, regular, and standardized quality assurance with controllers, highlighting deficiencies and exemplifying accomplishments. Abnormalize perfection, normalize learning from mistakes, and emphasize the process of learning instead of achievement of ratings. This way, students can enjoy the learning as opposed to hunting the rating.

Overall, the underlying mechanics of the so-called “protection of ATC ratings” only protects those who are at risk of losing them due to inactivity or poor performance. But why should these controllers be necessarily protected? If they’ve lost the skills, then they should lose the rating. VATSIM doesn’t ”owe” them the rating, and the only reason they have it is because they adequately convinced an instructor that they have the requisite skills then and there (though not necessarily forever). By “protecting” these ratings, VATSIM is (1) blurring the distinction of the rating boundaries, (2) protecting students who don’t engage frequently enough to maintain the very reasonable standards that VATSIM outlines in documentation, and (3) detriments pilot-to-ATC and ATC-to-ATC interactions when students’ skill is lower than their rating.

I’m sure many other of my colleagues can give plenty of other/similar methods to execute rating downgrades to those nay-sayers.

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Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA Command Center National Operations Manager (NOM)/VATUSA9
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100% Gregs point has been missed here.

This is the first global policy that has allowed divisions and sub divisions to introduce remedial training, introduce a minimum hours, and remove some one from a position if there is excessive feedback about their controlling abilities.

These processes did not exist in GRP 2, GRP 1 or, for those of us that have been here long enough, which isn't many of you, pre GRP. 

You say that VATSIM is not interested in maintaining a quality of control, the new policy suggests otherwise.

Vatsim historically did not go to public consultation for GRP 1 or GRP 2, they were written by the then EC and rolled out. Another first is this process where by the BOG are listening to you, the member.

Edited by Kirk Christie

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

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1 hour ago, Kirk Christie said:

100% Gregs point has been missed here.

This is the first global policy that has allowed divisions and sub divisions to introduce remedial training, introduce a minimum hours, and remove some one from a position if there is excessive feedback about their controlling abilities.

These processes did not exist in GRP 2, GRP 1 or, for those of us that have been here long enough, which isn't many of you, pre GRP. 

You say that VATSIM is not interested in maintaining a quality of control, the new policy suggests otherwise.

Vatsim historically did not go to public consultation for GRP 1 or GRP 2, they were written by the then EC and rolled out. Another first is this process where by the BOG are listening to you, the member.

I hope my reply comes off as respectfully as I mean it to be.

The issue raised herein is not that GCAP lacks recourse for remedial training. The issue is that the proposal as presented falls critically short of fully encapsulating a dynamic and interactive training progression (one that follows alongside the student and allows the student to follow along). Further, it effectively lobs off the ability for facilities to conduct meaningful quality assurance because they can’t rely on a controller’s given rating since it only reflects the maximum skill set they’ve ever demonstrated over the course of their entire VATSIM presence, instead of the more important and up-to-date answer to, “what skills do you have now?”

Yes, absolutely, no time should be wasted in getting people on the scopes but we’re at a prime moment when we can implement policies that benefit us (the network) in the long run: to quote Thera Bradshaw, “It’s time we start doing it right, not just fast.”

If you’re not convinced, I can assure you that it’s not only a select few who believe that rating demotion can and should be used in the educational/training setting. Mechanisms like it are fundamental to many international standards in practice today.

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Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA Command Center National Operations Manager (NOM)/VATUSA9
[email protected] or [email protected]

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7 hours ago, Kirk Christie said:

100% Gregs point has been missed here.

This is the first global policy that has allowed divisions and sub divisions to introduce remedial training, introduce a minimum hours, and remove some one from a position if there is excessive feedback about their controlling abilities.

These processes did not exist in GRP 2, GRP 1 or, for those of us that have been here long enough, which isn't many of you, pre GRP. 

You say that VATSIM is not interested in maintaining a quality of control, the new policy suggests otherwise.

Vatsim historically did not go to public consultation for GRP 1 or GRP 2, they were written by the then EC and rolled out. Another first is this process where by the BOG are listening to you, the member.

In addition to what Jeremy said, I think you've also missed my point in the fact that what you mentioned was regulated in divisions and sub-divisions. They were able to set their own rules and regulations regarding remedial training, minimum hours, etc. And these local rules were, as many say here, quite stricter than GCAP. And my other point is, is that local divisions and sub-divisions, who were previously able to set their own rules as to how things should go in their division/sub-divisions, will not be able to override or place other restrictions when GCAP comes into effect. 

C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic Operations Director & Instructor | VATSIM Spain Events Director & Operational Assistant | Eurocontrol West Sectorbuddy

[email protected]

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50 minutes ago, David Solesvik said:

I think you've also missed my point

I didnt acually, because I have your posts hidden, I have no intrest in what you have to say. But since you quoted me, here are some cold hard facts.

50 minutes ago, David Solesvik said:

They were able to set their own rules and regulations regarding remedial training, minimum hours, etc

Theses rules and regulations are against GRP 2 
 

Quote

5.4   Local rules cannot restrict who can provide ATC services on any position that is not approved as Designated Airspace in accordance with Paragraph 6 of this policy for members rated S2 or higher.

5.5   Local rules cannot provide restrictions that would be in contravention of this policy.

By introducing remidial training at the local level, and minimum time requiremnts, you were in fact restricting who can provide ATC services. Under GRP 2, your local divsion or sub division, cannot introduce rules and or policys that would bump people off positions for which they hold a rating or qualificaiton for, that is a fact.

Going foward, GCAP now allows this to happen. I can see why you may think that the GCAP is less restrictive, because some divisions have been opeating in their own little world, but in reality, for divisions and sub divisions that have been operating correctly under GRP 2, the new GCAP sets more restricitons. 

You will probabbly say, well how come we have been allowed to do this, and thats because no one has ever challenged it, and people just do what they think they are supposed to do, when in reality, any member who was removed for not meeting any vACC's hourly requirements, has a case against the vACC. This has come up mulitpule times in this very form, and eveytime some one from the BOG has argued against roster removal. 

I am endorsed for Heathrow Tower as a visitor, the last time I logged hours on Heathrow Tower was in 2018, has my endorsement been removed? no, I am still lsited as a endorsed Heathrow Tower controller, why, because VATUK, and they have said this in their own response to the question asked on their forums., know they cannot set a minumum time requirement under the current GRP 2 or remove some ones endoresement. The buisist airport on the network in one of the buisiest divisions, doesnt have any policys set, not because they dont want to, because they know they cant.

3rd post down by the current VATSIM President

 

Edited by Kirk Christie
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Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

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1 hour ago, Kirk Christie said:

I didnt acually, because I have your posts hidden, I have no intrest in what you have to say

Nice and respective... 

Now, remedial training isn't a bad thing, but it shouldn't stop on there if somebody lost skills so much, that retraining would require longer process/or somebody is not willing to take retraining, as keeping them with the rating just create mess of "who can or who can't" do certain things/take certain positions. Just because something wasn't there before, doesn't necessarily mean it can't be introduced now.


 

Quote

 

Vatsim historically did not go to public consultation for GRP 1 or GRP 2, they were written by the then EC and rolled out. Another first is this process where by the BOG are listening to you, the member.

 

That sounds like we should be pleased by what's been released and keep quiet? They asked for feedback, and they receive massive, mainly one-way standing feedback regarding this, so if BoG didn't want to hear that, why they would consult that with us in first place?  As far as I can understand, few changes are already been made due to feedback on this forum. Bog also didn't ask for spelling feedback, but actual, meritorical feedback as well. 

Edited by Mateusz Zymla
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Mateusz Zymla - 1131338

VATSIMer since 2009, IRL pilot rated.

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3 hours ago, Kirk Christie said:

I didnt acually, because I have your posts hidden, I have no intrest in what you have to say. But since you quoted me, here are some cold hard facts.

Theses rules and regulations are against GRP 2 
 

By introducing remidial training at the local level, and minimum time requiremnts, you were in fact restricting who can provide ATC services. Under GRP 2, your local divsion or sub division, cannot introduce rules and or policys that would bump people off positions for which they hold a rating or qualificaiton for, that is a fact.

Going foward, GCAP now allows this to happen. I can see why you may think that the GCAP is less restrictive, because some divisions have been opeating in their own little world, but in reality, for divisions and sub divisions that have been operating correctly under GRP 2, the new GCAP sets more restricitons. 

You will probabbly say, well how come we have been allowed to do this, and thats because no one has ever challenged it, and people just do what they think they are supposed to do, when in reality, any member who was removed for not meeting any vACC's hourly requirements, has a case against the vACC. This has come up mulitpule times in this very form, and eveytime some one from the BOG has argued against roster removal. 

I am endorsed for Heathrow Tower as a visitor, the last time I logged hours on Heathrow Tower was in 2018, has my endorsement been removed? no, I am still lsited as a endorsed Heathrow Tower controller, why, because VATUK, and they have said this in their own response to the question asked on their forums., know they cannot set a minumum time requirement under the current GRP 2 or remove some ones endoresement. The buisist airport on the network in one of the buisiest divisions, doesnt have any policys set, not because they dont want to, because they know they cant.

3rd post down by the current VATSIM President

 

Please clarify if I’m missing something, perhaps I didn’t read it right, but I’m completely failing to see how this response addresses my subjective opinion that rating downgrades are critical in an educational system and facilities should be allowed to implement rating downgrades when controllers demonstrate a lack of requisite skill to hold their current one.

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Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA Command Center National Operations Manager (NOM)/VATUSA9
[email protected] or [email protected]

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19 minutes ago, Jeremy Peterson said:

Please clarify if I’m missing something, perhaps I didn’t read it right, but I’m completely failing to see how this response addresses my subjective opinion that rating downgrades are critical in an educational system and facilities should be allowed to implement rating downgrades when controllers demonstrate a lack of requisite skill to hold their current one.

I'm sorry I did not realise that was a requirement.

My response was not directed at you, this is evident by the lack of your name being mentioned in my post or any quotes from your posts.

If I had something to say about your subjective opinion I would direct my responses to you.

Edited by Kirk Christie

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

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Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

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  • Board of Governors

Let’s say we do employ downgrades. How long until we’re left with a handful of controllers that met whatever arbitrary standard that the subdivision feels worthy of the rating, and a bunch of perfectly serviceable former controllers who were downgraded because, while they could get the job done, it “wasn’t good enough.”

The founders took such an adverse stance against downgrading years ago because it was absolutely out of control. People were getting downgraded for petty reasons by local staffs. There was abuse everywhere. So the founders put it in the CoR that downgrades would be nearly impossible to happen. 

I personally advocated for a downgrade mechanism in early discussions of GCAP. However this mechanism was going to be almost impossible to use and rightly so, think a BoG level decision panel. The casualness you all are applying to the downgrade process is what is striking a chord though many of the Senior staff.  

This is a hobby first and foremost. A controller who has achieved a rating should be able to do all of the things that are mentioned in the Appendix A of the GCAP, how well they have to demonstrate them to receive a rating is determined by the division. Once they have that rating each individual controller is either going to be personally motivated to become the best they can be or they’re going to relax a bit and enjoy the hobby. Neither one of them is wrong here. At the end of the day, as long as both of them sound believable, are able to provide the services requested of them, and don’t fly airplanes into anything what’s the problem? Should we downgrade the relaxed controller because they don’t care to pursue his hobby to the elitist level, yet still get the job done even though the elitist controller finds it wasn’t done 100% correct ? (Hint: These are the people we would lose in a downgrade scenario.)

Most of GCAP was centered around easing the burden on training staffs. So lets say we do downgrade a controller from S3 to S2  and thusly they end up no longer being able to work  Approach and Departure and instead of leaving because they can’t be bothered to deal with this in a hobby, they actually seek remediation. Now what? Training queues in many parts of the world are exceedingly long. Does this controller have to go to the end of the line and wait a year before they can get that rating back? Are you going to give them priority? What if they just can’t be bothered by your overbearing training practices and instead want to transfer their S3 to another division who thinks they’re perfectly capable of performing the duties of their rating? They can’t now if they’ve been downgraded. 

How are you going to identify who needs to be downgraded? Are you going to use your already strained training resources to do spot checks on controllers to find your weak links that need additional training? This all adds up to causal downgrades simply not working. Let your more casual controllers work their traffic, I promise you most of the pilots are going to think the quality is just fine as long as there is a voice on the other end of the radio that sounds correct and provides services as close to real as they are able.  If you have truly poor controllers, meaning that they don’t sound right and cant handle the basics,  then there is the opportunity to have the conversation with them and encourage them to improve. If they refuse to improve then and only then am I open to having a downgrade mechanism that prevents them from providing poor service.

 

 

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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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@Matthew Bartels appreciate the response.

I think the concerns you bring up are completely valid. However, in the absence of VATSIM-wide data that support the presumption that downgrades will run rampant, or that performing downgrades imposes an undue additional burden to training programs, I'm finding it difficult to outweigh the benefits gained in downgrading ratings.

  1. It provides a better experience for other ATCs and for pilots. The cost of this would be imposed when performance degrades so significantly that ratings no longer reflect current skill and a controller is required to relearn and re-demonstrate competency.
  2. Across the system, the quality of the ratings GCAP is trying to protect is supported through quality assurance. The cost of this is again, the time it takes to relearn and re-demonstrate competency.

In addition to this, I think something critically overlooked is this: a controller who loses skill to the point of needing a rating downgrade is going to eat up training resources regardless of whether there exists a mechanism that demotes their rating. If a fixed rating allows a controller with deficient skills to continue their malpractice on the network, then the sub-division/division, region, and network increase their risk of negative outcomes (pilot-to-ATC and ATC-to-ATC). Retraining is necessary, but the period of retraining is completely open to on-the-network malpractice.

However, if a controller with deficient skills is identified timely (through quality assurance processes like controller feedback, network observation, or even a competency check), stripped of their current rating to reflect their current skillset, and retrained, then this risk is minimized and the sub-division/division, region, and network benefit. In this scenario, the same retraining is necessary, and it's equally in best interest for the facility to retrain the controller without delay.

At the very least, the same amount of retraining is necessary and the same urgency exists to retrain the controller quickly. Further, the network assumes less risk when observed deficiencies are prevented from making their way onto the live network.

It's evident that these scenarios rely on a well-intended training program, proper identification of skill deficiencies, and clear and well-documented reasons for a facility to demote. Since this thread is about downgrades, I think discussion of the limitation of those assumptions is valid, but not specifically relevant to this particular thread (so go start another one if one doesn't exist and you'd like to discuss it).

My underlying question is this: isn't it time for controllers to control right, not just as quickly as they can get on the network?

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Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA Command Center National Operations Manager (NOM)/VATUSA9
[email protected] or [email protected]

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Thank you for the response @Matthew BartelsI can understand completely what you mean.

However, how does "suspending some or all controlling privileges" make it better than downgrading someone?
- It confuses people. An S3 with not all S3 controlling privileges?
- They need to be trained again anyway to redeem the suspended controlling privileges. What's the difference with requiring training after a downgrade?

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ACCNL5 (Assistant Training Director) - Dutch VACC

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29 minutes ago, Thimo Koolen said:

Thank you for the response @Matthew BartelsI can understand completely what you mean.

However, how does "suspending some or all controlling privileges" make it better than downgrading someone?
- It confuses people. An S3 with not all S3 controlling privileges?
- They need to be trained again anyway to redeem the suspended controlling privileges. What's the difference with requiring training after a downgrade?

I could argue that someone doesn't necessarily need to be fully retrained for all of the competencies from scratch just because they have been inactive. I think the extent of the training and how much training needs to be put in to get the controller back on track on the required competencies completely depends on a case-to-case basis, so dropping someone down to S2 can also be, in many ways, misunderstood and get very confusing as in this case, the controller in question won't have to fully undergo S3 training again, as the controller likely knows most of it already from before. At least, I wouldn't think that a CPT is required for somebody who just lost skill overtime, but rather a couple of sessions with a mentor until the mentor knows that the controller is capable for their rating. The extent of the duration and the severity of the training should be unlimited and should be at the discretion of the local training department, in order to do what is best to get the controller fully on track with appropriate core competencies.

However. If the controller isn't at all interested in getting retrained, then we also shouldn't allow them to control on the network, at least on positions where it has been proven that the controller isn't capable of providing the appropriate service, as outlined by core competencies. This is why we have 8.06. Now, I think the big question here is, to what extent will this be regulated? Will we regulate this with downgrades, will this be a temporary rating ban for that specific rating, will it prohibit the controller from controlling the appropriate position on a local level, or everywhere on VATSIM where they have validations?

Edited by David Solesvik

C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic Operations Director & Instructor | VATSIM Spain Events Director & Operational Assistant | Eurocontrol West Sectorbuddy

[email protected]

1341101

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8 minutes ago, David Solesvik said:

I could argue that someone doesn't necessarily need to be fully retrained for all of the competencies from scratch just because they have been inactive. I think the extent of the training and how much training needs to be put in to get the controller back on track on the required competencies completely depends on a case-to-case basis, so dropping someone down to S2 can also be, in many ways, misunderstood and get very confusing as in this case, the controller in question won't have to fully undergo S3 training again, as the controller likely knows most of it already from before. At least, I wouldn't think that a CPT is required for somebody who just lost skill overtime, but rather a couple of sessions with a mentor until the mentor knows that the controller is capable for their rating. The extent of the duration and the severity of the training should be unlimited and should be at the discretion of the local training department, in order to do what is best to get the controller fully on track with appropriate core competencies.

However. If the controller isn't at all interested in getting retrained, then we also shouldn't allow them to control on the network, at least on positions where it has been proven that the controller isn't capable of providing the appropriate service, as outlined by core competencies. This is why we have 8.06. 

How about mark them as "Inactive C1", then? Everywhere, on forum, membership, API data, etc?

Mateusz Zymla - 1131338

VATSIMer since 2009, IRL pilot rated.

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Just now, Mateusz Zymla said:

How about mark them as "Inactive C1", then? Everywhere, on forum, membership, API data, etc?

That sounds like one decent option. So my question to the BoG on this matter: To what extent will 8.06 be enforced? In a similar way with visitors - on a global database? Perhaps this should be further defined in a bit more detail?

C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic Operations Director & Instructor | VATSIM Spain Events Director & Operational Assistant | Eurocontrol West Sectorbuddy

[email protected]

1341101

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On 8/2/2021 at 4:45 PM, Jeremy Peterson said:

@Matthew Bartels appreciate the response.

I think the concerns you bring up are completely valid. However, in the absence of VATSIM-wide data that support the presumption that downgrades will run rampant, or that performing downgrades imposes an undue additional burden to training programs, I'm finding it difficult to outweigh the benefits gained in downgrading ratings.

  1. It provides a better experience for other ATCs and for pilots. The cost of this would be imposed when performance degrades so significantly that ratings no longer reflect current skill and a controller is required to relearn and re-demonstrate competency.

My underlying question is this: isn't it time for controllers to control right, not just as quickly as they can get on the network?

@ Jeremy Peterson: You complain that lack of data means that the presumption of downgrades will impose an additional burden to training programs is invalid or not substanciated. Maybe, but could you please clearify the data that supports your claim: Downgrading provides a better experience for other ATCs and for pilots.

Your underlying question is a bit questionable: While I agree that controllers should controll right, it is also a hobby for (most of) us and the level of quality can therefore not be as that of a real world controller. One could also argue, that due to the great influx of pilots to VATSIM we have experienced lately, the traffic levels have gone up, and in some cases are almost as great as seen in real life at some airports. We are sometimes close to maximum and are thus more likely to make errors. Having less controllers will increase the pressure on the individual controller - I'm not sure that is nessasarily a good idea.

regards

 

Edited by Torben Andersen
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Torben Andersen, VACC-SCA Controller (C1)

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