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Thanks David for you quick response,

 

My question is, does the BoG feel that local staffs at ARTCCs, VACCs and whatever other sector seperations are, are unable to setup their own training rules and provide their own training? That is what I see coming out of this global standards. If so, is that why the BoG has to step in and setup standards for everybody?

 

With this Global Standards, will this mean that anybody under the regional divisions (I.E VATUSA, VATUK, VATEUD ect ect...) all the sector Cheifs, ATMs and all of their staff below them will not be needed? As it appears to me, that if I am in the VATUSA division, I can work any minor tower when I get minor cert and the major towers would have to be at the regional's division responsibility to train me at a major tower? How would one keep a roster or a sector with this new system?

UND ATC Major

ZAU MS

GO FIGHTING SIOUX

"Success isn't really a result of spontaneous combustions. You must set yourselfs on fire."

-Arnold H. Glasow

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Marko,

 

The local groups were able and are still able to design their training the way they think will work best for their situation and now also within the confines of the Global Controller Rating Policy. The requirement has always been that the local organization needs to have any policies they wish to implement be approved by their Division Director who is responsible per VATSIM CoR for maintaining a level playing field across his/her division in accordance with global VATSIM and regional VATNA policies. Global Controller Rating Policy did not enact this approval requirement; it was always there but it wasn't uniformly enforced and in some situations not enforced at all. However it now falls on the Division Directors to bring their organizations into compliance with both the new Global Controller Rating Policy and the old policy approval process.

Kyle Ramsey

 

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Kyle,

 

 

 

The local groups were able and are still able to design their training the way they think will work best for their situation and now also within the confines of the Global Controller Rating Policy.

 

Ok...however, I got this from Rolland just a few responses ago

 

I have prepared a complete set of basic competencies for each type and these will be made available though the VATSIM Executive Committe when I return home next week.

 

So... which one is it? It appears that Rolland has a whole set of rules ready to go for everybody to abide by. If he does, then do the local groups have any say in what they feel is needed in certifications since it appears that a policy is about to be relased on this?

 

My other questions still stand

 

With this Global Standards, will this mean that anybody under the regional divisions (I.E VATUSA, VATUK, VATEUD ect ect...) all the sector Cheifs, ATMs and all of their staff below them will not be needed? As it appears to me, that if I am in the VATUSA division, I can work any minor tower when I get minor cert and the major towers would have to be at the regional's division responsibility to train me at a major tower? How would one keep a roster or a sector with this new system?

UND ATC Major

ZAU MS

GO FIGHTING SIOUX

"Success isn't really a result of spontaneous combustions. You must set yourselfs on fire."

-Arnold H. Glasow

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Marko,

 

If you step back you'll see we say the same thing. Just like real life, smaller bits of an organization cannot just go do whatever they like, they must align their strategy and purpose, as carried out through their policies and practices, with the strategy and purpose of the parent organization, as carried out through their policies and practices. Beyond that, the local organization may design how they implement the strategy and purpose of the organization within their descretion. That is what global polices do. That is how the real world works. That does not mean parent organizations can run an operation by themselves without front line operators. Could Starbucks be the brand that it is if every franchisee got to go do it anyway they wanted? Have any storefront, serve any coffee, use anyone's paper cups? Of course, no. So their model says if everyone (franchisees and employees) sticks it out, bears the extra cost of buying and using only Starbucks branded stuff in Starbucks branded interiors, then it will be better for all franchisees. And that model has worked quite well.

 

Roland said two basic things: 1) Controller ratings worldwide are broken and not in alignment with VATSIM's Founder/BoG vision of controller rating management, thus a correction was issued through the EC organization. 2) This new policy was enacted because an old policy, the approval of all policies at the Division level and below be vetted by the divisional manager, had not been uniformly followed for enough time to allow the front line organizations to take on a life of their own and diverge from the Founder/BoG vision of VATSIM. These are two very different events that had a convergence in time and space and there still appears to be some confusion derivied rom that unfortunate occurance.

 

I hope I have answered both of your questions.

Kyle Ramsey

 

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...

Ok...however, I got this from Rolland just a few responses ago

 

I have prepared a complete set of basic competencies for each type and these will be made available though the VATSIM Executive Committe when I return home next week.

 

So... which one is it? It appears that Rolland has a whole set of rules ready to go for everybody to abide by. If he does, then do the local groups have any say in what they feel is needed in certifications since it appears that a policy is about to be relased on this?

 

I think what Roland was referring WRT 'competencies' are the controller ratings (ie S1 - C3) rather than the local regulations.

 

Right now each ARTCC decides for themselves what skills or knowledge qualify a controller to be for example a C3.

 

So we have 22 different kinds of C3's in Vatusa, because each ARTCC has their own individual definition of

what criteria makes a C3.

 

The set of competencies Roland is referring to defines 'one' skillset for each rating to be applied

all across Vatusa and Vatsim. So we end up with one standard for a C3 that all the ARTCC's meet.

 

Each local ARTCC still retains the authority to define what local SoP knowledge is required to work the

'major' positions within the ARTCC.

 

Regards.

Ernie Alston

Albuquerque ARTCC

Vatsim Supervisor

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Ernie has it exactly right. To use a US aviation example, think of the global competencies for each rating to be the "Practical Test Standards" for that level. This means that to be a S4, you need to be able to do X, X, X and X (which would equate to working an approach position). This ensures that ALL S3s have the same minimum standards of knowledge and can work approach. Now in a place like Chicago, they have the ability to work a minor approach facility, but they are most likely not ready to work a place like Chicago approach on a Friday night.

 

The local ARTCCs will still do the training...what we are doing is leveling the playing field by defining what the minimum knowledge is to be an S1, S3, C1 or C3. This eliminates the ARTCC/FIR's ability to make things so hard that a person just can't promote to the higher rating due to excessively difficult requirements.

 

Look at it this way. In the real world, right now it is relatively easy to get a driver's license in the US but hard in Europe. Any US driver with a license can rent a car and drive in Europe, but he/she may not have the skills to do so. What we are doing is coming up with a global minimum standard to get a "driver's license".

 

Dave

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Amongst the many responses I have to the posts in this thread, the analogy to Starbucks is perhaps the most strange analogy I have seen about these questions...

 

Based on what was said in the post, am I to understand that Starbucks OWNS the suppliers?

 

Last I thought, I thought Starbucks PURCHASES supplies needed for its business. Starbucks would contact a company, saying they have a need for X number of cups, they offer to pay Y dollars. If the two agree on the supply and price, the conduct a business transaction.

 

Does the BoG understand that it is the LANGUAGE used in the policy as opposed to the policy that I am taking issue with. If we are comparing VATSIM to real life, I wonder how long it takes to go to school to become a controller. I wonder how long a controller trains in the LOCAL facility, prior to actually getting on the scopes.

 

Wait, I thought the point was that we were NOT real world. We have the chance to be BETTER than real life.

 

Perhaps, to get the message across, we should just start following the "LETTER of the Law".

 

Perhaps it is time to ask more pointed questions.

 

Thanks,

Jason Vodnansky

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Actually Jason....your analogy is 100% wrong. Starbucks does not OWN most of the Starbucks coffee shops around the world. They are franchises. As was pointed out in the example (and that's all it was, of course it doesn't translate 100% to VATSIM), the higher authority of the Starbucks corporations REQUIRES that the lower level (independent franchisees) meet certain standards. Starbucks does NOT buy cups and then deliver them to franchisees. Franchisees buy the cups they are REQUIRED to buy as a condition of the franchise.

 

In the case of VATSIM, the BoG and EC are mandating certain things be done by the ARTCC/FIRs. The ARTCCs/FIRs have NO CHOiCE in this matter. They can either comply, or they can go somewhere else. You have repeatedly posted and emailed various questions and topics in these forums because you are unhappy with the decisions made by the VATSIM leadership and the direction VATSIM is going. Your unhappiness is noted and you have every right to vote with your feet by taking your business elsewhere.

 

Dave

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This is a very interesting topic, although it should be probably moved to the main topic forum.

 

For all of you that are reading this, if you're confused about the terminology, here's a short 'program guide' defining the "Regions", "Divisions" as it it is listed in the VATSIM home page (note the 'local' i.e. ARTCC's and FIR's have not been included for the sake of brevity).

 

VATSIM – Global Internet Community

 

1. VATAME - Africa & Middle East Region.

· VATAME - Africa & Middle East Division

· VATIL - Israel Division

· VATSAF – South Africa Division

 

2. VATASIA - Asia Region

· VATJPN – Japan Division

· VATKOR – Korean Division

· VATROC – China Division

· VATSEA – Southeast Asia Division

 

3. VATEUR - Europe Region

· VATEUD – European Division

· VATRUS – Russia Division

· VATSIM-UK United Kingdom Division

 

4. VATCAMC - Central America, Mexico, Caribbean Region

· VATCA – Central America & Panama Division

· VATMEX – Mexico Division

· VATCAR – Caribbean Division

 

5. VATNA - North America Region

· VATCAN – Canadian Division

· VATUSA – United States Division

 

6. VATOCE - Oceania Region

· VATPAC - Australsia Pacific Division

· VATNZ – New Zealand Division

 

7. VATSIM-SA South America Region

· VATSIM-BRASIL – Brazil (unknown website)

· VATSAM – South America Division

 

With this hierarchy, you can see the 'cascading' effect on a global policy versus a local one, or anything in between. Please correct me if I'm not reading this right.

 

Cheers!

Gerry Hattendorf

ZLA Webmaster

VATSIM Supervisor

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To add to my dribbling so I'm 100% clear on this issue, let's say for example (totally hypothetical) VATSIM institutes the following policy for S3 controllers.

 

1) Must have at least 40 hours as an active controller.

 

2) Has p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed the Senior Student exam.

 

In this case, all candidates are required to meet these requirement regardless of where they control, and then any regional, division, and local policies would apply.

 

In this scenario, regardless of the students abilities, unless he/she has acquired the 40 hours and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed the exam, they cannot get the promotion regardless of their [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ignment. This is easy to understand, but here's my point (and I'm looking at the local level here), what if the local policy required proficiency in specific tasks (the local PTS) and found the student exemplary (read a outstanding controller) without the required hours. Is there, a procedure or 'waiver' that can be granted?

 

Of course the discretion about certain 'high profile' positions have been discussed and should be kept at the local level, however, this 'local' policy could be interpreted as 'more restrictive'.

 

What I see of all this is VATSIM determines the PTS for controller ratings in a broad brush, i.e, S1-C3, and local still maintains the controller certifications, such as certain tower, approach, or center ratings or restrictions.

Gerry Hattendorf

ZLA Webmaster

VATSIM Supervisor

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David,

 

About your statement in your previous post:

 

In the case of VATSIM, the BoG and EC are mandating certain things be done by the ARTCC/FIRs. The ARTCCs/FIRs have NO CHOiCE in this matter.

 

Two questions come up in mind with this.

 

1. What do the Founders say about this? Have they taken a vote on yet and what conclusion have they come to?

2. If I recall correctly, there was a paragraph in the CoR 3.05 B 6 which reads as follows:

 

Delegation of Authority: A Regional Director should not attempt to dictate or

run all aspects of day-to-day operations in the divisions which comprise his or

her region. Therefore, a Regional Director has a duty to delegate authority to

the heads of the divisions making up his or her region and should grant such

individuals broad discretion to run the day-to-day operations within their

division,

 

According to your response, mind you now, AS I SEE IT, you just stated the fact that the ARTCC and FIRs have no choice in this. Yet, from what I quote directly from the CoR, it states that there should be no dictation of rules from the directors, and general day to day operations should be delegated down. Could you please clear this thought up for me as I am confused.

 

 

 

Your unhappiness is noted and you have every right to vote with your feet by taking your business elsewhere

 

So, is what you are saying, is that being part of the VATSIM network only a privalage to the people who agree with the BoG? That is the general message that I see n that statement. No where in the CoR or the CoC does it state that we DO NOT have the right to disagree. What is the point of this forum if we can't discuss our disagreements then? Speaking of the CoC, if I recall correctly, there are two sections of the VATSIM CoC that come up in my mind right now. I think they were CoC Section A numbers 11 and 12, however, I could be mistaken.

UND ATC Major

ZAU MS

GO FIGHTING SIOUX

"Success isn't really a result of spontaneous combustions. You must set yourselfs on fire."

-Arnold H. Glasow

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...

 

2. If I recall correctly, there was a paragraph in the CoR 3.05 B 6 which reads as follows:

 

Delegation of Authority: A Regional Director should not attempt to dictate or

run all aspects of day-to-day operations in the divisions which comprise his or

her region. Therefore, a Regional Director has a duty to delegate authority to

the heads of the divisions making up his or her region and should grant such

individuals broad discretion to run the day-to-day operations within their

division,

 

According to your response, mind you now, AS I SEE IT, you just stated the fact that the ARTCC and FIRs have no choice in this. Yet, from what I quote directly from the CoR, it states that there should be no dictation of rules from the directors, and general day to day operations should be delegated down. Could you please clear this thought up for me as I am confused.

 

It doesn't say 'directors' it says 'A Regional Director', that represents one level, not multiple levels.

 

That is one position in this Region (VATNA1). The clause further states the one and only level in which

this authority can be delegated to, the 'heads of the divisions' (ie the Division Director).

 

It doesn't make any mention of any further delegations to any levels below Division Director.

 

Regards.

 

Ernie Alston

Albuquerque ARTCC

Vatsim Supervisor

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To continue to build and grow the VATSIM network, new leadership needs to be continuously developed. This development generally begins at a "local" (ARTCC/FIR) level, with the ATM, its staff, and most importantly, its controllers. When questions regarding policy, and the interpretation of same, are asked, it is not always a challenge of authority. Often questions are asked to gain knowledge of intent, application, or implementation of ideas and/or processes.

 

Based on previous posts in this thread, it is apparent that numerous members of this hobby have had their enjoyment impeded by the leadership's unwillingness to ENFORCE policy.

 

I applaud the efforts currently underway to remove the barriers that have existed for the past several years. I am truly not the antagonist that some authors have suggested. The goals of my posts have been to raise awareness and to seek clarity on the decisions made by the leadership of a network to which I financially contribute. My donations to the VATSIM network are made to help foster and promote an educational hobby.

 

I would encourage those with questions of policy, or interpretation, to actively participate in these public forums.

 

Warm regards,

Jason Vodnansky

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The basic knowledge and skill set for a particular type of Air Traffic Service, Tower for example, is the same no matter where it is carried out. As ernie intimated, the wide variation in local rules has come about largely because no guidance has ever been provided.

 

I have prepared a complete set of basic competencies for each type and these will be made available though the VATSIM Executive Committe when I return home next week.

 

The implementation of the Global Standards for ATC allows for a two-tier model of locations; minor or major. Typically a major location would be an ARTCC central location in the USA airspace model. It may differ elsewhere.

 

To accompany the rating competencies it may be desireable to establish guidelines in relation to restrictions that affect controller progress. These should be kept to an absolute minimum since competency-based [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment should be the key to advancement; you are signed off when you can do the job and not on how long you have been doing the previous task.

 

Roland Collins

VATSIM - VP Regions

 

Roland:

Will the global policy also include a global currency requirement. That is some ARTCCs require 30 min , 1 hour or 2 hours online controlling time per month.

Is the shift to global include a global currency requirement for the student/controller to maintain active status in the ARTCC/FIR?

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David,

 

About your statement in your previous post:

 

In the case of VATSIM, the BoG and EC are mandating certain things be done by the ARTCC/FIRs. The ARTCCs/FIRs have NO CHOiCE in this matter.

 

Two questions come up in mind with this.

 

1. What do the Founders say about this? Have they taken a vote on yet and what conclusion have they come to?

 

The Founders have never engaged in formally approving the actions of the BOG in matters such as this and we are not about to start doing that here. I think that you will find few, if any, that disagree with the corrective measures being taken by the BOG and the EC.

 

2. If I recall correctly, there was a paragraph in the CoR 3.05 B 6 which reads as follows:

 

Delegation of Authority: A Regional Director should not attempt to dictate or

run all aspects of day-to-day operations in the divisions which comprise his or

her region. Therefore, a Regional Director has a duty to delegate authority to

the heads of the divisions making up his or her region and should grant such

individuals broad discretion to run the day-to-day operations within their

division,

 

According to your response, mind you now, AS I SEE IT, you just stated the fact that the ARTCC and FIRs have no choice in this. Yet, from what I quote directly from the CoR, it states that there should be no dictation of rules from the directors, and general day to day operations should be delegated down. Could you please clear this thought up for me as I am confused.

 

 

I'll clear it up for you. The CoR section you quote has always been meant to prevent RDs from becoming "dictators" by micro-managing the "day-to-day operations of the division" [Emphasis added]. It was never meant, as you are suggesting, to make RDs (or the EC or the BOG) impotent when it comes to local matters. As has been clearly stated by everyone above, the intent of these new rules have a far wider impact than the local levels. They are corrective in nature and merely exhibit the powers of oversight by RDs, the EC and the BOG that are inherent in VATSIM. They are also nothing out of the ordinary than what is seen in countless other organizations around the world.

 

 

 

Your unhappiness is noted and you have every right to vote with your feet by taking your business elsewhere

 

So, is what you are saying, is that being part of the VATSIM network only a privalage to the people who agree with the BoG? That is the general message that I see n that statement. No where in the CoR or the CoC does it state that we DO NOT have the right to disagree. What is the point of this forum if we can't discuss our disagreements then? Speaking of the CoC, if I recall correctly, there are two sections of the VATSIM CoC that come up in my mind right now. I think they were CoC Section A numbers 11 and 12, however, I could be mistaken.

 

That's not what he's saying and you should stop twisting another's words to the breaking point. What he is saying is that you have made your disagreement and dissatisfaction with this decision well known and that, in general, you keep repeating yourself and aren't adding anything new to the discussion. It's not a matter that VATSIM is open only to those who agree with the BOG (more twisting of words). It's more of a matter that there is nothing that is going to be done to make you happy so you either must accept the decision or, as David indicated, you are free to go elsewhere.

George S. Marinakis

VATSIM6, co-Founder, VATSIM

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Folks,

 

As you can see from my earlier post and the contributions from others, there were a number of issues having an adverse impact on VATSIM by reducing the number on controllers and limiting their effectiveness. This is quite a serious matter since the majority of users on-line are pilots and they need ATC. It was not simply a matter of handing out more controller ratings since it is desirable to have at least basic standards for ATC. The two key issues addressed were:

  • Controller standards
    Local rules

In relation to controller standards, a lack of central guidance resulted in considerable variation in controller training, [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment and rating. There was no guarantee that the proper knowledge and skill was being delivered or proper ATC competency achieved since these were not properly defined in all cases. Controller standards were therefore quite variable. This variation made controllers less flexible, more tied to their local facility, and played a part in the upward spiral of the local rules that shaped them.

 

Part of the problem stemmed from the rating names; Student, Senior Student and Controller. None of these directly related to an Air Traffic Service and it was left to local training departments to make their own alignment. In certain cases a person with a Student rating could NOT control, either being prevented entirely or only allowed to do so with a mentor present. This is an excessively restrictive practices and one which also places a heavy burden on the human resources of a training department. It was certainly not what VATSIM intended with the Student rating (See CoC A.10). In some cases a Student is permitted to operate as TWR, and in other cases even APP. A person with a Student rating cannot operate as CTR since there is hard coding to prevent it. At the other end of the rating scale, there are those who wish to enforce a local rule to make CTR have a rating of Senior Controller with quite arduous steps in between. Again this is excessively restrictive and increases the burden of training departments. I might add that many training departments have not been able to deliver training and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment in a timely fashion, largely because they have made it too complicated and staff dependent; in other words they have created their own monster.

 

In relation to local rules, these also soon became overly restrictive with a wide variation between jurisdictions. In many cases local rules did not align with VATSIM general rule; which resulted in jurisdictions effectively becoming their own mini-VATSIM; a situation that cannot prevail. This generally came about when local rules were implemented by those without proper authority to do so. It is the same as local police implementing local laws that are not in agreement with state or federal law.

 

These issues and their adverse effect has been a concern for Founders and BoG for some time and was discussed with the VATSIM EC for about 18-months. During that time the EC discused the matter with their divisions and examined all of the controller restrictions and the different ATC training schemes throughout the VATSIM world. The desire was to produce a common global scheme based directly on the real world Air Traffic Services that we simulate;

  • Local Tower
    TMA radar
    Enroute

This means three steps before being able to operate all Air Traffic Services. Senior Controller has been left outside the scope of the global scheme and this is an important point since the global scheme addresses BASIC competencies and there needs to be provision to recognize a person who has gone beyond just the basic level.

 

It was hoped that the new scheme could align with some of the existing schemes but I can tell you that there were no two schemes the same. That meant the problem was equivalent to trying to introduce a world-wide standard gauge for railways when every railroad company has done its own thing. There must be some local adjustment in order to realize this goal.

 

The new scheme doesn’t directly align with any single training department and has elements taken from almost all of them. The overriding issue is that the new scheme must be appropriate, workable, and within reach of ALL divisions and their training departments.

 

You can read about the model selected and the background to it HERE.

 

What this means is that the regions have agreed to adopt a common scheme for training, [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment and rating. [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment will be competency-based and align with the relevant Air Traffic Service. The delivery of training and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment is to be streamlined wherever possible to achieve the goal of producing more controllers without compromising ATC standards.

 

There will still be local rules but these should only be introduced where absolutely necessary; unlike the previous ones. For example, a division has to guard against frivolous training requests and not immediately commit training resources to service these. A division might implement almost all of the Tower [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment as on-line theory with a requirement that a person must have completed the theory and a minimum number of hours as OBS before transitioning to the resource intensive part. This is a reasonable safeguard to ensure that a person is serious and to protect valuable training resources. At the same time, the division may implement a policy on how soon a person may re-sit a failed test. Again this is a reasonable safeguard to ensure that a person doesn’t keep booking up training resources and depriving others of a fair go.

 

It is good that folk are now looking at how this change affects them in their local patch. In short it will make very little change since all of the work that was previously carried out must continue, albeit it may be slightly different now. The same people will still do the same tasks that were previously [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to them. There will be no flattening of the structure or elimination of tasks/roles.

 

The actual rating names will not change but from now on a person with a Student rating will be a Tower Controller, etc.

 

Change is always difficult but I can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure that these changes are necessary and in the best interest of VATSIM.

 

 

Roland Collins

VATSIM co-Founder

VATSIM - VP Regions

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Hello gents,

 

 

it looks like the discussion is turning now into a general debate about the new ratings policy, and I don´t know if the VATUSA board the is still the right place for it. Maybe someone wants to split the topic, and move the rating discussion out to a more appropriate place?

 

Anyway, please let me add some comments about Roland´s statements. Please note that I will be using the old rating terms "S1", "S3" and so on, to mark them as theoretical steps, and not relate them to any kind of practical training or rating directly.

 

First, I completely agree with the target of the policy. Roland has described the problems of comparing our ratings across divisions and regions (please note that this is not a region problem only, the issue goes down to the divisional and even ACC level). There have indeed been variants of local training schemes where members were overrestricted in their ability to control. There is a need for a global policy to establish minimum standards of training and examination, and to reflext these standards in a common rating scheme.

 

Second, Roland is also right in identifying the three major areas where we simulate ATC:

 

Local Tower

TMA radar

Enroute

 

Let´s call this the "three-step ATC career" now . You may also speak of "competencies", achieved through training, and proven by sucessful examination.

 

 

Let me please use this core statement now to "jump in" and add some more aspects I see as crucial when we talk about a rating and training policy:

 

 

1. Traning and examination should be adjusted to these three career steps

2. Entry hurdles to S1 rating for new ATC should be as low as practical

3. Members should be able to train for the next career step live on the network

3. For each of these career steps, one practical exam (CPT) should be carried out

4. A successful exam (CPT) should lead to reaching a new rating level

5. New rating should be issue AFTER competency has been proven through an exam, not before

 

 

If we now look at the new EC policy, with these prerequisites in mind, we will quickly note that there is a "break" in the planned line of rating advances:

 

The EC policy defines C1 rating as the highest step to be reached by training, and accquireing the competency for these three career steps. But, we only have two exam steps to reach C1 rating, while 3 steps are required! We can only do S1 => S3 and S3=>C1 exams online. Also, when sticking within the EC policy scope, these exams must be TMA and Enroute exams, as the corresponding ratings are tied to these competencies.

Now where does this leave the tower training, and a possible tower exam? If we further stick within the EC policy, this would have to be done prior to reaching S1 level, i.e. prior to any live controlling on VATSIM. You will agree that a practical tower exam is impossible (net even technically possible) under these circomestances, let alone the fact that the trainee has absolutely no ATC experience at this point of his career. And third, it is my firm believe that we will turn away many newbies that way, if we put all tower training into the phase BEFORE he can go live the first time (remember he has not only to learn the ATC-related stuff, he also needs to get trained on the software, learn VATSIM regulations etc. etc.). I´m sure many newcomers will not be willing to go through all this fuzz before the can go live on the network the first time.

 

So, should the solution then be to strip down tower training to a bare minimum? I don´t thin k this can be the right way. Tower and ground services are of extreme importance, especially when it get´s busy. Everyone who has ever controlled TWR or GND during a fly-in will agree with me on that. Keeping a steady flow of traffic on the ground, issuing clearances, and keeping the runways busy is a key factor to a successful Fly-In, therefore, good training is crucial. We should not give up the tower training level easily.

 

No, there is a much more practical solution, which would just require a modification of the EC policy, as it is now:

 

Let´s just shift up all career steps by one rating level!

 

OK, this way we need to get rid of C3 as being a rating outside the regular scope. However, I never have been happy with this definiton of C3, and I don´t think it´s a crucial element (at least not when compared to the needs I described above). C3 will still remain the top level reachable by ATC, and having demonstrated center competencies is IMHO truely a "crown" of ATC training (remember a center will do all positions below him that are not staffed, so it truly is an achievement!).

 

Now, how would the scheme then look like?

S1 = introduced to the basics of VATSIM ATC (software, regulations, elementary TWR/GND controlling necessary to go live for the first time)

S3 = trained and examined on Tower position

C1 = trained and examined on Approach position

C3 = trained and examined on Center position

 

Buy adopting this scheme we could have three practical exams on the network, as described above:

 

S1 => S3 = Tower exam

S3 => C1 = TMA/APP exam

C1 => C3 = Center exam

 

The step OBS => S1 would then be a first introduction to VATSIM, teaching the very basics of ATC, elementary competencies to be able to go live as a newbie, some VATSIM regulations (how and when to call a SUP) etc. etc.

 

I´m sure we can then find an appropriate naming scheme for these ratings to reflect the level of competency they have earned and demonstrated.

 

VATEUD has filed this as a request for revision of the EC Global Ratings Policy to the Executive Committee on July 3rd, 2007, and we hope that such a proposal will find acceptance not only across the members of the EC, but generally on VATSIM.

 

 

Thanks for reading until here, and sorry for the lenghty posting.

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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Roland, Thank you for your comments on this and the link to the proposed policy. After looking it over, I am missing what all the controversy is about. As an ATM, I don't see this policy taking anything important away from me, it simply gives me a policy to comply with that should be very simple to implement. Changes to my current ratings and training policy will be minimal at best. For ARTCC's with major airports in thier airspace such as KORD, KLAX, and my own KMCO, thier are provisions for allowing us to require additional training prior to turning someone loose on the pilots at these facilities. The main purpose of this policy seems to be to ensure that what I require of controllers at ZJX is the same that is required of them at ZTL, etc... Whats wrong with that?

 

As an ATM, and my own opinion, all I have ever asked for from VATUSA, VATNA and VATSIM is that they provide me with thier policies in a timely manner and communicate with me what thier intentions and requirements are. That has been my only problem with this policy, no communication. Unless I missed something, your link above is the first time I have seen the new policy, and if I did miss it, my apologies. As in the real world, I try my best to do whatever the bosses dictate to the best of my ability. If I have a problem with a policy, I will voice my concerns for any changes. There are policies that I must follow that I personally do not agree with, but I follow them until there are official changes. Thats my job as an ATM. If I can't do that, then I will resign and let someone else handle it, but as you can see, I am still here,

 

Again, my main concern is to have the courtesy to be officially kept informed of new policies that will effect the controllers that I am supposed to be looking out for. I don't create policies at ZJX without first getting feedback from those that it will effect, and using that feedback to improve the new policies. I think that consideration, is what what all of us would like to recieve from the BOG and EC. Back to the new policy, I personally see no problem with it, or where it is taking anything away from what I do as an ATM. Just would really like for the BOG and the EC to consider that we too are a part of VATSIM and would like to see a better level of communication with us. Not too much to hope for.

 

Greg Sumner, ATM

ZJX-ARTCC

VATUSA

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Thanks once again Roland for the great explanation. The link you provided was very informative, and I'm especially happy to see that a student would be able to control at "minor" airports if more training is required before stepping up to major facilities and traffic. Having been through this, the ability to jump in and spend some time learning and practicing online will both increase the availability of ATC, but also let the student feel that he or she is actually controlling an area and providing a service to the VATSIM pilots.

 

Once again, I support and applaud your efforts, and think that this is a project well worth whatever effort is required (and I'm sure there will be many 'growing pains'!)

 

John Chambers

ZAN C1

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I have no problem with following vatsim's policies. ONCE vatsim figures out what they will be that is. Just tell me what is expected and STICK to it. Putting a student on a position not as complicated is great. BUT there is still work required by the student. IF one is going to call themselves a controller, even in a "game", to do it correctly requires effort on the student to learn some things to be able to do it. The phraseology is one part of this. For anyone wanting to control there is effort due on their part. Something for nothing is not going to cut it. IMHO the majority of the pilots who fly with us expect it. Otherwise, you might as well just use the built in atc of Flignt Simulator.

 

Alan Hensley

ZME Training Administrator

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Let´s just shift up all career steps by one rating level!

S1 = introduced to the basics of VATSIM ATC (software, regulations, elementary TWR/GND controlling necessary to go live for the first time)

S3 = trained and examined on Tower position

C1 = trained and examined on Approach position

C3 = trained and examined on Center position

 

VATEUD has filed this as a request for revision of the EC Global Ratings Policy to the Executive Committee on July 3rd, 2007, and we hope that such a proposal will find acceptance not only across the members of the EC, but generally on VATSIM.

Since no one else has commented on this yet, I will hop in and give my enthusiastic agreement with this proposal. I think that this is how the controller positions within VATSIM should be setup.

 

In my opinion, and for the same reasons that Martin listed in his post, it doesn't make sense for S1's to just hop right into tower. I think that S1 should be where the foundation is laid for learning to be an ATC.

 

Martin, please keep us informed of the response from the EC if they do not keep us informed themselves. Hopefully they will see the wisdom of implementing this change.

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