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My understanding of someone being competent is not only when he is able to correctly reproduce some theoretical stuff, he competent when he´s able to apply his knowledge in practice in an appropriate way. Speking specifically of tower this includes such things like maintaning a flow of traffic, putting tasks in proper sequence, reacting to unforeseen situations. That´s all stuff you need to learn through practicing, and it can´t be checked before.

I agree. I can show you ways that these skills can be checked with an OBS practicing before the S1 rating is issued. To issue a controller rating before this is done, as your model suggests, makes S1 a "non-rating". Just exactly what do you tell your S1 when you hand them the rating?

 

Roland, the ideas you are propagating are like the process of styding on an university: You need to p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] an entry exam to be allowed to study. But your diploma is handed out to you afterwards. No one would suggest the idea to give out the diplomas based on the entry test .

I agree; and it is the same in the ATC rating scheme. The rating is awarded AFTER competency has been demonstrated and not before.

 

The result of this will be that people will have less trust in our ratings, because the rating will not tell them that the member has proven his practical ability. The rating itself in longer terms will degrade to some kind of "entry ticket". IMHO that´s a bad development.

It is NOT an entry ticket but rather an EXIT ticket; being awarded on exit after successfully completing competency-based training.

 

BTW, the new rating scheme still provides opportunity to have the kind of further [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment that you wish to apply Martin, so I'm not really sure why you are making all of this bruhaha!

 

Roland

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To issue a controller rating before this is done, as your model suggests, makes S1 a "non-rating". Just exactly what do you tell your S1 when you hand them the rating?

 

That he´s in training - and that his training is now live on the network.

 

BTW Roland - how many trainees did you train during the last years? And when did you train your last trainee?

 

I agree; and it is the same in the ATC rating scheme. The rating is awarded AFTER competency has been demonstrated and not before.

 

Phew ... once more: To demonstrate competency, you need knowledge and practice. We are not doing theoretical stuff, we are doing practical work here. It may be that you know everything about controlling, and that you can recitate all training material fluently with closed eyes. But all this says nothing about your controlling. To know that you are competent in controlling, you ned to control. Otherwise it´s like the blind talking about colours.

 

BTW, the new rating scheme still provides opportunity to have the kind of further [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment that you wish to apply Martin, so I'm not really sure why you are making all of this bruhaha!

 

Because we need 3 advancement steps, and that scheme only has two left after the entry.

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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I can show you ways that these skills can be checked with an OBS practicing before the S1 rating is issued.

 

Roland,

 

Could you elaborate on this?

I would like to know how we can have an OBS prove that they can edit a flight plan. And written tests won't cut it because I can look in the manual and find the answer then forget it just as fast.

 

 

Phraseology is easy they could log on and go over it with an INS on text or something but how do they demonstrate mastery of the client?

Andrew Rogers

Senior Controller -HCF

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I have to second Bryan's posting from the previous page:

If weeks are going by, that ATM should be replaced. Understood we are all volunteers and all have lives, but weeks to answer an e-mail? Come on. So because of these few ATM's and their training staffs who take weeks to respond to people, why punish everybody? Single them out, and let people control in their ARTCC's without any sort of training until they can get their act together. I'm willing to bet you would see changes real fast.

Just because some trainees have to wait forever to get their training done, so many other VACCs/ARTCCs have to change their system and have complete novices on their TWR-positions, creating a lot of chaos? I don't think that we should accept this, we are making a step backwards. A step forward would have been creating regional ATC-training centers for those VACCs/ARTCCs that do not have the resources to train their new members in time. Someday they even these VACCs/ARTCCs will have sufficient instructors/mentors to tae care of their local training, this would have been a great way to help people.

 

The new policy shows just disrespect towards reliable and well-grown training systems, our ratings get degraded. Is this really what you want?

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From what I've noticed as the previous ATM of the ZAU ARTCC, the individuals leading this network seem to prefer the concept of quantity over quality. This is a problem for many because when you decide to take on this concept, any level of organization goes right out the window without appropriate training for the m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es of new people joining the network wishing to control.

 

Right now, each facility has its own local training requirements, and when you attempt to step in and "standardize" everyone, it simply will not work because each facility is unique and has its own way of running things as they see fit to most efficiently run their sectors, while maintaining the quality.

 

To me, this is the point of having an air traffic manager for each facility - so they may work their sectors as they see fit. However, with this concept that is being adopted of quantity over quality, isn’t it defeating the purpose of having any local management in place? Especially considering the entire (VATSIM) world is about to be put on the same “standardizedâ€

Andrew James Doubleday | Twitch Stream: Ground_Point_Niner

University of North Dakota | FAA Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) GraduateGPN_Horizontal_-_Tertiary.thumb.png.9d7edc4d985ab7ed1dc60b92a5dfa85c.png

 

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From what I understand, VATSIM has been concerned about new members wanting to join as ATC are dropping out due to excessive wait time to get training to begin. I agree 100%, as just as if a new RW potential student pilot called up his local FBO to schedule an "Intro-Flight" and was told "maybe sometime next month", that would probably be the last time he/she ever called that establishment again.

 

From what I can see the real bottle-neck is the 'new controller'. I will focus my discussion on the brand new 'S1' controller. So VATSIM has accepted the "Global Rating Policy" and beginning the first day of 2008, will ease new controllers to 'plug-in' to any "MINOR" tower position "fully certified" without any restrictions from the local ARTCC/FIR, on [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essing their knowledge of local procedures, taking/p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing written tests, practical training (read with a mentor/instructor to help), or OTS tests.

 

In my previous post, I mentioned what we at ZLA see all the time;

 

1) The controller has issues/questions with ASRC/VRC as to why they can't do something.

2) Other minor technical issues with using the sector files, alias files, and POF files, visibility ranges, primary frequencies, etc.

3) Correct phraseology, as this is a BIG ISSUE, I'm not talking about saying "FIFE" instead of "five", the fact that the 7110.65 just goes out the window, and it becomes "whatever, take off if you want okay?".

 

I'm not sure how you guys plan to fix this with the new contoller logging on as an 'OBS' will make.

 

We (as most all ARTCC/FIR's) try to teach our new controllers the correct methods from day one (law of Primacy) as it makes the students learning curve a little bit shorter. If a new 'S1' starts at a Minor tower somewhere in the land of OZ, has fun telling his buddy's "10-4" for 6 months, and then decides he's tired of working at Minor airports, consider the ramifications to; 1) the minor airport he's been working; 2) the pilots acceptance or reluctance to ever return there, be it a normal day or a major event; 3) The work the mentor/instructor has to do to "unlearn" the bad habits. I've seen this problem as a RW CFMEII, and believe me, it does add up to alot more hours.

 

As I have to say I'm still with Martin on this one, Andreas read my mind (or vice-versa);

 

Just because some trainees have to wait forever to get their training done, so many other VACCs/ARTCCs have to change their system and have complete novices on their TWR-positions, creating a lot of chaos? I don't think that we should accept this, we are making a step backwards. A step forward would have been creating regional ATC-training centers for those VACCs/ARTCCs that do not have the resources to train their new members in time. Someday they even these VACCs/ARTCCs will have sufficient instructors/mentors to take care of their local training, this would have been a great way to help people.

 

This is where I think we can consider either at the RD or DD level, either the MAJOR airports that can be approved are a function of; 1) The current local (active) roster based on the current (active mentors/instructors) AND the current mentor/instructor activity with new (and current) students progressively moving up the latter, and the most important element, THEIR LEARNING A NEW SKILL AND HAVING FUN!!!!!!

 

I Hope the BoG as well as the EC consider this. Just to give an example (using ZLA's stats) we have 125 controllers on our roster, and since February, we have provided 520 hours of instruction to 360 sessions, averaging 104 hours of instruction per month with 72 average sessions. I know the "Global" the BoG and EC is talking about, as some 'local' facilities cannot provide the instruction afforded by the larger ARTCC/FIR's, and hence this policy makes sense, as to allow someone to get some time online, and of course people are going to think before moving to an area that has minimal traffic, after all what fun is that?

 

This is just my opinion and is in no way indicative of our internal FAB at ZLA, but as others have mentioned, if not deployed carefully would just result in new controllers running (traffic chasing) to busy established centers (even if the Minor) airports, and BYP[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ING any real meaningful training to help them up the ladder without getting frustrated?

 

Of course, the positive note is perhaps a few individuals plug-in, like what their doing and want to pursue the local (sometimes rigours) training to get as Roland states "an Endorsement" for the Majors. Now from a software engineers standpoint, this will be a challenge for us webmasters to be able to track these 'endorsements' as everyone and his brother is now a S1 (which is subject to a different thread).

 

Thanks Ladies and Gentlemen,

Gerry Hattendorf

ZLA Webmaster

VATSIM Supervisor

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Can a division have a policy that is MORE restrictive then VATSIM, EC, or VATNA?

 

1) If the answer is yes, then that creates its own issue. Which policies are going to be allowed to be more restrictive, and why those?

 

2) If the answer is no, then how can a division write an "intra-division" policy.

 

I am asking because, visiting controllers are, dare I say clearly defined as...

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Jason,

 

I believe that Roland covered this earlier. I think I speak for many in VATUSA when I say that we were all confused about the definition of Visting controller.

 

I also [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umed the same thing you did. A guy going from ZLA to CZVR was a visitor but KZLA to KZAU was not.

 

As far as I'm concerned he handled that issue by stating VATUSA can choose to subdivide its division such that the ARTCC's were considered "mini divisions" and thus someone from KZLA who wanted to work KZAU fell under the visiting controller policy.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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Can a division have a policy that is MORE restrictive then VATSIM, EC, or VATNA?

 

1) If the answer is yes, then that creates its own issue. Which policies are going to be allowed to be more restrictive, and why those?

 

2) If the answer is no, then how can a division write an "intra-division" policy.

 

I am asking because, visiting controllers are, dare I say clearly defined as...

A â€

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Ian, Stephan,

 

Thanks, I actually did see those posts earlier.

 

So let me see if I have gleaned any more clarity...

 

Local, is local (ARTCC/FIR. etc), except when it isn't.

Division, is division (VATUSA, VATCAN, etc) except when it's not.

Regional is Regional (VATNA), pretty much all the time.

Global is global (VATSIM, EC), except when the divisions are subdivided.

 

Do I have this understood correctly?

 

Seriously, no poking fun here at all, is it really a surprise that so much confusion exists? A little clarity goes a long way, but what takes me the rest of the way is CONSISTENCY.

 

We keep comparing to real life, but we can't have real life on VATSIM. How long does it take to get certified as a controller in real life. Can a real life control visit other facilities?

 

We need to stop comparing to real life, and start working on VATSIM. One can not use real life to describe a simulation where controllers are not necessarily real life controllers controlling pilots who may have never had any training whatsoever, let alone instrument training.

 

Thanks,

Jason Vodnansky

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Not intentionally trying to pick a fight btw, but why ask if you knew the answer?

 

Even though the terminology might not always be clear, Roland's quote was clear. You cannot argue against the policy on the basis of semantics. Try it, and see how far it gets you.

 

It's the spirit and intent that currently matters, not the technical phrasing, which can be fixed over time.

 

I anticipate that we will continue to hear inconsistency because fixing and re-aligning VATSIM policy is the main focus for the moment. I believe that "seemingly contradictory" terminology will be dealt with later when this current wave of policies is finally sorted out.

 

 

Btw, I don't think I've made any comparisons to real-life in this thread, so I'll [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that last part was addressed to others.

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I'd like to clear up something about visiting controllers.

 

Although visiting controllers is a related matter, it is really quite separate from global standards for ATC. Discussing the two together is only adding confusion and I regret being drawn into that. I will not continue that and prefer to keep them separate.

 

The problem of intra-division vs inter-division visiting has always been there for any division that sub-divides and wants to establish intra-division visiting rules. VATUSA and VATEUD did that several years ago so it is not a new issue.

 

VATUSA and VATEUD have been quite merrily coping with it for several years and NOW they have a proper definition of a visiting controller coming from another division. This was no big revelation since that part was already well understood.

 

In talking about the new EC Global policy for visiting controllers I have said that intra-division policy should be no more restrictive. Less restrictive is OK. I likened it to state law and city law having to operate within federal law.

 

Jason, I previously explained that matters are either “globalâ€

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To get back on the subject of controllers starting out. As Roland says "I'm not really sure why you are making all of this bruhaha!" As far as I can see based on what Roland has said, the GRP is extremely close to what is happening in the UK already and sucessfully.

 

Roland wrote:

An S1 signed off by ZLA will be able to open up at any minor location in ZLA without a further competency check since ZLA is their home facility.

 

 

Andreas wrote:

Just because some trainees have to wait forever to get their training done, so many other VACCs/ARTCCs have to change their system and have complete novices on their TWR-positions, creating a lot of chaos?

 

These two seem to be out of step. My impression is the intention is that a division can be inline with the GRP and have S1s signed off before controlling even at minor facilities. It could (being less restrictive) not require this. So how could there be complete novices on TWR if you are allowed to require all new S1s be signed off for TWR. At the end of a period of further training and mentoring on TWR, a practical TWR exam is conducted getting a S3 rating. The process starts again some basic training on APP is done (even at minor) they are signed off for solo APP. Whats so difficult about this? Have a look at the UK system.

Vince Horan

UK DCRM, VATSIM Supervisor, Snr Controller

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That seems to be one of the main points that needs to be clarified: does "signed off" mean someone who signed of as S1 after he p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed the theoretical test without any further education possible/necessary, or does it mean someone who became S1 and was signed off by the local mentors afterwards after doing some training with the mentor?

 

Signed off as TWR or signed off as a S1? There seem to be different understandings about that ...

Stephan Boerner

VATEUD - ATC Training Director

EuroScope Board of Designers | GVCCS Beta Tester

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Signed off as TWR or signed off as a S1? There seem to be different understandings about that ...

That’s right Stephen; that's because in the current situation there is no common scheme for what was done to get an S1 rating.

 

S1 is the first controller rating and here is how I have seen it used in various divisions:

  • 1. Given out on request with no [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment whatsoever.
    2. Awarded to a person who has completed an on-line ‘tick-a-box’ test.
    3. As above, but not allowed to control on their own.
    4. Awarded to a person who has been properly [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essed as GND
    5. Awarded to a person who has been properly [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essed as TWR

You can see why there was need to change all of that and have something more consistent and more reliable.

 

The new rating scheme sets out to do that by bringing everyone UP to a common standard (5), so that S1 has a common global meaning.

 

There is absolutely no intention of ‘dumbing' it or any other rating down.

 

The first step has been to align S1 to the Air Traffic Service known as Local Controller (TWR).

 

The next step has been to identify all of the proper knowledge and skills a Local Controller needs in order to do their job.

 

Having done that, the next step is to put a person through a series of [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essments that will make sure that he or she has the proper knowledge and skill to do the job of a Local Controller.

 

In the new scheme, successful completion of ALL of that is when a person gets signed off as S1.

 

You can see that in the new scheme S1 will have a very specific global meaning in terms of what a person is able to do. The same will apply to:

S3=TMA Controller

C1=Enroute Controller

 

This change is long overdue!

 

Roland

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Roland,

 

Perhaps I am being a bit dense, but how can a person who is not yet an S1 train to get tower certified when he can't even log into the network and legally control a single aircraft?

 

The pilot/obs rating is great for seeing how things are done, but does nothing for actually allowing the person to get hands on training. I don't even think a Pilot/Obs rating will even allow someone to log into sweatbox to train!

 

Where am I going wrong? What am I missing?

 

To me, again, it seems completely appropriate to follow this progression...

 

S1-Student/trainee, not allowed to control without direct mentor/instructor support.

S3-Tower Certified, awarded upon completion of trainining/certification.

C1-Approach Certified, awarded upon completion of training/certification.

C3-Center Certified, awarded upon completion of training/certification.

 

I really fail to see how anyone can go from a Pilot/OBS to S1 and be already fully trained in tower procedures without even a second of hands on/on the job training.

Fly Safe! Have Fun!

Craig Moulton

 

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Ok, You just answered the question without answering it

 

The question is: are we oblegated to let someone control without having him ever seen proving his abilities in a training with a mentor, or will it still be allowed to sign off Students for positions after one, or if necessary more than one, training with a mentor, regardless weather we're talking of so called "major" airports or not? Is a STU automatically by rating allowed to control every "minor" TWR he wants to?

 

That's a question I have not yet been able to answer for myself.

Stephan Boerner

VATEUD - ATC Training Director

EuroScope Board of Designers | GVCCS Beta Tester

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Craig, your version sounds too restrictive.

 

Roland, the more I see you write about this, the more I believe it is alignment with the UK scheme.

 

The S1 is applied on p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing the OBS>STU entry exam, but you cannot control until you have had a mentoring session covering the basics. Depending on the airfield and the calibre of the candidate, initial sessions may be DEL or GND only (and if applicable as not all airfields have these positions). Once signed off, the S1 can control TWR at that minor airfield (UK's major's are EGLL, EGKK and EGCC where S1s cannot control at all currently). This scheme works and I am not sure why others are having a problem with this.

Vince Horan

UK DCRM, VATSIM Supervisor, Snr Controller

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WOW - What a mouthful to read.

 

I'm sure it may have been discussed already - and if so, if someone would be so kind to tell me which of these pages it was on.

 

But, to me, it appears simply as another tactic to increase controller membership. While, sacrificing quality of controlling.

 

I don't think I'm the first to say it, but what a disappointment that would be.

CMEL.CSEL.IA.AGI.CFI.CFII.MEI.CRJ2.FO.Furloughed

Part of the Acey 80

 

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How is my version too restrictive? As I read it now you can't control as a Pilot/Obs, but once you p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] your training you are Tower Certified. The only difference is that as a Pilot/Obs, you CAN NOT CONTROL at all, and would not be able to learn a lot of the necessary tools needed in the controller client software.

 

I'm not adovcating that you would need to be a Trainee for 10 hours of mentoring or instructing, but you'd at least need to be taught the basics and show that you understand the concepts needed to successfully work a "minor" tower. I could see that the S1 would be a SHORT stepping stone to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure that the individual could act on his own and not get stumped on how to ammend a flight plan, how to tag the departure (scratch pad), how to retrieve weather, or how to communicate with someone working "above" him. Once that was done, they would then be "Certified" as a Tower Controller (S3), and able to work minor towers unsupervised until they are able to get any local endorsements for "major" airports.

 

So please let me know how this plan would be too restrictive? Wouldn't it be a good thing to ensure that the individual at least knows the bare necessities before being released on an unsuspecting community?

Fly Safe! Have Fun!

Craig Moulton

 

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Roland,

Perhaps I am being a bit dense, but how can a person who is not yet an S1 train to get tower certified when he can't even log into the network and legally control a single aircraft?

That's the problem Craig, everyone seems way too fixated on the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essee doing the controlling and not properly focused on the knowledge and skill that a Local Controller needs.

 

I agree that there should be a practical component, but I disagree that is absolutely necessary to issue an S1 rating in order to carry out that phase of the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment. That's largely what caused so much variation in the past.

 

The Controller Role

The role of a controller is essentially to observe the screen, interpret the display, apply knowledge, [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ess data/information, make judgements/decisions and take appropriate action. That's about it in a nutshell.

 

If an OBS has; studied all of the training material and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed the written test (theory) and;

Carried out the required observations ([Mod - Happy Thoughts]ignment) then;

At that point the OBS is ready for an interactive on-line session with an [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor (practical).

 

During the interactive on-line session the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor is able to require the OBS to:

  • Answer questions in relation to critical items on the written test to ensure he or she has a sound understanding.
    Determine which adjacent controllers are present.
    Obtain WX and decode the METAR.
    Select the duty runway and create the ATIS using ‘test’ WX.
    Select aircraft to view and decode the radar tag.
    Select aircraft to view and decode the flight strip.
    Evaluate the flight plan and routing in relation to standards.
    Detail the coordination required.
    Detail the role priorities.
    Point out items that require special attention.
    Observe the screen and make comment, judgement or decision in relation to the traffic.

The following instructions can be given to the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor and do not require a specific target; but it is good to use one if it is suitable. For example, the OBS can look at a target flight plan and give the clearance to the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor; even if the aircraft has already departed.

  • Issue a clearance and departure instruction based on a submitted flight plan.
    Issue a taxi instruction including a crossing instructions where required.
    Issue a takeoff instruction including wind information where required.
    Issue a landing instruction including wind information where required.
    Issue a circuit/pattern joining instructions including sequence information where required.

The advantages of this method are:

  • The standards are detailed in the resource material and adhered to throughout.
    It is self-paced and puts the OBS more in control of their own progress.
    Clever theory tests, not just 'tick-a-box', can cover many of the items.
    It pre-screens applicants before they reach the on-line [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment.
    The on-line [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment component may be only a single brief session.
    The on-line [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment does not have to be completely synchronized with the traffic movement.
    The on-line [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment is not dependent on the required scenario being present in the live traffic situation.
    The [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor can make use of the live traffic as and when it suits the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment.
    The [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor and the OBS are free to focus on the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment.
    The [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor is more in control of the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment.
    The [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essor has greater flexibility when covering all required tasks before signoff.
    All [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment items can be covered.
    It provides better opportunity for feedback; especially where there are deficiencies to be rectified.
    It is very efficient

As I mentioned before, there are a couple of things, such as altering the flight data, that cannot be done by an OBS but these are minor and can be taught and the knowledge [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essed by questions during the practical session.

 

Where a division implements location grading, I expect that in most cases the following will satisfy their needs:

 

Local Controller (S1); minor then major

TMA Controller (S3); no location grading necessary

Enroute Controller (C1); no location grading necessary

 

Some division may have reason to vary this. I know that some will not implement any location grading whatsoever.

 

An S1 is initially issued for a minor location, and thereafter the options and capabilities of the new scheme to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ess an S1 are exactly the same as some have been doing in the past; having the S1 control, OTS etc.

 

This method does work and has been proven in a number of places over a considerable period of time.

 

 

Roland

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The S1 is applied on p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing the OBS>STU entry exam, but you cannot control until you have had a mentoring session covering the basics. Depending on the airfield and the calibre of the candidate, initial sessions may be DEL or GND only (and if applicable as not all airfields have these positions). Once signed off, the S1 can control TWR at that minor airfield (UK's major's are EGLL, EGKK and EGCC where S1s cannot control at all currently). This scheme works and I am not sure why others are having a problem with this.

 

Vince - I doubt many of us have a problem with what you are describing since this is exactly the way many of us do it now.

 

Well - I should speak for my "home" facility. This is pretty much exactly the way we do it at ZLA now. I know it works great for us and it sounds like it works great for you.

 

I have to say Roland - I appreciate all of the responses you have been making, but I'm 10 times more confused than I was when the thread started. I still don't understand what restrictions we can or can't place on a visiting controller who is inter or intra or an S1 who just p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed an exam.

 

Please don't make another long post with 15 quotes in it - I honestly think that although the intent is genuine, you are merely confusing us more.

 

I'd like to see an implementation guide put together that has CLEAR EXAMPLES AND DEFINITIONS.

 

The discussion has been interesting and I'm happy to say somewhat productive without our usual cat calls, but perhaps it's time for some more meat.

 

Again, to reiterate - we're still confused as heck.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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That's the problem Craig, everyone seems way too fixated on the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essee doing the controlling and not properly focused on the knowledge and skill that a Local Controller needs.

 

Well, maybe that originates from the fact that we are doing controlling here - and not a seminar on ATC tactics?

 

I agree that there should be a practical component, but I disagree that is absolutely necessary to issue an S1 rating in order to carry out that phase of the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment. That's largely what caused so much variation in the past.

 

Well - even if that may have caused the variation, then there would have been much more appropriate ways to achieve a change. Essentially the whole conflct boils down to a substantially different opinion on what a rating should represent.

 

The model Roland is favoring decribes a rating as a collection of knowledge that should be applied. He thinks that it is sufficient to have someone studying theoretical material, and interrogate him about the subject. He want´s to check theoretical and vocal knowledge. He ´s not interested in judging practical ability under realistic working situations. Within this description, the EC Policy is a logically correct construction.

 

IMHO the problem with this model is that it doesn´t really target what we are doing. We are not interested in having someone with just a broad theoretical knowledge of ATC. Theoretical knowledge is fine, but it´s not usable by itself, it has to be applied in practice. It´s nice to listen to someone telling me how he would handle aircraft on the ground, edit flightstrips or set up a voice ATIS - but it´s not what makes him a certified tower controller. We don´t want to judge theoretical knowledge, we want to rate practical abilities. Abilities, based on theoretical knowledge, enriched with experience, and applied in practice.

 

Answering questions to an [Mod - Happy Thoughts]esor in the sterile environment of an OBS session is one thing, act upon real traffic on VATSIM is something completely different. Now other factors will come into account: Stuff happeneing on the ATC channel, live traffic situations, such as people with a foreign accent or hard-to-understand voice, Personal ressource management, yes even personal stress management, may be of importance.

In summary, a rating should represent that the member has successfully demonstrated it´s ability to cope with traffic like it is happening of the VATSIM network. That´s what is of interest for others.

 

The EC policy also fails to bring the VATSIM mission statement being a "learning environment" into life. The model most of us favor brings a new member onto the network, so he can start learning from practice - with of without the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance of other members (mentors). This is the true meaning of a learning environment. And if we have one rating depicting this learning process - why not? There´s nothing wrong about learning. It´s wrong to negate the fact of learning instead.

The EC policy puts the learners outside the network, into sterile training environments like Sweatbox, or the anonymity of OBS sessions. This cannot be our intention. Learning must happen live where the real situations will happen. Tools like Sweatbox can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist in training, but they can never replace the real thing.

 

If the EC policy would come into force, our ratings would not longer represent what we are capable of: Our capabilities in controlling. They would just represent the elementary knowledge to start controlling, not the controlling itself. And that would be a big loss in the long term.

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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I agree that there should be a practical component, but I disagree that is absolutely necessary to issue an S1 rating in order to carry out that phase of the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment. [rest of post snipped]

 

Roland,

 

Based on your post at 24 Jul 2007 09:31 MST, I'm lead to believe the following:

 

1) We can apply local competency tests to new controllers.

 

2) These local competency tests should be applied BEFORE the new controllers have reached the S1 rating.

 

I'm 100% in for trying to make this work - however if "local" competency can (and will) be checked on the controller BEFORE they are an S1 (ie while they are OBS) this means that the controllers will have to "[Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned" to a facility for training BEFORE they become an S1.

 

I'd love the opportunity to train someone BEFORE they gain their S1 rating, however I think that this will absolutely muddle up any attempts you have to STANDARDIZE the ratings. I think most would agree that in the end, getting your S1 at ZZZZ will be easier than getting it at YYYY. In fact at ZZZZ you may have to complete a number of written and practical tests, while at YYYY you may have no further requirements aside from an email address and a steady heartbeat.

 

I also foresee training at the OBS level as potentially a waste of our already strained training resources. At least with the current system the member has to show SOME level of self study by making it past the S1 written examination issued by the various divisions. It is only AFTER this point that they are [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to a division, region, or wherever and placed in queue for training.

 

In this new system, a person simply joins a facility and says "ok train me". Then training resources have to spend time with that person. With the current system - even though people have to output minimal effort to gain the S1 rating, we STILL see close to 25-50% of the people arriving at their facilities with next to no interest in putting out any of the effort required. This already wastes enough of our training resources - this new proposal will waste them even more.

 

I understand that one of the goals here is to make it simpler for me people to be involed in the ATC side of Vatsim. However I think all we are going to end up doing is having LESS people controlling since there our current training resources will be stretched even thinner than they are - and their frustration levels will go through the roof.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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