Pilot Discussion With a Global Perspective
By Kyle Ramsey 810181
#364881 VATSIM Pilot Rating Program Opens for Live Beta

Well, its been a long road and not always what we anticipated, but it is now time to start in earnest creating the platform upon which VATSIM Pilot Ratings can be issued by Authorized Training Organizations (ATOs).

Below is a download for the beta testing that lists the requirements to become an ATO and the requirements for the P1 - VATSIM Pilot rating, the platform we will use to beta test the whole structure. Work on the next ratings will start in July in the design team forum so we are able to offer those ratings soon after the beta concludes.

As of now all VATSIM members have the rating P0- No Rating listed in their CERT record. The display of these ratings will be added to the more public displays (like your stats) soon but right now admins, staff, and SUPs can see them. New ratings can be issued by ATOs using a VATSIM web interface still under construction but we have some capacity to manually issue ratings now on a limited scale.

We are seeking organizations like VAs, ATC Divisions and local facilities, or stand alone training providers who already have excellent pilot training programs to become ATOs in this beta. We will also be interested in talking to those who don't yet have a program but are motivated and resourced to build one. We are also specifically looking for ATOs who can specialize in providing services to existing veteran VATSIM members who already have the skills and knowledge outlined in the document for P1 in a fast track fashion. One conversation I had with a regional staff member we talked about divisions setting up events around certifying veteran pilots and have them fly a 30-45 min flight set up to test these skills, and perhaps some PM pop quiz questions in cruise. VAs can offer ratings to only members of their VA or more broadly to others outside of their VA. ATOs are also not restricted from adding additional material to their program if they think it necessary as long as they meet the documented minimums. ATO key staff will also be added to the Pilot Training design team forum so they can see all the conversations that brought us to this point and they will also be encouraged to help work on future ratings.

Lastly this is a beta and we expect feedback from those participating to help up change the document as it exists today in order to allow for the desired flexibility in how ATOs deliver contant. If you think your organization is missing parts of the requirements, please engage in conversation with us to find ways to make it work and also thus modifying the requirements documents for final release. We expect to learn from this beta and adjust to what makes sense without overburdening VATSIM or ATO with paperwork and pilots with rerquirements that don't add value to the intent of the ratings.

ATOs will have a separate listing in the Links Manager (VA Partner) system so interested pilots can contact them easily. We would move to an internal listing system eventually.

http://h1.ripway.com/getstill/VATSIM_Pi ... m_Beta.doc or email me for this document if the download has a problem. (recommend saving the link as ...)

Briefly, for ATOs, you first apply to be an ATO using the template in the document. Once you are an ATO you make application for being able to issue P1 ratings also using the template in the document.

For pilots, watch for ATOs opening in the next month or so to see if their program meets your needs. We will want pilots going through ATO programs to provide some feedback on the system as a part of gaining their rating under the beta. Any rating issued during the beta period will be forever valid in VATSIM.

And, pilot ratings will never be mandatory for anyone.

Thanks to the help provided by the people below in creating the VATSIM Pilot Rating Program to this stage. The conversations have been tough but they have driven us to a place where VATSIM will be able to offer pilot ratings to interested pilots that is representative of their skills as well as open a lot of space for training providers to break new ground in how they deliver ratings and in what languages these ratings can be given; this is good for pilots, good for training organizations, and good for VATSIM. I specifically want to thank Alex Bailey who during his time assisting me was a wonderful driving force to meet milestones and press for ever more creative solutions.

Pilot Ratings Design Team Members

Mike Bevington – The original architect of VATSIM Pilot Training
Keith Smith – Advanced the game in defining the ATO system

Alex Bailey
Luke Kolin
Peter Dodds
Joe Clark
Richard Gerrish
Harold Rutila
Alistair Thompson
Ed Tomlinson
Arjun Murthy
Matthew Cianfarani
Jeff Thomas
Steve Cullen
Frank Plummer
Norman Blackburn
David Acetta
Peter Grey
Callum McLaughlin
Thomas Mathieu
Ernesto Alvarez
By Ian Elchitz 810151
#364915 Hats off to all the people who actually contributed to this!!

The silent majority here are realistic and don't expect it to be perfect out of the gate. Let's ease it in and make whatever adjustments are needed.

In all honesty - thanks for all the hard work.
By Wycliffe Barrett 895867
#364955 Well done all in bringing to light this innovative development for VATSIM.net

It is never easy introducing new startegies globally but this one looks finally to becoming to fuition.


By Bernard Tremblay 1018262
#366234 I just exported this as PDF. (I'm no fan of things M$.)
I can upload it to my site if you want to grab a copy.

Also, I figured I'd create an HTML version. (The formatting is consistent so it should be easy to transform this TXT version.)

thanks for this!
By Pavel Brodsky 982568
#366475 Hello from Czech republic. Thank you for such a great idea - i think that this is one of best ideas of vatsim. It will make our flying much more realistic for pilots, but also for VAs. Me and my friends from VAs and our vACC are considering to establish our own ATO. But we see one little thing not so good - pilot requirements.

I think, that your knowledge requirements are not balanced. You want pilots to study only a little bit about reading maps. You want pilots to know only basics about navigation. You ask ATOs to learn pilots basics of communications. But you define extremely advanced knowledge of law. Please, do NOT kill such a great idea of ATOs by forcing pilots to study LAW. Ask pilots to know the basics of vatsim. Basics. Do NOT let current state of P1 requirements be.

Let me express my meaning: why pilots come to vatsim? Because they want to fly. They don't want to study to much, but they want to enjoy flying planes. I absolutely agree with requirements about "flying knowledge" - I mean navigation, communication, reading charts, and so. But i definitely don't agree with such a enormous requirements about "vatsim law". I understand, that pilots have to know some basics about vatsim, but as soon as I saw the list of "vatsim law knoweledge" in the ATO Pilot Training Program.doc , I couldnt believe my eyes.

I have been ATC for some years (currently APProach controller in vACC-CZ (http://www.vacc-cz.org)) and a pilot for a long time. I am a training director by Air Prague Airlines (http://www.air-prague.cz) - we have so called "extremely realistic training program", which is based on real ones (certificate of radiophonist, PPL, type certifications for planes, multi engine licences, IR licence for IFR flying, CPL, ATPL frozen, and so). I have enough experience with pilot training in vatsim conditions that I can say, that it is very hard to move a pilot to study e.g. navigation, or flight rules. Vatsim pilots fly vatsim in their free time, so when they finally find some free time, they want spend it on 100%. Sometimes they decide to study, but they want to study things necessary for flying. They are not lawyers to study vatsim law..

Please, reduce the amount of "LAW", or increase the amount of "aviation knowledge - e.g. more advanced reading of charts. MAKE IT BALANCED, or imbalanced with more aviation than law

Thank you for reading this long post, and keep thinking - we are here to fly, not to study law.

I hope I see you all soon in cockpit or behind the radar screen, not in lawyers library :P

Pavel Brodsky
Czech airlines virtual pilot
Air Prague VA training director
By Kyle Ramsey 810181
#366532 Can you be more explicit about what 'law' requirements you speak of? All pilots and ATC are already supposed to read the UA, CoC, and CoR now when they first join; if they don't they do so at their own peril because not being knowledgeable on these documents is no excuse for violating them. So, there really is no change from the P1 requirements and what we have today except with the P1 the ATO will cheack that they read the material. Except for the reading, this requirement should take about 10 minutes of the instructor's and student's time, at the most.

Remember, pilots DO NOT have to ever get a rating.

The P1 rating is suppose to mark a knowedgeable VATSIM pilot, who knows the basics of getting started, filing a flight plan and making a successful flight. Some of that involves knowing the rules of VATSIM and how to get help either real time or offline in the forums and through email.

The P1 only asks ATO to show students about charts and where they can find them, not to teach them to use charts. An ATO may choose to also teach charts as a part of their program but that won't be a VATSIM rating requirement until P2/3

Also remember this is a beta and those who participate are expected to give feedback on the content and we'll make appropriate changes at the end of the beta. So, thank you for these remarks!
By Randy Tyndall 1087023
#366593 Kyle,

A question please if you don't mind. I belong to two VAs, neither of which has indicated they intend to apply for ATO status under the Beta Testing Stage of the VATSIM Pilot Rating System. Is there any way for just a regular old VATSIM pilot to be a part of this program during the Beta Stage or do we have to wait?

Second question if I may, once the Beta Stage is over and regular testing does begin, how will those of us who don't have a VA with ATO status and those who simply don't belong to any VA become rated under this new program? Are these the "separate links" you refer to in your initial post?

I apologize if this is not the correct place to ask these questions and also if these questions have been answered elsewhere already.

Thank you
By Luke Kolin 837789
Randy Tyndall 1087023 wrote:Is there any way for just a regular old VATSIM pilot to be a part of this program during the Beta Stage or do we have to wait?

The beta stage as I understand it is for ATOs to practice offering the rating to individuals. I don't see anything that prevents you as an individual VATSIM member from taking a course offered by those ATOs. While the majority of organizations indicating an interest in becoming ATOs are virtual airlines and planning on offering the rating to their members, I think that some other organizations (ZLA comes to mind) that are not VAs will be also certified.

I expect that there will be two routes to getting a Pilot Rating - either by becoming a member of a VA that offers training, or working with an ATC facility that does so. Hopefully both routes will be available via the beta period.