✒️ Training Operating Procedures

Student and Mentor policies

Training Policy for Students

Purpose

This document establishes procedures that are to be followed by students training to achieve ATC ratings in VATSIM Scandinavia. This training policy is build on top of VATEUD's Division Training Policy (DTP) and VATSIM's Global Controller Administration Policy (GCAP)

Requirements

All students should be able to converse and provide air traffic control services in English, the internationally accepted official language for air traffic control. The student must also fulfill the requirements described in GCAP and DTP.

The student may only have one training request at the time.

Training Progression

Requesting training

The student should request training from our training management system found on our websites.

Waiting for training

The student will now be placed in the training queue. The time spent in the queue will vary severely depending on mentor availability, training demand, season and other factors. Waiting times are often difficult to predict, and students are kindly asked not to repeatedly contact staff members asking for estimates. They are instead encouraged to study procedures, observe active controllers and in other ways do work that will later benefit their training process.

While waiting for an available mentor or assignment, the student will also receive a training monthly confirmation e-mail. To maintain the place in the queue, the student has to confirm their training interest within two weeks of receiving the e-mail. Failure to confirm will automatically close the training. It is the student's responsibility to check their inbox, spam folders etc. to make sure the confirmation is confirmed. It's also possible to log into the training portal and accept it from there.

Training assignment

Depending on training type, the student will be assigned a mentor or assignment for a training programme. Upon assignment the student is required to establish contact with the mentor or other assigned means within 7 days or the training will be closed without any prior warning.

Practical training

Students are expected to study theory between sessions and always be prepared when showing up for training sessions. Mentors spend considerable amounts of their spare time mentoring students, and an even balance between time spent in practical sessions and time spent on self-studies is expected by the student.

Local procedures

All countries in VATSIM Scandinavia might have local procedures building upon this policy. This policy can not be overwritten, but it may be elaborated and impose additional deadlines or expectations.

It is the student's responsiblity to look through the documents of the FIR you have applied training in for details. By accepting this policy, you accept the local policies as well.

Responsibilities and Expectations

In summary, VATSIM Scandinavia expects the following from students enrolling in ATC Training:

  1. That the students are prepared to commit to training, self-study and availability.
  2. That the students make initial contact with the assigned training programme within 7 days of assignment.
  3. That the students correspond regularly with their mentor or assigned staff.
  4. That the students propose at least one date per two-week period when they are available to train. If availability permits, at least one session per week is a recommended average. If the students fail to propose a date over a two-week period, the students will be marked as inactive and will result in an investigation for the students training eligibility.
  5. That the students understand that the mentors commit their spare time to train others, and:
    • Show up well prepared to all sessions, with any questions either prepared or previously sent to the mentor.
    • Show up on time to all scheduled sessions.
    • Should any unforeseen problem arise, cancel training with as much notice as possible. Repeated late cancellations of training sessions will result in an investigation of the students training eligibility.
  6. That the students notify their mentor if they are absent and are unable to train for more than a two-week period so that the training request can be paused. Pausing the training request is intended for shorter periods for i.e. holidays etc. Pausing the training for longer periods will lead to cancellation of the training request.
  7. That the students understand and respect that if they do not adhere to the rules set by this regluation, their training request will be cancelled.

Sanctions

If the student does not fill the expectations and responsibilities, VATSIM Scandinavia may impose local sanctions described in each FIR's local documents and those described in GCAP and DTP.

Acknowledgements

Training Policy for Mentors

Purpose

To achieve a standard method and approach on training within VATSIM Scandinavia. This policy generally focuses on the responsibilities of the mentor but also general guidelines and tips. Moreover, it is important this document is kept alive, continually evaluated and amended as the training situation is in motion.

The core of the Training Department‘s attitude is to provide the organisation with skilled members, ready and trained, to provide ATC throughout our network. To deliver this, we need to work efficiently and help each other reach this goal.

Training Progression

Student progression towards ATC ratings in VATSIM Scandinavia is described in the policy for students. All mentors are to be fully aware of the steps the student has to undergo to achieve their ratings and do as much as they can to ensure their journey is as smooth as possible.

The mentor shall contact the training assistant or director if a student does not show satisfactory progress after three sessions. Given that the mentor writes good reports as expected, this can be then used to send a progression warning where the student will be given two sessions to show new progress before the case is escalated.

Responsibilities and Expectations

VATSIM Scandinavia expects the following from ATC Mentors.

  1. Mentors refrain from sharing user information or training details with unauthorized individuals, under any circumstances. Violations will be reported to the Data Protection Officer and the board for disciplinary actions and handled according to our Data Protection Policy.
  2. Mentors are prepared to work with different types of individuals and provide the same training quality to everyone.
  3. Mentors are dedicated to teaching and will deliver the training in a professional manner.
  4. Mentors propose at least one date per two-week period to all their students when they can train them. If availability permits, at least one session per week is a recommended average.
  5. Mentors show up prepared for all sessions, with clear goals and objectives for the session to present to the student.
  6. Mentors provide appropriate feedback in a respectful manner and debrief the session in a way that allows the student to reflect upon their own performance and not only direct feedback from the mentors.
  7. Mentors stay current with local and general procedures.
  8. Mentors shall provide their students with detailed, accurate and correct information with reference to official documents, such as AIP, GOP, LOP and LoA.
  9. Mentors understand that they represent the VATSIM Scandinavia Training Department and present themselves in an appropriate manner whilst connected to the VATSIM Network and its affiliated services (forums, Discord etc.).

Standard process of training

In order to provide high quality and effective training, the training process has been standardised and training should follow these standards in all FIRs of VATSIM Scandinavia. However, these standards should be considered more as guidelines rather than strict rules and FIR specific variations can be approved by the Training Director, when deemed necessary. Every mentor should be familiar with the training process and should consult this document before contacting the training staff with questions regarding the next step in the process.

  1. Students apply for training via Control Center (CC) and the system places the student in the queue. The Training Assistant assigns relevant Moodle courses.
  2. Every mentor is responsible for informing the Training Assistant when they are able to take on a new student.
  3. The mentor is responsible for filing training reports after every session, according to The Training Report section of this document.
  4. During the training, the student must comply with the requirements stated in the Student Training Policy. If the student violates the policy, it is the initial mentor’s decision whether it may be excused. If any further violations occur, the Training Assistant and/or Training Director must be consulted before the training is discontinued.

The Training Report

Training Reports are recorded in CC and must be filed within three days of every session unless the mentor and TA have agreed otherwise. Below are tips and guidelines for how the training reports are to be written, the headings correspond to the titles of the text boxes in the CC Training Report.

Well written reports are crucial to be able to escalate lack of progression to training staff, therefore we ask you to use a few minutes to write a report that reflects the feedback. It's not expected to write much, but it should make sense for an external training staff to grasp the difficulties and potential for improvement by solely reading the reports.

Date

The date the session took place.

Position

The position that was worked during the session.

Comments on Session

“This happened” (is to be written objectively)
Example: Most of the traffic was handled per LOP/LOA. BAW779 was given FL200 after departure by Stockholm which led to a conflict for Sweden later on. Traffic misunderstood the met-report as the term RVR was not used.

Areas to Improve

What needs to be done to get closer to the curricula? What can the student and mentor do? This should reflect what is being said in the descriptive part but also what the plan is for the following session.

Example​: The trainee will study the METAR decoding sheets to give the traffic proper information regarding different weather situations at the airport. The trainee should study the agreed levels between Stockholm and Sweden carefully. Mentor will give an oral progress check next time.

Remember, we build confidence on what the student is doing correctly and we put that into focus. We should however not put any judgment into the reports. Rather than writing: You separated the 4 traffic well or perfectly, we should write that the traffic was separated per the regulations or similar. It is important to keep in mind that during the training, we train and during the examination we assess.

Other types of training

In other types of training than standard, such as refresh there's a requirement that the training reports are still written for these kind of sessions. The local training assistant will have the saying on how this types of trainings are defined as completed.

Refresh trainings should be trained up to today's level and expectation of a controller.

Acknowledgements