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NATS interview process

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NATS interview process

Old 12th Feb 2019, 21:13
  #10961 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Whispering87
Hey guys, anyone on here from Stage 2 yesterday(11/02)? Having made it through to the DART tests again, that is where my journey ends, again! Perhaps i'm just not cut out to be ATC as twice now I have failed on the DART!

Good news though, the process is changing from April with stages 1 and 2 being online before proceeding to stage 3 interview and anyone who has recently failed can re-apply from April, no need to wait a year!
Without wishing to sound too harsh, if you've failed the DART tests twice you may well not be the right type for air traffic. I don't mean that in a rude way, it's just a fact that some people have their brains wired the right way to do the job and some don't. There's some that make it through the second stage and the interviews would find them out and there's some who make it through the interviews as well - because as we all know there's enough floating around the internet and PMs on this forum to allow anyone to be pretty well prepared for the interview stage. However, it will catch up with you at some point and then you've wasted a load of time trying to get a job that you just don't have the aptitude for and you're back at square one having wasted over a year of your life with nothing to really show for it.

That said, don't let me put you off. I know of several people that I work with who got in after more than one attempt and they're very competent controllers.

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Old 13th Feb 2019, 00:13
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Good luck with your stage 3 RussLee!
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 08:16
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Originally Posted by The Many Tentacles
Without wishing to sound too harsh, if you've failed the DART tests twice you may well not be the right type for air traffic. I don't mean that in a rude way, it's just a fact that some people have their brains wired the right way to do the job and some don't. There's some that make it through the second stage and the interviews would find them out and there's some who make it through the interviews as well - because as we all know there's enough floating around the internet and PMs on this forum to allow anyone to be pretty well prepared for the interview stage. However, it will catch up with you at some point and then you've wasted a load of time trying to get a job that you just don't have the aptitude for and you're back at square one having wasted over a year of your life with nothing to really show for it.

That said, don't let me put you off. I know of several people that I work with who got in after more than one attempt and they're very competent controllers.
It's cool, I get it. I feel comfortable for the most part and have no issue getting through FEAST, it's just when they turn up the heat in the final stage of dart, I tend to lose track! A big part of the job I know!!

I may give it one more go. It's been a few years between tests and I'd forgot quite how dart went so I could really immerse myself in practice specifically around that for one final crack.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 11:03
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Does this mean that from April NATS will no longer be using the FEAST or DART tests ( perhaps Europe said non! ). The rate of attrition in the FEAST test is very high. Are NATS dumbing down sorry, I meant streamlining, the selection process.

It’s not like they have done that before ;-)

Rgds
Ayr

Last edited by AyrTC; 13th Feb 2019 at 11:48.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 12:38
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AyrTC From what I was told during my Stage 2 last week is that FEAST & DART will still apply but will be undertaken like the earlier Stage sections at home. I stand happy to be corrected but that was the gist of it from the instructor present last week.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 13:28
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Thanks StuBob
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 13:55
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Originally Posted by StuBob
AyrTC From what I was told during my Stage 2 last week is that FEAST & DART will still apply but will be undertaken like the earlier Stage sections at home. I stand happy to be corrected but that was the gist of it from the instructor present last week.
That's how I understood it too
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 16:13
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Hi all,

I have been waiting to book my stage 2 the last few weeks and I have just got the email regarding the new process. Im unsure what to do... quickly book up to do my stage 2 in March or wait and just apply through new process again. Anyone any insight/opinions?
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 17:40
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Originally Posted by ajborthwick
Hi all,

I have been waiting to book my stage 2 the last few weeks and I have just got the email regarding the new process. Im unsure what to do... quickly book up to do my stage 2 in March or wait and just apply through new process again. Anyone any insight/opinions?
Personal preference but if it was me I'd rather travel to the office as it makes it more real. I remember when doing stage 0/1 at home I was distracted during one of the sections by someone coming into the study to faff around with something while I was trying to concentrate. I would've been a bit peeved if that had happened during the later stages, which are so much harder. I found being in the right environment at the test centre made sure my head was really in the game. It also gives you a bit of familiarity if you make it to Stage 3 too.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 17:44
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Hi, I'm currently waiting to sit my stage 2 (currently studying an unrelated course at uni so was waiting until April to sit stage 2), however, I've just had an email stating stage 2 will need to be completed by the end of March and if sucessful, stage 3 by the end of April. Due to uni placements, I could only now sit stage 2 in Feb. What I am wondering is realistically, how long did it take to learn the booklet well enough to pass the test? Whilst I am aware everyone learns at different rates, I am loathed to spend 300 to travel down from Ayrshire with not enough prep time but would have to start from scratch with my application in April 2019, if I don't. Any advice appreciated!
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 17:46
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Originally Posted by Lemonair
Personal preference but if it was me I'd rather travel to the office as it makes it more real. I remember when doing stage 0/1 at home I was distracted during one of the sections by someone coming into the study to faff around with something while I was trying to concentrate. I would've been a bit peeved if that had happened during the later stages, which are so much harder. I found being in the right environment at the test centre made sure my head was really in the game. It also gives you a bit of familiarity if you make it to Stage 3 too.
100% agree!!
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 18:13
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Out of interest, is anyone lurking on here booked onto the 8th May course in Jerez? I've yet to find any course mates!
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 20:43
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I was in the same boat regarding booking stage 2. I checked the dates and there were only 2 available before the end of March. I've booked one and, worst case scenario, I can start the process again in April if I fail. I would check quick though because there seems to be hardly any availability.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 22:12
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I'm currently part way through the application process for Trainee ATCO, but I'm a bit confused about how salary progression would work. If I am successful, I will have to take a fairly significant pay cut for a few years it seems, so I'm trying to work out the ins and out and calculate if I can afford it. As far as I can tell it goes something like this:

College phase 17,000 + 60/week accommodation + 1,000
On the job training 19,423 to 23,307 (depending on location)
Post-validation 37,014 to 41,253 (depending on location)
On third anniversary of joining 52,878 to 58,933 plus shift pay of around 6,500

Now for my questions:
1) How long is the college phase? The NATS infographic suggests 1 year, but elsewhere I've read about 3 months basic + 3.5 months specialism + breaks (so around 7-8 months)?
2) Does everyone get the 60/week for accommodation or does it depend on you renting somewhere?
3) Who qualifies for the 1000 extra? (When you're on 17k, every little helps! But the NATS website suggests not everyone qualifies for this additional sum, without giving more details).
4) Is the 3rd anniversary of joining counted from Day 1 of the college phase?
5) If the answer to my question (4) is "yes", and college + on-the-job training can together take 2.5 to 3 years, then doesn't that mean you aren't on the 37-41k band for very long at all?
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 22:16
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Originally Posted by Whispering87
Good news though, the process is changing from April with stages 1 and 2 being online before proceeding to stage 3 interview and anyone who has recently failed can re-apply from April, no need to wait a year!
Is this definitely the case? I also received an email about the change in process, and contemplated delaying until April. However, if it's true that anyone who has recently failed can re-apply, and if the new process will involve FEAST and DART too, then surely it makes perfect sense to proceed with my application and see how far I get. At the very least it will serve as practice!
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 00:08
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Originally Posted by ajborthwick
Hi all,

I have been waiting to book my stage 2 the last few weeks and I have just got the email regarding the new process. Im unsure what to do... quickly book up to do my stage 2 in March or wait and just apply through new process again. Anyone any insight/opinions?
Logically I would be looking to book Stage 2 asap and before the deadline. In doing so you're effectively being given a free shot or at the very least a very competitive advantage not afforded to others who would have to go 12 months between applications and test experience. I would personally be looking to put the necessary work in to make good my current shot but in the knowledge that if I fail at this stage I can re-apply under the new process rather quickly.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 06:42
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Originally Posted by tf412
I'm currently part way through the application process for Trainee ATCO, but I'm a bit confused about how salary progression would work. If I am successful, I will have to take a fairly significant pay cut for a few years it seems, so I'm trying to work out the ins and out and calculate if I can afford it. As far as I can tell it goes something like this:

College phase – 17,000 + 60/week accommodation + 1,000
On the job training – 19,423 to 23,307 (depending on location)
Post-validation – 37,014 to 41,253 (depending on location)
On third anniversary of joining – 52,878 to 58,933 plus shift pay of around 6,500

Now for my questions:
1) How long is the college phase? The NATS infographic suggests 1 year, but elsewhere I've read about 3 months basic + 3.5 months specialism + breaks (so around 7-8 months)?
2) Does everyone get the 60/week for accommodation or does it depend on you renting somewhere?
3) Who qualifies for the 1000 extra? (When you're on 17k, every little helps! But the NATS website suggests not everyone qualifies for this additional sum, without giving more details).
4) Is the 3rd anniversary of joining counted from Day 1 of the college phase?
5) If the answer to my question (4) is "yes", and college + on-the-job training can together take 2.5 to 3 years, then doesn't that mean you aren't on the 37-41k band for very long at all?
1. It depends. The tower course is around 6 months total if I remember rightly and the area course is now 9 months. This assumes you fail nothing and all your courses run consecutively. There's a chance you might have to wait for at the course ahead to finish something before you can move on to that stage which will only add to your time at the college,

4. Yes

5. It depends - if you end up somewhere quieter then you can be valid a lot quicker than 3 years and then as a result you're doing the same job as someone else at the unit with the same responsibilities as them for half the money. At Swanwick you're probably looking at nearly three years because it's a lot more complex and you need additional conversion training after the college to be able to use the kit. Count on 6 months at least after college before you get to any live training at Swanwick. After your three year anniversary the pay goes up nicely though.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 09:50
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Originally Posted by HannahWrigley


2) as far as Im aware, everyone gets the 60 a week

3) Everyone gets the 1000 when they validate, again as far as Im aware
​​​​​​
I did read somewhere that the Jerez lot don't get the 60 as it's in lieu of having your accommodation and food paid for in Spain. But I don't know for sure.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 12:15
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Originally Posted by The Many Tentacles
4. Yes

5. It depends - if you end up somewhere quieter then you can be valid a lot quicker than 3 years and then as a result you're doing the same job as someone else at the unit with the same responsibilities as them for half the money. At Swanwick you're probably looking at nearly three years because it's a lot more complex and you need additional conversion training after the college to be able to use the kit. Count on 6 months at least after college before you get to any live training at Swanwick. After your three year anniversary the pay goes up nicely though.
Thanks for clarifying things - that's really useful to know. I had previously wondered if the jump up to the 52k+ bracket was on the 3rd anniversary of validating, which could have been up to 6 years from joining I guess, so it's very helpful to know that isn't the case.

So, it seems the intermediary jump up to 37k is simply to recognise those who manage to validate before the 3rd anniversary (although as you said this effectively means being paid half as much as someone with the same responsibilities, but such is life). However, if I understood things correctly, most people (i.e. where validation occurs close to the 3rd anniversary) aren't on the 37k+ bracket for very long at all.
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Old 14th Feb 2019, 12:19
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Originally Posted by HannahWrigley
2) as far as Im aware, everyone gets the 60 a week

3) Everyone gets the 1000 when they validate, again as far as Im aware
So, even if living with relatives nearby, for example, you could still get the 60 a week?

I have wondered why they don't just add this figure to the basic salary during training, but I suspect it's because if it's treated as an expense it can be tax-free, which in turn benefits trainees. It seems this figure hasn't gone up for quite a number of years though.

Originally Posted by Lemonair
​​​​​​
I did read somewhere that the Jerez lot don't get the 60 as it's in lieu of having your accommodation and food paid for in Spain. But I don't know for sure.
Yep, makes sense.
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