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Airservices Australia Psychometric Testing

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Airservices Australia Psychometric Testing

Old 21st Aug 2018, 11:52
  #3841 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Track Shortener View Post
Laudable idea to meet up prior - but lay off the grog completely the night before the assessment if you can, and ensure you get good rest. Even if you're not feeling the effects of a hangover or whatever, it will affect your performance in some way. You want to give yourself every chance to be at the top of your game for this!
thanks mate and I agree with you. guess most of us will not be in that mood the night before.

BTW, the ATC unit where I used to work overseas, recently got breath analyzers due to some incident that uninpressed the boss.
philosophrenic is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2018, 20:09
  #3842 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by a.adams View Post
I have a question regarding the documents you are supposed to bring to the assessment centre. The email asks for a Certified copy of a Pilot Licence and/or Class 3 medical (if obtained). What if I do not have either of those? do I need to go and get a class 3 medical done, or do they not mind if you do not have it?
Thank you!
This is only asked for if you already have it. If you don't, and get in to the learning academy, then you'll be required to obtain a Class 3 Medical
jazzycab is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2018, 09:44
  #3843 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 8
Interesting to see that nobody is discussing what happens at the assessment centre anymore.....is it deliberately kept a secret, or do people feel some sort of 'candidate's honour' in not revealing what happens behind those closed doors?

Any insight or tips for anybody heading along? Even vague ones?
CapnCoastie is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2018, 11:56
  #3844 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 21
Testing

Some of the previous candidates have eluded to the fact you may be better off walking in with an open mind than worrying about what might be coming. The assessment day is no different to the online psychometric testing, fail one and you fail the application process, so if you passed that, whatís stopping you from succeeding at the assessment day? Keep a cool head, get a good nights sleep and youíll probably go ok!
AKorol is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2018, 14:09
  #3845 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: YMML
Posts: 1,721
Having spoken to people who have been involved in the recruitment process in the past, people who have been pre-briefed tend to stand out like the proverbial and it definitely hasn't done them any favours.
le Pingouin is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2018, 22:06
  #3846 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 8
Interesting. Thanks for the feedback!
CapnCoastie is offline  
Old 27th Aug 2018, 10:57
  #3847 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 96
To save me from reading over the last 6 months worth of posts for the third time, I have some questions I am hoping to have answered:

1. I've heard of some "pre-course learning material" you're expected to complete prior to training. What does this involve and how long should you expect to dedicate to it (I only ask as I may need to cancel a trip I have planned leading up to the course).
2. I've heard of some form of "verification test" during the assessment day. Does this involved resitting the SHL test or is it just the cognitive testing/simulator exercise we are expected to complete at the assessment centre?
3. Is the OPQ now conducted at the assessment centre or was it scrapped entirely from the application process?
4. Is the role for En Route controlling more autonomous, whereas Tower is more focussed to team work?
5. If you ended up on the Tower course, are you expected to slog away for a few years in a less desirable location rather than near a major city? Paying one's dues, more or less?
6. How many people are generally on each course? ie. what is the instructor to trainee ratio like?
7. What might be some of the reasons people fail during initial and field training? What might be some of the reasons people leave the profession early on?

They may seem like some odd questions, but I am trying to fill in some gaps with the research I have already done.

Thanks!
hansfalkenhagen is offline  
Old 27th Aug 2018, 11:53
  #3848 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by hansfalkenhagen View Post
To save me from reading over the last 6 months worth of posts for the third time, I have some questions I am hoping to have answered:

1. I've heard of some "pre-course learning material" you're expected to complete prior to training. What does this involve and how long should you expect to dedicate to it (I only ask as I may need to cancel a trip I have planned leading up to the course).
2. I've heard of some form of "verification test" during the assessment day. Does this involved resitting the SHL test or is it just the cognitive testing/simulator exercise we are expected to complete at the assessment centre?
3. Is the OPQ now conducted at the assessment centre or was it scrapped entirely from the application process?
4. Is the role for En Route controlling more autonomous, whereas Tower is more focussed to team work?
5. If you ended up on the Tower course, are you expected to slog away for a few years in a less desirable location rather than near a major city? Paying one's dues, more or less?
6. How many people are generally on each course? ie. what is the instructor to trainee ratio like?
7. What might be some of the reasons people fail during initial and field training? What might be some of the reasons people leave the profession early on?

They may seem like some odd questions, but I am trying to fill in some gaps with the research I have already done.

Thanks!
My two cents on Q4 from my previous experience working in an en-route centre overseas, situation could be different here. If by "autonomous" you mean more focused on VHF and radar screen rather than neighbouring sectors and related departments, then I'd say they are pretty close. Be it tower or centre, you must be ready and good at communicating and sometimes bargaining with people. E.g. centre need to coordinate with various neighbouring airspace, approach, towers, airforce, while tower need to work with approach and various departments of the airport (I have no experience in that). If you are referring to teamwork with fellow controllers, it is ALWAYS paramount. A good team makes you enjoy work and a bad team makes life hard.
philosophrenic is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2018, 01:30
  #3849 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: MEL
Posts: 26
6. Not sure how big the courses are at the moment, but in enroute they've varied from 8-16 people over the last few years. There is usually one instructor between two students during the actual simulation exercises (the sims are in pairs of consoles), with occasional bonus one-on-one available as instructor resources allow. At significant points - scheduled progress evaluations, or in the lead-up to exams or where extra support is necessary - one-on-one instruction is usually available.
7. You need to successfully pass 'milestone' assessments, which are practical tests in the simulator, at the end of each phase in order to progress to the next one. If you are unsuccessful, you should get another go, after targeted additional training to address whatever issues were identified the first time round. If you are unsuccessful the second time, you go "under training review" and may or may not get back-coursed for another shot. Sometimes it's an attitude problem that brings people to this point, sometimes it's a technical deficiency and sometimes it's just clear they don't "get it".

Last edited by Track Shortener; 30th Mar 2019 at 02:53. Reason: forgot an important distinction
Track Shortener is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2018, 04:57
  #3850 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 61
Originally Posted by hansfalkenhagen View Post
To save me from reading over the last 6 months worth of posts for the third time, I have some questions I am hoping to have answered:

1. I've heard of some "pre-course learning material" you're expected to complete prior to training. What does this involve and how long should you expect to dedicate to it (I only ask as I may need to cancel a trip I have planned leading up to the course).
2. I've heard of some form of "verification test" during the assessment day. Does this involved resitting the SHL test or is it just the cognitive testing/simulator exercise we are expected to complete at the assessment centre?
3. Is the OPQ now conducted at the assessment centre or was it scrapped entirely from the application process?
4. Is the role for En Route controlling more autonomous, whereas Tower is more focussed to team work?
5. If you ended up on the Tower course, are you expected to slog away for a few years in a less desirable location rather than near a major city? Paying one's dues, more or less?
6. How many people are generally on each course? ie. what is the instructor to trainee ratio like?
7. What might be some of the reasons people fail during initial and field training? What might be some of the reasons people leave the profession early on?

They may seem like some odd questions, but I am trying to fill in some gaps with the research I have already done.

Thanks!
2. From memory itís a condensed version of the online SHL testing. Basically just confirmation that the person who turns up at the assessment day is the same as the person who completed the online testing.

4. Enroute and tower both have aspects of autonomy about them and both require a lot of teamwork. It also all depends on the tower/sector/unit where you work as they are all unique.

5. It all comes down to resourcing needs and ability demonstrated at the academy. If thereís a current need for trainees at big city towers and youíve had good results through the radar tower module thereís nothing to stop an Abinitio ending up at mel/syd etc.. but often the staffing needs are at regional towers and itís easier to post a new trainee there than it is to take an operational controller off another roster, pay transfer costs and retrain them at an outback procedural tower. I think during the academy training that tower trainees are asked their preferences for a posting.. sometimes they get them, often they donít.
On the Flipside, usually after 2 or so years at a less desirable tower youíre generally in a pretty good position to put your hand up for a transfer to the tower of your choice.

6. When I was on course it was 8 per enroute course, 4 per tower course.

7. Getting through the training is hard work. You need a fair bit of motivation and drive and you also need a thick skin because there are times when it feels like youíre getting nowhere..
Iíve seen people fall over because of huge holes in their theoretical knowledge/understanding. Sometimes this is due to lack of effort, and sometimes itís just due to overload of information or an inability to really understand the concepts.
Ive also seen people who breeze through the theory, always have the right answer in discussions.. but then you put them in the sim or in front of live traffic and they canít process whatís happening either due to pressure, or a lack of the natural perception skills necessary to do the job.
Some people get through the academy without a hitch and then hit the real world and realise that they arenít suited to the environment (shiftwork, required flexibility, group dynamics, politics etc) and give it up on their own accord.
most that get through the training end up in a career they enjoy and are happy to endure all the above though because the good far outweighs the bad.
WhisprSYD is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2018, 15:04
  #3851 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 96
@philsosphrenic, Track Shortener and WhysprSYD (and others who have posted recently), thanks for these responses! Definitely helping to paint a better picture for me on life during/after ATC training.

I am lucky enough to have a crack at the assessment centre in October so I'll probably have some more questions down the track. In the meantime, I am sure others reading will benefit from your responses.

Thanks again
hansfalkenhagen is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2018, 19:11
  #3852 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: YMML
Posts: 1,721
I'll add my 2c worth (FWIW I'm well towards the other end of my career):

7. ATC is a complex job in that you need to perform reasonably well across a range of skills, consistently. Whether you can pull them all together to a high enough standard and consistently enough is what's tested in the sim - whether you've "got it" or not. Yes, training helps to an extent but mostly it's from within. As Whispr says you need to put in the hard yards memorising standards, etc. as well.

Listen to the instructors, particularly in the field. Listen to other controllers giving tips. Yes you need self-confidence but it needs to be tempered - they're telling you these things for a reason. I've seen trainees go down for no other reason than over-confidence. Occasionally a trainee can't abstract themselves from the number of lives they're dealing with so find it too stressful.

Be aware that gaining a rating isn't the end - you need to keep learning and showing improvement to retain the rating. Most people naturally do but occasionally not.

ATC isn't the job for everyone and as Whispr says the reality sometimes just doesn't work with personal/family circumstances or priorities. You'll miss out on kid's birthdays, Christmas dinner, family events, gatherings with friends. There will be bad days during the training (and occasionally on the job) but you just have to push on or you will get left behind. Learn from them but don't dwell on them - ATC is a confidence "game" and if your head isn't in the right place no amount of ability will help.

If you can overcome/cope with all that it's a great job.
le Pingouin is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2018, 04:47
  #3853 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 96
It does sound rather daunting. Hopefully being a well-rounded and motivated individual is enough to get me through training.

Thanks for the replies nevertheless!
hansfalkenhagen is offline  
Old 30th Aug 2018, 07:30
  #3854 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: YMML
Posts: 1,721
Training is a long, hard and relentless but being a well-rounded and motivated individual will stand you in good stead - not enough on it's own to get you through the training but a good start.

I don't mean to make it sound like a real downer because it's not. You'll hopefully enjoy the group camaraderie and form lifelong friendships. Just that it is tough. Maybe I'd better not mention the historic pass rate........ FWIW there are signs that the current selection process is doing a good job.
le Pingouin is offline  
Old 30th Aug 2018, 14:12
  #3855 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 96
No stress! I think it's good for me, or anyone else reading for that matter, to know that getting a letter of offer from Airservices doesn't guarantee us a career as an ATC, and knowing that many do fail during training will only act as a constant reminder to work harder each day.

One more question though;

I remember another user ("parishiltons"??) mentioning about the fatigue risk management system (FRMS) which is part of the organisation's safety management system (SMS). The Airservices' website also mentions about free gym membership and yoga lessons. Apart from exercise and a healthy diet, what else can be done to deal with the stress/pressure of the role and dealing with rotating shifts? In particular, what is taught to the candidates during training?

(hoping I won't be told to just jump on to the wild turkey and marlboros...)
hansfalkenhagen is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2018, 03:28
  #3856 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by hansfalkenhagen View Post
No stress! I think it's good for me, or anyone else reading for that matter, to know that getting a letter of offer from Airservices doesn't guarantee us a career as an ATC, and knowing that many do fail during training will only act as a constant reminder to work harder each day.

One more question though;

I remember another user ("parishiltons"??) mentioning about the fatigue risk management system (FRMS) which is part of the organisation's safety management system (SMS). The Airservices' website also mentions about free gym membership and yoga lessons. Apart from exercise and a healthy diet, what else can be done to deal with the stress/pressure of the role and dealing with rotating shifts? In particular, what is taught to the candidates during training?

(hoping I won't be told to just jump on to the wild turkey and marlboros...)
What they will tell you in training is to clear as much baggage out of your life as possible so you can focus on the training, without external distractions. The best thing is to have a sane life outside work. A supportive home environment is probably the most important aspect of this. If you are having to deal with external demands or things that mess up your head/are very stressing/cause you to think about it at work and potentially distract you/etc then it is difficult not to let it affect your work performance, with associated consequences. This applies even in the training phase, where it is important not to have stress in life except for the training. Not a good idea to get married/separated/buy a house/have kids etc during this phase. If affected, your supervisors and colleagues will start to see less engagement from you, potentially reduced performance, reduced flexibility, unexplained increase in use of personal leave, possibly loss of timeliness in arriving for work, etc.
parishiltons is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2018, 08:49
  #3857 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 96
Thanks! Very insightful. It's given me much to think about.
hansfalkenhagen is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2018, 13:42
  #3858 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: YMML
Posts: 1,721
One of the young guys I work with who went through the college about 2 years ago says there's a little bit of general stuff on human factors but that's about it. My view is that the actual controlling itself isn't particularly stressful - it's "fight or flight" type stress rather than chronic, so when you walk out the door it doesn't come with you. The only time it follows you is when something goes badly wrong, but hopefully those days are few and far between. The most stressful day I've had at work was being involved in a situation where a VFR flight was stuck on top of cloud and they had to descend through cloud several times due to it getting dark. It lasted over an hour all told and I seriously thought there was a good chance they'd die. Adrenaline and professionalism holds it all together while you're working but I was a wreck once I unplugged - shaking and emotional.

Managing shift work is a challenge. As parishiltons says, you need an understanding and supportive home environment - you aren't following the Mon-Fri 9-5 routine of the rest of your family so there has to be give and take to accommodate it. Doesn't help when the neighbour starts mowing when you're trying to sleep before a night shift though. Getting up at 7am when you have an 11pm finish doesn't necessarily work very well in the long term.
le Pingouin is offline  
Old 1st Sep 2018, 09:31
  #3859 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 96
Very interesting. Thanks for these posts, I think they have put me in good stead for the assessment day and an even better frame of mind for training - if I am lucky enough to get accepted that is.
hansfalkenhagen is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2018, 01:43
  #3860 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: australia
Posts: 292
Is there anyone out there from recent assessment days who would like to PM me with how you think you went and any advice for the day etc?

Thanks in advance for any info.
mikewil is offline  

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