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-   -   Airservices Australia Psychometric Testing (https://www.pprune.org/atc-issues/311440-airservices-australia-psychometric-testing.html)

Toboto 22nd Dec 2009 09:44

AFT! For those waiting this was my timeline.

Application 22nd Oct 2008
OCAT 1st Dec 2008
Psychometric 10th Feb 2009
Interview 4th May 2009
Referee Checks 18th Dec 2009
Verbal Offer 22nd Dec 2009 (Nice Christmas Present)
Course April 19th 2010
Enroute Brisbane

Apprently 1 spot left for Melbourne Enroute, A few for Brisbane and 2 for Tower (don't know where posted till late in course), CASA health checks, police and aviation security clearance and contract in mail early Jan.

enemyMiG 22nd Dec 2009 11:48

Aaah another TLA....
(Still coming to terms with there being an acronym for an acronym....:8)

Congrats Toboto

mrtwister 22nd Dec 2009 19:45

Study time
Congrats to all who have been offered spots in the near and distance future.
For those with little kiddies, don't stress too much about study time and being away from the fam for long hours. I was a little concerned about it upon starting at the college in October but even with 3 kids under 4 it hasn't had an impact on family time.
We've just crammed 6 exams into the last week and a half and apart from about 2 hours of list recitals for the SAR exam (another tla) the night before the exam, there hasn't really been a need for any home time study.
Firstly, the instructors do all they can to prepare you for the exams in the allocated classes and, secondly, you'll find you get plenty of private study time included in your working hours.
Don't stress too much about the precourse material either but if you feel the need to dedicate some time to it, go for Meteorology, Flight Instruments and Aids and Principles of Flight

fivel 22nd Dec 2009 23:37

Hey Guys.

Tobito, looks like i will be starting the course with you. April 19th... although ill be staying for melb enroute. Looking forward to moving down there.

Im looking for a hose mate to make things easier if anyones interested. gemmy im not starting till April so will be a good month behind you moving down.
I recon around the essendon area would be good. At least for the first six months while getting settled. Then i might move closer to the city when i figure out where i like.
Can anybody recomend a good area to find and apartment complex with gym and pool (lane) thats still close to the airport (20mins).

Congrats to you guys who just made the merit list. Hopefully they get through this one quickly cause its the new year.

Nichollg 23rd Dec 2009 07:38

Congrats to all those currently receiving positions and good luck to all those still waiting.

Thanks for the heads up MRTWISTER, certainly put my mind at ease - now i can enjoy Chirstmas a little.

O yeah, I'm ex Air Force so love TLAs

nick83 24th Dec 2009 10:08

Judging by the "yes you're on the order of merit" e-mail, it sounds like they intend to get people through quickly:

At this stage we have current opportunities available for the April and June 2010 courses (sooner than we had expected), as well as several courses soon to be scheduled for the second half of 2010. Which course you will be offered is determined by your position on the Merit List.

They had told me at my panel interview to expect if you're high on the OOM that you would get offered first half of 2010, if you're low on it it could be as late as early 2011. Good to know that it could be sooner rather then later.

I suppose no one has any idea how many people were put on the order of merit from this round of applications?

joedebrincat 27th Dec 2009 04:46

MRTWISTER - thanks mate - you are a godsend. You have put my mind at ease as I start in Jan and the whole preliminary stuff was daunting.

mrtwister 27th Dec 2009 20:34


No worries. We had 2 last minute additions to our course, one of which had 2 weeks notice. They had no chance to read any of the pre-course reading but they weren't behind the rest of us at all.

I feel a little sorry for you Jan guys. Our first 4 days were full of 'induction' activities. You guys have 2 hours of Comms on Tuesday morning, straight into the slog.

jrbridge 29th Dec 2009 07:00

This advice seems much closer to what I know. Just passing is not good enough in most people eyes.

mrtwister 29th Dec 2009 11:29

I'm not saying that it's the norm but I had the same fears heading in as well but I haven't found it to be anywhere near that bad. Seriously, the majority of our theory subjects, as they were before our first sim stage, had heaps of study time. It was usually from 2:20 - 3:30 every day as the SSOs have gone home and the lecturers rarely took classes after 2:30 so they gave us 'private study time'. Some days even had up to 3 hours study time when there were exams on in the sim and they didn't want a lot of groups in there.
I'm sure there are others that have worked their tails off in the theory but Im just letting others know that it isn't like that for everyone. And I haven't been scraping in either, I too am looking at mid 90s for exams and not many of them have been below that.
As far as family time is concerned, you're right, as secondary carer it's no different to my last job. From the minute I walk in the door until the last one is in bed I'm on the clock and if study is needed, I do it then.
By the way, 5 break ups out of 10. That must be close to the standard divorce rate these days isn't it?;)

Plazbot 29th Dec 2009 20:22

Many people find it easy, many find it hard. The advice given above about it being easy with staacks of family time is probably not the most prudent thing to be telling people about to set off an a course that has historically high failure rates. As an example, my course had a failure in the first 6 weeks. This individual thought that his background in a similar aviation profession would see him through but it did not.

Good luck to you all. It is probably a fairly worthwhile lesson to learn early that the whole job is based around it being a piece of piss 99% of the time and quite diffficult the other 1%. That 1% is why you should put in as much effort as you possibly can in the early stages as when you get rated, there will be noone holding your hand to remind you of the 20% that you did not learn as 80% was a pass in the college.

mikk_13 29th Dec 2009 20:40

30% of my course got rated. No mercy. Not quite the 80-90% they suggest will get rated.

Plazbot 29th Dec 2009 20:48

There must have been plenty of mercy shown as they rated you mik ;)

C-change 31st Dec 2009 10:31

To all those starting in 2010, good luck, I hope it allworks out for you. Just be prepared to work hard. Nothing comes easy in life and don't burn any bridges with former employers. You might need them again. Listen to the advice given by those already in the organisation. Have a back up plan in case it doesn't work out.

Without being pessimistic, your prior experience may not count for buggar all if you get scrubbed.
I passed en-route course but not final field training. I thought putting my hand up and saying "I'm no good at this non-radar stuff" might have helped me out plus my ten yrs Air Force experience and a pilots license but no it didn't. I got two weeks notice with my last day being X-mas eve.

Baileys 2nd Jan 2010 07:24

Passing a training course at the Airservices College does not necessarily mean that you are good enough to do the job. All it means is that you are good enough to try to do the job.

I don't know that statistics but if you think it's all over after the ATC college you're kidding yourself. On my course (many years ago) that actually passed the college there were plenty of people who were so confident of their ability....50% didn't check out.

I'm sure AsA has got their training programs much much better nowadays - those bank managers would have made sure of that. The instuctors at the ATC college these days are definately some very experienced people but that doesn't mean they can fully prepare you for the reality of doing the job. Standards are necessarily high - some people can't make it - some people do who shouldn't (maybe a couple of managers in there) - some have a natural ability.

There are a couple of old guys who are your instructors at the college who can give you some no BS advice on what you need to do. Listen to them.

fivel 3rd Jan 2010 01:04

Im kinda scared shitless and excited now to start this new job.

I havent received the pre pack yet (hopefully it will come soon) but i have a question about the five year bond. If you pass the course and then get dismissed at some point due to not making the standards, do you still have to pay back the money that you would if you quit?

Looks like it will take a lot of work just to keep this job, not just the stress of doing the job.

jrbridge 3rd Jan 2010 01:18

Nope, the 5 years starts once you get rated.

enemyMiG 3rd Jan 2010 10:13

Met a guy at a bbq on Sat who had a similar experience to C-change.

He'd made it through the Enroute college phase but not the final field training. His instructor told him that he needed a couple of weeks of extra training prior to his final check, but didn't tell him that he was at a make-or-break stage.

In the past week, this guy had moved house, had a newborn bubs, and bubs was crook.

Two days before his final check, he made a mistake in a sim and his instructor pulled the plug, told him that's it and that he wasn't cut out for this career.
He appealed the decision, but it seemed the instructor had the final say so it didn't get him very far.

He was upset at the ruthlessness of the whole experience as he honestly felt that given the 2 days he had left before his final check, he would have been fine.

This happened around Easter last year and he was still gutted. I reckon I still would be as well.

Some sobering advice from the posts above has given us newbies a lot to think about.

Keep your head up C-change

mikethepomme 3rd Jan 2010 10:29

I guess we can only hope we are cut out for it... i know that after a year application process, additional 6 months wait for placement... 10 months of training, moving state twice... i'm going to be devastated to fail at the final stage.

Although, at the same time, I wouldn't want to be passed if i really wasn't up to doing the job... i'd much rather waste a couple of years of my life than risk the lives of hundreds of people.

1208PUNK 3rd Jan 2010 14:11

does anyone out there like ATC with ASA?
totally agree MIKE...this forum is sort of scaring me now & making me think question is this for me and i havnt even begun (and read about a very close encounter over melbourne just before christmas-i dont want to be the person making those kind of mistakes). there appears to be a lot of negative energy regarding maybe not ATC but AsA the company themselves. is there anyone out there who loves this job?

by the way if anybody starting on march 1st course is melbourne is interested in sharing accommodation i have found some great accommodation with pool, near the airport, and at a very reasonable price. there are a number ive seen varying from 2-5 bedrooms so if your interested give me a shout as i will be viewing them in the first week of february!

Plazbot 3rd Jan 2010 22:18

Enemy Mig, I would suggest that the story you were told is not entirely accurate (infact, you could call it horsesh!t). When training, there are events that are known as Critical Milestones. The end of the college is one, simulator phase another and so is the final check. These have to be completed to be able to have training terminated or continued. Training is not terminated in the manner that you described. In the 'olden days', yes but not now. There is a large amount of paper work that follows you and it is very black and white as to what a pass is and not just based on an opinion of your field sim instructor.

In years gone by, there have been dudes termminated after their sim progress check and there have been a number I can think of that failed their final check before even plugging in. Those days are mostly (for better or worse I don't know) behind us.

enemyMiG 3rd Jan 2010 23:20

Thanks for clearing that up, plazbot.
Easy as it is to fail, I was a bit concerned that it was that easy.

The impression I was left with was that it basically all came down to your sim instructor and that if you appealed it still ended up back with the same instructor who had already formed their opinion of you.

Obviously there was beer involved at the bbq, and it may well have coloured this bloke's recollection of the events.

Plazbot 4th Jan 2010 01:38

In the field, your Instructor has no say in you passing or failing anything beyond the knowledge they transfer to you. What they will do is tell the CSS/WPA how you are going and if they think you are ready for a check. A number of years ago on leaving the college you were given firm dates for your sim final and progress as well as On The Job progress and final. These were set in stone and you did the checks then, oon that day, no questions asked. If you got through, you continued.

The simulator phase is a course that is delivered straight out of a training manual that every group has based around the sector specific stuff that you don't already know coming from the college and the TAAATS bridging course.
Your Instructor will be able to show you this as it is a controlled document and as a registered training organisation, Airservices has a requirement to have this process in place. Having written 3 myself, I can assuure you they are very thorough and there is a very consistent base of information they are built from. What you may find is that the actual content may not be up to date as some groups have staff issues and can't release people for the constant updating of callsigns, references and the like but the general bones will remain the same. The sim phhase is very regimented but the OTJ part is very much all over the shop and it does take some effort by you to see traffic and not dodge the hard situations. I have seeen trainees doing hour on, hour off and either bomb their check of get found out very soon afer rating with an incident.

Wiith the 'usual' process of Critical Milestones, if you failed either final check, they would consider a 2 cycle extension then another final. Fail that and you were gone. The last few years that have coincided with the recent staff shortages:hmm:, the final check for abinitios has been a case of doing it when the Instructor thinks they are ready. There have been a few of late that were checked with some doubt but their OTJ component had been way inexcess of the usual allowance in days of full staffing. Most who fail at the moment are being sent to other groups to have another crack if they show that they may have the ability to get up eventually in a different environment (radar V procedural and vice versa) and there have been a few that have been successful and some that have not. It certainly is a very new concept and I would anticipate that as the staff numbers approach what is required, these types of second chances will dry up as well.

For all you read on this web site about Airservices failings, you can be pretty comfortable that the standard of training you will receive in the field is top notch and everybody WANTS you to pass. The more bodies the better from every body's perspective. It is up to you and your ability as to the outcome.

le Pingouin 4th Jan 2010 04:53

enemyMiG, in addition to what Plaz has said, there are only a couple of reasons he would have been in the sim during the final stages of his training.

There was a major aspect of what constitutes normal ops that wasn't seen during OJT - luck of the draw or some external factor such as long term closure of military airspace during the training & the instructor wanted to ensure he'd seen how to handle it.

Or, given the fact he was terminated, there was a major deficiency in his controlling & he'd made the same mistake repeatedly. In such circumstances the sim is used to specifically test that deficiency by demonstrating you can correctly handle it (or not). You aren't expected to be perfect but must be handling the basics competently & the odder stuff at least safely.

le Pingouin 4th Jan 2010 05:14

1208PUNK, I enjoy the job. It's the extraneous organisational bullsh!t that irks me. My choice to stay & put up with it however - management & their fads come & go.

enemyMiG 4th Jan 2010 05:55

Thanks for all of the objective advice as to what to expect.
With 1 week to go, its still pretty scary, but not quite as scary as it was.:ooh:

fivel 4th Jan 2010 07:47

enemymig you have forgotten to ask the most important question that will get you through the course:
Are there a group of guys who like the occasional game of poker?

le Pingouin 4th Jan 2010 11:44

Thanks for your views Plazbot, I think you've almost gone close to answering my question, which boiled down to, assuming the course is top notch and a person passes (like C-change), what exactly is it about it being "up to you and your ability" that determines the outcome. What qualities and abilities exactly (that are additional to those required in progressing through the course) could make the difference between getting rated vs. getting booted out??
I'm sure we'd all like to know what it takes to be a controller, but in the end each person is different so there is no single answer. What does it take to do any challenging job? I'm not trying to brush you off but aside from hard work, learning the basics inside out to allow time for thinking & listening to your instructor the rest is a very individual matter.

le Pingouin you seemed to suggest either bad luck or a "major deficiency in his controlling" might be the issue - surely such a thing would stop you getting through the course successfully in the first place, wouldn't it? And if it's just bad luck then that sounds very troubling indeed! :\:confused::eek: Or maybe you were only talking about the end of the course rather than the field training???
No luck - I was indicating possible reasons he'd be in the sim that late in his OJT. If he was terminated in the manner mentioned it would be because there were deficiencies in his controlling.

You pass or fail the college based on exams - effectively get it right for 90 minutes (or however long the sim exams are) & you pass. On the job you're being assessed all the time, so it's over many, many hours, as well as a check shifts. The college only brings you up to a basic standard so there is plenty of scope for holes to remain undiscovered.

I don't want to "risk the lives of hundreds of people" either, but I'm doing that right now. The thing is I also don't want to "waste a couple of years of my life" before I find out that's what I might end up doing. There seems to be some murkiness about C-change's story that troubles me... and I'd be very grateful if anyone can make that murkiness go away. :)
Remember you're only seeing one side of a complicated story, but sometimes these things aren't handled very well. That said, unless a trainee is absolutely woeful extensions of training & second goes on another sector are usually the outcome if they struggle/fail on the job. We aren't out to fail you.

For better or worse Blippy there are no guarantees. You pays ya money & you takes ya chances.

Nichollg 4th Jan 2010 12:43

All the recent quotes seem to relate to enroute, Is the field training phase for tower similar?

Baileys 5th Jan 2010 05:21

My personal opinion after 12 years in two countries is that it mostly comes down to some sort of natural ability. For those that it doesn't come naturally, they still can do the job but maybe it takes a bit more work. It is a bit of a weird job like that.

Any others like to comment on that?

le Pingouin 5th Jan 2010 11:30

That sounds a fair summation Baileys.

The way I see ATC is a balance of conflicting demands - flexibility & strict rules, intelligence & boredom, confidence without overdoing it. If you don't have the right balance ATC will be more of a struggle & that's something you either have or not, it can't be learnt.

fivel 6th Jan 2010 03:43

Another possibly laughable question, hows the holidays/ time off in the first year of training. I imagine the supervisors are very busy over the holiday periods so wonder if the academy has a bit of time off.

mikethepomme 6th Jan 2010 03:46

I hope they are flexible. My brothers wedding is in september, in the UK.

enemyMiG 6th Jan 2010 03:54

Nothing laughable about that question........

AsA were closed from 24/12 to 4/1 but thats about the extent of my knowledge.

Plazbot 6th Jan 2010 04:33

You get breaks between 'Phases'. I am not certain how it is still arranged but you do the forst 6 or so weeks of pure theory, have a week off, do sim which I think is these days broken into basic and advanced or something with a week off and a week off after that. The actual day length may vary. In those times between phases you will also go onto field famil so the breaks are a couple of weeks. They try and have you come out of the college to the field with no rec leave liability. As for taking a couple of weeks where you see fit, don't count on it, the course is not going to wait for you.

This of courrse may be different but this is what I gather from the people drifting through from the college of late. I think you will only get 5 weeks leave as you are not working doggos.

As a trainee, you will be 'Stood down' over any public holidays meaning you do not get the extra pay that you would if you worked it or were rostered as OFF and you will also have the Chhristmas Standown as described below available to you. This means you take a couple of days rec and have the whole lot off.

mikepom, I would not go booking flights just yet.

melbATC 6th Jan 2010 05:12

You get breaks between 'Phases'. I am not certain how it is still arranged but you do the forst 6 or so weeks of pure theory, have a week off, do sim which I think is these days broken into basic and advanced or something with a week off and a week off after that. The actual day length may vary. In those times between phases you will also go onto field famil so the breaks are a couple of weeks. They try and have you come out of the college to the field with no rec leave liability. As for taking a couple of weeks where you see fit, don't count on it, the course is not going to wait for you.

This of courrse may be different but this is what I gather from the people drifting through from the college of late. I think you will only get 5 weeks leave as you are not working doggos.

As a trainee, you will be 'Stood down' over any public holidays meaning you do not get the extra pay that you would if you worked it or were rostered as OFF and you will also have the Chhristmas Standown as described below available to you. This means you take a couple of days rec and have the whole lot off.

mikepom, I would not go booking flights just yet.
From my understanding this has changed quite a lot.

You will get all public holidays off while at the college, They have done away with the couple of weeks of field famil, you now have to organise this yourself in spare time. There is no longer any break between phases.

The only time you will get off other than the public holidays is a few days of rec leave to complete the ~10-14 christmas stand down.

Depending on sim slots in the field you will most likely get a week between finishing at the college and starting in the field (you may have quite a lot more time available for leave :) ).

While at the college you only accrue 4 weeks of leave per year as it is only day shift, they do not seem to have a problem with you having a leave balance when you come over.

Toboto 6th Jan 2010 05:27

Does that mean i only get 1 week if i'm moving from melbourne course to brisbane centre?

melbATC 6th Jan 2010 06:32

Does that mean i only get 1 week if i'm moving from melbourne course to brisbane centre?
If i'm wrong someone please correct me, however from my understanding potentially yes.

I'm not sure but I think they only need to give you 3 business days.

enemyMiG 6th Jan 2010 06:54

Better pack light......

Rolloffthetop 6th Jan 2010 08:40

While we are on the topic of questions, does the college use AIP's, CAO and CAR's or are there separate documents used?

Just wondering whether it is worthwhile palming my set off.


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