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

barberwi 10th Sep 2012 06:23

Just had my phone interview, which was my first real interview of any level.

Was pretty nervous, but i think it all went ok. HR questions can be tricky to answer!

Had a quick chat about assessment day at end so i take that as a good sign.

fujii 10th Sep 2012 07:32

Fatty 182 and intransit:
I missed the start of your thread but mentioning tax and accountants, is this in relation to ATCs claiming flying against tax? I've been claiming since the 1970's.

le Pingouin 11th Sep 2012 07:59

It's been said by those involved in the testing that it stands out like the proverbial when an applicant has been briefed and prepared. Not looked on favourably so you may very well damage your chances.

canadiangal75 11th Sep 2012 11:15

assessment day
I agree with the fact that if you get briefed, it would probably be obvious... everything on the day, other than the behavioural interview and the repeat of the online tests was a complete surprise to me and glad it was.. Probably would've stressed out and panicked even more if I knew what was coming and tried to prepare for it...

Go in blind and have fun with it... That's what I did... Now I sit back and wait to find out if I made it or not...

They also don't give you any indication on how you went!

Fatty182 11th Sep 2012 22:44

Fujii: I had stated originally that ATCs can claim the cost of learning to fly on their tax returns, up to the PPL level which was what my housemate accountant/turned ATC said. Intransit said it was up to CPL.

CanuckInOz 12th Sep 2012 04:09

Just wanting to gauge how peoples' experiences with CASA have been. I had my DAME appointment on Friday and DAO on Monday. Both were all fine, so I'm not expecting any hiccups when the paperwork arrives at CASA (assuming it does!).
Mine went smoothly with no hiccups to report. I received my class 3 cert approx 3 weeks after my visit to the DAME/DAO. I harassed them every two days on the status of my application which I think helps (or at least did in my case).

The only area where you may experience some delay (assuming your med stats are all fine) is with processing payment. I was under the assumption that ASA would pay for the application straight away but, its much easier to just pay by credit card and then get reimbursed from ASA. That way, your application doesn't get held up with CASA accounting.

If you are on the January course you have plenty of time anyway.

fujii 12th Sep 2012 06:10

You can keep claiming long after you have your licence.

RegularJoe 12th Sep 2012 07:56

Hi All,

Apologies if this has been written before, but can anyone provide feedback on the key differences between ATC within Air Services and RAAF?

I understand the systems used are different (ADATS and TAAATS), but was more interested in the training standards (which is better, and why) and the lifestyle differences (for those who've done both)?

kiwi chick 12th Sep 2012 10:00

Oh my goodness, Airservices certainly don't spare anything when it comes to accommodation! :D

Five days and counting til D-Day and we're lodged at Quest Apartments - living the life! :p

Fatty182 13th Sep 2012 11:38

Yeah, that'll all go downhill soon :P Enjoy it while it lasts!

aluminium persuader 13th Sep 2012 13:24

Friends in ASA are just finishing booking their rec leave for 2015. That's right - not next year, or the year after, but the year after that.

Just a heads-up.


kiwi chick 13th Sep 2012 15:41

Haha Fatty182 - that sounds just like joining the AF as aircrew! ;)

"oooh, this movie Top Gun looks kinda cool, I might give that a go..."

Not once did I see Ice or Mav. Not once. :(

Finch13 14th Sep 2012 09:55

ATC app Stuff
Hi Guys,

I'm working on an app for ATC at the moment and I'm glad I found this forum! With regards to the education requirements, I noticed that they want passes in year 12 with maths... I completed year 12 in NSW with General Maths and I'm wondering if anyone knows if this is considered acceptable? I'm guessing not: they are usually referring to 2 unit maths with these kind of requirements.

Thanks! :)

thequestor2000 14th Sep 2012 21:46

Hi Partridge42,

I am on the Jan 7th tower course, check your inbox.


Fatty182 15th Sep 2012 07:44

Aluminium_persuader, where are your friends working? Brisbane Centre seems to work on booking leave only up to 18 months in advance, which is still pretty poor, but not the 3 years you quote. Just wondering who has it worse :P

jcr737 15th Sep 2012 09:44

Hi Kiwi Chick,

Congratulations on making it. I have just completed my assessment day & am currently undergoing the same torture as others...waiting to see if I am accepted or not.

Either way I was wondering that as you start your course on Monday would you be kind enough to post first impressions of your week and the course itself. I know from previous posts the first week will be busy as, as will no doubt the entire course, but from us out here waiting to know our fate a quick post from someone who made it will help out our wait.

Again congratulations and all the best over the next year and a half.:ok:


kiwi chick 15th Sep 2012 11:47

Sure thing jcr737, you're not the first one to ask me that ;)

Given the nature of what I might be writing, and the wide audience of Pprune, I will probably do it via my blog... might be safer that way :ok:

And just keep with the mantra "no news is good news" otherwise the wait will drive you crazy!

Good luck, look forward to hearing how you got on!

Finch - I'm not sure what level of maths it is that you've gained, but my opinion for what it's worth: I'm real maths geek - very strong with numbers, figures and calculations off the top of my head (my partner calls me "Rainman"... :8 ) and I found the maths test kept me on my toes.

Hey... maybe it's because I'm old, who knows? :} But I'd say if you're not confident with your maths skills, or if maths doesn't come naturally to you, you might find it a real challenge.

Anyone else's thoughts?

stevep64 15th Sep 2012 12:16


The first week is all corporate induction and is dead set boring. If you've ever worked for a big company, it's same old, same old, but stretched out for a week.:bored:

Make the most of it, because then you get to week two.

On the first day you get examined on the pre-study stuff you've been stressing out about for the past few weeks, assuming you got the thumb-drive in time for you to even have a look at it. Then you get stuck into the theory. Then you can forget about having a break, not even on the weekends, because you'll be studying for at least one exam during each upcoming week, possibly two. :\

After two or three months of that, you're just hanging out to get into the sims to get away from the theory. A couple of weeks into the sims you're wishing you were back doing theory... :ugh:

But seriously, if you put in the hard work and you have a head for what they're teaching you, you'll get through the theory. A very high percentage of my intake have university backgrounds and/or are pilots so the theory was not too bad. A lot of the subjects rely on you rote learning stuff to pass the exams, but there's also subjects that just rely on you understanding how things work, principles of flight and meteorology for example.

Once you get past the theory, after two or three months, depending on your stream, that's when you find out if you're actually cut out for the job, you start in the sims.

Imagine downloading a new computer game. You just start to get the hang of what key does what, etc, then the next day you go to play it and you find easy mode is blocked and you can only play intermediate mode. That's what the pace is like, at least on the tower stream.

As I said, a lot of people when they get into the sims, wish they were back doing theory.

The training is damned hard, way harder than the science degree I finished last year. Depending on when you start, don't expect a decent break until Christmas comes up, if it comes up during your training. At least in the military they get a break half way through their recruit course.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of my course mates are doing really well, but everyone of us has found it really hard. No-one will just breeze through it. Some people will slip through the selection process that are just not suited to the job as well.

I don't know a controller that doesn't reckon it's the best job in aviation, despite what they might say about the management.

Just make sure you go in with your eyes open, especially if, like me, you have to spend a lot of money to relocate for the job. As a trainee you're the absolute bottom of the food chain as far as Airservice sare concerned, despite the fact that controllers are core business. You'll get the best support ever from your instructors and local managers, but apart from that you're just another annoying expense to the bean counters in Canberra. If you have to relocate to Melbourne they'll pay you fuel expenses and put you up in the Quest at Flemington for a week. The ARFF trainees not only get their accommodation paid for during their training, they get free transport to and from work while they're down here.

Anyway, <rant off>. I'm not trying to put you off applying, just giving you an idea of what it's like realistically as a trainee. Also trying to say to those that have followed this thread for a while and were unsuccessful last time they tried to get in, maybe it was for the best :}

kiwi chick 15th Sep 2012 12:32

Um OK thanks Steve I'm totally kacking myself now.


canadiangal75 15th Sep 2012 13:05

Hang in there!
Hi Steve,

Well all I can say is hang in there.... It sounds exactly like my training was in Canada.. Except in Canada, you don't get paid while you're at the academy... oh and you have to pay either 1000$, 2500$ or 3500$ depending on your stream.. Not sure if the $ amounts are correct for today, but I remember paying my $1000 to do my flight service specialist course.

I also remember being housed at the training institute where we had a bed and meals supplied. Nowadays, that training institute is closed and you still pay your money, earn 0$ and have to study your a$$ off in order to avoid being cease trained.. Or CT'd as we called it.

No doubt in the world the training and studying is 24/7! It's how I did it... I maybe had 1 weekend off and that was the last one of the course where all the exams were done and the last 2 days were postings, admin stuff and graduation.

I applied because I too believe ATC or air traffic services is the best job in the world. And I will be quite crushed if I didn't pass the assessment day.

That being said, I wish everyone good luck in the selection process and with the training.. But, if you don't truly want this... don't do it, because you won't survive the basic training.

kiwi chick 15th Sep 2012 13:18

Canadiangal, so are you a Canadian qualified controller? If so why do you have to apply to train again, can't you just apply for a job?

In New Zealand, you don't get paid while training, you pay FOR the training, and it's around $12,000 - that's why Kiwis are jumping the ditch to do it over here.

Well, that, and I like the weather and cheap food too. :ok:

canadiangal75 15th Sep 2012 13:30


Nope I'm not a qualified controller.. I was a flight service specialist. You can look it up if you feel like it. Airservices phased them out. I basically sat in a tower and provided vehicle control service, aircraft advisory service, relay clearances, do weather observations, issue Metars, specials, notams. Really fun. I wanted to cross train either to VFR (tower controller) or IFR (enroute controller). But never got the opportunity because I left the country!

jcr737 15th Sep 2012 23:49

Kiwi Chick

Thank you for your reply, 1 more day to go and it all begins. All the luck in the world. Though from what stevep64 has said the first week looks booooring!!:bored:


Thank you also stevep64. Have followed your trails and tribulations over the last few weeks, I have a CPL so hopefully some of that theory still remains in my head. But everyone writes here that there is a lot more than just flying knowledge needed to be successful, so study, study, study seems to be the mantra. :8

But first things first, Airservices need to call me or cull me. As canadiangal75 said to you "hang in there".


kiwi chick 16th Sep 2012 00:31

Haha, just as well - I've spent the entire first week we've been here just looking for somewhere to live! Fortunately we found somewhere, unfortunately all day today we're moving and accumulating furniture :bored:

I figure at least I'll get a good night's sleep and not lie awake until 0300hrs hoping everyone will like me :}

That, and wondering what I'm going to have for lunch tomorrow...? Hmmm? :\

jcr737 16th Sep 2012 04:27

Just some quotes from CASA's current Flight Safety Australia magazine re ATC training:

‘One of our biggest issues is communication,’ says Russell Eastaway, an ATC training specialist at Airservices’ Learning Academy in Melbourne, reinforcing this with a telling statistic: ‘communication is a causal factor in approximately 75 per cent of aviation accidents/incidents’.

Russell Eastaway explains that the Learning Academy emphasises ‘active listening, where ATC trainees focus on listening to every word’, as well as not combining a number of different instructions in one transmission, in order to minimise confusion.’ Compared to the rest of the world, Australian ATC training and oversight is ‘very regimented’, Eastaway says. ‘All controllers have regular six-monthly assessments, with communication one of the test elements. To retain their ATC endorsements, controllers must score at least 4 on a scale of 1-7. If controllers scored 3 on communication/phraseology, for example, they would have to undertake remedial study, and be reassessed in a month’s time.’

Not Yet Identified 16th Sep 2012 05:07

Hi all,

Recently rated controller here.

I just thought I'd share some of my experiences of the College.

First of all, I have no prior aviation background and skimmed the ARM on the usb for about 30 minutes before beginning the course. It's really no big deal and you should just enjoy your free time prior to beginning the first 8 weeks of study.

I found the first 8 weeks of theory the most difficult. Study for 2-3 hours every night. It is a real slog, but once into the sim, the workload really eases and you can concentrate on your sim performance.

I really enjoyed the sim. Sometimes me and my fellow course mates were awestruck to believe we were actually getting paid to do it. The checks and exams can be stressful, but as long as you're safe, it's all good.

The instructors are excellent and really want to see you through to the end. It is natural though that some students just aren't suited to the job, and that's ok. It's not something you want to do otherwise.

Make sure you celebrate the milestones, however small, with your course mates and be supportive for those finding it tough. You may be in the same position the next week.

It really is a great job, and so give it your all!

Plazbot 16th Sep 2012 05:14

re: the discussion about leave above, it is a perfect example of Airservices stuffing something up for no reason other than incompetence.

As the person who developed the precursor to the current system in Airservices that was originally used on one specific group, the following is how the system was originally designed before a focus group got hold of it.

The 18 months and the points are completely screwed. Originally, the leave was done on 3 consecutive 6 month blocks. People would bid for leave in a 12 month period to have 6 months approved in 6 months time. What that meant was that say we are in January. You would bid for July -July and the July-December would be approved with the following Jan-July displayed for all to see. Come July, you would then be able to bid for Jan-December with Jan-June approved. You could change the unapproved 6 months if you wanted. Each person was given an allocation of starting points and additional points each year. You could then use those points to bid for leave in A, B or C class. A 2 points, B 1.5 points and C 1 point obviously depending on how much you wanted that leave. You could do adhoc leave in the current 6 months (ie the first 6 months of the 18 months) for zero points. The reason for the second half of the 12 months being displayed but not approved was for planning so that you could se if someone was going to have a block of A leave when the approved bidding period started for your own planning purposes/negotiation with others. New people to the group would get an average.

You also received two 'power balls' each year which could only be used xmas and Easter. These did not have to be used, would not expire and had no maximum limit. This meant that you could save them one year then the next year bid all 4 and guarantee xmas off for example. As an example, A class leave was beaten by A class plus one power ball. When two or more people had the same leave class (A, B or C), the individual's remaining points at the end of the common leave period decided who would win.

Hope that makes sense. It was invented when two individuals I worked with abused the old first come first served method and put in for school holidays for the next 10 years effectively shutting the door on the rest of us. Even the abortion system that exists now is better than the old way. People quickly forget about the leave embargos that used to go on.

thequestor2000 16th Sep 2012 08:22

Geez Plazbot, I hope "How to Apply for Annual Leave" is a subject at the academy!

Plazbot 16th Sep 2012 12:56

Don't worry bro, that is not how it works now. It is easy.....
You say, "can I have leave?"
They say, "No."

Nautilus Blue 16th Sep 2012 13:33

To further complicate the issue, I work in a different location to Plazbot, and have never heard of the system he described.

Ours is done in six month blocks, 14 months in advance. Every six months you will put in for the leave you want between 14 and 20 months from now. The group has maximum number of people who can be on leave at once. If more than that number want leave at the same time the leave rostering person will go back and look ate what each person had last year, and give priority to those who didn't have leave that time last year. In practice, outside school holidays and Christmas there aren't often issues.

One problem though is when you join a group and get rated, the leave roster has already been decided for the next year and a half, so your options will be limited.

BigSkyTheory 16th Sep 2012 14:34

Leave at the Academy??

Depending on when you start, don't expect a decent break until Christmas comes up, if it comes up during your training.
I hear at least one recent course took so long its members had two Christmases during their time in the Academy. And the odd single day of forced leave for 'staff development' purposes, but that's another story entirely.

Good luck to those kicking off tomorrow. You'll need it, and a whole lot of hard work, to come out the other end rated and smiling eighteen or so months down the track. But hey, livin' the dream, and all that. :ok:

Plazbot 16th Sep 2012 18:34

Naut Blue, again, a half version of the original intent. The system I described above worked a treat. Pure numbers. Just what ATC OCD types need. Did you know that next year there will be an instance when the time will be in UTC time group 030507091113. Numbers are awesome.

Nautilus Blue 17th Sep 2012 03:53

Just what procedural ATC OCD types need.
Fixed that for you Plazbot :p I only know two numbers, 5 and 1000.

I suppose we should give this thread back to our future colleagues, can we agree that the definitive answer is "It depends...."?

aluminium persuader 17th Sep 2012 13:39

Fatty182, I thinks it's slightly easier at the centres. The friends I referred to are at airports. Mostly, but not all, capitol city radar towers. The system was very similar to that described by Plazbot, but no powerballs. I have no idea how the system got so screwed that they are having to plan so far ahead. It makes life a nightmare, especially if your partner works & you have kids of school age.

shack87 17th Sep 2012 19:10

So I know about 100 pages back, someone briefly talked about accomodation down in melb. But seeing as i'm now on the Jan 7th Enroute course, I feel I should find out a bit more info.
Esp the guys who have just started, what type of accom do you guys have (renting a unit, shared accom with a random, or shared with a course mate). and those who have grown up in melbourne, what area's are best. preferable close and somewhere im not going to get stabbed!

Fatty182 17th Sep 2012 23:57

Just my 2 cents about accommodation, I lived with a guy on my course, and we picked up another person from a later course a few months in. We all found it handy living with other people in the same situation and could understand what we wanted to talk about when we got home :P Oh and the car pooling is handy and cheaper too.

We lived at Taylors Hill, which is nice enough, reasonably priced, and only about 20 minutes to the airport, and we didn't have to take any major freeways or busy roads, so we almost never had to worry about traffic. Taylors Hill to the city is about 30-40 minutes by car or train, but you'll be pretty busy at the college so don't expect to be out partying every weekend anyway :P

CanuckInOz 18th Sep 2012 07:29

I lived with a guy on my course, and we picked up another person from a later course a few months in
Did you find your flatmate on here or through another site? I am currently using flatmatefinders.com.au but, its pretty slim pickings unless you want $250+/week + bills etc

stevep64 18th Sep 2012 08:28

I'll second what Fatty said about the Taylor's Hill area. I'm in Keilor Downs, a neighbouring suburb. On a good day I can be at work in 15 minutes. $300 for a three bedroom house with ensuite, walk-in robe and walk-in pantry.
Oh, and the new Coles at Taylor's Hill is huge.

stevep64 19th Sep 2012 02:24

Definitely stay away from the Broadmeadows area.
Two of us had our cars broken into in the BoM carpark while we were on the aerodrome observer's course that tower trainees have to do.
If anyone on the November course wants to come down early, our place at Keilor Downs will be available in a couple of weeks. I've just pulled out of the course and am heading back to Brisbane soon.

jcr737 19th Sep 2012 07:37

Hey stevep64,

Just read your post. Commiserations on pulling out. :sad:

Just how tough is the course? I just done my assessment day but am of a similar age to you.

Without getting too personal is age a factor? People are always posting the fact that younger minds adapt much better to the course.


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