The VATSIM Executive Committee (EC) has set forth to explore ways to improve the ATC training experience for all members of VATSIM wishing to control online.
A major initiative in this area has been the ongoing trial, and subsequent staged introduction of solo students, with the main idea that a student deemed ready to sit his/her exam can practice without a mentor at select facilities, i.e. S2/APP, S3/CTR. The purpose of this is to reduce the waiting times for mentoring sessions, this program frees the mentor for students that need the guidance.
EC member Thomas George in discussing the S2 on Approach and the soon to be trialled S3 on Centre stated "To reduce the demand on mentor time we are introducing the option for local facilities to allow members to practise solo as they approach CPT-readiness on Approach, subject to certain restrictions. Not only does it allow us to get more people online but it also capitalises on the candidate's desire to get through their CPT in terms of online time. VATUK ran the trial and saw that approach positions in Bristol, Liverpool as well as Midlands and Essex (Stansted/Luton) were much more prominent in the weekly Iron Mic results..."
To date the results have been very good, and the students participating have leapt at the chance to continue their VATSIM journey in this manner. One eager participant was quoted as saying "To be honest, its the best thing since sliced bread!
I can put the hours in and become - the key word here "comfortable" working the position with live traffic in the run up to my pre-exam and then finally exam on the position.
I am already ticked on all competencies as "exam standard" in my training, the drawback is confidence in manning the position, The SAV gives me this without the need to have a mentor present, and the bonus in this, is that it frees up the mentor to assist other students and bring them also up to exam standard.
The SAV will give me the time to practice, become familiar, and instil the confidence to have a better chance of pulling off the exam. Without the SAV, I believe it would take far too many hours of mentors time just to have him sitting above just observing.
Being assessed as exam standard on all competencies is one thing, putting these things into practice before the exam with traffic is another and takes time, that time is allowed under an SAV. (Emphasis added)
I hope that they stay for good for the up and coming members of the society"
The VATSIM Board of Governors' fully supports the Executive Committee in its endeavours to improve the ATC training program, and openly applauds all VATSIM staff for the efforts they have put into ensuring these trials have been the success they are.
VATSIM VP Operations
on behalf of the VATSIM Board of Governors