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Callum McLoughlin

discussion ATC Training Positions

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Callum McLoughlin

Hi all, can I challenge why both the head of training and manager responsible for ATC training both have a potential of holding S3 ratings? Why is it judged as appropriate for the vacancy for head of ATC training to also have a minimum of an S3 too?

My question arises as the S stands for "student".

Open minded, but would be interested in the justification/thought process behind this.

Have a good weekend 🙂 

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Simon Irvine

Thanks for your question, Callum.

This was my decision.  I had a long think about how we could restructure training when Andy left last month.  My view is that the days of C1s and above being the only people who could manage ATC training are gone.  Sure we have plenty of C1s who can do the job, however, when I appoint managers I look at someone's behaviours and leadership skills and I took a judgment that we should open the role to S3s.  People might argue, why not OBS or S1s or S2s, but I made a judgement call to limit the post to S3 and above.  This also opens staff positions to a wider pool of people.

You may agree or disagree with what I've said but it was a decision I have taken and I know it will benefit the Division. 

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Jim Johnson
11 hours ago, Simon Irvine said:

Thanks for your question, Callum.

This was my decision.  I had a long think about how we could restructure training when Andy left last month.  My view is that the days of C1s and above being the only people who could manage ATC training are gone.  

I tend to agree with Simon. In my opinion, S3 is an indicator or knowledge of the main ATC functions used by the "vast" majority of vatsimers.. Whilst not an C rating, I nevertheless understand its functions. I know of many examples of managers who are less qualified than the people they manage but are able to carry out managerial functions. Management in general is down to experience, organisational skills and leadership and for some, the benefits of specific related management training. Still a good question Callum.

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Andrew Macleod

Surely one of them would have to be C1 though? ATC training and head of training?

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Andy Ford
2 hours ago, Andrew Macleod said:

Surely one of them would have to be C1 though? ATC training and head of training?

Not necessarily, the ATC TD role only really requires that you have a working knowledge of how the system works and an idea on how to better it from a global level. Knowing how to handle a military radar corridor transit doesn't help you run training for the entirety of the UK. Besides, if you need to know more about something specific, that's where you gather the opinions and expertise of other members and staff who do have that knowledge. This is precisely why I consulted the membership when I first took over, because I wanted to know what people were thinking, what was affecting their daily membership of the division.... being an authoritarian as VATUK5 was never a good idea anyway... I always saw the TD role as guiding the general direction of the department (e.g. Explicitly published mentoring criteria, emphasis on self-learning). I largely left the running of the individual training levels to those that had been appointed to those roles, because they know what they need and they know what their students need.

For example, when I was TD I knew very little of what works best at, for example, OBS-S1, given that I have barely ever mentored at that level (especially not since I was an S2). I trusted my team to know what they needed, propose solutions and then we sit down have a chat and agree on it. It was far more effective in getting things done that way.

As much as it sounds glorious, VATUK5 was really an administrative role - I barely ever mentored as UK5 because I was always thinking about grand schemes to improve the world. You really don't need a C1 to come up with ideas 🙂 I agree with Simon's judgement on S3's being able to apply - by that point if you've come through the UK from the start, you've been on the network long enough to appreciate how it works and spent enough time in our training system to understand it and have feasible proposals for improvements.

Edited by Andy Ford

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James Gibson
On 10/11/2018 at 14:41, Andy Ford said:

You really don't need a C1 to come up with ideas


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