4.0 Divisional Mentor / Instructor Policy

Category: Divisional ATC Policy | Middle East Division Policy

Divisional Mentor & Instructor Policy – v1.1

January 24th, 2019


Created and edited to v1.0 by Chriss Klosowski [24.01.2019].

Edited to v1.1 by Nikolas Goerlitz [18.02.2019]


Section 1 - VATME Policy Range

This document is the obligatory basis for all vACCs within VATSIM Middle East. It is the base structure for all ATC Training within the Division.
This Policy follows the following:


1.1     Ratification

This policy is in effect as of 10th of February 2019


1.2     Purpose

VATME's goal is to bring the most professional and realistic ATC Training for all members wishing to start their Air Traffic Control career on the network. This policy is a structured guide on how to provide training properly to members.

VATME or VATSIM Members do not need to be a professional pilot nor a real-life Air Traffic Controller. The VATSIM Network is a learning environment for everyone interested in Flight Simulator and Air Traffic Control. It is the task of all members, vACCs, Divisions, and Regions to make this possible.

VATME members are not expected to learn what is needed to become a real-world pilot or an Air Traffic Controller by this network solely. VATSIM was created to bring the communities who are interested in Flight Simulation and Air Traffic Control together. VATSIM is not an institution for real-world careers.

VATSIM Members use the network in their spare time. All VATSIM related services are organized and given by VATSIM Members. Therefore, they reflect the ability of members who donate their time and passion. We are a group of hobbyists and our services will reflect this.



Section 2 - VATME General Mentor / Instructor Minimum Requirements

  • Mentor Requirements
    • Must hold at least a rating of S2
    • Must hold at least 30 hours in their local vACC on their S2 rating as ATC (ATIS + OBS Hours will not count)
    • A member in good standing with VATSIM
  • Instructor (I1) Requirements
    • Must hold at least a rating of C1
    • Must hold at least 75 hours in their local vACC on their C1 rating as ATC (ATIS + OBS Hours will not count)
    • Must take & pass the VATSIM Middle East I1 - Instructor Theory Exam
    • A member in good standing with VATSIM
  • Senior Instructor (I3) Requirements
    • Must hold at least a rating of I1 or  C3
    • Must hold at least 150 hours in their local vACC on their I1/C3 rating as ATC (ATIS + OBS Hours will not Count)
    • Must take & pass the VATSIM Middle East I3 - Senior Instructor Theory Exam
    • Must be familiar with each vACC's local procedures

NOTE 1: These are the recommended requirements set-up by VATME. Local vACCs may have different requirements then what is stated here. Local vACCs reserves the right to reject any application.

NOTE 2: The I1/I3 Theory exam & rating are issued by the VATSIM Middle East ATC Department.

NOTE 3: Members wishing to apply for the I3 - Senior Instructor Rating will need a letter of recommendation by their local vACC Director & vACC Training Director.


2.1     Minimum Activitiy Requirement

In order to count as an active instructor / mentor, the following criteria have to be met. If a person fails to complete these minimum requirements, their rating (in the case of Instructors) or Mentor status (in the case of Mentors) will be revoked. The requirements are as follows:

  • Instructor (I1/I3)

Instructors are expected to fullfill at least 10 hours of active controlling or mentoring in their home vACC per quarter in order to maintain the active instructor status and thus the I1 rating. 

  • Mentors

Mentors are expected to fullfill at least 8 hours of active controlling or mentoring in their home vACC per quarter in order to maintain the mentor status and count as active. 

If a Mentor or Instructor is not able to maintain these activitiy requirements for any given reason, an email is to be sent to the VATME Training Director ([email protected]) or to the Division Director ([email protected]) with a valid reason. The reason will be discussed internally and if it is classed feasible a grant for one quarter is provided. The activity of every Mentor & Instructor is checked by the Divisional Staff Team at the beginning of every 3rd month (ie. the first day of that month). 

If a Mentor or Instructor fails to meet the minimum requirements and if no valid reasoning can be given, the rating or mentoring permission will be revoked. 


Section 3 - Overview

Mentors & Instructors within VATME are non-staff members tasked with issuing theory exam tokens, performing mentoring sessions, and signing off students and trainees on their positions. At the discretion of the local vACC ATC Training Director, mentors (rated S3 & above) can act as examiners for a controller practical test (CPT). Instructor rated (I1+) members can perform any CPT examination at their discretion. In any case, the decisions made by the mentors and instructors is final unless clear evidence is shown otherwise, in which case the decisions may be overturned at the discretion of the divisional or local ATC training director.

As a mentor/instructor, you agree that you will abide by and uphold all local vACC policies & procedures, all VATME Divisional Policies, all VATAME Regional Policies, and the VATSIM Code of Conduct & Code of Regulations. You will at all times, regardless of the situation, remain respectful and helpful to any member or visitor of a vACC. 

Mentors can only provide training to members below their rating level OR if the mentor has a sign off for the position. Mentors must use the following method...

  • I am a mentor with an S2 rating, but not signed off on TWR...
    • You can mentor members who are going for their S1 rating or going for DEL/GND approvals
  • I am a mentor with an S2 rating, and signed off on TWR
    • You can mentor members who are going for their S1/S2 rating or going for DEL/GND/TWR approvals
  • I am a mentor with an S3 rating, but not signed off on APP...
    • You can mentor members who are going for their S1/S2 rating or going for DEL/GND/TWR approvals
  • I am a mentor with an S3 rating, and signed off on APP
    • You can mentor members who are going for their S1/S2/S3 rating or going for DEL/GND/TWR/DEP/APP approvals
  • I am a mentor with a C1 rating, but not signed off on CTR
    • You can mentor members who are going for their S1/S2/S3 rating or going for DEL/GND/TWR/DEP/APP approvals
  • I am a mentor with a C1 rating, and signed off on CTR
    • You can mentor members who are going for their S1/S2/S3/C1 rating or going for DEL/GND/TWR/DEP/APP/CTR approvals

The only exception to this rule is for the vACC director.


3.1     VATME Controller Practical Examination Rules:

As per stated in the VATSIM Middle East Divisional Policy:

Each vACC in VATME has its own examination guidelines. However, the following ones below are general guidelines that shall lead to a better examination standard within VATME.

  1. ATC Examinations shall focus on the respective ATC rating competencies which are described in the GRP.
  2. The examination can be performed either in a simulated environment (Sweatbox) or on the network. Although it is encouraged to perform the examinations on the network.
  3. The examination should have a minimum duration of 60 minutes. However, it should not exceed 120 minutes.
  4. Examiners may ask other stations or pilots to perform certain procedures to challenge the candidate during his examination.
  5. Examiners are not allowed to influence other stations or pilots to create a conflict for the candidate.
  6. Examiners shall guard the candidate from unrealistic and exceeded abnormal procedures by pilots.
  7. Examiners are allowed to cancel the examination if it is obvious that the candidate cannot handle the traffic safely anymore and that would result in failure, providing detailed description in his report.
  8. Examiners can question the candidate after the session if certain competencies could not be examined due to missing requests/traffic.
  9. After an examination, a debriefing is required with the candidate.
  10. The VATME Examination document has to be filled along with any local vACC Examination Records by the examiner for future reference after each examination. This should be sent when filing an exam report on the VATAME HQ System.

3.2     Examiner Rules

  • The examiner must have a higher rating than the candidate is taking.
  • The mentor of the candidate cannot examine his/her own student. Instructors (INS) are exempted from this rule.
  • The Examiner must be approved by the vACC Training Director. I3 Divisional instructors are certified to examine anywhere in VATME.
  • Local vACC Examiners must login as ****_I_***. Divisional Examiners must login as ****_X_*** for CPTs.




Section 4 - Theory Exams

4.1     Theory Exam Tokens

Mentors & Instructors will issue exam tokens to students. Exams that need to be re-assigned will be listed at https://hq.vatme.net/token/pendingExam Tokens are re-assigned automatically by the VATAME HQ Bot every hour based off their re-assign requirement set in the Theory Exam setting. Mentors/Instructors should re-issue any tokens that have not been re-assigned by the HQ BOT. Regarding re-assignment times the following must be followed:

  • S1 Theory Exam - Can be re-assigned 48 hours after it has been failed.
  • S2/S3/C1 Theory Exams - Can be re-assigned 72 hours after it has been failed.

NOTE: The hour requirement also applies to local vACC Theory Exams. 


4.2     Theory Exam Requirements

Each vACC within VATME is required to assign the Divisional Rating Exams first this should be completed before assigning their local procedures theory exam. The local vACC exams should consist of:

  • Delivery & Ground Local Theory Exam
  • Tower Local Theory Exam
  • Approach & Departure Local Theory Exam
  • Center, Enroute Local Theory Exam

Questions based on the vACCs procedures/airport SOPs
These follow the same process as described in section 4.1 Theory Exam Tokens.



Section 5 - Mentoring Sessions

5.1     Performing the Sessions

All mentoring sessions within VATSIM Middle East are required to be logged into the HQ system. Any mentoring session a mentor/instructor does with a student/trainee that is not logged into HQ will not be accepted and the student/trainee will need to re-do the session. The reason for this is to maintain records and notes about students' sessions so that future staff, mentors, and instructors can always review them to understand how the student is progressing over their ATC career here. It is both the mentor's and student's responsibility to make sure that a mentoring session request has been accepted prior to starting the session.

To accept a training request, visit the HQ system than on the menu click Members > ATC > Request ATC Training. Scroll down on this page and you will find a table listing mentoring requests that have been submitted by students. You can accept the request by clicking "Accept Request" on the far right column. Some requests may have notes that the member may have left regarding the session. It is recommended that you read all the previous mentoring session logs for the student so that you understand where the student is in their learning path.

Most changes that are necessary after accepting the mentoring session can be added as a comment in the mentoring session log. If you need to cancel the session, there will be a button on the mentoring view page to "Close Session". If the time changes, you can leave a comment in the mentoring session to note the change in time. Otherwise, you can close the session and ask the student to re-submit it with the new date/time and pick up the session again. 

During the student's first session, go over their theory exams if they have taken any for their current rating/position. Only review questions they answered incorrectly unless the student has other questions. Once done, the session can continue.

For those members rated as S1 and higher ratings, the mentor/instructor should go online with the student on the position and observe their controlling. If there is not sufficient traffic online for the session, switch to Sweatbox using the local vACC Sweatbox scenario files for the session. Sessions should test students ability to handle traffic under stress. Provide any helpful feedback as they are controlling and answer questions that the student will ask, but not to the point of disrupting their control. If a student makes a mistake or says something wrong, wait until after the student is finished before letting them know what they did wrong and if corrective action is needed. Mentors should log in with their callsigns having an _M_ in between the original callsign, for example, OEJN_M_APP. The student should log in with the actual callsign of the position, for example, OEJN_APP.

For those members rated as OBS, they will not be able to log into the VATSIM network online as a controller - this is blocked at the network level. As such, you should do a Sweatbox session with simulated traffic. Once you have finished the mentoring session for OBS rated members and they have understood how to use Euroscope, mentors need to file a support ticket on HQ to the respective vACC staff and request an upgrade for the student to S1. You can also schedule multiple sessions at the same time for OBS rated members - similar to a "classroom" session and explain Euroscope functionality as well as ask each student to read clearances/taxi instructions to check their phraseology.

For mentoring sessions, you can wait for a total of 15 minutes for the student, before the session is considered cancelled due to "no-show" unless you have already talked to the student/trainee about it. Once a mentoring session is complete do not forget to go back into HQ, leave comments about the session, add as much as what has been done in the session so that every action and progress of the student can be logged. For example, you can take a look at the U.A.E vACC Local Checklist to take as an example: https://hq.vatme.net/vacc/OMAE Miscellaneous -> (Rating) Checklist

Remember: Mentors and instructors are only here to observe the student, provide feedback, and make sure the student understands the different procedures on the position. The student's job is to make sure he/she reads all necessary SOPs and other reading material that is provided by the vACC BEFORE coming to the session. The mentor's job is go over the material that is already explained in the SOPs and reading materials briefly and answer the student's questions or confusions regarding certain parts.



Section 6 - Divisional Checklists

6.1     The Checklist

VATSIM MIddle East will maintain Divisional Checklists to be used for vACCs that do not have their own version yet & for Controller Practical Examinations (CPT). The checklist should be applied for both Residents & Visiting controllers within VATME.

The purpose of these checklists is to ensure that mentors/instructors are using a standardized training scheme and that all students are taught the same core concepts. It is also used by division staff to review the training process. It is required that ALL MENTORING SESSIONS SHOULD HAVE THE CHECKLIST ATTACHED IN THE SESSION LOG!

The checklists have a scoring system out of 3 as defined below...

  • 0 - Unable to perform the action
  • 1 - Major issues performing the action
  • 2 - Minor issues performing the action that can be improved with further practice online
  • 3 - Perfect, no issues observed

If the session is for solo validation, approvals/sign off, or CPTs then the following are the cut-off for passing...

  • 70% - Solo Validation approval
  • 75% - Controller Practical Tests (CPT)
  • 80% - Approval/Sign off on a position

For those members who are Observer (OBS) rated and going for their Student 1 (S1) rating, they will be exempt from the scoring criteria. Mentors, however, will use the checklists as a guide as explained above.

Mentors will attach the checklist to the mentoring session log for the student to review at the end of their session. The checklists are in a Microsoft Word (docx) format and can easily be copied and pasted into the mentoring session log. In the word document, CTRL+A to select everything and copy it with CTRL+C. Then on the mentoring session log press CTRL+V to paste it. 

Students should review the feedback and work to improve it to a perfect score. As a general note, failure is a part of learning and it should not be used as a sign for not wanting to be an ATC. If any member puts in the time and effort, 

Checklists are available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1v9iQdMzYK7dQLR97x1OAYkdzJuOT-K8U/view?usp=sharing

The checklists shall not be modified in any way unless permission is granted by the VATSIM Middle East ATC Department Lead or their designee.



Section 7 - Solo Validations

7.1     Solo Validation Rules

Solo validations can only be given for APP and CTR positions - those who are S2 and going for their S3 or C1 ratings. Solo validations in the HQ system are assigned by I1+ members or the vACC staff. If you are a mentor and need to assign someone to solo validation, submit a ticket on the HQ system and assign it to the respective vACC staff with the request or by email.



End of Document