Excellence in Pilot Training: Insights from APC’s ATO Quality Assurance Webinar

Excellence in Pilot Training: Insights from APC’s ATO Quality Assurance Webinar

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In a recent webinar, our CEO, Andy O’Shea, put focus on APC’s Quality Assurance process.

Training Quality and ATO Partnership

Exploring the partnership dynamics between APC (Airline Pilot Club) and partner ATOs (Approved Training Organizations), the discussion delved into efforts and investments made by certain ATOs to elevate their standards above merely complying with the mandatory regulations.

During the webinar, Andy pointed out the limited focus by some National Aviation Authorities on practical pilot training in their dealings with ATOs. Andy’s insights shed light on the emphasis on “Compliance” by National Aviation Authorities, and not, in all cases, the quality of practical training.

The APC collaboration-focused approach, aims to bridge gaps in quality and standards, emphasising APC’s commitment to providing top-notch training for aspiring pilots.

ATO Review Criteria Discussed

Andy also discussed the APC review “checklist” for reviewing suitable ATOs. Pre-course selection and preparation of students, instructor training and standardisation, and the organisation’s Management Systems are all examined carefully. Factors such as the presence of an Airline Pilot Standard MCC (Multi Crew Cooperation), quality of the aircraft fleet and simulators, origin of instructors, and the strength of the ATO’s relationship with an airline are also key focus areas.

Training Materials and Sessions Quality

The quality of training materials and practical training within various also earned attention in the discussion. Andy detailed the importance of comprehensive lesson plans, effective briefings, and debriefings, while highlighting variations in the quality of these elements across ATOs.

While many ATOs comply with industry-best-practice, variations in the standard of training were noted. APC’s subject matter experts work with the ATOs management team to understand and implement our recommendations.

Embracing Pilot and Instructor Competencies

Recognising the diligence of most ATOs in implementing APC quality assessment recommendations, he emphasised the necessity for ATOs to focus on both pilot and instructor competencies. Consistent instructor competencies and standardisation, according to Andy, are pivotal for ensuring a smooth transition of students into airline training and achieving successful organisational outcomes.

Training Course Challenges and Audit Process

Addressing the challenges of selecting courses and creating pilots ready for the demands of airline operations, Andy spoke to the heart of the matter.

Airlines need pilots who can step into a demanding operational environment within the approved operator training footprint. Not all licenced pilots can do this. Airlines monitor the performance of students on their training courses, and note what ATO they have been trained in. ATOs that try to produce Airline-Ready pilots are appreciated by airlines and are therefore these are the ones to target for your training.

The webinar was well received, and attendees were delighted to understand fully the value of APC’s quality assurance review to APC members looking for the right ATO.

In this insightful webinar, APC reinforces its commitment to excellence, laying the groundwork for pilot training that not only meets regulatory requirements but excels in quality and standards.

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