New Training Team and Board Restructure Announced

Following a lengthy process the VATNZ board has chosen it's new training team. And as part of that process we have restructured the Board. Congratulations to Oliver Holmwood and Cam Tyson who will be leading Training.

The Board was struck by the excellent quality of the applicants for the position, and the feedback and visions that they provided for the Training Programme in both the written proposals and the interviews with the shortlisted candidates. This was the first time we have required an interview phase for the recruitment process, and it was incredibly helpful to discuss the programme and our plans for its future with those candidates. We're extremely grateful for their input, and for their patience as we worked through the process. There was a number of excellent candidates that we were unable to find room for among the roles we're announcing, but we sincerely hope that they will continue to support the division and its Training Programme going forwards: there will be plenty of opportunities to support the division as the new directors implement their visions, and the Board is aware that what successes we achieve as VATNZ are the result of the contributions of a wide swath of our members, both on the Board and beyond.

The Board reviewed the tenure of the previous Training Director, and that of the previous TDs, and concluded that:

  • it is one of the most of the most time-consuming and relentless of all positions within the division, and consequently while people are appointed to the role with grand plans and best of intentions, they are limited in their ability to affect change by the time requirements of pushing people through the training process
  • the TD have traditionally had two key jobs: designing, documenting and continually improving the training syllabus; and pushing people through the training system (eg: assigning mentors/assessors, delivering training, etc
  • as well as having significant time requirements, these two tasks require significantly different skill sets.

The Board identified an opportunity to improve the quality and execution of both tasks by appointing two people to handle the roles:

  • Training Syllabus Director is responsible for designing, documenting and continually improving the Training Programme in terms of its syllabus, course and assessment design, as well as providing additional educational and informational content through existing division channels (chiefly the Training site, and the wider VATNZ website). In addition, the TSD has responsibility for establishing consistent standards for Mentors and Assessors, and for monitoring and supporting the same to deliver against those standards.
  • Controller Operations Director is responsible for controllers' careers and operations within the division. This includes delivery of the training programme to controllers and students, and management of a team of Mentors/Assessors to drive it. In addition, they are responsible for non-training related support of controller operations, most notably the creation and maintenance of sector files and related resources. More generally, they also provide a dedicated position to represent controllers' interests and views directly within the Board.
  • The two roles will work closely together, in consultation with the rest of the Board, to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of controller training within the division.

The Board is disestablishing the Airspace Director role and merging its responsibilities into the new Controller Operations Director position.

  • This reflects the fact that the AD's main responsibility - oversight of the sector files - is a Controller Operations-oriented task.
  • The AD role in the current Board structure has significantly lower workload than the Training Director, and so merging it into the COD position with its responsibility for delivery of controller training, allows the Training Syllabus Director to focus on training programme design, and more equitably distributes the load between Board members.

The Board recognises that this is a new approach to running the division's Training Programme, but feels that the potential benefits of the revised structure outweigh any short-term issues associated with making such a fundamental change.

The Board intends to review the new structure and its impact on the efficient and effective delivery of training and the production of associated controller and web site resources after six months (March 2021)