3.2 Transport Canada Approval Procedures

3.2.1 Phase I - AQP Application 

Initial Application:  Transport Canada’s review and acceptance of the initial application marks the air operator’s formal entry into the AQP. The steps for the applicant are:

  1. Submit the application to the applicable Transport Canada POI as appropriate;
  2. Address comments and recommendations from Transport Canada.

Once Transport Canada accepts the application and approves the Application / Administration document, it will issue a letter of authorization to the applicant, with permission to begin Phase II.

3.2.2    Phase II – Curriculum Development 

Curriculum Development:  Phase II consists of five stages with corresponding documents. Each of these stages is inter-related and must be completed in a specific order. Because of this linking, Curriculum Development follows a sequential order of document development: JTA, Qualification Standards, ISD Methodology, Curriculum Outlines, and finally the Implementation and Operations Plan. After all Phase II required documents have been approved, Transport Canada will issue a letter of authorization to the applicant, with permission to begin Phase III.

3.2.3    Phase III - Implementation 

As mentioned in 3.1.3 B. above, Transport Canada requires the establishment of a Quality Assurance (QA) team. This team will conduct quality assurance on the SGT activities in order to ensure that the program develops properly. Numerous challenges are normally encountered during this phase. These will require constant vigilance and guidance from the QA team. The team shall ensure that all regulatory requirements are met during the conduct of the SGT. This is especially important for a credited SGT.

Transport Canada’s involvement at this stage is kept to a minimum in order to allow the operator to adjust and amend their program as deemed appropriate. Once Transport Canada receives a satisfactory report from the QA Team, the regulatory validation activities commence.

Note:  The duration of a SGT (before a regulatory validation) should not exceed 3 runs of the curriculum. However, this may be extended at the discretion of the POI.

The following criteria are used by Transport Canada while validating Phase III events (i.e., Small Group Try-out scripts).

  1. AQP Philosophy 
    The AQP philosophy must be applied throughout the design of the program. A Qualification Curriculum should guide the candidates through the program in a progressive and systematic way. The introduction of new material (KSAs) that focuses on manoeuvres training should have been completed at the end of the Manoeuvres Training (MT) segment. MT is then validated in the Manoeuvres Proficiency Validation (MPV).

    In the LOFT segment of the training, the primary focus switches to CRM skills. During LOFTs, the candidates should not be forced to concentrate on acquiring new technical knowledge and new technical skills. To help flight crews to develop their CRM skills, direct involvement from the facilitator should be kept to a minimum.

    Through careful analysis and planning, AQP creates a training program that addresses both technical topics and crew resource issues. In so doing, AQP prepares candidates for a seamless transition to line flying duties. 
  2. Line Operational Simulation (LOS) Methodology
    The design of LOFT/LOE/SPOT must be done in accordance with the operator's approved LOS methodology. 
  3. Approved Matrix
    All items within the approved Matrix must be covered. 
  4. Realism 
    When designing LOEs and LOFTs, the objective is to realistically simulate "line" operations. As a guideline, LOE and LOFT scripts should focus equally on technical topics and CRM issues. Introducing too many technical topics may create an imbalance. This is a common fault seen during script development. 
  5. Flow of Scripts 
    LOE and LOFT should be constructed to realistically simulate line operations. The event sets should be sequenced in a chronological, logical order. No repositioning is allowed during LOEs and LOFTs.

    A logical flow in Manoeuvres Training (MTs) and Manoeuvres Validation (MV) is also encouraged as much as possible. Repositioning is encouraged during MTs and MVs. This allows repetition of exercises, reinforcement of learning and also permits more efficient use of the simulator. MT sessions should be constructed logically, using the building block approach. 
  6. Complexity (Level of Difficulty) and Scope of Scripts 
    In AQP the level of difficulty should not overwhelm and result in negative training. In addition to level of difficulty, the scope (number of exercises) of each training session should be carefully considered to prevent an overload of candidates and instructors.

    The demographics of the pilots should be considered and when required, the program must be adjusted accordingly. For example, if a large group of pilots transitioned from aircraft with traditional instruments (electro-mechanical “round dials”) to new technology (“glass cockpit”) aircraft, a special training segment within the overall program might be required. The introduction of such a segment must be identified within the database and segregated in order to avoid contaminating the general database. 
  7. Duration of Scripts 
    Scripts should be constructed so the all events can be completed in the allotted time, assuming there are no simulator malfunctions or other mitigating circumstances.

    Transport Canada uses the following guidelines when assessing the duration of scripts:

    A typical 4.0 hr simulator session would include the following:

    1. Line Operational Evaluation (LOE) / Line Oriented Flight Training (LOFT): (including SPOT if integrated within the simulator period):  These scripts must include time for at least 2 repeats (7.5 minutes each for a total of 15 minutes) and a 10 minutes break between legs. Total time for the script (excluding the time for a break and repeats) should not exceed 3 hrs and 35 minutes. 
    2. Manoeuvres Procedures Validation (MPV) / Manoeuvres Training Validation (MTV):  These scripts must include time for a 10 minutes break and an allowance for at least 2 repeats (5.0 minutes each). Total time for the script (excluding the time for a break and repeats) should not exceed 3 hrs and 40 minutes.

      Note:  If the operator has included a warm-up period prior to the validation, then the time allowed for the warm-up must also be included within the allotted time for the script. 
    3. Manoeuvres Training (MT):  These scripts must include time for a 10 minutes break and an allowance for at least 2 repeats (5.0 minutes each). Thus total events should be designed for no more than 3 hrs and 40 minutes.
  8. Functionality of Scripts in Applicable Simulators 
    All scripts must be tested and found to be acceptable in all simulators used by the operator for a particular aircraft type. 
  9. Conduct of Scripts
    The scripts must be conducted in accordance to the operator's authorized instructor and evaluator course. The following issues are of particular interest:

    1. Instructor and evaluator's preparedness. 
    2. Adherence to scripts. 
    3. Role playing by the instructor and evaluator as applicable to the type of script. 
    4. Time management as appropriate. 
    5. Intervention by the instructor and evaluator as appropriate and where applicable. 
    6. Instructional techniques as appropriate. 
    7. Handling of mitigating circumstances (i.e., what to do when simulator malfunctions or when the crew takes an “unforeseen” plan of action). 
    8. Ability to operate the simulator correctly. 
    9. Ability to brief and de-brief candidates in accordance with the authorized instructor and evaluator course. 
    10. Knowledge of the AQP program with particular emphasis on their roles and responsibilities (i.e., ensuring that the proper level of proficiency is reached, proper grading assessment, proper conducts of repeats). 
    11. Attitude towards the AQP program. 
  10. Program Operation 
    Proficiency data, maintenance plan, quality assurance, data collection, analysis and reporting systems will be evaluated for consistency and accuracy. 
  11. Implementation and Operations Plan Review
    Once Phase III is concluded, the applicant will provide Transport Canada with an updated Implementation and Operations Plan. Subject to the recommendation of the POI, Transport Canada will be in a position to acknowledge the completion of Phase III. This constitutes authorization for using the individual curricula and will authorize the applicant to enter Phase IV. The applicant may now execute the updated Implementation and Operations Plan.

3.2.4 Phase IV- Initial Operations

In this phase the applicant will implement the AQP as defined in the updated Implementation and Operations plan through one complete cycle of the Continuing Qualification curriculum.

  1. Review and Surveillance
    Transport Canada activities in this phase will consist of surveillance and audit of AQP operations as well as analysis of data collection results. Joint Transport Canada and applicant reviews will be conducted periodically. These meetings will provide both parties the chance to analyze results and discuss program concerns. A brief report of the findings and solutions will be submitted to Transport Canada by the air operator.

    A final joint review will be accomplished prior to the end of Phase IV initial authorization (typically following 24 months of Phase IV activities). The review will identify any changes engendered by initial data analysis reports and demonstrate that the data collection and analysis process is still adequate and sufficient. In addition, this review should verify that the current proficiency measures for the Qualification Standards are reliable and valid and that the AQP is being maintained in accordance with the Implementation and Operations Plan.

    Focus areas for these reviews are:

    1. Data Management: 
      1. Collection; 
      2. Analysis; 
      3. Standardization; 
      4. Observations; 
      5. Additional training; 
      6. First-Look; 
      7. Program feedback. 
    2. Record Keeping. 
    3. Adherence to Implementation Plan. 
    4. Modifications to the program. 
    5. Qualification Standards reliability and validity. 
    6. Maintenance of the AQP. 
    7. Currency of the PADB. 
    8. Instructor and Evaluator Program. 
    9. Special Tracking. 
    10. Transition to AQP for Non-AQP Fleets.
    Once the final joint review has been completed, the applicant will update the Implementation and Operations Plan to include the changes recommended by Transport Canada. The applicant will submit a copy of the updated Implementation and Operations Plan to the POI. 
  2. Quality Assurance Program
    Transport Canada will validate the operator’s QA program to determine if all appropriate processes are being satisfactorily implemented. A proven and established QA Program (including mentorship program for instructor and evaluators) is essential for advancement into Phase V.

3.2.5 Phase V - Continuous Operations 

In this phase, oversight of the AQP is maintained through ongoing Transport Canada surveillance and audit programs. The air operator will report on the maintenance of the AQP through documentation changes and program revisions. In addition, the air operator will continue to provide a copy of its Annual AQP Report to Transport Canada and hold an annual AQP review meeting with TC.

The operator will have a proven and fully established Quality Assurance (QA) Program. Subject to the authorization of Transport Canada, innovative approaches and deviations from the “traditional” requirements of the CARs may be considered at this stage of the program. All changes of this nature must be supported by data analysis. Among the possibilities which could potentially be considered are changes to the Online Evaluation (OE) training and evaluation cycles and the introduction of data derived methodologies.

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