4.3 Continuing Qualification Curriculum
A Continuing Qualification curriculum provides the means for fully qualified individuals to maintain their proficiency in their duty positions and aircraft assignments. Continuing Qualification applies to all persons subject to an AQP, including instructors and evaluators. AQP requires a Continuing Qualification curriculum for each duty position in each type, model, and series aircraft (or variant). Similar to the Qualification Curriculum, each Continuing Qualification Curriculum will include training, validation, and evaluation.
Analysis of AQP data may allow for modified or extended training and evaluation cycles once the program moves into Phase V. In order to substantiate modifications to training and evaluation intervals, the air operator must have previously implemented First-Look Manoeuvres (FLM) and collected sufficient data through one full Continuing Qualification Cycle in order to establish a base line by which to measure the effect of modified intervals. FLM are those manoeuvres, procedures or tasks that are identified as likely to be sensitive to loss of proficiency due to infrequent practice or exposure.
The principal purpose of FLM is to test the retention of the flight crews in performing these manoeuvres over the evaluation cycle. FLM are an AQP requirement as soon as flight crewmembers are subject to a Continuing Qualification Curriculum. FLM are also a valuable tool that can be employed as a means of validating that currency items are performed in line operations with sufficient frequency that proficiency is being maintained.
An AQP-qualified instructor may conduct first look proficiency assessment in a Level C or higher FFS. However, if an applicant proposes to request manoeuvres validation credit for critical first-look manoeuvres, the applicant must ensure that the first-look proficiency assessment is accomplished by an AQP-qualified evaluator, rather than by an instructor. During First-Look, evaluators must employ the same measurement methodology and rating criteria as used in Manoeuvres Validation. The First-Look grades are analyzed to determine if trends of degraded proficiency exist.
There are four considerations for First‑Look Manoeuvres proficiency assessment:
- Composition of the manoeuvres list,
- Strategy for testing the manoeuvres,
- Administering the test, and
- List of Manoeuvres
The list of First‑Look Manoeuvres is developed by the applicant. This list may be data derived provided that the methodology has been accepted by Transport Canada. First-Look items are performed, graded and analyzed to validate that flight crews can maintain proficiency in these items between training intervals. These may also include certain items given a designation of “Currency” in the Qualification Standard, in order to facilitate initial validation that these items are being performed outside of training with sufficient frequency that proficiency is being maintained.
- Testing Strategy
The testing strategy the applicant develops for First-Look is part of the Implementation and Operations Plan (see Chapter 2). An ideal approach would be to develop a list of several critical and/or currency items that will be sampled using a controlled sampling technique. This would ensure that each of the items is adequately and evenly assessed during the evaluation period. It is important to remember that First‑Look testing is not as much an assessment of an individual's skills, as it is a measure of the collective retention of proficiency by flight crews. Individual assessment occurs in MV and LOE only. The data that is collected from First‑Look testing is used for trend analysis and as a tool to validate the AQP's overall effectiveness.
First-Look items must not be briefed in advance of the first execution of such manoeuvres. Proficiency data must be collected before the repeated execution of any such First-Look item during training in a flight simulator. There are several options as to when the First‑Look Manoeuvres testing should be conducted. For example, First‑Look Manoeuvres could be introduced as the first event of a simulator training session addressing manoeuvres. Another option would be to allow the flight crew an opportunity to “warm up” to the simulator by doing other pre-briefed manoeuvres prior to First-Look. Other options would be to make it part of an event in a LOFT or SPOT. The common element in all such options is that proficiency is assessed the first time the First-Look item occurs in training.
First‑Look Manoeuvres proficiency assessment is considered a no jeopardy event, subject to the requirement that any manoeuvres unsuccessfully accomplished be trained to proficiency prior to the LOE.
Continuing Qualification curricula should achieve a proper balance between training and evaluation.
Continuing Qualification curricula should typically outline a uniform timetable for the following activities:
- Continuing Qualification Ground Training Activities
Continuing Qualification training includes ground instruction and evaluation for flight crewmembers, instructors and evaluators. This training includes a review of the information covered in Qualification training, updated as appropriate.
- Continuing Qualification Flight Proficiency Training
Flight crews and those instructors and evaluators who conduct flight training or flight evaluations will complete proficiency training designed for their respective duty position. This training may be achieved in an aircraft, flight-training device, or flight simulator. Flight proficiency training permits flight crews to experience and practice the procedures and manoeuvres that are not normally encountered in day-to-day flight operations such as alternate, abnormal, and emergency flight events. For instructors and evaluators whose duties are limited to flight simulators and FTDs, flight proficiency training may be conducted in flight simulators and FTDs.
- Special Purpose Operational Training (SPOT)
These training segments in Continuing Qualification curricula are used for the same purposes as in qualification curricula.
Continuing Qualification must include validation/evaluation in all events and major subjects required for original qualification. This requirement is met through proficiency evaluations and OEs.
- Manoeuvres Validation (MV)
The MV session in the Continuing Qualification curriculum allows assessment and attainment of technical proficiency in the training program prior to evaluation in the LOE. In Continuing Qualification curriculum training, repeats are allowed and are not counted as an evaluation repeat. In a Continuing Qualification curriculum, MV must be successfully completed within the time limits of the standard company scheduled simulator session (national norm is approximately 2 hours per flight crewmember) or an additional training period is required. If an individual requires additional training periods to be able to demonstrate proficiency, consideration should be given to placing the individual in special tracking.
- Line Operational Evaluation (LOE)
The LOE is the primary proficiency evaluation. The LOE is conducted in a simulation device approved for its intended use in the AQP. Under extenuating circumstances, the AQP proficiency evaluation may be accomplished in an aircraft, subject to Transport Canada authorization. The purpose, administration, and remediation strategy for the Continuing Qualification Curriculum LOE is the same as for a Qualification Curriculum.
- Online Evaluation (OE)
Irrespective of the length of the CQC, an OE must be scheduled on an annual basis following initial qualification.
Note: These validations and evaluations, including the associated remediation strategies, are fully described in the AQP Evaluator Manual.
The applicant’s AQP should show compliance with the currency experience requirements as outlined in the CARs/CASS. These currency requirements, if not met during line operations, may be satisfied through a flight currency reestablishment activity specified in the Continuing Qualification Curriculum. Currency activities for instructors and evaluators who are not regular line flight crewmembers will be specified in each AQP. These instructor and evaluator activities should enable each instructor or evaluator to maintain proficiency in teaching and evaluating the events he/she is authorized to perform.
The time period during which all proficiency objectives are trained, validated, or evaluated for all crewmembers is called a Continuing Qualification Cycle (CQC). Figure 4-5 illustrates an example of a Continuing Qualification Cycle (following initial qualification). A CQC is initially based on a 2-year matrix (24 months). This CQC is typically divided into two 12-month Evaluation Periods. All Critical Proficiency Objectives must be evaluated during each Evaluation Period. All Currency Proficiency Objectives must be accomplished during each Continuing Qualification Cycle. It is important to remember that Criticality and Currency does not pertain solely to TPOs, but can also apply to SPOs, dependent on the air operator's Job Task Analysis. CQC intervals can be modified when the program reaches Phase V given adequate justification based on program data analysis.
The Continuing Qualification Cycle footprint must provide sufficient detail to show compliance with the CASS. Elements of ground training activities, flight training activities, validation, evaluation and currency activities are specifically identified. The schedule for the cycle should specify the period between each type of activity such as Manoeuvres Training (MT), LOFT, MTV and LOE. It should also specify the order in which each activity is to be performed.
Developing a Continuing Qualification activity schedule involves selecting and arranging modules (with related proficiency objectives) from the Qualification Curriculum. These modules are regularly revisited to maintain both individual and crew proficiency. Each Continuing Qualification Curriculum will identify the frequency of training sessions for each person qualified under an AQP.
- Training and Evaluation Periods
The Continuing Qualification Cycle must be divided into Evaluation and Training Periods. All critical proficiency objectives shall be evaluated during each Evaluation Period. A typical, twelve-month Evaluation Period will be valid until the first day of the thirteenth month following the month in which the evaluation was completed. Once in Phase V however, Evaluation Periods may be longer or shorter than twelve months. For illustration purposes, a sixteen-month Evaluation Period, for example, would be valid until the first day of the seventeenth month following the month in which the evaluation was completed.
Each Evaluation Period shall have one or more Training Periods during which a training activity occurs. A typical, six-month Training Period will be valid until the first day of the seventh month following the month in which the training was completed. Once in Phase V however, Training Periods may be longer or shorter than six months. For illustration purposes, an eight-month Training Period, for example, would be valid until the first day of the ninth month following the month in which the training was completed.
Within the traditional program, when a pilot proficiency check (PPC) or training is renewed within the last 90 days of its validity period, its original anniversary date can be maintained. A similar provision exists for air operators using AQP that are maintaining 6/12 month training and evaluation periods: If the flight crewmember’s evaluation or training is renewed within 90 days of its validity period, then the original anniversary date can be maintained.
However, for AQP air operators that are authorized for training and evaluation periods greater than 6/12 months, the original anniversary date can only be maintained if the training or evaluation occurs within the last 60 days of the validity period.
Figure 4-5: Continuing Qualification Cycle
(Example Using a Phase V, 32-Month Matrix)
Note 1: All Currency Proficiency Objectives must be evaluated during each Continuing Qualification Cycle.
Note 2: All Critical Proficiency Objectives must be evaluated during each Evaluation Period.
For air operators that are maintaining 6/12 month training and evaluation periods, a 60-day extension may be granted, if the Minister is of the opinion that aviation safety is not likely to be affected. When an air operator is authorized to maintain training and evaluation periods longer than 6/12 months, a 30-day extension may be granted, if the Minister is of the opinion that aviation safety is not likely to be affected.
Extensions are only considered for unforeseen circumstances that are beyond the air operator’s control. These unforeseen circumstances could include such things as illness and simulator breakdown. Extensions will not be granted due to poor planning, scheduling conflicts or lack of proper preparation.
The Continuing Qualification Cycles and Evaluation Periods are subject to continued demonstration of overall effectiveness. The demonstration will be dependent on the data submitted by the applicant for program validation and Transport Canada surveillance. To ensure adequate individual and crew qualification, an applicant must show that its AQP has the capability to monitor each individual’s demonstrated proficiency. Included within this validation is the introduction of First‑Look Manoeuvres.
- Dual Qualification
For the purposes of AQP, an individual is deemed to be “dual qualified” if, during the Continuing Qualification Cycle following an AQP proficiency evaluation (LOE), the individual performs flight crew duties in an additional aircraft type. If maintaining qualification in more than one aircraft type in accordance with the definition of “dual qualification” above, the individual will have one aircraft type designated as the “primary” type. The other aircraft type on which they are maintaining qualification will be designated as the “secondary” type.
- Training Cycle
A person, who is qualified on more than one aircraft type or in more than one duty position on different aircraft types, should be simultaneously enrolled in a separate Continuing Qualification Curriculum for each assigned aircraft and duty position. For each aircraft type on which he/she is maintaining qualification, the individual flight crewmember must accomplish each of the relevant aircraft’s Continuing Qualification Curriculum in its entirety. Those training items that are not “fleet specific” in nature need only be addressed in the primary aircraft’s Continuing Qualification Cycle.
- Online Evaluation
In addition, the individual must accomplish at least one OE during the Continuing Qualification Cycle of the "primary" aircraft. The flight crewmember should be subject to OEs on each additional type prior to repeating the OE on any single type.
- Multiple Duty Positions
A person assigned simultaneously as a flight crewmember, instructor, and/or evaluator on the same aircraft, may be enrolled in a Continuing Qualification Curriculum which combines the activities necessary to maintain skill and proficiency in all duty positions.
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