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Air traffic control in Australia is provided by two independent organisations, one civilian and one military. The civilian provider is Airservices Australia, which controls civilian airfields and airspace. The military provider is the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which controls military airfields and adjoining airspace. This includes Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy aviation bases.
Air traffic controllers manage the safe and orderly flow of aircraft into, out of, and between airports throughout Australia and with overseas regions adjoining Australian airspace. Australian Air traffic controllers are employed under an Air Traffic Control Enterprise Agreement, and are paid well, with senior staff receiving up to $200,000 per year.
To be eligible to apply with the training program of Airservices Australia, a few requirements have to be met. You have to be at least 18 years of age, and you have to be an Australian or New Zealand Citizen, or an Australian Permanent Resident. You must be able to provide evidence that you have obtained one of the following requirements at an Australian institution in the past 10 years:
Any international qualifications will need to be assessed by an appropriate authority as equivalent to one of the above criteria.
When applying to the training program of Airservices Australia, the first step of the procedure is filling in the application form. In this form, you are asked to fill in your basic information, your previous work experience and your previous education. You are also asked to nominate your preferred stream (en route, terminal or tower) and location. You can only apply for this position twice.
After your application, you will usually be asked to complete some online ability assessments, that are provided by SHL-CEB. The assessments you will usually be asked to complete are verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, mental arithmetic, an error checking test and a spatial reasoning test.
In a verbal reasoning test, it basically comes down to reading comprehension. The test provides a better/additional insight on the expected work level of the contestant. It also provides a more accurate image of the contestant than just the CV or a job interview. Therefore, the verbal reasoning test is used to test, with or without other assessment tests, which candidate is best suited for the job.
In a numerical reasoning test, candidates are required to answer questions using facts and figures presented in statistical tables (work with percentages, proportions, fractions, ratios, estimations and currency conversions). Numerical reasoning tests are one of the most commonly used aptitude tests that come up during a job application. Numerical reasoning tests are standardized psychometric assessment tests that provide the employing organization with information about a candidate’s general numerical aptitude. These tests are designed to measure a candidate’s ability to make correct decisions or inferences from numerical or statistical data. It is intended to measure the ability to work with numerical data in a realistic workplace context.
Mental Arithmetic tests are standardized psychometric assessment tests that provide the employing organization with information about a candidate’s general numerical aptitude. These tests are designed to measure a candidate’s basic numeracy and can be categorized as a speed test. Mental Arithmetic Test are designed to measure your ability to add, subtract, divide, and multiply numbers quickly and accurately.
Error Checking tests are standardized psychometric assessment tests that provide the employing organization with information about a candidate’s general ability to quickly identify any errors in complex data. These tests are designed to measure attention to detail and evaluate speed and accuracy skills.
Spatial Reasoning tests are non-verbal, standardized psychometric assessment tests that provide the employing organization with information about a candidate’s ability to mentally re-arrange, rotate and manipulate shapes or objects without physically touching them. These tests are often used in technical sectors (such as engineering) but also in the military. Spatial reasoning is essential for solving everyday problems, such as using a map and compass, merging into high-speed traffic, and orienting yourself in your environment. Other examples of tasks that require visual-spatial ability are determining the size of a box and how many objects fit in it, and using mirror images.
After successfully completing these tests, you will be asked to have a 15 to 20-minute interview regarding your motivation and understanding of the role you are applying for.
Following this interview, the most suitable candidates will be asked to attend a day at an Assessment Centre. This day is designed to further assess your suitability for being an air traffic controller. This day includes more interviews, group exercises, and further computer based psychometric testing, as well as simulation exercises. In a group exercise you will usually be briefed with a problem relating to the position you applied for. Subsequently you will discuss this with your group members, and present your findings to the assessors.
After the Assessment Centre, you Airservice Australia will check your references and check if you meet the medical end security requirements.
Airservice Australia uses, depending on the specific job profile, one or more of the following psychometric tests during their recruitment process:
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Note: It is possible that the organization, based on specific job roles and / or specific personality traits, composes a tailored assessment. As a candidate you have the right to know what you can expect on your assessment day. Therefore, it is wise to make sure that you are well informed before the assessment and request information from the recruiting organization or assessment center where you will take your tests.
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