The air traffic services provider had limited formal guidance regarding how to determine appropriate consolidation periods for en route controllers on one sector before they were transitioned to commence training on another sector.
Response to safety issue
Airservices Australia (Airservices) advised the ATSB that the National ATS Administration Manual provided formal documented guidance regarding consolidation after the initial endorsement and factors determining consolidation periods. Airservices provided no advice of safety action in relation to this safety issue.
ATSB comment/action in response
The ATSB is not satisfied that Airservices has adequately addressed the identified safety issue. While the National ATS Administration Manual provides some guidance, as stated in the report, the minimum time periods for controller consolidation are not prescribed. As such, there is no formal time period required for consolidation and the subjective assessment is delegated to ‘supervisors' in determining respective consolidation periods. It is not stated that any formal documentation of assessment is to be performed or that a training specialist or the controller themselves be involved in the process. As such, this safety issue has not yet been adequately addressed by Airservices Australia and the ATSB issues the following recommendation.