The Senior Controller Rating (C3) may be awarded to an individual who:
- Is already rated to provide all 6 standard VATSIM controller services, and
- Who provides services not related to the control services provided by any of the 6 standard control positions, or
- Demonstrates seniority, a high level of performance or any additional role as determined by the local region or division.
The Senior Controller (C3) rating is unique in that it is the only standard controller rating that does not afford the controller any further permissions or airspace on the VATSIM network. That is, the candidate is already proficient at all the standard control positions and may control these positions and no new positions become available as a result of the Senior Controller rating.
Within VATPAC, the Senior Controller may be awarded to those who display mastery in the provision of air traffic services and commitment to the development of themselves and others in the areas of online air traffic control and/or contribute significantly to the community in a non-ATS role, and who demonstrate competency in advanced concepts not covered by the VATSIM Global Ratings Policy competencies.
Any VATPAC member who wishes to pursue the rating of Senior Controller may make an application to the Director of ATC Training including in their application: their online ATC experience, other contributions to VATPAC, and an overview of why they desire to undertake further study/assessment. This application should be professionally presented as though the candidate is applying for employment, however should only present information relevant to the role of a Senior Controller on the VATSIM network.
This application will then be considered by the VATPAC Board to determine the applicant's suitability to undergo the Senior Controller training/assessment program. Although this decision is not solely based on statistics, historically Senior Controller candidates have demonstrated hundreds of hours of ATC at a high standard.
Senior Controller training absorbs significant training resources (in most cases is spread out over a number of months) and only a few candidates can be processed for assessment at any one time.
The online training module has been designed around the principles of competency-based training. That is, training material is targeted to specific competencies that the candidate must demonstrate in order to pass the assessment and be deemed suitable for the award of Senior Controller. It should be noted that under the VATSIM Global Ratings Policy VATPAC is prohibited from conducting assessments based on competencies already passed by the candidate. As such, VATPAC has developed a list of competencies for the Senior Controller assessment. This list can be found in the online Senior Controller course.
Upon approval by the VATPAC board, the formal training process begins with the C3 candidate being assigned a mentor (usually a senior instructor) for extensive in traffic, email/chat and simulator-based mentoring. The mentor should provide the candidate with a training plan guided by the competencies and progress through each competency according to plan. The competencies can be grouped to suit expected training outcomes and the learning style of the candidate.
This is followed by two theory exams, and then practical assessments tailored to the student in both radar and non-radar environments, utilising many of the advanced techniques from the course.