In the United States, per 14 CFR 121.401, All certificate holders are required to provide adequate ground training facilities and properly qualified ground instructors for the training required to work as a flight attendant. There are additional responsibilities that come with working as an instructor, as each instructor or supervisor who is responsible for a particular ground training subject, course of training, or competence check under this part shall certify as to the proficiency and knowledge of the crewmember upon completion of that training or check. That certification becomes part of the crewmember’s record. In other words, after all of the required training and testing is completed, you attest to the successful completion and knowledge required of each flight attendant by signing off on their training record. In order to ensure all recordkeeping requirements are appropriately fulfilled, instructors should receive training on their new responsibilities.
Inside of Order 8900.1 Volume 3, Chapter 20, Section 1, you will find information about the requirements to work as an Air Transportation Ground Instructor and Air Transportation Supervisor. There are two distinct positions, with two completely separate responsibilities.
Air Transportation Ground Instructor: An individual must meet the certificate holder’s training and qualification requirements to conduct ground instruction.
Air Transportation Supervisor (ATS): A certificate holder conducting part 121 passenger-carrying operations must establish and maintain a program to train and qualify F/A ATSs. An individual must successfully complete the appropriate curriculum, including the required competency check, to qualify as an F/A ATS. To maintain qualification, F/A ATSs must successfully complete recurrent training, including competency checks.
An F/A ATS, when qualified and authorized by the certificate holder, may conduct the following:
- Initial and recurrent F/A competency checks.
- Supervision of F/A OE.
- Certification of the satisfactory proficiency and knowledge of F/As after
completion of the competency check.
As you can see, in both positions, each Ground Instructor or Air Transportation Supervisor must maintain appropriate qualifications in order to work in their respective position. A specific training program to qualify someone for each position is not defined within the guidance, but there must be a training program that addresses what instructors and supervisors will encounter. This includes all the elements of training facilitation, department testing and performance standards, recordkeeping requirements, and how to accurately complete those records, as well as other subjects. The airline you work for will have you go through their designated training program for the position you are hired.
Regardless of the fact that there isn’t an explicit framework of course content in place for an airline to qualify its instructors, there is an explicit end result that must be met. From the regulation:
(a) Each certificate holder shall:
(1) Establish and implement a training program that satisfies the requirements of this subpart and appendices E and F of this part and that ensures that each crewmember, aircraft dispatcher, flight instructor and check airman is adequately trained to perform his or her assigned duties. Prior to implementation, the certificate holder must obtain initial and final FAA approval of the training program.
(2) Provide adequate ground and flight training facilities and properly qualified ground instructors for the training required by this subpart;
Knowing this, each airline must develop its own program to provide properly qualified ground instructors. The end result, observed by the aviation authority in your country, assesses the knowledge and performance of that airline’s instructors and effectively assesses whether the instructor qualification program is adequate or not. The aviation authority may need to review the training program taught to instructors to ensure it adequately addresses a variety of responsibilities an instructor has upon them.