Approved Check Dispatcher Manual - TP 14114

3rd Edition
January 2022

Table of contents


This manual is referred to as the Approved Check Dispatcher Manual. It contains the standards, policies, procedures and guidelines that pertain to the Approved Check Dispatcher (ACD) program. It is published for use by both ACDs and Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Inspectors (CASIs).

Transport Canada approves ACDs and authorizes them to conduct Dispatch Competency Checks (DCCs). When performing their duties, ACDs are acting as agents of the Minister pursuant to subsection 4.3(1) of the Aeronautics Act. It is imperative that the standards, policies, procedures and guidelines specified in this manual are followed. Transport Canada CASIs will abide by the policies and procedures outlined in this manual when issuing ACD approvals as well as when conducting DCCs.

Initial ACD authority and subsequent renewals are based on the need at a particular operator. Individuals seeking to obtain an ACD authority are required to first be recommended by the air operator and second, submit all required documentation specified in this manual including the application form to the person with appropriate delegated authority under the Director, National Operations or under the Regional Director, Civil Aviation.

Summary of changes

The Approved Check Dispatcher manual 3rd edition has been issued to reflect the following changes:

  • (1) Format changes: This edition provides a harmonized structure and progression of elements to the ACP Manual (TP 6533) as well as the same chapter numbering convention. This draws a clearer relationship between the ACP and ACD programs while also highlighting the necessary differences.
  • (2) Policy changes: The following is a summary of these important changes introduced in this edition:
    • (a) Withdrawal of the large version of the Dispatch Certificate. When this edition of the manual becomes effective, only the wallet size version of the dispatch certificate will be issued for a successful initial DCC and replacement certificates. The certificate must accompany, or be readily available by the dispatcher while performing their duties and a copy of the certificate must be placed in the dispatcher’s training file.
    • (b) Removal of Company Check Dispatcher (CCD) title. The term CCD was used interchangeably with ACD throughout the previous editions of the manual and did not identify a clear distinction of the title. The 3rd Edition of this manual uses the titles Approved Check Dispatcher (ACD) and Contracted Approved Check Dispatcher (CACD) exclusively, and are classified as “Categories” in the program.
    • (c) Update to “Conflict of Interest” and the addition of the liability indemnification concept. The Conflict of Interest section (3.3) has been updated to reflect current language and policies. In addition, the inclusion of Liability that confirms that ACDs are covered by the same concept of liability indemnification (ACP/ACD Manual 3.4) as ACPs when acting as agents of the Crown. The addition of this section already contained in the ACP manual aligns the ACDs with the same protection.
    • (d) Increase in the “Years of experience” requirement to ACD qualifications. An increase from 1 year to 2 years’ experience as a flight dispatcher (section 5.1).
    • (e) Addition of a “Clean history” requirement to ACD qualifications. This simply harmonizes with the requirements in the ACP program (section 5.1).
    • (f) Establishment of fixed time periods for requalification if ACD has let their ACD monitor lapse. Where a previously qualified ACD has let their recurrent monitor lapse for a period of greater than 12 months the candidate must begin the approval process again from application (section 7.2). Where a previously qualified ACD, has not renewed their monitor for a period not exceeding 12 months (from original validity date), the ACD may requalify without following all the steps and requirements indicated in sections 5.0 and 6.0 with TCCA approval.
    • (g) Introduction of a clear philosophy on observation and questioning in the conduct of a DCC. The majority of the DCC assessment should come from observation and questioning. However, in order to have the least impact on the DCC candidate observation should serve as the primary source of assessment with follow up questions to clarify and enhance the observation if necessary (section 8.5).
    • (h) Augmentation and strengthening of post DCC debriefing procedures and techniques. The beginning of the debrief should be used to advise the candidate on the outcome of the DCC (section 8.7). Emphasizing that there are two methods of debriefing that should be used depending on the outcome of the DCC (section 8.7). This section highlights the facilitator role of the ACD during the debriefings and leads candidates in self-assessment for the purposes of learning.
    • (i) Evolving the 4-Point marking scale. The 4-Point Marking Scale has emerged to be the preferred method of assessment for Dispatch Competency Checks. This section also describes the way errors might occur and the how the candidate’s mitigation (if any) would happen. The changes are mainly in the general description of what each number in the scale equates to, as indicated in section 9.5 of the manual and below:
      • 4 denotes “No Deviation from Standard”
      • 3 denotes “Minor Deviation”
      • 2 denotes “Major Deviation”
      • 1 denotes “Critical Deviation”
    • (j) Development of technical and non-technical skill elements and the introduction of Threat and Error Management (TEM) are specified in sections 9.6, 9.7 and 9.8.
    • (k) Competency and proficiency elements in section 9.10 replace “Planning Monitoring and Inspection” (section 10.5) in the previous edition. Section 9.10 is now organized in a “phase of flight” format where the items to be assessed are likely to occur in sequence.
    • (l) Dispatch Competency Check (DCC) report and dispatcher certificate completion blocks (sections 10.3 and 10.7) have been added as a detail of all the items required to be filled out on a DCC report and certificate, including the conventions that must be used for DCC comments.
    • (m) Administrative and document control processes have been detailed in section 10.5 and 10.6 for the procedures used when ACDs and Transport Canada Inspectors submit DCC reports and ACD monitor reports.

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Purpose

  • (1) The purpose of the Approved Check Dispatcher Manual is to provide policy and guidance for the nomination and training of an Approved Check Dispatcher (ACD) accreditation and monitoring of ACDs. This manual also provides policy and guidance with respect to Dispatch Competency Checks (DCCs).

1.2 Applicability

  • (1) This document is applicable to all individuals, organizations and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) employees accredited by the Minister as authorized by Part I, Section 4.3(1) of the Aeronautics Act.

1.3 Change Process

  • (1) Refer to the summary of changes section of this manual.

2.0 References, definitions and abbreviations

2.1 Reference documents

  • (1) The following are to be used in conjunction with this manual:
    • (a) Aeronautics Act (R.S., 1985, c, A-2)
    • (b) Part VI, Subparts 602, 604 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs); Operating and Flight Rules – Private Operators
    • (c) Part VII, Subparts 700, 704 and 705 of the CARs; Flight Duty Period limitations – Commuter Operations – Airline Operations
    • (d) 724 and 725 of the Commercial Air Service Standards (CASS)
    • (e) AC 700-042 Crew Resource Management (CRM)

2.2 Definitions and abbreviations

  • (1) The following definitions are applicable to this document.
    • (a) 5802 file number means a number that is assigned by Transport Canada to holders of civil aviation licenses and certificates.
    • (b) 5258 file number means a number that is assigned by Transport Canada to civil aviation air operators.
    • (c) ACD means Approved Check Dispatcher and can also be a Contracted Approved Check Dispatcher (CACD).
    • (d) ACD Monitor means the passive observance by a Transport Canada Inspector of the manner in which an ACD conducts a competency check, assesses the results and processes the necessary documentation.
    • (e) Aircraft Operating Manual (AOM) means a Pilot’s Operating Manual, a Pilot’s Operating Handbook, a Flight Crew Operating Manual or a manual established by the air operator for the use and guidance of flight dispatchers in the operations of its aircraft.
    • (f) Air Operator means the holder of an air operator certificate or a private operator registration document.
    • (g) Authorized person means a person who is delegated the authority to conduct annual competency checks and by signing the dispatcher certificate validates that certificate as per subparagraph 725.124(21)(i) of the CASS.
    • (h) Canadian Aviation Document (CAD) Subject to subsection (3) of the Aeronautics Act, any license, permit, accreditation, certificate or other document issued by the Minister under Part I of the Aeronautics Act to or with respect to any person or in respect to any aeronautical product, aerodrome, facility or service.
    • (i) Civil Aviation Safety Inspector (CASI) means a Transport Canada Inspector who is, in respect to this manual, trained and authorized to conduct Dispatch Competency Checks (DCC’s) and Approved Check Dispatcher (ACD) initial and recurrent monitors.
    • (j) Conduct means to take an active role in all phases of a competency check, including pre-flight preparation, the briefing, the control and pace of the various sequences, the assessment of the competency check candidate’s performance, the debriefing, and completion of required documents including certification of the candidate’s certificate.
    • (k) Delegation (by Minister) is an approval by the Minister authorizing any person or class of persons to exercise or perform, subject to any restrictions or conditions that the Minister may specify, any of the powers, duties or functions of the Minister under Part I of the Aeronautics Act, other than the power to make a regulation, an order, a security measure or an emergency direction.
    • (l) Deviation is a quantifiable measurement of a variation from a specified DCC element tolerance. Deviations are incorporated in the skills element of the 4-Point Marking Scale.
    • (m) Error is a qualitative assessment of an action or inaction by a dispatcher that leads to a variation from intentions or expectations. Errors are incorporated in the skills element of the 4-Point Marking Scale.
    • (n) Issuing Authority means the person with the appropriate delegated authority under the Director, National Operations or under the Regional director, Civil Aviation, as appropriate.
    • (o) Competency Check means a check conducted in accordance with subsection 705.110(1) of the CARs and paragraph 725.124(21)(i) of the CASS.
    • (p) METAR Means Meteorological Terminal Aviation Routine Weather Report for a specific aerodrome.
    • (q) NACIS means National Aviation Company Information System and is the database that is maintained to validate and control DCCs and the status of all issued ACD authorities.
    • (r) Nominee means a person nominated by an air operator as a candidate for ACD or CACD approval by Transport Canada.
    • (s) Non-Technical Skill In this manual, refers to cooperation, leadership and managerial skills, situational awareness and decision making.
    • (t) POI means Principal Operations Inspector and is a Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Inspector (CASI) responsible for the oversight of an air operator.
    • (u) Professional Suitability means a demonstrated willingness to work cooperatively with Transport Canada to uphold the principles of aviation safety.
    • (v) Qualified Personnel designate persons that meet the requirements of this manual to act as ACDs.
    • (w) Simulated Events means a hypothetical scenario presented to a DCC candidate to evaluate and assess a required element on a DCC that may not be observable during the course of the check, such as an emergency scenario.
    • (x) SOPs means approved Standard Operating Procedures established by an air operator, which enable a dispatcher to plan aircraft operations within the limitations specified in the Aircraft Flight Manual.
    • (y) TAF means Terminal Aviation Forecast which is an aviation meteorology forecast for a specific airport or aerodrome.
    • (z) Technical Skill In this manual, refers to aircraft performance limitations and the applicability of penalties and restrictions. May also apply to the ability to interpret weather and other forms of calculation beyond aircraft performance as well as proficiency and use of computerized dispatch applications i.e., flight planning systems etc.
    • (aa) Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC) is a quasi-judicial body established in 2003 pursuant to the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act. The tribunal replaced the Civil Aviation Tribunal, which was established under Part IV of the Aeronautics Act in 1986.
    • (bb) Vital Action means an action that must be taken by the dispatcher to alleviate a situation that could jeopardize safety of flight. The action must be taken in a timely manner consistent with the CARs and Company Operations Manual.
  • (2) The following abbreviations are applicable to this document:
    • (a) ACD - Approved Check Dispatcher
    • (b) AFM - Aircraft Flight Manual
    • (c) AIM - Aeronautical Information Manual
    • (d) AIRMET - Airmen’s Meteorological Information
    • (e) AOG - Aircraft on Ground
    • (f) AOM - Aircraft Operating Manual
    • (g) ATC - Air Traffic Control
    • (h) CACD - Contracted Approved Check Dispatcher
    • (i) CAD - Canadian Aviation Document
    • (j) CAP - Canada Air Pilot
    • (k) CARs - Canadian Aviation Regulations
    • (l) CASS - Commercial Air Service Standards
    • (m) CDL - Configuration Deviation List
    • (n) CFS - Canada Flight Supplement
    • (o) COM - Company Operations Manual
    • (p) DCC - Dispatch Competency Check
    • (q) EDTO - Extended Diversion Time Operations
    • (r) ETOPS - Extended Twin Engine Operations
    • (s) MEL - Minimum Equipment List
    • (t) NACIS - National Aviation Company Information System
    • (u) NOTAM - Notice To Airmen
    • (v) OJT - On the Job Training
    • (w) PIREP - Pilot Report
    • (x) POI - Principal Operations Inspector
    • (y) RNAV - Area Navigation
    • (z) RVSM - Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum
    • (aa) SIGMET - Significant Meteorology
    • (bb) SMS - Safety Management System
    • (cc) SOP - Standard Operating Procedure
    • (dd) TCCA - Transport Canada Civil Aviation
    • (ee) TATC - Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada

3.0 Approved Check Dispatcher program

3.1 Program description

  • (1) The Approved Check Dispatcher (ACD) program allows an air operator or private operator the opportunity to develop and maintain a program of competency checks independent of the availability of Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) Inspectors where a need can be demonstrated.
  • (2) To make an application for an ACD, an air operator must have a satisfactory safety record and have in place satisfactory programs for training and record keeping.
  • (3) The number of ACDs will be established based on a demonstrated need prior to approval. The ACD’s conduct of competency checks are also closely monitored by and at the option of Transport Canada. A Transport Canada Inspector may conduct any of the competency checks referred to in this manual and a TC Inspector may monitor any ACD conducting any competency check.
  • (4) Competency checks conducted outside of core government hours or outside Canada by Transport Canada Inspectors will be subject to cost recovery as per the existing policy on Cost Recovery for Regulatory Services Provided outside Canada.

3.2 Categories of ACDs

  • (1) ACDs can also be classified as a Contract Approved Check Dispatcher (CACD), both of whom may be delegated the authority to conduct competency checks on behalf of the Minister.
  • (2) ACD
    • (a) An ACD is an employee of an air operator, who maintains a high degree of competency in exercising operational control and is authorized to conduct checks on other dispatchers of that operator.
    • (b) An ACD must not conduct competency checks on personnel from another company.
    • (c) Companies employing ACDs assume responsibility to ensure that the ACD’s authority is valid before scheduling them to conduct a competency check. In addition to this, an air operator is required to maintain records pertaining to the ACD’s competency check activity. These requirements are specified in chapter 10.
    • (d) ACD qualifications, initial requirements, currency requirements and the process for obtaining the required approvals are specified in Chapter 5 of this manual.
  • (3) CACD
    • (a) A contracting air operator may employ the services of an ACD from a company providing operational control when authorized to do so by TCCA. This is referred to as a Contracted Approved Check Dispatcher (CACD) and may be authorized to conduct Dispatch Competency Checks (DCCs) on dispatchers for the contracted company.
    • (b) The sponsoring air operator for whom the ACD works must agree with the appointment and, where a CACD application is submitted, sign the appropriate section of the Application Form. The contracting air operator will retain the responsibilities specified in subsection 3.2(2) (d) for the ACD’s contract activity.

3.3 Conflict of interest

  • (1) Conflict of interest is defined as any relationship, whether family, financial or otherwise, that might influence an ACD to act, either knowingly or unknowingly, in a manner that does not hold the safety of the flying public as the primary and highest priority.
  • (2) Perceived versus Real Conflict of Interest:
    • (a) All ACDs are considered to be in a perceived conflict of interest if they are simultaneously employees (regular or contract) of the operator and delegates of the Minister when performing check duties.
    • (b) To avoid a real conflict of interest, it is imperative that ACDs strictly adhere to the policy and guidelines contained in this manual. Lack of adherence to these policies and guidelines may result in a suspension or cancellation of an ACD’s authority.
  • (3) The following are examples of some situations that could be considered a conflict of interest:
    • (a) A financial interest in the company;
    • (b) A direct involvement in company ownership;
    • (c) Holding an upper management position, such as that of an accountable executive, director of flight operations or chief dispatcher;
    • (d) Owning a substantial number of voting shares of the company;
    • (e) Involvement with a union or association;
    • (f) A particular relationship between an ACD and the check candidate such as when the candidate is an operations manager, accountable executive, chief dispatcher, supervisory dispatcher or another ACD;
    • (g) Having family ties with company owners; and
    • (h) Any privileges or favours which could bias an ACD’s ability to conduct their duties.
  • (4) Declaring potential conflicts of interest
    • (a) An interest, financial or otherwise in a company will not automatically disqualify a candidate from being granted ACD authority. Transport Canada will assess each case with consideration to all circumstances involved.
    • (b) To determine whether an ACD candidate’s conflict of interest is real or perceived, they will declare to Transport Canada any potential conflict of interest of which they have knowledge. ACDs must be prepared to discuss (at any time) a change to their status with respect to a potential conflict of interest.
    • (c) Should any ACD encounter a situation that they feel might constitute a real conflict of interest, a full report of the circumstances must be immediately submitted to Transport Canada. Furthermore, a company must review the status of each ACD every 2 years to ensure that they are not in any conflict of interest. The results of this review must be recorded in the ACD’s file.
    • (d) The final authority for deciding whether there is a conflict of interest that might affect the ACD’s ability to conduct an impartial desk check rests with Transport Canada.
  • (5) Obligation to report attempts to obstruct or influence
    • (a) An ACD must immediately notify Transport Canada of any effort by any person(s) to obstruct or influence them in the conduct of their ACD duties. Should this occur, Transport Canada will investigate the incident and take appropriate action.

3.4 Liability

  • (1) In providing services, ACDs are regarded as agents of the Crown to the extent that they act on behalf of the Minister.
  • (2) The Government of Canada, under the provisions of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, will indemnify ACDs against personal liability incurred by reason of any act or omission within the scope of their duties.
  • (3) The Government of Canada will make no claim against an ACD for damages the Crown has to pay based upon personal liability provided the ACD acted honestly, without malice, within the scope of their ACD authorization and with a standard of care that a reasonable person engaged in the same activity would take.
  • (4) Additional information regarding ACD liability can be obtained by consulting the link entitled: Policy on Legal Assistance and Indemnification.

3.5 Authorized persons

  • (1) The authorized persons authority allows an individual to act as a certifying agent for Transport Canada for the purpose of issuing temporary privileges and streamlining the certification process for dispatchers. ACDs are normally delegated this privilege with certain restrictions.
  • (2) The Authorized Person may annotate a flight dispatcher’s certificate thus allowing the dispatcher to exercise the privileges of their certificate immediately upon meeting all associated requirements of paragraph 725.124(21) of the CASS.
  • (3) If the DCC is an initial, the authorized person will direct the candidate or operator to keep a copy of the successful DCC report. This successful DCC report shall serve in place of a Flight Dispatcher Certificate until such time a Flight Dispatcher Certificate is issued by Transport Canada.
  • (4) Scope of Activities
    • (a) The scope of the ACD’s authority and activities will be stated on the Delegation of Authority form and the ACD will be limited to those activities.

4.0 Approved Check Dispatcher delegation and authorities

4.1 ACD delegation policy

  • (1) The issuing authority may delegate ACD authority to qualified personnel under the Aeronautics Act. ACDs are holders of a Canadian Aviation Document (CAD) by virtue of the authority delegated to them. This authority is in the form of a Delegation of Authority Form (26-0728) issued to the ACD, authorizing ACD duties subject to the conditions listed therein and must be in receipt of this form signed by the TCCA to exercise their ACD duties. ACDs must also be constantly aware that they perform their checking duties as delegates of the Minister according to section 4.3(1) of the Aeronautics Act.

4.2 ACD authorities

  • (1) ACDs may be authorized to conduct a DCC for a Type A or Type B operational control system as indicated in the following table. The check marks in the table below indicate the authority an ACD and CACD have.

    ACD Authorities DCC Initial DCC Recurrent DCC Upgrade
    ACD check mark check mark check mark
    CACD check mark check mark check mark
  • (2) A DCC upgrade may take the form of additional functional areas such as international operations, ETOPs/EDTO or other special operations specific to an operator.
  • (3) An ACD’s authority may be restricted to recurrent DCCs or certain functional areas by Transport Canada or upon the air operator’s request.

4.3 Limits to authority

  • (1) An ACD may conduct a re-test of a failed DCC provided Transport Canada is informed. A second re-test of a failed DCC must be conducted or monitored by a Transport Canada Inspector.
  • (2) An ACD may conduct a DCC on a company executive or Chief Dispatcher/Supervisor.
  • (3) An ACD must not conduct a DCC on a candidate to whom they have given the majority of the initial training, including On the Job Training (OJT).
  • (4) An ACD may conduct both the recurrent training and recurrent competency check on the same candidate with prior approval from TCCA for justified reasons. In each case, the written justification from the operator and concurrence from the Minister, must be placed on the candidate’s file for each occurrence, for inspection and audit purposes. If an ACD has conducted both recurrent training and a recurrent competency check, the next recurrent DCC must be conducted by a different ACD, or if none is available, a Transport Canada Inspector.

4.4 Validity of ACD authority

  • (1) An ACD’s privileges will be invalid when:
    • (a) The ACD’s flight dispatcher certificate has expired or becomes invalid.
    • (b) The validity period of the ACD's monitor has expired.

4.5 Revocation of ACD authority

  • (1) Transport Canada will issue a letter of revocation to an ACD under section 103.07 of the CARs where the ACD or operator advises the Minister that the ACD authority is no longer desired or the Minister deems that an ACD authority is no longer required.

4.6 Suspension or cancellation of ACD authority

  • (1) Transport Canada may, pursuant to subsection 7.1 (1) of the Aeronautics Act, suspend, cancel or refuse to renew an ACD authority. Transport Canada may, pursuant to 6.71(1) of the Act, refuse to issue or amend an ACD’s authority. Prior to making a decision that would affect an ACD’s authority in this manner, Transport Canada would ensure the following:
    • (a) The ACD has been provided the opportunity to respond to any allegations; and
    • (b) A comprehensive report with recommendations has been created for due consideration.
  • (2) TCCA may withdraw an ACD’s authority at any time if evidence shows that the ACD:
    • (a) ceases to meet the qualifications necessary for issuance of the document or no longer complies with the conditions subject to which the document was issued;
    • (b) at any time, acted in a manner which is in contravention of any of the requirements contained in this manual;
    • (c) placed a personal interest, or the interest of the company, ahead of the interest of the traveling public;
    • (d) required instruction to maintain the required standards or to follow proper procedures;
    • (e) fraudulently used ACD authority or has acted in any other way that would discredit the Minister;
    • (f) breached the Aeronautics Act or Canadian Aviation Regulations;
    • (g) exercised poor judgment in assessing candidate’s performance in relation to the standards; or
    • (h) demonstrated to a Transport Canada Inspector during the course of a competency check, monitor or inspection that they no longer meet Transport Canada standards and that holding an ACD authority is therefore no longer in the public interest.
  • (3) A “Delegation of Authority” as an ACD is a Canadian Aviation Document (CAD). The power to suspend, cancel or refuse to renew a CAD is set out in the Aeronautics Act, as amended. The four distinct grounds for the above powers are as follows:
    • (a) suspend or cancel for contravention of any provision in Part 1 of the Act or the regulations made under the Act [e.g., the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs);
    • (b) suspend on the grounds that an immediate threat to aviation safety exists or is likely to occur;
    • (c) suspend, cancel, refuse to renew or refuse to issue on the grounds of:
      • (i) incompetence;
      • (ii) ceasing to meet the qualifications or to fulfill the conditions of issuance of the document; or
      • (iii) public interest reasons.
    • (d) suspend or refuse to renew for failure to pay monetary penalties for which the Tribunal has issued a certificate of non-payment.
  • (4) If the decision of TCCA is to suspend, cancel or refuse to issue the ACD’s authority, a notice of suspension, cancellation or refusal to issue will be issued directly to the individual ACD as per section 7.1(1)(b) or (c) of the Aeronautics Act. ACDs are entitled to procedural safeguards, under the Aeronautics Act, including recourse to the Transportation Appeals Tribunal of Canada (TATC). The document holder has the right to request a review of the Minister’s decisions, to suspend, cancel, or refuse to issue or renew a CAD, by the TATC.

5.0 ACD qualifications and application procedures

5.1 ACD nominee qualifications

  • (1) An ACD must possess the following:
    • (a) A valid Dispatch Certificate.
    • (b) A minimum of two years’ experience as a flight dispatcher in Canada, with at least six months with the current operator.
    • (c) A satisfactory knowledge of the contents and interpretation of this document and reference documents found in 2.1(1) as well as the following:
      • (i) Air operators Company Operations Manual, Operating Certificate, Operations Specifications and Special Authorizations;
      • (ii) Flight Dispatch Manual including the training program and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs);
      • (iii) Canada Flight Supplement (CFS) and/or national / foreign AIPs as applicable;
      • (iv) Canada Air Pilot (CAP) or equivalent national / foreign publications as applicable; and
      • (v) Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) Canada.
    • (d) A thorough knowledge of applicable Company Safety Management System (SMS) policies and procedures, including:
      • (i) Company Safety Policy;
      • (ii) Voluntary and non-punitive reporting program;
      • (iii) Incident and accident reporting; and
      • (iv) Emergency response.
    • (e) Proficiency in each area of the operational control system that the nominee seeks check authority (example: domestic, international or the combination of both).
    • (f) A knowledge and ability to conduct, on a suitable candidate, a Dispatch Competency Check on the sections of the dispatch system for which they have been nominated. The demonstration will be monitored and assessed by an Inspector.
    • (g) History:
      • (i) No history of conviction under subsection 7.3(1) of the Aeronautics Act;
      • (ii) No history of two or more convictions or administrative penalties, occurring during separate unrelated events, under the Canadian Aviation Regulations;
      • (iii) Integrity and dependability;
      • (iv) Professional suitability as defined by Transport Canada.
    • (h) Conflict of Interest:
      • (i) No conflict of interest that could undermine the candidate’s ability to fulfill the responsibilities on an ACD.
      • (ii) The ability to identify and document any potential conflicts of interest along with the measures taken to ensure the ability to fulfill the responsibilities of an ACD.

5.2 CACD nominee qualifications

  • (1) A Contracted Approved Check Dispatcher may be employed as an air operator’s Check Dispatcher provided all conditions of section 5.1(1) of this manual are met with the contracting operator.

5.3 Currency requirements

  • (1) A Check Flight Dispatcher must hold a valid flight dispatcher certificate for the operator they seek authority for. In accordance with 705.113 (3), the validity period of a flight dispatcher competency check expires on the first day of the thirteenth month following the month in which the check was completed.
  • (2) Where a previously qualified flight dispatcher has not actively dispatched with an air operator for a period in excess of 90 days, the Flight Dispatcher's certificate for that operator is no longer valid. Flight Dispatcher recency and re-qualification requirements are outlined in CASS 725.124 (21)(k).

5.4 ACD/CACD application form submission

  • (1) The completed ACD Application form (26-0734), must be submitted to the person with the appropriate delegated authority under the Director, National Operations or under the Regional Director, Civil Aviation with the following supporting documentation attached:
    • (a) A resume outlining:
      • (i) The candidate’s background, training, qualifications and experience, including previous competency check or supervisory experience;
      • (ii) Justification for any deviations from the qualifications and experience requirements specified in section 6.1(1) or 6.2(1) of this manual, if any; and
      • (iii) Declaration of any interest in the company or other condition that could result in a conflict of interest. Interest in a company will not automatically disqualify a nominee from receiving Check Flight Dispatcher authority. The approving authority will assess every case with consideration given to all circumstances involved.
    • (b) Where ACD training has been completed, a copy of the ACD course certificate(s) which shows completion of both the theoretical and practical portions of an ACD course, including the date of course completion.
  • (2) The ACD Application Form must be signed by the ACD nominee and by the following persons:
    • (a) For an ACD nominee, by the Operations Manager of the air operator seeking approval for the ACD. Where the ACD nominee is the Operations Manager, the application form must be signed by a senior company executive.
    • (b) For a CACD nominee, by the Operations Manager of the air operator wishing to use the services of the Contract ACD (the contracting air operator) and the air operator for whom the Contract ACD is employed (the sponsoring air operator).

5.5 Additions to the authority

  • (1) If an addition to an existing ACD Delegation of Authority is requested, the air operator must submit the following to TCCA:
    • (a) Where the request is for an additional authority, an ACD Application Form containing only the additional information pertaining to additional authority.
    • (b) Where the request is for removal of an authority, written notification identifying the ACD and detailing the authorities to be removed.
  • (2) The application forms submitted in paragraphs 5.5(1) (a) and (b) must have the “revision” box checked and the application must be signed and submitted in the same manner as the initial application.

6.0 Transport Canada approval procedures and delegation of authority

6.1 Application form review

  • (1) The appropriate Transport Canada office will, upon receipt of the ACD Application Form, confirm that the ACD nominee:
    • (a) Is acceptable in terms of experience and competency; and
    • (b) Meets the qualifications requirements set out in this manual, or that any deviation is justified and acceptable.
  • (2) A nominee that does not meet all of the stated requirements, must include a justification in their resume for TCCA’s review and consideration.
  • (3) Where an air operator is requesting ACD authority, TCCA will verify the requirement for a ACD considering:
    • (a) The number of flight dispatchers employed by the air operator;
    • (b) The location of the air operator’s operational control office(s);
    • (c) The type and variety of the operational control system; and
    • (d) The number of ACDs already employed by the air operator (where applicable).
  • (4) Transport Canada will also verify the air operator’s safety record and performance related to training and record keeping as required by subsection 3.1(2) of this manual.
  • (5) Transport Canada will contact the air operator to arrange a meeting between the ACD nominee and a Transport Canada Inspector for an initial appointment briefing.

6.2 Transport Canada inspector initial appointment briefing

  • (1) A Transport Canada inspector will brief, and de-brief the ACD nominee on conflict of interest and liability as well as the following topics:
    • (a) Procedures and techniques associated with conducting a competency check;
    • (b) Techniques and standards used in the assessment and evaluation of a competency check;
    • (c) Briefing and debriefing procedures and requirements;
    • (d) Completion of the competency check reports; and
    • (e) The contents and interpretation of the following publications as applicable to the type of competency checks to be undertaken:
      • (i) CAR/CASS Part VI & VII:
        • (A) 602 Operating and Flight Rules;
        • (B) 700 General (Duty Time limits, etc.);
        • (C) 604, 704 and/or 705 as applicable;
        • (D) 724, and/or 725 as applicable.
      • (ii) Approved Check Dispatcher Manual;
      • (iii) Air operators Company Operations Manual, Operating Certificate, Operations Specifications and Special Authorizations;
      • (iv) Flight Dispatch Manual;
      • (v) Canada Flight Supplement (CFS) and or national / foreign AIPs as applicable;
      • (vi) Canada Air Pilot (CAP) or equivalent national / foreign publications as applicable;
      • (vii) Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) Canada; and
      • (viii) AC 700-042 Crew Resource Management (CRM).

6.3 Initial ACD monitor

  • (1) A Transport Canada inspector must monitor an ACD nominee as they conduct a DCC in the air operator’s operational control facility for which approval is sought. This must be done for initial applicants as well as ACDs seeking additional authority privileges as outlined in section 5.5 of this manual.
  • (2) During the ACD monitor, the Check Dispatcher nominee must demonstrate the knowledge, ability and personal suitability to act as an ACD by conducting the appropriate competency check specified on the ACD Application Form.
  • (3) DCCs conducted during an initial ACD monitor must be on-line dispatchers and not on other ACDs, dispatch training instructors management dispatchers, chief dispatchers and technical dispatchers.
  • (4) Where an air operator has separated functional areas within the operational control facility (operational control segregated by fleet type, geographical areas, etc.), the ACD nominee seeking multiple authorities for additional functional areas must demonstrate the ability to conduct a competency check on at least one of the areas for which ACD approval is requested. The functional area chosen for the initial ACD monitor will be at the discretion of Transport Canada. If there are large differences in the characteristics of these areas for which ACD authority is being sought, or if Transport Canada has any concerns pertaining to the ACD’s ability to conduct DCCs on these other areas, a monitor may be required in each functional area.
  • (5) Upon successful completion of the initial ACD monitor(s), the Transport Canada Inspector will sign the competency check report and attach a copy of the ACD Monitor Report(s) (26-0735) to the ACD Application Form.

6.4 Application approval

  • (1) Based on the nominee’s qualifications, experience and demonstrated ability, the Inspector must complete the recommendation block on the ACD Application Form.
  • (2) Where the ACD nominee is considered satisfactory, the Inspector must indicate this by checking the “Yes” box. In addition to this, the Inspector must also recommend that the ACD authority be issued as requested, or alternatively as a limited authority (DCC recurrent only) by checking the appropriate box.
  • (3) TCCA must then complete the approval block of the application form and where the candidate is successful, issue an ACD Delegation of Authority (26-0734).

6.5 Issuance of the ACD delegation of authority

  • (1) Once the ACD nominee has met all applicable requirements, TCCA will issue an ACD Delegation of Authority (26-0728).
  • (2) The ACD Delegation of Authority will indicate the following:
    • (a) The type of Operational Control ACD approval (Type A or B);
    • (b) The category of ACD approval (ACD, CACD), including where applicable, the name of the air operator for whom the ACD is authorized to conduct competency checks;
    • (c) The specific authority granted, including:
      • (i) DCC (initial, upgrade, recurrent); and
      • (ii) DCC (specific functional areas).
    • (d) The CARs subpart under which the ACD is authorized to conduct competency checks;
    • (e) The functional areas if applicable upon which the ACD is authorized to conduct competency checks;
    • (f) The conditions of issuance;
    • (g) Validity; and
    • (h) The approval and signature of TCCA.
  • (3) TCCA must then ensure that the required ACD information has been entered into National Aviation Company Information System (NACIS) and that the following have been archived appropriately:
    • (a) A copy of the ACD Application Form, including attachments as applicable;
    • (b) The ACD course certificate if applicable has been completed;
    • (c) The ACD Monitor Report (26-0735); and
    • (d) The ACD Delegation of Authority.
  • (4) The ACD must not exercise the authority to conduct a DCC until they are in possession of the ACD Delegation of Authority form.

6.6 Revising delegation of authority

  • (1) TCCA must determine whether the revision request submitted is warranted and verify the nominee’s qualifications.
  • (2) When the applicant has met all requirements, a revised ACD Delegation of Authority will be issued. The revised approval must be annotated “This approval supersedes and cancels the approval dated (previous approval date).”
  • (3) TCCA must then ensure that the necessary changes have been entered into NACIS and that the following have been placed in the appropriate file:
    • (a) A copy of the ACD Application Form, including attachments if applicable; and
    • (b) A copy of the new ACD Delegation of Authority.

7.0 Transport Canada oversight program

7.1 An ACD’s competency check conducted by a Transport Canada inspector

  • (1) Where an air operator uses only one ACD, their DCC must be carried out by a Transport Canada inspector no later than the first day of the thirteenth month following the month in which the last DCC was completed. It must be noted that by reference to subparagraph 725.124(21)(i) of the CASS, that this check is different than an ACD monitor and must be treated as such. An ACD Dispatch Competency Check and a monitor must be done on two different operating shifts.
  • (2) An operator with less than three ACD’s, should consider, and discuss with TCCA, the possibility of a rotation cycle of those performing a DCC on another company ACD. This rotation may include a TCCA inspector conducting a DCC on an ACD identified by the inspector i.e., every third or fourth year.
  • (3) During the conduct of the DCC, the Transport Canada Inspector may ask questions to verify the level of knowledge and competence of the candidate in order to evaluate their ability to perform duties as a dispatcher. The Transport Canada inspector will use form 26-0730 or the air operator's form if similarly tailored.

7.2 Recurrent ACD monitor conducted by Transport Canada inspector

  • (1) The purpose of recurrent monitoring is to verify a uniform standard is applied during the conduct of DCCs, the application of performance standards and the method of evaluating a candidate’s skills. To that end, ACD monitors must take place during DCCs conducted on regular line dispatchers and not on another ACD or supervisory/training dispatchers.
  • (2) In accordance with subsection 11.1 of this manual, Transport Canada Inspectors will conduct annual monitors on ACDs no later than the first day of the thirteenth month following the month in which the last monitor was completed.
  • (3) Where an ACD monitor is renewed within the last 90 days of its validity period, the validity period is extended by 12 months from that date.
  • (4) TCCA may extend the validity period of an ACD monitor by up to 60 days. Where the validity period of an ACD monitor has been extended and the ACD monitor is renewed after the initial expiry date, the new monitor expires on the first day of the thirteenth month following the month in which the ACD monitor was completed.
  • (5) Where a recurrent monitor has not been conducted within 12 months following the expiry of the monitor validity period, meaning the ACD has let their recurrent monitor lapse for 12 months or more, an ACD candidate is required to begin the approval process from application again if they wish to reinstate their delegated authority.

7.3 ACD monitor procedures

  • (1) The Transport Canada Inspector, and ACD must meet prior to the competency check to establish the sequence of procedures and events to be demonstrated and to delineate the extent of the Transport Canada Inspector’s input.
  • (2) During an ACD monitor, the Transport Canada Inspector must ensure that:
    • (a) The ACD’s competency check reports are complete, accurate and meaningful;
    • (b) Where applicable, the ACD’s administrative procedures in regard to the issuance of a certificate are in conformance with requirements specified section 10.7 of this manual and subparagraph 725.124(21)(r) of the CASS;
    • (c) The ACD’s competency check covers the required elements as per subparagraph 725.124(21)(i) of the CASS;
    • (d) The ACD’s conduct of competency checks is fair and in conformance with the standards and procedures described in this manual and in Company SOPs;
    • (e) The ACD is acting within the limits of their authority;
    • (f) The Transport Canada Inspector, while monitoring, should refrain from engaging directly with the DCC candidate and only direct their concerns and questions to the ACD unless both the ACD and inspector consult with each other prior to doing so or the ACD is clearly acting outside the limits of their authority; and

      Note: Requirements of this subsection may be checked during inspections and audits.

  • (3) Upon completion of the competency check portion of the ACD monitor, the TC Inspector and ACD must meet privately to reach an agreement on the results of the check and the items to be covered in the debriefing. Where a disagreement exists between the evaluations of the Transport Canada Inspector and ACD, the Transport Canada Inspector’s evaluation must take precedence and be used in the debriefing.
  • (4) After each ACD monitor, Transport Canada Inspectors must complete an ACD Monitor Report (26-0735).
  • (5) Transport Canada Inspectors must ensure that a copy of the ACD Monitor Report is provided to the air operator and a copy placed on the ACD’s Transport Canada regional file. An electronic copy must also be sent to the Inspector, Operational Control (AARTF or AAROA) at Headquarters in Ottawa via email.
  • (6) TCCA must ensure that the ACD’s electronic files located within NACIS are updated with the latest ACD monitor report date.

8.0 Conduct of dispatch competency check

8.1 General

  • (1) ACDs must refrain from teaching or briefing the candidate on the correct completion of an exercise or from taking any action that will prompt the candidate to take a specific action.
  • (2) The ACD’s attitude during the pre DCC briefing can greatly affect the outcome of the check. Competency checks may induce tension and feelings of apprehension in even the most experienced dispatchers. The ACD should attempt to reduce apprehension and create an environment in which a true demonstration of ability can be established. It is important to always be respectful of the candidate. ACDs should conduct themselves in a professional manner and avoid adding to the stress of the check.
  • (3) In order to minimize sources of stress and distraction during a DCC or an ACD monitor, personnel involved with the competency check should be restricted to the following individuals:
    • (a) DCC dispatch candidate;
    • (b) Designated Transport Canada Inspector(s) or ACD conducting the DCC;
    • (c) Designated Transport Canada Inspector(s) monitoring the ACD on a competency check; and
    • (d) ACD under training, approved at the discretion of the Transport Canada Inspector or ACD.

8.2 Documentation to be verified before a DCC

  • (1) Prior to commencing a competency check, the ACD will examine and verify the validity of the following:
    • (a) Dispatcher’s certificate, if applicable;
    • (b) Dispatcher’s radio license;
    • (c) Dispatcher’s training file; and
    • (d) Completion of initial or recurrent training, including the familiarization flight.
  • (2) It is imperative that the ACD ascertains all training has been completed and that relevant documents are valid prior to performing the DCC. To assist in this, the recommendation for competency check report must be filled out and signed prior to the check by the manager of operational control or the chief dispatcher, as appropriate. The ACD will then co-sign the form and proceed with the DCC after they are satisfied that the information has been verified. The form 26-0734 must be used, unless an operator document containing at a minimum the information on the 26-0734 form has been approved for use.
  • (3) Except where company procedures have been established and accepted by Transport Canada, a DCC will not be conducted if certification documents are not presented, are invalid, or if the company has failed to provide all relevant training for the candidate as specified in the air operator’s approved training program. This would include a re-check following a failure.
  • (4) Per CAR 705.113(5), The Minister may extend the validity period of a pilot proficiency check, a Flight Dispatcher competency check, a line check or any training by up to 60 days where the Minister is of the opinion that aviation safety is not likely to be affected.

8.3 Pre DCC briefing

  • (1) A pre DCC briefing to the candidate is required. It must be sufficiently detailed to avoid failure due to the candidate’s misunderstanding of standards or limitations expected by the ACD.
  • (2) The briefing for a competency check must include:
    • (a) The mandatory items to be demonstrated during the competency check as indicated in subparagraph 725.124(21)(i) of the CASS:
      • (i) for the purpose of the competency check, the weather will be predicted for the day of operation and candidates must be advised that simulated weather at or below the weather minima for specific simulated operations can be used.
    • (b) The probable duration of the competency check (minimum 8 hours as per subparagraph 725.124(21)(i)) of the CASS;
    • (c) Any restrictions or limits imposed during the check;
    • (d) The manner in which simulated emergencies will be introduced by the ACD. All such events are to be presented within scenarios;
    • (e) The role of the ACD in regard to dispatcher duties if the candidate requests assistance from other flight dispatchers;
    • (f) Radio procedures and any flight planning considerations;
    • (g) The candidate is required to demonstrate any normal or emergency procedure applicable to the aircraft. The candidate’s technical performance will be assessed in accordance with the:
      • (i) aircraft flight manual, aircraft operating manual or pilot operating handbook;
      • (ii) CAR & CASS Part VI and VII;
      • (iii) air operator’s operations manual;
      • (iv) air operator’s SOPs;
      • (v) aircraft MEL;
      • (vi) runway analysis; and
      • (vii) applicable SMS policies and procedures, including non-punitive safety reporting, incident and accident reporting and emergency response.
    • (h) The candidate will be expected to respond to any event and carry out any required emergency procedure in the manner specified in the appropriate company guidance document (AOM, SOPs, etc.).

8.4 DCC procedures

  • (1) The role of the ACD conducting a DCC is to observe a dispatcher exercising operational control. It is understood that not all items on the check may actually occur or be observed in the span of the DCC. In order to complement the unobserved items, the ACD is expected to complete the check through questioning scenarios and simulated events, being cognisant that simulated events should never comprise more than 25% of the DCC. When doing so, care must be exercised so as not to overload the flight dispatcher with excessive flights and the performance of their regular duties.
  • (2) If during the DCC an ACD feels that, due to circumstances beyond the control of the candidate, the check cannot or should not continue, a “NIL” result can be justified and the DCC can be re-scheduled. If the DCC has taken place on the final day of validity, an extension should be requested from TCCA. Circumstances that could result in a “NIL” DCC could be, but are not limited to: extended internet outages, computer system outages or candidate illness.
  • (3) A DCC will be terminated during any sequence that, in the ACD’s opinion if allowed to continue, may jeopardize the safety of a flight or a series of flights, or if the ACD judges further training will definitely be required in order to meet the standard. The DCC will be assessed as unsatisfactory when:
    • (a) Any single item receives a rating of “(1)”;
    • (b) A total of five ratings of “(2)” are achieved during the course of the same DCC.
  • (4) Following the termination of a DCC, the shift is allowed to proceed as OJT at the ACD’s discretion and with the agreement of the flight dispatch candidate, provided the ACD is a training dispatcher (see section 9.2(7)). By doing so, this procedure must not be accounted for in the remedial training process for the re-test.
  • (5) Although the ACD is not permitted to teach or coach during the competency check, normal engagement is allowed in the case where no other dispatcher is available, provided no prompting is made. This would be similar to an exchange of information between two dispatchers working on the same shift.

8.5 Observation and questioning

  • (1) The majority of the DCC assessment should come from observation and questioning. However, in order to have the least impact on the DCC candidate observation should serve as the primary source of assessment with follow up questions to clarify and enhance the observation if necessary.
  • (2) If observations cannot be made to cover required items, ad/hoc or scripted questions can be used to supplement further assessment.
  • (3) Scripted questions should be considered and prepared to ensure validity, relevance and clarity. Good questions are easily understood and composed of common words and measure applicable knowledge.
  • (4) Trick, irrelevant, theoretical and simple yes or no questions should be avoided. Questions should encourage the candidate to think and guide their thought process so they can situate themselves and provide a more informed response.
  • (5) Questions posed during a DCC should be appropriate and timely to the phase of operational control the candidate is in. Questions must not distract from task performance inducing a loss of situational awareness. (e.g., do not ask a question about flight watch while the candidate is flight planning).
  • (6) When assessing the responses to questions, be sure to remember the following:
    • (a) ACDs are required to observe and evaluate but not correct.
    • (b) ACDs should avoid confirming an answer either positively or negatively. By responding with, for example, “No, that’s incorrect”, a candidate’s performance and self-confidence may be undermined. A neutral acknowledgment that the ACD has heard and noted the candidate's response is preferred. While ACDs should avoid leading candidates to the correct answer, requests for clarification are allowed.

8.6 Simulated events

  • (1) Scripted simulated events must be developed by the ACD in accordance with subparagraph 725.124(21)(i) of the CASS and the air operator’s policies and procedures. They must never account for more than 25% of the competency check, unless they are in addition to the actual operating shift. Under no circumstances will a DCC be entirely based on simulation. The developed script scenario questions must be available for Transport Canada inspection when requested.
  • (2) ACDs should be very aware of potential problems when simulating abnormal conditions. The emergency categories or incident procedures must be outlined in the air operator’s operations manual. The dispatcher’s ability to manage abnormal operations is paramount. Items to be monitored and inspected are (but not limited to):
    • (a) The dispatcher’s ability to react to emergency or abnormal operations, including activation of the emergency response plan and/or notification of responsible personnel.
    • (b) Knowledge of information required by government agencies during an abnormal procedure or incident (e.g., documents or authorization to be obtained to operate an aircraft with one engine inoperative, etc.).
    • (c) Knowledge of standard procedures and documents required for investigation of emergencies or accidents (e.g., information that a flight dispatcher should ascertain if an unlawful threat is received (male/female, any accent, young or old voice, etc.).

8.7 Post DCC debriefing procedures

  • (1) A debriefing is mandatory following every DCC. ACDs should conduct the debriefing in a positive, non-confrontational manner and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate. The debriefing should promote learning and increase the knowledge and confidence of the candidate. Debriefings should be comprehensive and of reasonable length corresponding to the performance.
  • (2) The beginning of the debrief should be used to advise the candidate on the successful or unsuccessful outcome of the DCC with some empathy and discretion used for unsuccessful assessments.
  • (3) The following items are mandatory to debrief after every competency check:
    • (a) Any items assessed as either “(1)” or “(2)”;
    • (b) Anything written on the DCC Report; and
    • (c) Anything the ACD considers a safety issue.
  • (4) Debriefing methods.
    • (a) There are two debriefing methods that can be used within the ACD program. ACDs can select between the following methods depending on the outcome of the DCC:
      • (i) The traditional debrief;
      • (ii) The facilitated debrief.
    • (b) Successful attempt
      • (i) Normally, a facilitated debrief is used for a successful DCC attempt.
      • (ii) The traditional debrief may be used for a routine DCC with only minor errors where a facilitated debrief would add little value.
    • (c) Unsuccessful attempt
      • (i) The traditional debrief must be used in the case of an unsuccessful DCC attempt.
    • (d) Regardless of the debrief method employed, the debrief should promote learning and increase the knowledge and confidence of the candidate.
  • (5) The traditional debrief
    • (a) During a traditional debrief, the ACD leads discussion points.
    • (b) Historically, the traditional debrief was associated with only technical assessment elements, however today it must encompass both technical and non-technical elements (i.e., cooperation, leadership and managerial skills, situational awareness and decision making) from the 4-Point Marking Scale and related non-technical concepts (i.e., communication, automation and threat and error management).
    • (c) While a candidate must be debriefed as soon as practical following a DCC, the ACD must ensure that the debrief is thoroughly prepared and accurate. ACDs should review the DCC in a logical order which is not necessarily chronological.
    • (d) This method should be organized as follows:
      • (i) overall assessment (i.e., successful or unsuccessful);
      • (ii) performance strengths;
      • (iii) performance weaknesses;
      • (iv) questions and feedback;
      • (v) specific actions necessary for the candidate to improve future performance.
    • (e) The ACD should highlight strengths and reward good performance during their debriefings. While it is sometimes easier to concentrate on the negative, the debriefing will have more impact if good performance is recognized and candidate complimented. This will often set a positive tone for the debriefing and open the candidates mind to suggestions where their performance can be improved.
    • (f) While it may be easier to concentrate on negative performance, the candidate may be more receptive to assessments of poor performance if good performance is recognized first.
    • (g) A candidate's performance shouldn’t be specifically critiqued until their knowledge of a procedure and/or motivations for actions taken have been determined. While criticism should be balanced by praise, ACDs must be plain-spoken if the candidate is to receive full benefit of the debrief.
  • (6) The facilitated debrief
    • (a) The facilitated debrief emphasizes candidate self-critique. This method draws upon the candidate’s professional experience to enhance learning. An effective facilitated debrief ensures that the candidate does most of the talking and ideally discusses situations that confronted them during the DCC.
    • (b) During the debrief for a passed DCC, the ACD’s role is to facilitate discussion and bring out those issues that lead to errors or poor performance for both technical and non-technical elements. Normally, technical errors have a root cause in issues such as workload management, situational awareness, communication, decision-making, monitoring and feedback, conflict resolution and team performance. Therefore, the identification of and discussion of the root causes will help the candidate avoid these errors in the future.
    • (c) Levels of facilitation
      • (i) There are three levels of facilitation; high, medium and low. An ACD should strive to use the highest level of facilitation possible.
    • (d) High level
      • (i) High level facilitation is possible when the candidate discovers and discusses important issues on their own with minimal guidance from the ACD. For facilitating a discussion at this level, the candidate must be able to do the following:
        • (A) identify important topics and issues that arose during the DCC;
        • (B) set an agenda for discussing these issues;
        • (C) analyze (critically) the situation; and
        • (D) evaluate how well they performed.
      • (ii) The ACD’s role is as follows:
        • (A) inform the candidate of the objectives for the debrief;
        • (B) outline the debrief process; and
        • (C) assist in guiding the discussion only when necessary;
        • (D) although the ACD retains responsibility for ensuring that the debrief objectives are met, this is achieved through general guidance rather than actually leading the discussion.
    • (e) Medium level
      • (i) Medium level facilitation occurs when the ACD must help the candidate discover important issues and lessons by asking questions.
      • (ii) An ACD will encourage the candidate to analyze situations and their performance in greater detail during this level of facilitation, and must therefore lead the discussion more directly.
    • (f) Low Level
      • (i) Low level facilitation should be employed when candidates show little initiative and respond only superficially. At this level, self-discovery by the candidate is limited, however the ACD is still encouraged to use effective facilitation techniques to lead the candidate to critical issues, appropriate solutions and correct evaluation.
      • (ii) The ACD is expected to summarize each item and confirm the candidate understands and agrees with the outcome of the discussion before moving on to the next debrief item.
    • (g) Conducting a facilitated debrief
      • (i) An introduction lays the foundation for the debrief. It should explicitly state how the candidate and the ACD will participate. It should also include the following:
        • (A) clarification of both ACD and candidate roles and set expectations for participation;
        • (B) provide rationale for the use of facilitation debrief;
        • (C) explain that all critical areas will be covered.
      • (ii) Agenda
        • (A) An agenda is helpful to identify items that must be discussed. While this should include areas of both good and poor performance, it must contain any DCC element assessed a mark of two (2).

          Note: DCC elements assessed a mark of one (1) or a combination of five (2s) require a traditional debrief.

        • (B) To promote discussion, the ACD should develop the agenda with the candidate.
      • (iii) Behavior Models
        • (A) Organizing the discussion with the use of a recognized behaviour model provides a structure that will ensure that non-technical evaluation elements and related concepts are discussed in addition to technical evaluation elements.
        • (B) Transport Canada has adopted the C-A-L model during facilitated check debriefs. For more information on the C-A-L Model please reference ACP Manual (TP 6533) section 6.43.
    • (h) Recommended techniques and practices
      • (i) The following techniques and practices are provided. Transport Canada encourages ACDs to refine their style of facilitation to suit both the candidate and the operator:
        • (A) Encourages participation to promote adult learning;
        • (B) Do not lecture or make long speeches;
        • (C) Do not give the impression that only your views are important;
        • (D) Balance the role of ACD and facilitator (ensuring that all of your points are covered);
        • (E) Use facilitation to meet debrief objectives;
        • (F) Adjust your facilitation to the level needed to engage candidate to the maximum extent;
        • (G) Ensure that both technical and non-technical issues are discussed;
        • (H) Keep discussion candidate-centered;
        • (I) Ensure the candidate analyzes performance and discusses how to do better;
        • (J) Encourage candidate to do most of the talking;
        • (K) Ask questions that begin with what, how and why (open-ended questions);
        • (L) Re-word questions instead of giving the answer;
        • (M) Use questions to promote in-depth candidate participation;
        • (N) Re-direct candidate comments and questions back to them;
        • (O) Use silence/pauses to elicit thoughtful responses;
        • (P) Ask follow-up questions that require in-depth analysis;
        • (Q) Ask candidate to analyze the reasoning behind their decisions;
        • (R) Do not interrupt the candidate or leave a topic while they still want to talk;
        • (S) Do not give your own analysis before the candidate;
        • (T) Reinforce good candidate performance following analysis.
  • (7) Inform the candidate when the debrief is complete and ask if there are questions concerning the conduct of the competency check or other related topics.
  • (8) When a failure occurs, debrief the candidate on the reason for the failure and, where applicable, on the administrative suspension procedures that will follow including the candidate’s rights to appeal the assessment to the TATC. In the event of an unsatisfactory performance, the ACD must advise the flight dispatcher of the following:
    • (a) The right to appeal the assessment to the TATC within 30 days;
    • (b) The re-test will be very similar to the original and may be conducted by either the same ACD, a Transport Canada Inspector or another ACD;
    • (c) The ACD must provide a copy of the DCC Report to the candidate; and
    • (d) Where applicable and if known, any company-specific procedures to be followed.
  • (9) The wording of remarks to support a “2” must not describe performance that would warrant a failure. A mark of 1 (critical deviation) describes the appropriate item or items that resulted in an assessment of fail (see section 10.3(2)(F) of this manual).

9.0 Dispatch competency check assessments and assessment standards

9.1 General

  • (1) Dispatcher competency checks described in subparagraph 725.124(21)(i) of the CASS gives a list of required elements to be covered during the check. Form 26-0730 Dispatch Competence Check Report shall be used unless an air operator has a modified form approved by TCCA.
  • (2) Competency checks are conducted/monitored to assess the effectiveness and standards of the air operator’s training system and to qualify dispatchers for operational control. While written for the DCC, many of the assessment standards discussed in this section also apply to the monitoring of the authorized person conducting a DCC.
  • (3) The competency check will be conducted in accordance with:
    • (a) Standards (subsection 725.124(21) of the CASS) and guidance described in this manual;
    • (b) Other Transport Canada documents such as the CARs, CASS, CAP, CFS; and
    • (c) Air operator documents such as the COM, AOM and SOPs.
  • (4) The DCC will be documented on the Dispatch Competency Check Report (26-0730) or operator’s similar tailored form.
  • (5) Each item of the competency check must receive an assessment and must be graded according to the assessment standards and rating definitions of section 10.6 of this manual. The appropriate rating for each exercise must be recorded on the competency check report and any sequence graded “2” or “1” requires a narrative in the comments section of the report.
  • (6) To evaluate the overall technical proficiency, communications skills, leadership and situational awareness of dispatchers with respect to normal and abnormal procedures, ACDs must closely observe their performance. To evaluate specific items listed in the CASS, the competency check must be conducted in a manner that enables the dispatcher to demonstrate knowledge and skill with respect to such things as dispatcher decision making, flight planning, aircraft performance, flight systems and communication.
  • (7) When assessing normal procedures, the ACD must ensure dispatchers demonstrate adequate knowledge of the company SOPs and aircraft performances and systems to confirm their ability to properly use and plan flights.
  • (8) The dispatcher must demonstrate use of as many of the air operator’s approved Standard Operating Procedures, normal and emergency procedures as are necessary to confirm that the dispatcher has the knowledge and ability to properly plan and exercise operational control.

9.2 Instructions

  • (1) The ACD will assess all DCCs using the 4-point marking scale found in 9.5 of this manual. The standards specified in the guides are not exhaustive and they do not define all common errors. ACDs must apply their knowledge and experience in conjunction with the rating definitions to arrive at an assessment.
  • (2) It is neither feasible to develop the definitive book of examples of (1) to (4) for every DCC exercise, nor would it be practical. However, it is possible to examine each sequence of a competency check and test its validity against the definition for each rating. By applying this test to all exercises, standardization can be achieved in competency check assessments. Each sequence of the competency check, including any errors or mistakes, must be evaluated against established performance criteria.
  • (3) Common errors and rating assessments are described by a variety of adjectives. Terms such as (un) acceptable, (un) satisfactory, timely, safe, minor, slight, brief, lack, inadequate and excessive are used to describe the candidate’s performance. It is difficult to objectively define these adjectives; however, the dictionary definition may be used to provide amplification of meaning and thereby standardization in application. Terms such as (in) complete, (in) correct, exceed and failure are more finite and may be objectively described by referring to the appropriate regulation, Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) or company procedure.
  • (4) In order for a competency check to receive a general assessment of “Failed”, at least one item must be assessed as “1”. A DCC with a maximum number of five “2”s must also receive a general assessment of “Failed”.
  • (5) During a competency check, a sequence may involve duties and/or responsibilities of a dispatcher other than the controlling dispatcher. Such a sequence that is rated as “1 or 2” for the controlling dispatcher may be as a result of inappropriate action on the part of the non-controlling dispatcher (i.e., the dispatcher providing incorrect information). The “1or 2” rating may be valid provided the controlling dispatcher has not confirmed the accuracy of the information.
  • (6) When an ACD determines that a dispatcher has failed during the course of a DCC, the competency check must be immediately terminated. ACDs and candidates should keep in mind that it is not the ACD who fails the candidate, but rather it is the candidate whose performance on that day has not met the minimum standards needed to safely exercise the privileges of the certificate.
  • (7) Where the situation in subsection 9.2(6) of this manual occurs during a competency check and the ACD is a training dispatcher, the time remaining in the DCC may be used for training provided that:
    • (a) The candidate is advised at the time of failure and agrees with continuing as a training session;
    • (b) No other dispatchers are being monitored or evaluated;
    • (c) Upon completion of the training session the candidate is debriefed on the reason for failure and where applicable, on the administrative suspension procedures that will follow including the candidate’s rights to appeal the assessment to the TATC;
    • (d) The ACD completes the DCC report assessed as “failed”, submits the original to Transport Canada and follows the procedures for DCC suspension listed in subsection 10.5 of this manual;
    • (e) The responsibility for the remainder of the shift will fall under the ACD until relieved by the next qualified flight dispatcher as the candidate has failed the competency check.
  • (8) It is possible that a failure could be the result of a sequence of events earlier in the competency check and that the ACD has only made the unsatisfactory evaluation based on further observation.

9.3 Principles of evaluation

  • (1) Evaluation is the overall process of defining, observing and measuring a candidate’s performance. An evaluation may become useless if certain criteria are not respected. The following five characteristics, if used carefully when conducting a DCC, will result in an accurate and effective form of evaluation.
    • (a) Reliability
    • (b) Validity
    • (c) Comprehensiveness
    • (d) Discrimination
    • (e) Objectivity
  • (2) Reliability
    • (a) As applied to a DCC to ensure consistent results would mean that two identical performances should result in the same score. However human factors can have a significant effect on this. Consider the following:
      • (i) fatigue: insufficient sleep or rest prior to the competency check;
      • (ii) emotions: work or home personal problems;
      • (iii) health: cold or flu, etc.;
      • (iv) time of Day: very early in the morning, or late in the day;
      • (v) distractions: noise, interruptions, etc.
    • (b) The ACD should be conscious of these factors and attempt to reduce as many variables as possible. Recognizing some of these factors as a reason for some lack of accuracy in the candidate’s performance. The ACD should also be aware that their ability to accurately assess the candidate’s performance could be affected by these same factors.
    • (c) Another factor that may affect the reliability is to allow learning to take place during the check. It must be emphasized that testing for the purpose of certification must remain clearly removed from teaching. For example, if worded improperly, questions may lead the candidate to the correct answer. If given a second or third attempt, the candidate may finally answer adequately because of the repeated practice. For this reason, a scenario will not be repeated unless one of the following conditions applies:
      • (i) Discontinuance: Discontinuance of a scenario for valid reasons such as emergency, mechanical, diversion, weather issue or other procedure necessary to modify the original plan.
      • (ii) Misunderstood request: A legitimate instance when a candidate does not understand an ACD’s request to perform a specific task. A candidate’s failure to know the requirements of a specified request is not grounds for repeating a task.
      • (iii) Other factors: Any condition where the ACD was distracted to the point that the candidate’s performance of the task (telephone & radio calls, interruption from another department, etc.) could not adequately be observed.
    • (d) These provisions have been made in the interest of fairness and safety and do not mean that instruction, practice, or the repeating of an item or task unacceptably demonstrated, are permitted during the evaluation process.
  • (3) Validity
    • (a) Competency Checks are valid if they measure what they are supposed to measure and nothing else. Assessment of items must remain within the bounds of the appropriate DCC and the guidelines provided in this manual. The scope of the DCC must be such that when candidates pass, they have met the required standards for the issuance of the certificate or its renewal.
  • (4) Comprehensiveness
    • (a) A DCC is comprehensive if it contains a sample of all course material and measures each area of skill and knowledge required to ensure the skill requirements are met.
  • (5) Discrimination
    • (a) During the conduct of a DCC, discrimination enables the ACD to detect different levels of achievement among candidates. Discrimination separates standard performance from above and below standard performance. A 1-4 marking scale is designed to reveal how candidates perform and allows for a greater degree of discrimination than one that simply distinguishes between pass and fail.
  • (6) Objectivity
    • (a) Objectivity ensures the ACD’s personal opinions will not affect the outcome or assessment of the competency check. Assessments made must be in accordance with the applicable DCC criteria. Despite the fact that ACDs must strive to remain objective, competency checks may be marked to some degree on a subjective basis when the ACD is an experienced dispatcher, has sound and adequate background knowledge of the evaluation process and has the expertise to accurately assess candidates without prejudice.

9.4 Evaluation errors

  • (1) In order to test effectively, ACDs require not only a sound knowledge of the characteristics of evaluation, but also a firm understanding of the possible errors that can occur throughout the evaluation process. Errors in evaluation fall into several categories, they are:
    • (a) Personal bias
    • (b) Central tendency
    • (c) Generosity
    • (d) Severity
    • (e) Halo effect
    • (f) Stereotype
    • (g) Logical error
    • (h) Narrow criterion
    • (i) Delayed grading
    • (j) Standards error
  • (2) Personal bias
    • (a) Personal bias is indicated by a tendency of an ACD to rate candidates or a particular group of candidates the same. An ACD must not allow personal prejudices to interfere with the objective evaluation of a candidate’s performance.
  • (3) Central tendency
    • (a) Central tendency errors are indicated by a tendency to rate all or most candidates as average. The ACD feels that the performance of most candidates is not as good as it should be and therefore underscores a candidate’s good performance.
  • (4) Generosity
    • (a) Generosity errors are indicated by a tendency to rate all individuals at the high end of the scale and are probably the most common type of personal bias. This could be caused by an ACD’s desire to be known as a favourable person.
  • (5) Severity
    • (a) Severity errors are the opposite of generosity errors and result in all or most candidates are graded at the low end of the marking scale. The ACD may feel that the published standards are too low and score the test against their own set of standards.
  • (6) Halo effect
    • (a) This occurs when an ACD’s impression of a candidate is allowed to influence the assessment of performance. Halo error can result in rating an applicant too high or too low.
    • (b) One form of halo error is the error of leniency. Leniency has its source in an examiner’s likes, dislikes, opinions, prejudices, moods and political or community influence of people. For example, when testing a friend, acquaintance, or high-profile individual, an ACD may (knowingly or unknowingly) inflate the marks.
  • (7) Stereotype
    • (a) These errors also have their sources in likes, dislikes, opinions, prejudices, etc. ACDs might allow personal opinion or prejudice to influence the assessment and might (knowingly or unknowingly) deflate or inflate the marks.
  • (8) Logical error
    • (a) Logical error occurs when an ACD assumes that a high degree of ability in one area means a similar degree of competence in another. This is especially true if more than one item being assessed is similar or related.
    • (b) A good mark on one or two items does not mean the candidate is also qualified on all. The full competency check must be completed and marked.
  • (9) Narrow criterion
    • (a) This may occur when an ACD has more than one candidate to evaluate. The ACD may, under this condition, rate each applicant against the others within the group instead of against the standards.
    • (b) If the group to be tested is above average, a candidate who is of average ability may be awarded an undeservedly low mark. If the group of candidates to be tested is below average, then a candidate who performs the best within this group may be awarded a higher assessment than actually deserved.
  • (10) Delayed grading
    • (a) Should a delay occur in awarding the assessment for an item, there might be a tendency to award average marks due to the lack of information and/or poor recall. By not making an assessment immediately after the event, the ACD may award assessments based upon an overall impression of the competency check. This results in an erroneous assessment and a DCC Report that is of little value to the training system.
  • (11) Standards error
    • (a) Standards error occurs when an ACD is not thoroughly familiar with established performance criteria. It is virtually impossible to conduct an accurate evaluation without this knowledge.

9.5 4-Point marking scale

  • (1) The 4-Point marking scale shall be used during DCCs to document a candidate’s performance. The scale includes both technical and non-technical skill elements. It is designed to measure the quality of performance rather than assigning a pass or fail grade to each DCC element.
  • (2) Technical skill elements, traditionally a basis for DCCs, have evolved with the use of automation and so too the assessments of these skills while non-technical skill elements reflect a more modern CRM assessment within an operational control centre.
  • (3) A comprehensive knowledge of the scale’s elements is essential so that marks and supportive comments can be derived accurately and withstand scrutiny. When using the 4-Point marking scale, it is essential that the candidate be marked based on the weakest performance. In effect, a candidate is assumed to start at 4 points, and can never 'earn' a point, they can only lose points based on demonstrated performance.
  • (4) No deviation from standard (4)
    • (a) Performance, procedures or tasks remain well within specified performance criteria. Non-technical skills contribute effectively towards the desired outcome. All potential threats receive proper consideration. Errors, if any, are inconsequential or immediately corrected.
    • (b) In this example, a sequence must be rated (4) where:
      • (i) Organization is structured, precise and methodical;
      • (ii) Technical knowledge is effective at ensuring a level required for safe and efficient operation;
      • (iii) Effective cooperation skills ensure teamwork and coordination at all times;
      • (iv) Leadership and managerial skills contribute team performance;
      • (v) Behavior indicates continuous vigilance and accurate situational awareness;
      • (vi) Decision-making skills provide for timely decisions using all available information that lead to the safest and most efficient outcome;
      • (vii) Errors are avoided or if they occur are minor in nature and captured quickly with no threat to safety.
  • (5) Minor deviation (3)
    • (a) Minor deviations may occur from specified performance criteria while overall performance, procedure or task remains within prescribed limits. Non-technical skills are generally effective in assisting technical performance. Potential threats tend to generate due consideration. Errors, if any, are identified and corrected in a timely manner.
    • (b) In this example, a sequence must be rated (3) where:
      • (i) Organization is positive and generally done in a methodical way;
      • (ii) Technical knowledge meets the required level of competency for safe and efficient operation;
      • (iii) Cooperation skills assist in effective teamwork and coordination;
      • (iv) Leadership and managerial skills contribute often to team performance;
      • (v) Behavior indicates that acceptable situational awareness is maintained;
      • (vi) Decision-making skills provide for timely decisions aimed at safe and acceptable outcomes;
      • (vii) Errors may occur but are captured and mitigated within acceptable time frames.
  • (6) Major deviation (2)
    • (a) Deviations from specified performance criteria occur, which include excursions from prescribed tolerances or a major error, but are recognized and corrected within an acceptable timeframe. Non-technical skills contribute to sub-standard technical performance. Consideration to relevant threats may not be fully adequate. Errors are poorly managed but do not jeopardize safety of flights.
    • (b) In this example, a sequence must be rated (2) where:
      • (i) Organization is performed with limited proficiency and/or includes brief uncoordinated actions;
      • (ii) Technical knowledge reveals limited competency and/or depth of knowledge with respect to applicable regulatory requirements, SOPs, and/or aircraft systems, limitations and performance characteristics;
      • (iii) Cooperation skills undermine effective teamwork and coordination;
      • (iv) Leadership and managerial skills allow for deviations from procedures and/or poor team performance;
      • (v) Behavior indicates lapses in situational awareness that are identified and corrected by the team;
      • (vi) Decision-making skills do not consistently generate decisions providing a safe and efficient outcome; and
      • (vii) Errors that occur are typically captured by the team who contribute to the mitigation.
  • (7) Critical deviation (1)
    • (a) Unacceptable deviations from specified performance criteria occur, which include excursions from prescribed tolerances or procedures which are not recognized or corrected within an acceptable time frame. Non-technical skills detract from overall technical performance. Mismanagement of potential threats and/or errors compromises safety of flights.
    • (b) In this example, a sequence must be rated (1) where:
      • (i) Organization is uncoordinated, includes uncorrected or excessive deviations, or leads to an undesired or unacceptable situation;
      • (ii) Technical knowledge reveals unacceptable levels of technical competency and/or depth of knowledge with respect to applicable regulatory requirements, SOPs, and/or aircraft systems, limitations and performance characteristics;
      • (iii) Poor cooperation skills contribute to unresolved conflicts or lead to an unacceptable level of team coordination;
      • (iv) Leadership and managerial skills are counterproductive and ineffective to good team performance unless continuously challenged or prompted by other team members;
      • (v) Behavior indicates lapses in situational awareness that are not identified and corrected by the team;
      • (vi) Decision-making skills are inadequate and may lead to decisions jeopardizing safety of flights; and
      • (vii) Errors that occur are significant or severe, may be captured by the team but then are not given due consideration from the candidate.

9.6 The 4 Point marking scale technical and non-technical elements

  • (1) The 4-Point marking scale contains the following technical skill elements:
    • (a) Technical skills and knowledge; and
    • (b) Desk control.
  • (2) The 4-Point marking scale contains the following non-technical skill elements:
    • (a) Cooperation;
    • (b) Leadership and managerial skills;
    • (c) Situational awareness;
    • (d) Decision making.

9.7 Technical skill elements

  • (1) Technical skills and knowledge is comprised of two sub-elements:
    • (a) Practical understanding
      • (i) The practical use and understanding of all applicable information necessary for safe flight planning and flight watch such as aircraft performance (AFM), systems (MEL), weather data interpretation and analysis.
    • (b) Following Regulations/Standards/Policies and Procedures.
  • (2) Operational control and desk management
    • (a) The understanding and practical use of computer systems, applications, automated interfaces and their operating procedures.
  • (3) When grading technical skill elements, ACDs must refer to the 4-Point marking scale and the source documents of the items being evaluated (i.e., DCC Report/CARs/CASS, AFM, MEL etc.)
    • (a) ACDs have some limited discretion when assessing the candidate’s performance against published tolerances and limitations within the following scenarios:
    • (b) Existing conditions
      • (i) Deviations or errors influenced by weather, changing field conditions, emergencies or other situations reasonably beyond the control of the candidate may be considered by the ACD when assigning a mark of two (2) versus a one (1).
    • (c) Corrective actions taken and safety of flight not compromised:
      • (i) Corrective measures were applied by the candidate; and
      • (ii) Although reduced, safety margins were not compromised.

9.8 Non-technical skill elements

  • (1) Cooperation
    • (a) The ability to work effectively with flight crew, other dispatchers, other operational departments and external agencies (e.g., ATC), though does not refer to the work itself or the quality and quantity of output.
    • (b) Skill elements may include the following:
      • (i) Team building;
      • (ii) Consideration and support of others;
      • (iii) Solving conflicts.
  • (2) Leadership and managerial skills
    • (a) These skills are the active and goal directed coordination between dispatcher and flight crew, other dispatchers and other operational departments. The ability to be an active agent of a team and voice ideas and concerns as well as accommodating other’s ideas and concerns to further the objective of a safe operation.
    • (b) Skill elements may include the following:
      • (i) Balanced use of authority and assertiveness;
      • (ii) Providing and maintaining standards;
      • (iii) Planning and coordination;
      • (iv) Workload management.
  • (3) Situational awareness
    • (a) The ability to accurately perceive what is taking place around you, or simply put, knowing what is going on. It precisely relates to the perception of the elements in the environment within a volume of time and space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the near future.
    • (b) Skill elements may include the following:
      • (i) System awareness;
      • (ii) Environmental Awareness;
      • (iii) Awareness of time and anticipation of future events.
  • (4) Decision making
    • (a) The process of making a judgment call or choosing an option, especially when various decision points differ enormously in what they demand of the dispatcher. Consideration of what options and support exist in SOPs and policies for making decisions, and what features may make the situation difficult or error-prone.
    • (b) Skill elements may include the following:
      • (i) Problem definition / diagnosis;
      • (ii) Option generation;
      • (iii) Risk assessment;
      • (iv) Option selection and review.
  • (5) Assessing non-technical skill elements is more challenging as these assessments must be based on observable behaviour. Observable behaviour must be seen more than once during a particular DCC element in order to assess a certain level of non-technical performance. This is not always possible and therefore not all non-technical skill elements will be assessable during each element.
    • (a) Other related non-technical concepts, though not expressly identified within the 4-Point marking scale, that are more observable and identifiable are listed below:
      • (i) Communication;
      • (ii) Automation;
      • (iii) Threat and Error Management (TEM).
  • (6) Communication
    • (a) While it would be ideal if all communications were face-to-face thus engaging all of our senses (i.e., verbal, tone/volume, and body language), the aviation environment places limits on these modes of expression. It is imperative that certain techniques, strategies and procedures be employed to maximize effectiveness.
    • (b) An analysis of effective communications in a team environment has identified five essential skills that may or may not occur naturally. These five skills are:
      • (i) Inquiry;
      • (ii) Advocacy/Assertion;
      • (iii) Active Listening;
      • (iv) Conflict Resolution; and
      • (v) Critique/Feedback.
  • (7) Automation
    • (a) Automation is becoming more and more prevalent and relied upon in aviation. In the dispatcher’s environment, automation generally refers to flight planning, aircraft performance, weather data collection and communication and situational displays as well as the integration of those systems. Outside the dispatcher’s environment, automation is incorporated into activities such as scheduling, weight and balance, maintenance and integrated aircraft systems.
    • (b) While proficiency with the automation is necessary and contributes to effective communication and situational awareness, a comprehension of the functions that the automation is providing is equally important as a complete reliance on the automation can also contribute to complacency.
    • (c) Assessing the effect of automation on the dispatcher
      • (i) Is the dispatcher using the automation to its potential by analyzing the results, heeding automated alerts and making reliable and sound decisions or does the dispatcher not understand what the automation is providing or how their inputs influence the results?
      • (ii) Is the time afforded by the automation used to enhance situational awareness, provide clearer communication and apply threat and error management concepts to the operation or is the dispatcher relying on the automation too heavily, becoming complacent and failing to recognize any threats?
  • (8) Threat and Error Management (TEM)
    • (a) Though not yet formally identified as a non-technical skill element in the 4-Point marking scale, ACDs are expected be aware, observant and skilled at noticing TEM in a dispatcher’s repertoire and facilitating a discussion on TEM in debriefings. This is especially important as TEM is paramount in contemporary CRM.
    • (b) In its simplest form, TEM is defensive flight planning and flight watch. TEM equips a dispatcher with skills and behaviour to recognize and avoid problems which if ignored or left unattended could result in undesired conditions and possibly lead to an incident or accident.
    • (c) TEM proposes that threats, errors and undesired conditions are everyday occurrences that dispatchers must manage to maintain safety.
    • (d) Threat management
      • (i) A threat is an event, condition or error that:
        • (A) occurs outside the influence of the dispatcher;
        • (B) increases the operational complexity of the operation; and
        • (C) requires attention and management if safety margins are to be maintained.
      • (ii) Threat management is how dispatchers anticipate and respond to threats. Dispatchers can manage threats and prevent errors by (for example) reading weather advisories, conducting thorough pre-flight analysis, planning alternate routes or carrying extra fuel if weather is poor.
    • (e) Error management:
      • (i) An error within the context of threat and error management is a dispatcher action or omission that:
        • (A) leads to a deviation from organizational intentions or expectations;
        • (B) reduces safety margins; and
        • (C) increases the probability of an adverse operational event occurring.
    • (f) TEM techniques and tools
      • (i) TEM stresses three basic concepts:
        • (A) anticipation;
        • (B) recognition; and
        • (C) recovery.
      • (ii) The key to anticipation is accepting that while something is likely to go wrong, knowing exactly when that might happen is unknown. Efforts to remain vigilant to recognizing potential threats and errors are assisted by skillful use of hard and soft safeguards.
      • (iii) Hard safeguards
        • (A) Modern automation can offer tremendous assistance in anticipating and recognizing threats and errors.
        • (B) Automated systems provide hard safeguards. While beneficial, these systems alone are not sufficient to ensure effective threat and error performance at all times.
      • (iv) Soft safeguards
        • (A) Dispatchers maintain skills in accordance with various qualification and currency requirements governed by regulations and routinely use SOPs and checklists.
        • (B) Soft safeguards represent behaviour that demonstrates that dispatchers remain ahead of the operation and are a direct reflection of successful situational awareness.
      • (v) With the assistance of hard and soft safeguards, anticipation builds vigilance and recognition leads to recovery.
      • (vi) When an error contributes to an undesired condition, recovering to adequate safety margins is the first course of action. The dispatcher must recover first and analyze causes later.
    • (g) Threat and Error Management Link to CRM
      • (i) Many of the best practices advocated by CRM can be considered threat and error management countermeasures.
      • (ii) Some threat and error management countermeasures are outlined below:
        • (A) planning countermeasures - planning, preparation, briefings, and contingency management - are essential for managing anticipated and unexpected threats;
        • (B) execution countermeasures - monitor/cross-check, workload management, and automation management - are essential for error detection and error response;
        • (C) review/modify countermeasures - evaluation of plans, inquiry - are essential for managing the changing conditions of an operation; and
        • (D) dispatchers that exhibit strong cooperation skills, leadership and managerial skills, situational awareness and effective decision making skills are typically observed to encounter fewer mismanaged errors and undesired conditions.

9.9 Tolerances

  • (1) The tolerances for a competency check must be respected by all ACDs. Each candidate must demonstrate operational control is maintained by:
    • (a) Planning flights safely, legally, and within reasonable time frame;
    • (b) Providing accurate and timely flight watch;
    • (c) Advising flights of required changes in flight plans in a timely manner;
    • (d) Assessing Minimum Equipment List (MEL) items at the pre planning stage and during flight watch;
    • (e) Assessing weather accurately and effectively;
    • (f) Simulating the Emergency Response procedures in accordance with the Company’s documented procedures; and
    • (g) Reporting of safety related issues in accordance with the Company’s safety reporting procedures.
  • (2) These criteria assume no unusual circumstances or conditions and may require allowances for momentary variations. Such things as weather, delays in communication due to the remote location of certain facilities, or simulated malfunction may modify the exact rating definition and tolerances to be applied during a particular sequence of events.

9.10 Competency and proficiency elements

  • (1) Subparagraph 725.124(21)(i) of the CASS and the Dispatcher’s Competency Check Report (26-0730) lists the required elements to evaluate competency and proficiency for a DCC. However, because of operational variances between operators, these elements may not occur in sequence or be obvious to monitor or inspect. Consequently, the following is a suggested list of check items where the required elements would likely occur. The points used to describe each item are a reflection of what may indicate an assessment of (4) on a DCC element:
    • (a) Desk briefing (oncoming). The oncoming dispatch candidate must ensure they are briefed in accordance with operator SOPs and should take an active role in the briefing. The following minimum elements in this briefing should be covered:
      • (i) The overall weather affecting the areas of operation including the use of various weather products supporting the analysis;
      • (ii) Weather at departure /arrival /alternate and enroute airports under the dispatcher’s jurisdiction and on any other system or route limitations that may affect a flight;
      • (iii) Station and FIR NOTAMS;
      • (iv) Any known MEL/CDL items or AOG aircraft that are/will be under the dispatcher’s jurisdiction;
      • (v) Any flights that are or are about to be in flight, detailing any non-standard planning, potential threats or delays; and
      • (vi) Any additional items that may affect the safety of flights under the dispatcher’s jurisdiction such as any abnormal incident that may have occurred during the previous shift, communications to flight crew and other operational departments.
    • (b) Operational analysis. The dispatcher should perform an operational analysis to become fully acquainted with the challenges of the day. Information gained from the desk briefing will not always be adequate in the goal of achieving proficient desk control, thus the following items will likely need further analysis:
      • (i) The weather and the potential threats and challenges it may bring to the operation;
      • (ii) NOTAMS and how they are affecting the flights under their jurisdiction;
      • (iii) MEL items and AOG aircraft that would likely present risks to operational control and desk management;
      • (iv) The potential for any other outside influencer (crew, Air Traffic Control (ATC), other ops departments) and how to work with conflicting priorities and conflict resolution;
      • (v) The workload planned for the day and how all of the previous items interrelate and affect the changing priorities throughout the day.
    • (c) Flight planning and dispatch release procedures. This is a major part of the dispatcher‘s function. Adequate knowledge and proficiency in this area will be a key player in the dispatcher’s ability to perform all other duties. Many of the required elements in subparagraph 725.124(21)(i) of the CASS could easily occur in in the flight planning sequence and technical skill elements are prominent. The following is a list of items to look for:
      • (i) Adherence to company policies and procedures including fuel policies and other operational restrictions;
      • (ii) Aeroplane performance analysis along with an understanding of how the specific conditions change that performance with respect to a particular flight. Also, proficiency in understanding regulatory compliance items for performance and the ability to apply those regulations practically;
      • (iii) The appropriate application of MEL/CDL items and how they affect overall performance or the aeroplanes serviceability/unserviceability;
      • (iv) Assessment and suitability of alternates including compliance with alternate minima and company preferences;
      • (v) Enroute considerations including ETOPS/EDTO procedures, turbulence/severe weather avoidance and enroute performance (e.g., optimum cruising altitudes);
      • (vi) Compliance with route planning requirements and ATC requests and understanding how aeroplane capabilities and authorizations affect this;
      • (vii) The ability to follow standard release procedures including a flight plan error verification prior to acceptance, providing a standard company flight plan package, communication with external agencies such as ATC (clearance) fuel providers etc.;
      • (viii) Overall efficiency and accuracy of flight planning including the understanding of all the key elements required to compute a flight plan and how they interrelate while keeping safety as a planning priority.
    • (d) Crew briefings and coordination with other operational departments. A key communication ability which indicates that the dispatcher not only understands their own thought and decision making process but also acknowledges key decisions other personnel need to make based on information the dispatcher possesses. Some items to look for:
      • (i) The dispatcher communicates all required information to crew members and other personnel according to company procedures and protocol and solicits and involves their opinions;
      • (ii) The dispatcher has the ability to efficiently convey to flight crew members and other operational departments all of the criteria related to the decisions made in flight planning and the ability to relate to the perspective of those personnel for their decisions;
      • (iii) The rapport with crew members and other departments coupled with the dispatcher’s ability to achieve the elements in 9.10(1)(d)(i) and (ii) above is conducive to building trust in their knowledge, decisions and opinions;
      • (iv) The use of Threat and Error Management (TEM) (TP 6533 5.23) concepts would indicate a high degree of awareness of time and anticipation of future events.
    • (e) Flight watch procedures. A fundamental roll for a dispatcher is the ability to perform effective monitoring of any information crucial to the safety of a flight and to be able to advise flight crew members of this information in a timely manner. The ability to validate and analyze information with a potential to adversely affect a flight, advise a flight crew and offer suggestions demonstrates vigilance and structured situational awareness. Some items to look for:
      • (i) Dispatcher regularly monitors weather including TAFs, METARs, AIRMETs, SIGMETs, PIREPs, GFAs and other prognostic charts and relates that information to flights under their jurisdiction;
      • (ii) Dispatcher regularly monitors aircraft maintenance status, NOTAMs, ATC directives, and other pertinent information and relates that information to flights under their jurisdiction;
      • (iii) Dispatcher maintains awareness of aircraft movements under their watch as well as an awareness of their position throughout the enroute portion of flight;
      • (iv) When a dispatcher becomes aware of information that will affect a flight(s) under their jurisdiction their situational awareness allows for a quick response with potential options and timely flight crew advisement;
      • (v) If an incident or accident occurs the dispatcher reacts quickly and positively according to company procedures;
      • (vi) Dispatcher actively overcomes distractions to the situational awareness the above items describe.
    • (f) Irregular Operations (IROPs). An unplanned incident/accident or event, or IROP is a particularly challenging event for a dispatcher. A dispatcher will have little or no indication an event of this nature will occur and therefore the manner in which they handle, or shed, responsibility is crucial for maintaining operational control. Look for items like the following:
      • (i) Though the nature of an IROP is an unplanned event, there could be indications of potential IROPs from even the oncoming desk briefing (e.g., an AOG aircraft scheduled to operate a flight without a backup in place). It is important to recognize these indications early and communicate the concerns appropriately;
      • (ii) The IROP will likely challenge the dispatcher’s ability to organize their workload. The dispatcher’s capacity to incorporate the IROP and adjust priorities will be essential to maintaining operational control. It follows, however, that a dispatcher must recognized when operational control is being compromised and shed or insist on operational delays/cancelations in order to maintain operational control;
      • (iii) Dispatchers should resist pressure to hurry through changes prompted by IROPs to avoid errors and omissions. There must be thoroughness and accuracy, along with the expediency.
    • (g) Administrative duties. If administrative duties are part of the dispatcher’s workload, they must be incorporated as to not compromise operational control. The operator should have procedures on incorporating these duties and it will be up to the dispatcher to follow and manage this while exercising operational control.
    • (h) Desk briefing (outgoing). The outgoing dispatch candidate must ensure they brief the oncoming in accordance with operator SOPs and should allow the oncoming dispatcher to take an active role in the briefing. The following minimum elements in this briefing should be covered:
      • (i) The overall weather affecting the areas of operation including the use of various weather products supporting the analysis;
      • (ii) Weather at departure /arrival /alternate and enroute airports under the dispatcher’s jurisdiction and on any other system or route limitations that may affect a flight;
      • (iii) Station and FIR NOTAMS;
      • (iv) Any known MEL/CDL items or AOG aircraft that are/will be under the dispatcher’s jurisdiction;
      • (v) Any flights that are or are about to be in flight, detailing any non-standard planning, potential threats or delays; and
      • (vi) Any additional items that may affect the safety of flights under the dispatcher’s jurisdiction such as any abnormal incident that may have occurred during the previous shift, communications to flight crew and other operational departments.

10.0 Administration and document control

10.1 Record keeping

  • (1) It is the air operator’s responsibility to ensure an ACD’s authority is valid before scheduling them to conduct a competency check. To aid in this responsibility, an air operator must maintain records to show:
    • (a) The last date that a monitor had been completed on the ACD;
    • (b) A list of the competency checks conducted by the ACD.
  • (2) All ACD records are to be maintained for at least three years and must be made readily available to TC for inspection and auditing purposes. This also applies to an air operator who has sponsored a CACD.
  • (3) The air operator is responsible to ensure ACD manual bulletins are read, understood and distributed to its appropriate operations personnel in a timely manner.

10.2 Air operator’s notification responsibilities

  • (1) An air operator must advise Transport Canada when an ACD is no longer employed by the company or will no longer be required to perform ACD duties.
  • (2) It is the air operator’s responsibility to submit, to the Transport Canada office concerned, a formal written request to have every ACD monitored annually before their expiry date. The request should be submitted to arrive at least thirty (30) days prior to the proposed date of the monitor. Upon reception of the request, Transport Canada will coordinate with the air operator and agree on a common date. The proposed date of the monitor can be up to ninety (90) days prior to the expiry date of the current one. The same procedure applies for both ACD and DCC validity.
  • (3) If the air operator anticipates a delay or problem with a scheduled monitor, contact should be made as soon as possible with the Transport Canada office concerned to make an alternate appointment.

10.3 Dispatcher’s competency check report

  • (1) Form 26-0730, or an approved company equivalent, is used to record the results of a DCC and accompany the request for a Dispatcher Certificate and renewal if assessed as a pass. It is critical that all fields on the form are completed accurately and reflect the standards outlined in this manual.
  • (2) Completion blocks:
    • (a) Name of candidate
      • (i) Use candidate’s legal name and enter their 5802 number.
      • (ii) On initial certification the 5802 number can be obtained from the written FDMET/FDOPS exam results letter in the Dispatcher’s training file.
    • (b) Name of ACD or TC inspector
      • (i) Use ACD’s or TC Inspector’s legal name and enter your 5802 number.
    • (c) Name of operator
      • (i) Use name of operator as indicated on the Operating Certificate and the 5258 File number.
    • (d) Date
      • (i) Enter the date in which the DCC occurred (e.g., YYYY-MM-DD).
    • (e) Shift start time
      • (i) Enter the time (Lcl) at the beginning (start) of the shift on which the DCC occurred (e.g., 06 00).
    • (f) Shift end time
      • (i) Enter the time (Lcl) at the end of the shift on which the DCC occurred (e.g., 14 00).
    • (g) Required standards
      • (i) Indicate the evaluation of each element by checking the appropriate column.
    • (h) General assessment pass/fail
      • (i) Indicate a pass or fail be checking appropriate box.
    • (i) Next competency check due
      • (i) The valid expiry should be the first day of the thirteenth following the DCC, however If the DCC has been conducted more than 30 days prior to or more than 30 days after (extension) be sure to enter the original validity time period for the certificate for consistency unless the intention is to change the original validity date. If the intention is to change the validity date inform you POI of the intent;
      • (ii) In either case the due date should always indicate the first day of the month (e.g., 2020-04-01).
    • (j) Dispatcher’s signature
      • (i) Dispatch candidate’s signature.
    • (k) ACD or inspector’s signature
      • (i) This signature is required to make the report valid as an attestation.
    • (l) Comments-assessment:
      • (i) It is mandatory to provide a comment about any element assessed a mark of one (1) or two (2). Comments must be clear, concise, accurate, unbiased and it is crucial that, if handwritten, they are legible.
      • (ii) Comments will become an official record once submitted to Transport Canada and may be used for further analysis. They may also be used when Transport Canada considers a Notice of Refusal to Issue or Notice of Suspension.
      • (iii) Check details
        • (A) When providing comments about a DCC element the following format is to be followed:
          • (I) Check details (i.e., DCC element) number 1 – 22.
          • (II) Skill element from the 4-Point Marking Scale (left column).
          • (III) Sub-element marking narrative from the 4-Point Marking Scale (right column).
          • (IV) Description / substantiation.
        • (B) Formulating a description/substantiation is the most challenging aspect of providing a comment. Comments should always contain specific language from a reference source.
        • (C) ACDs must use a plain style of writing. This implies that information is clearly organized and the choice of words and terminology is consistent with hat the target audience (layman) will understand.
        • (D) Where a deviation (i.e., minor, major, critical) has occurred, the numerical value of the assessment must be relative to the performance criteria in the left column of the 4-Point Marking Scale i.e., language used matches assessment of 1, 2, 3 or 4.
        • (E) Where an error has occurred, consequences must be stated relative to a requirement documented in a Regulation, Standard, AFM, MEL, COM etc.
          • (I) Example: An assessment of (2) would have been assigned in the following.
          • (II) 5. Consideration of relevant threat was not adequate due to technical knowledge revealing limited competency. AFM performance. Flight 1234 YYC-YUL dispatcher did not recognize the changing runway conditions in YUL would impact the aircrafts performance on landing. Flight crew called to inquire if aircraft performance was still adequate for the conditions. Candidate questioned another dispatcher who warned the candidate of the potential and prompted the candidate to review AFM performance on contaminated runways and re-calculate the landing performance to confirm the runways remained suitable. Candidate complied with the recommendation and informed the flight crew performance was still within acceptable limits but conditions were rapidly changing.
    • (m) Comments ACD general
      • (i) ACDs have the discretion to provide factual comments relevant to a candidate’s assessment and in other cases are provided to reflect the nature of the DCC.
      • (ii) ACDs should take care that these comments are factual an unbiased and will not represent contentious narrative.

10.4 Administrative procedures following a successful DCC

  • (1) The ACD must complete all items in the Dispatcher’s Competency Check Report including the appropriate next competency check due date and comments supporting any items evaluated as a (2) or (1) and have the DCC candidate sign in the area designated as, Dispatcher’s Signature.
  • (2) Along with the completed and signed Recommendation for Competency Check form, the completed DCC report must be submitted within 5 working days, to the person with the appropriate delegated authority (usually your Principle Operating Inspector).
  • (3) The Dispatcher’s Certificate must be endorsed along with the new validity date and if a new dispatcher certificate is required, please indicate this request with the submitted DCC report.

10.5 Administrative procedures following an unsuccessful DCC

  • (1) As the DCC is a renewal of the dispatcher’s certificate, a failure on the DCC invalidates the certificate regardless of when the DCC occurs and therefore the DCC report will take precedence over the certificate for a failure. It is therefore critical for a Transport Canada Inspector or ACD to carry out the following administrative procedures following a failure of a DCC:
    • (a) Must complete all items in the Dispatcher’s Competency Check Report including appropriate comments supporting any items evaluated as (1) or (2) and have the DCC candidate sign in the area designated as, Dispatcher’s Signature.
    • (b) Notify the DCC candidate of their right to appeal through the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC) within 30 days.
    • (c) Notify the manager of dispatch and/or Operations Manager of failed items and recommendations as to corrective action.
    • (d) The ACD or operator must ensure that the evaluation of the failed competency check is recorded in the individual’s training and competency check records. A DCC report shall be completed for each competency check, including any terminated during shift, or before all exercises were completed. The candidate is to be provided with a copy of the report.
    • (e) Immediately notify the Transport Canada Principal Operations Inspector (POI) and the person with the appropriate delegated authority under the Director, National Operations or under the Regional Director, Civil Aviation, that the dispatcher has not met the standards for a DCC. If unable to reach any of these TC officials via telephone, a voice message, an email or a facsimile is considered to be an acceptable means of notification. A copy of the DCC report will be sent to Transport Canada for references purposes.
  • (2) A Transport Canada inspector must issue a notice of suspension (form 26-0363) if they agree with the ACDs assessment and if a current dispatch certificate is held, pursuant to subsection 7.1(1) of the Aeronautics Act and include the following information:
    • (a) Name of candidate with address (same as on the certificate);
    • (b) Candidate’s 5802 file number;
    • (c) Date of competency check when it occurred;
    • (d) Specify that the candidate no longer meets the required standards for a DCC and the reasons why;
    • (e) Indicate that the candidate’s certificate is hereby suspended;
    • (f) Specify conditions of re-instatement (i.e., conduct of a satisfactory DCC);
    • (g) Where the form requests an address to which the suspended document is to be returned to, indicate “not applicable”;
    • (h) Specify the date (30 calendar days from the date of the issuance of the suspension) when the candidate’s request for a review by the Tribunal must be received. The candidate should be briefed on their right for a hearing at the Tribunal; and
    • (i) The appropriate TCCA authority level should sign and date the document.
  • (3) A request for review by the TATC does not invalidate the suspension of the certificate.

10.6 Document control process and NACIS database

  • (1) ACDs must submit the DCC report along with the completed recommendation form to the person with the appropriate delegated authority (usually your Principle Operating Inspector).
    • (a) Inspectors will review the forms for errors and seek corrections or clarifications from the ACD if necessary.
    • (b) Following the form review Inspectors should save the forms in RDIMS and forward the RDIMS number to National Operations / Commercial Flight Standards for NACIS entry.
    • (c) Inspectors conducting monitors should RDIMS the Monitor Reports and Delegation of Authority form and forward the RDIMS numbers to National Operations / Commercial Flight Standards, as applicable, for NACIS entry.

10.7 Dispatch certificate

  • (1) The Dispatch certificate is a Canadian Aviation Document (CAD) and as such affords the privileges and authority under Part 1 of the Aeronautics Act to the bearer of the document. Issuance of this document is predicated on meeting and maintaining all of the training and certification requirements specified in CASS 725.124(21) and is only valid with a single operator. Any additional certificates are separate and issued based on the bearer also meeting the requirements with that operator.
    • (a) The certificate must be endorsed by an authorized representative of the Minister and the candidate and is valid to the 1st day of the thirteenth month following the date of the DCC. Recurrent DCC dates and endorsements from an authorized person revalidate the certificate for an additional 12 months.
    • (b) The certificate must accompany, or be readily available by the dispatcher while performing their duties and a copy placed in their respective training file.
    • (c) It is the responsibility of the Air Operator to advise the Transport Canada Regional Office whenever a candidate fails to meet Dispatcher qualification standards or when an individual Dispatcher’s authority is no longer required.
  • (2) A request for an initial Dispatcher Certificate should be included in the submission of the initial DCC report to the person with the appropriate delegated authority (usually your Principle Operating Inspector). The Transport Canada Inspector will forward the request to National Operations/ Commercial Flight Standards, who will prepare the certificate. The certificate will be mailed to the address of the operator Transport Canada has on file, care of the person responsible for Flight Operations/Dispatch). When the endorsements on a certificate are full (1 initial / 5 recurrent) an ACD should request a new certificate using the same procedures as (2).
  • (3) Completion Blocks
    • (a) 5802 File number
      • (i) Completed by Transport Canada.
    • (b) Name of dispatcher
      • (i) Completed by Transport Canada.
    • (c) Name of airline operator
      • (i) Completed by Transport Canada.
    • (d) Date of initial DCC
      • (i) Completed by Transport Canada.
    • (e) Valid to date initial
      • (i) Completed by Transport Canada.
    • (f) Signature of Transport Canada inspector for initial qualification
      • (i) Completed by Transport Canada.
    • (g) Signature of holder of certificate
    • (h) Annual requalification DCC date
      • (i) Completed by Transport Canada Inspector or ACD.
    • (i) Annual requalification valid to date
      • (i) First day of the thirteenth month following the DCC.
      • (ii) The month and day of this date should be the same as the initial qualification valid to date unless the DCC was completed in excess of 90 days prior to the validity date or the candidate was on an extension and it was the intent to create a new validity date.
    • (j) Signature of authorized person
      • (i) Transport Canada inspector or ACD.

11.0 Validity periods and extensions

11.1 ACD monitor

  • (1) The validity period of an ACD monitor expires on the first day of the thirteenth month following the month in which the ACD monitor was completed. The validity period ends at 23h59 local on that first day of the month.
  • (2) Where an ACD monitor is renewed within the last 90 days of its validity period, the validity period is extended by 12 months.
  • (3) TCCA may extend the validity period of an ACD monitor by up to 60 days. Where the validity period of an ACD monitor has been extended and the ACD monitor is renewed after the initial expiry date, the new monitor expires on the first day of the thirteenth month following the month in which the ACD monitor was completed.
  • (4) Where a previously qualified ACD, has not renewed their monitor for a period not exceeding 12 months (from original validity date), the ACD may requalify without following all the steps indicated in chapter 6 of this manual under the following conditions:
    • (a) The ACD is requalifying for the same operator.
    • (b) The ACD is currently a qualified dispatcher for that operator.
    • (c) The ACD successfully passes a monitor conducted by a Transport Canada Inspector.
    • (d) Where the provisions of 11.1(4) of this manual are used the validity period of the ACD monitor will expire on the first day of the thirteenth month following the month in which the ACD monitor was renewed.

11.2 Authorized person’s authority

  • (1) An Authorized Person’s authority remains valid until expired, removed by Transport Canada or advised by the air operator that the authorization is no longer required.

11.3 Advisory material (validity / renewal / extensions)

Appendix A – ACD Application Form


Appendix B – ACD Delegation of Authority Form


Appendix C – Dispatcher’s Competency Check Report


Appendix D – TC inspector request for an annual ACD monitor or DCC


Request for ACD Recurrent Monitor or DCC


To: Transport Canada Regional Office

Dear Sir/Madam,

In accordance with the requirement of the Approved Check Dispatcher Manual (TP14114, subsection 7.2.2), I would like to request the attendance of a Transport Canada Civil Aviation Inspector to conduct an annual recurrent ACD monitor and/or ACD DCC on blank space for the day______(day) of the month of blank space for the month_____________ 20blank space for the last 2 digits of the year____.

The current periodic delegation of authority for ACD blank space for the name____________________________________(name) will come to expire on blank space for the day______(day) of the month of blank space for the month_______________ 20blank space for the last 2 digits of the year______ and a monitor and/or DCC is required before this date.

Should there be a conflict with the proposed date, please do not hesitate to contact me at your earliest convenience so that alternative arrangements can be provided.

Thank you for your cooperation.

blank space for signature of ACD or Manager Dispatch 

Signature of ACD or Manager Dispatch

Appendix E – ACD Monitor Report


Appendix F – ACD/DCC Extension Request Form


Appendix G – Revocation of ACD Authorization


TC logo: Transport Canada / Transports Canada

Revocation of Approved Check Dispatcher Authorization

To: (blank space for Air Operator)__________________________________________(Air Operator)

Attn: (blank space for Operations Manager) __________________________________________(Operations Manager)

Subject: (blank space for Name of Approved Check Dispatcher)__________________________________________(Name of Approved Check Dispatcher)   (blank space for 5802)__________________(5802)

Dear Sir / Madam,

The Approved Check Dispatcher (ACD) referred to above is no longer authorized to conduct Dispatcher Competency Checks (DCC) on behalf of the Minister.

Therefore, the Approved Check Dispatcher Authorization dated (blank space for day   month   year)__________________________________________(day   month   year) is hereby revoked.

Dated at (blank space for City)__________________(City), (blank space for Province) _______(Province), Canada, this (blank space for day)_______(day) day of (blank space for month   year)________________(month   year).

(blank space for Regional Superintendent / Chief National Operations for the Minister of Transport) 

Regional Superintendent / Chief National Operations
For the Minister of Transport

Cc: Operator’s Transport Canada Principal Operations Inspector
Inspector Operational Control, HQ

A copy of this letter must be attached to the ACD’s training file.

Canada wordmark : Symbol of the Government of Canada

Appendix H – Recommendation for Competency Check


Appendix I – Sample Letter of Approval

TC logo: Transport Canada / Transports Canada

October 8, 2021

John Deere, director of Flight Operations
ABC Airlines
123 Aviation Road
City, Province X1Y 2Z3

Your file   Votre référence

Our File   Notre référence
Z 5258-1234-5
RDIMS # 1234567

Dear Sir:

Enclosed is the Approved Check dispatcher delegation of Authority for:

Name Certificate # Authority Type
Paul JEFFREY 987654 Type B Operational Control System

Mr. Jeffrey recently received his interview and initial monitor, and Transport Canada found him to be an acceptable Approved Check Dispatcher (ACD) in accordance with subparagraph 725.124(4)(f)(ii) of the Commercial Air Services Standards.

You are reminded that it is the air operator’s responsibility, in accordance with the Approved Check Dispatcher (ACD) Manual, TP 14114 section 7.2.2, to ensure that an ACD has been monitored within the preceding 12 months.

In this capacity, Mr. Jeffrey has been informed that he may administer Dispatcher Competency Checks (DCC) as a delegate of the Minister of Transport. Attached, for your information and record, is a copy of the delegation of authority sent to Mr. Jeffrey.

Operators are further required to advise this office in writing when an ACD authority is no longer required, so that it may be revoked.

Should you have any questions, please contact your Principal Operations Inspector, at 123-456-7890 or e-mail

Yours truly,

A. B. Johnson
Acting Regional Manager / Gestionnaire régional intérimaire
Commercial Flight Standards / direction des normes relatives aux vols commerciaux
Atlantic Region / Région de l’Atlantique

Canada wordmark : Symbol of the Government of Canada

Appendix J – Flight Dispatcher Training & Proficiency Record


Appendix K – Familiarization Flight Report


Appendix L – Competency check practices guide

Element Sub-element Good practice Poor practice

Quality and Accuracy

  • Orderly, well organized
  • Using approved procedures
  • Action taken to abnormal situations
  • Disorganized, out of sequence
  • Not always using the best techniques
  • Late reaction to abnormal situations
Technical knowledge

Practical Understanding

  • Practical understanding of aircraft systems, performance data & charts, weather, etc.
  • Practical use and understanding of administrative, flight planning and performance softwares, radio equipment etc.
  • Competency that gets the job done safely and efficiently
  • Lacking in-depth understanding of aircraft systems, performance data & charts, weather, etc.
  • Lacking in-depth understanding of administrative, flight planning and performance softwares, radio, equipment, etc.
  • Poor competency has potential to affect safety

Following SOPs/ Rules / Regulations

  • Knowledge of all applicable SOPs, rules and regulations
  • Follows all SOPs, rules and regulations
  • Advises other dispatchers / crew members and takes precautions when proceeding outside SOPs
  • Not aware of some SOPs, rules or regulations
  • Does not follow SOPs, rules or regulations
  • When deviating from SOPs, does not consider potential problems or adverse outcomes and/or does not advise other dispatchers / crew members

Team Building and Maintaining

  • Establishes atmosphere for open communication
  • Encourages input and feedback; does not compete with others
  • Blocks open communication
  • Keeps barriers between team members
  • Competes with others

Consideration of Others

  • Takes notice of suggestions of other team members even if he or she does not agree
  • Takes condition of other team members
  • Gives personal feedback
  • Ignores suggestions of other team members
  • Does not take into account condition of other team members
  • Shows no reaction to other team members

Support of Others

  • Helps other team members in demanding situations
  • Offers assistance
  • Hesitant to help other team members in demanding situations
  • Does not offer assistance

Conflict Solving

  • Keeps calm in interpersonal conflicts
  • Suggests conflict resolutions
  • Concentrates on what is right rather than what is wrong
  • Overreacts in interpersonal conflicts
  • Sticks to own position w/o considering a compromise
  • Accuses other team members of making errors
Leadership and managerial skills

Providing and Maintaining Standards

  • Subscribes to SOPs, ensures SOP compliance among team
  • Intervenes if he or she sees something deviates from standards
  • With team being consulted, deviates from standards if necessary
  • Demonstrate will to achieve top performance
  • Does not comply to SOPs; does not monitor team for compliance
  • Does not intervene in case of deviations from standards
  • Deviations from standards are neither announced nor consulted
  • Does not care for performance effectiveness

Planning and Coordination

  • Encourages team participation in planning and execution
  • Plan Is clearly stated and confirmed
  • With team consultation, changes plan if necessary
  • Clearly states goals and boundaries for plan execution
  • Plans only for self, team not involved
  • Intentions not stated or confirmed
  • Changes plan w/o informing team or follows plan blindly
  • Goals and boundaries remain unclear

Workload Management

  • Distributes tasks among team, checks and corrects appropriately
  • Secondary operational tasks are prioritized to retain sufficient resources for primary duties
  • Allots adequate time to complete plans
  • Notifies signs of stress and fatigue
  • Works Individually w/o other team members involved
  • Secondary operational tasks interfere with primary duties
  • Increased workload due to inadequate planning
  • Ignores signs of stress and fatigue
Situational awareness

Environmental Awareness

  • Collects information about environment (weather, potential maintenance issues, ground delay programs)
  • Shares key information about environment with team
  • Contacts outside resources when needed (to maintain situational awareness)
  • Does not Inquire about environmental changes
  • Does not comment on relevant environmental factors, or is surprised by them
  • Operates a "closed shop"

Awareness of Time and Anticipation of Future Events

  • Discusses time constraints with team
  • Discusses contingency strategies
  • Identifies possible future problems
  • Does not set priorities with respect to time limits
  • Does not discuss relationship between past events and present / future
Decision making

Problem Definition / Diagnosis

  • Gathers information to identify problem
  • Reviews causal factors with other team members
  • Nature of problem not stated or failure to diagnose
  • No discussion of probable causes

Option Generation

  • States alternative options
  • Asks team members for options
  • Does not search information
  • Does not ask team members for alternatives

Risk Assessment

  • Considers and shares estimated risk of alternative options
  • Talks about possible risks for action in terms of limitation
  • Inadequate discussion of limiting factors with team members
  • No consideration of limiting factors

Option Selection

  • Confirms and states selected option / agreed action
  • Does not inform team of decision path being taken

Outcome Review

  • Checks outcome against plan
  • Fails to check selected outcome against goal

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Transport, 2022.

Permission is granted by the department of Transport Canada, to copy and/or reproduce the contents of this publication in whole or in part provided that full acknowledgment is given to the department of Transport Canada, and that the material be accurately reproduced. While use of this material has been authorized, the department of Transport Canada shall not be responsible for the manner in which the information is presented, nor for any interpretations thereof.

The information in this copy of this publication may not be updated to reflect amendments made to original content. For up-to-date information contact the department of Transport Canada.

The information in this publication is to be considered solely as a guide and should not be quoted as or considered to be a legal authority. It may become obsolete in whole or in part at any time without notice.

ISBN 978-0-660-41087-6

Catalogue no. T52-4/113-2021E-PDF

TP 14114 (01/2022)


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Manuel du régulateur vérificateur agréé