Authorized Training Organization Requirements and Certification

Web Site

  1. Summary statistics reflective of the ATO’s pass/fail rate shall be displayed in a publically viewable page.

  2. Confidentiality of student records must be maintained; instructors and other ATO staff may view these records but students should only be able to view their own record.

  3. The web site must be secure using individual IDs and passwords for instructors and students

  4. ATOs must have a non free web site

Qualified Chief Flight Instructor

  1. Each ATO must have at least one designated Chief Flight Instructor who is VATSIM’s main liaison.

    • All official communications between the ATO and VATSIM flow between the Chief Flight Instructor and VATGOV14 or VATGOV14's designee

  2. The Chief Flight Instructor may have as many assistants as they feel they need to deliver their material. These assistants may be certified by the ATO, under the Chief Instructor’s supervision, to provide instruction and testing for VATSIM ratings.

  3. All ratings issued by the ATO are done under the signature and authority of the designated Chief Flight Instructor.*

  4. No serious disciplinary actions on their VATSIM CERT record

Written Testing Facility

  1. If the ATO uses a written testing methodology, students shall be provided with a final score, a pass or fail, and subject matter areas to study for retesting in written format, either on a web page that can be printed and/or through an email to the student.

    • A syllabus shall be provided to act as a study guide for the student

    • Clear pass, fail, and retesting information shall be easy for the student to find and understand.

Practical Testing Facility

  1. All ATOs shall use as practical testing methodology such that the requirements are visibly demonstrated to the ATO's instructor observing and evaluating the student for a VATSIM Rating.

  2. ATO will publish their minimum criteria for a pass or fail for their practical tests and will be provided to students prior to taking any practical test with sufficient time to allow the student to comprehend the requirements.

  3. Students should be provided with written critique of their practical test results within one week of completion of the test.

  4. Feedback should include specific examples where the student did not meet the requirements and suggestions for additional study or practice.

Record Keeping

  1. ATO shall maintain records of student training to include oral, written or practical test results.

Quality Control

  1. The ATO shall define how they plan to maintain a quality program as a part of their application.

  2. Suggested areas to monitor

    1. Test Question Quality

    2. Documentation Quality

    3. Instructor Quality

    4. Pass-Fail test or rating statistics


  1. Prospective ATOs shall first make written application to VATSIM’s Pilot Training Department at [email protected] The application shall be complete in its submission; no partial applications will be accepted.

  2. ATOs may apply for certification by rating; there is no requirement that an ATO offer all VATSIM ratings.

  3. Applications should reference the requirements in 2.1 through 2.6 above and detail how the ATO will meet each requirement or where a waiver is requested and why.

    • Waiver may be granted if the ATO can demonstrate they can achieve the same desired outcome using an alternative method.

    • Waivers should be submitted in writing with the application or once the need is identified by VATGOV14

  4. VATSIM’s Pilot Training Department shall provide a staff auditor Pilot Training Coordinator to the ATO for the purpose of completing the application process once the written application has been accepted.

  5. The ATO’s Chief Flight Instructor shall assist the Pilot Training Coordinator during the actual audit, providing access to any and all areas outlined above.

  6. The Pilot Training Coordinator shall examine all aspects of the ATO training system, written and practical examination questions and methods, and record keeping and quality control mechanisms relative to the ATO's filed application.

  7. The Pilot Training Coordinator shall provide to the ATO and the office of VATGOV14 the written results of their audit within one week of completing the in person audit with any identified problems that would prevent the ATO from gaining certification.

    • The ATO would have 30 days to correct the identified issues at which time the Pilot Training Coordinator would confirm the closing of each identified issue.

    • The Pilot Training Coordinator may also choose to approve the ATO with a list of minor deficiencies which the ATO has 30 days to correct but may proceed with training and certifying pilots for VATSIM ratings.

    • Should the 30 day period pass without correcting and recertifying the issues, the ATO would have to resubmit their application.

  8. The VATSIM Pilot Training Department will perform at least one additional audit per calendar year with 14 days written notice.

    • Written audit results shall be provided to the ATO and VATGOV14 within one week of completion of the audit and the ATO has 30 days to correct the issues.

    • If the 30 days pass without the issues being corrected the ATO loses their certification and must reapply.

Limited access to VATSIM’s data bases is granted to ATO staff

  1. Any abuse of this privilege can result in disciplinary action up to termination of your membership with VATSIM.

  2. It can also result in an ATO losing its certification to provide future ratings as an authorized training organization. We expect this access to be respected.

  3. Members should never upgrade themselves; they should always seek a qualified colleague to vouch for them and make the upgrade in CERT for them.