1. What is the FAA Technical Operations Collegiate Training Initiative (TO-CTP) Program?
  2. What are the additional requirements?
  3. Is there a TO-CTP program where I live?
  4. Is there a CTP-approved school I can attend online?
  5. Should I select a 2-year or 4-year program?
  6. How do I apply to the FAA Academy, and how much does it cost?
  7. Can a student be recommended a second time for employment consideration thru the Pathways hiring initiative if the graduate had been hired and terminated or had resigned from the FAA?
  8. If an applicant fails to successfully complete/pass the interview stage for whatever reason, what are their options for further employment consideration, if any?
  9. Once I apply, how long do I remain eligible for a position?
  10. Are there any mandatory retirement requirements for technical operations personnel?
  11. What is the difference between TO-CTI and TO-CTP?
  12. What is the recommendation process?
  13. Why are there two different job series for TO-CTI vacancies? Do they do the same work?
  14. Can an offer be declined? If declined does that remove me from future consideration?
  15. The personnel security questionnaire is very long and asks a lot of personal questions. Do I have to answer all the questions on the form? Much of that information is already on my resume.
  16. What will happen if I refuse to give you some of this personal information on the Security Questionnaire?
  17. What should I do if I remember something later, after I've filled out the form and returned it?
  18. Who has access to the information collected?
  19. Are you going to interview people other than those I name on the questionnaire?
  20. Is it okay if I guess at dates and addresses that I can barely remember?
  21. Why do you need information about my relatives?
  22. Will I get a chance to explain some of the answers I provide?
  23. Can I get a copy of the report you prepare about me?
  24. I was arrested for shoplifting 20 years ago. Is that going to be held against me now?
  25. I have a physical disability. Will that hurt my chances for a job?
  26. Are you going to tell my current employer that I'm looking for a job?
  27. Do you ever interview someone's ex-spouse or relatives?
  28. I was politically active during the last elections. Will that hurt my chances for a job or a clearance?
  29. How long does a background investigation take?

SECTION 1: General TO-CTP Program Questions

  1. What is the FAA Technical Operations Collegiate Training Initiative (TO-CTP) Program?

    The FAA TO-CTP Program encourages potential college students who are interested in electronics and aviation, specifically, technical operations to apply for a job as an Airway Transportation System Specialist (ATSS) or an Electronics Technician. Such candidates use a separate “path” and are required to meet additional requirements:

  2. What are the additional requirements?

    The first requirement is that the candidate graduate from an institution with an approved TO-CTP curriculum. Understand that TO-CTP-approved schools are not training ATSSs per se but are providing a technical education that includes FAA-approved curriculum courses in their degree programs. Graduating with an approved degree from a TO-CTP school is only one requirement to become an ATSS or Electronics Technician. Additional requirements are:

    • Be a U.S. citizen.
    • Receive an official school recommendation.
    • Apply for the position via usajob.gov
    • Complete an interview.
    • Pass a security investigation.
    • Pass a drug/alcohol test
    • Be offered a position
  3. Is there a TO-CTP program where I live?

    Currently there are 44 participating institutions located throughout the US and Puerto Rico.

  4. Is there a CTP-approved school I can attend online?

    CTP schools are colleges, universities, and technical schools. Although some of these institutions may offer some of their general education courses online, we are not aware of any institution that allows you to complete the entire degree that is part of the TO-CTP Program online. Due to the nature of technical operations, it’s beneficial to have classroom and lab time. Many schools provide hands-on, part-tasking and simulations that cannot be done on online.

  5. Should I select a 2-year or 4-year program?

    There are many individual considerations when making this decision, including financial obligations. You should consider a degree that gives you flexibility in the marketplace should you decide not to seek or do not qualify to become an ATSS. The bottom line is to choose a degree that will make you competitive in an electronics field.

  6. How do I apply to the FAA Academy, and how much does it cost?

    Specific training for ATSSs and Electronics Technicians takes place at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City after a candidate is offered and accepts a job offer. All new ATSSs must be selected by application under the various vacancy announcements. There is no cost for the training – as a matter of fact, you get paid during your training.

  7. Can a student be recommended a second time for employment consideration thru the Pathways hiring initiative if the graduate had been hired and terminated or had resigned from the FAA?

    No. There is only one opportunity for employment with the Technical Operation Collegiate Training Partnership Program.

  8. If an applicant fails to successfully complete/pass the interview stage for whatever reason, what are their options for further employment consideration, if any?

    If an applicant "fails" the interview, or if s/he does not accept a tentative offer letter or a firm offer letter, s/he is moved back to the list for referral to future Centralized Hiring Panels.

  9. Once I apply, how long do I remain eligible for a position?

    Candidates are eligible to remain in the CTI inventory for the initial 2-year eligibility period. Candidates can request a one-time, 12-month extension under this hiring authority by contacting the Aviation Careers Division via email at 9-amc-amh-cti@faa.gov.

  10. Are there any mandatory retirement requirements for technical operations personnel?

    No there are not.

  11. What is the difference between TO-CTI and TO-CTP?

    TO-CTI refers to the direct hire authority Human Resources Policy Manual 1.26e. This authority allows Technical Operations to directly hire in graduates from approved TO-CTP schools. TO-CTP refers to the overall partnership program that the FAA has with the institutions.  

  12. What is the recommendation process?

    The school official recommends soon to graduate/graduated students that have successfully completed the approved degree program as well as completing the courses identified checklist. Each school has a checklist that identifies the course in the degree that meets or exceeds our entry level educational requirements for ATSS.  An applicant  MUST apply to the vacancy announcement to be eligible for consideration for employment.

  13. Why are there two different job series for TO-CTI vacancies? Do they do the same work?

    • 856 job series Electronic Technician – 2 year school graduates and 4 year graduates can apply.
    • 2101 job series Air Transportation System Specialist – 4 year graduates only.

    Both job series do the same work.  When schools are reviewed they are reviewed to the entry level educational requirements for ATSS (2101).  OPM qualification standards creates the requirement for two vacancy announcements.

  14. Can an offer be declined? If declined does that remove me from future consideration?

    Yes, an offer from the FAA can be declined  it does not remove you from future consideration.  The only time when a graduate is excluded from the TO-CTI referral list is if they are selected and accept a position with the FAA and start work and then decide to resign from their position.

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SECTION 2: Security Investigations

  1. The personnel security questionnaire is very long and asks a lot of personal questions. Do I have to answer all the questions on the form? Much of that information is already on my resume.

    Yes. The resume is part of the application process. The Security Questionnaire is part of the investigation process. All of the security questionnaire questions should be answered fully, accurately, and honestly.

  2. What will happen if I refuse to give you some of this personal information on the Security Questionnaire?

    The investigation is a job requirement. Providing the information is voluntary, but if you choose not to provide the required information, you will not meet the requirements of the job and will therefore not be considered further. If you are already employed by the Federal Government, your appointment will be terminated. The courts have upheld this security questionnaire.

  3. What should I do if I remember something later, after I've filled out the form and returned it?

    Immediately notify the security officials to whom you submitted the questionnaire.

  4. Who has access to the information collected?

    The only persons authorized to see your personal information are Personnel Security, Suitability, and Investigations professionals who have been investigated at the appropriate level and who have a genuine and demonstrated need for access to the information.

  5. Are you going to interview people other than those I name on the questionnaire?

    Yes. Background investigators are required to identify, locate, and interview a sufficient number of people who know you well. We want a balanced and unbiased investigation. It would be a questionable investigative practice to interview only persons whom the individual being investigated identified for us.

  6. Is it okay if I guess at dates and addresses that I can barely remember?

    Providing information that is as complete and accurate as possible will assure that your investigation is completed in an efficient and timely manner. If you are unable to answer a question with precision, provide approximate information, note that you have done so on the questionnaire. If you are interviewed in person, point out the approximated information on the questionnaire to the investigator.

  7. Why do you need information about my relatives?

    Relatives sometimes influence the actions of family members. We need to determine if you could be exploited by threats or pressure against your relatives or if they themselves could exert pressure against you.

  8. Will I get a chance to explain some of the answers I provide?

    Yes. Many types of background investigations involve a personal interview. Moreover, you may submit information on extra pages with your questionnaire if you feel you need to more fully explain details or circumstances of the answers you put on the form.

  9. Can I get a copy of the report you prepare about me?

    The only persons authorized to see this information are Personnel Security, Suitability, and Investigations professionals who have been investigated and have a demonstrated need to review the information. You may request a copy of your investigation file under provisions of the Privacy Act. For an OPM investigation request, write to OPM-CIS, FOIP, Post Office Box 618, Boyers, PA 16018-0618. You must include your full name, Social Security number, and date and place of birth, and you must sign your request.

  10. I was arrested for shoplifting 20 years ago. Is that going to be held against me now?

    Not necessarily. Any negative information is evaluated regarding its recency, seriousness, relevance to the position and duties, and in light of, and in relationship to, all other information about you.

  11. I have a physical disability. Will that hurt my chances for a job?

    No. It is against Federal law to discriminate against an individual based on his or her disability.

  12. Are you going to tell my current employer that I'm looking for a job?

    It is a requirement of a background investigation, and actual employment, that your current employer be contacted. We must verify your employment data and make other inquiries concerning your background.

  13. Do you ever interview someone's ex-spouse or relatives?

    Yes, although, in many instances, interviewing ex-spouses or relatives is not mandatory.

  14. I was politically active during the last elections. Will that hurt my chances for a job or a clearance?

    No. It will neither hurt nor help your chances.

  15. How long does a background investigation take?

    The timeliness of a background investigation depends on the type of investigation conducted. Depending on the type of background investigation, the scope of the investigation may require coverage for specific items. The need for a security clearance may affect the time period in which an investigation is completed. Each background investigation requires that certain areas are covered before an investigation is completed. This process may take from a week to 12 months.

General TO-CTI Information

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