First Look Evaluation
Among the most important AQP quality control tools from a performance proficiency perspective is the First Look Evaluation. Performance on selected TPO's will be evaluated prior to each formal training session — that is, prior to any pre-briefing or practice on such items. Such pre-evaluation data will be used to determine the extent to which safety critical skills may have decayed since previous training and/or checking, and will also provide a baseline for assessing degree of improvement attributable to subsequent training. Consistently poor pre-evaluation results occurring at the group level may indicate that curriculum modifications, including potentially the frequency and content of training, are warranted.
Continuing Qualification Cycles
After initial qualification, which incorporates training and evaluation on all proficiency objectives, follow-on training will occur within a scheduling interval called a continuing qualification cycle. Its initial duration is 26 months, but it may be subsequently extended by the FAA in three-month increments to a maximum of 39 months, contingent upon the results of performance proficiency data from each such cycle. During a continuing qualification cycle all terminal proficiency objectives must be trained and evaluated.
For continuing qualification curricula, the applicant may elect to categorize certain terminal proficiency objectives as currency items. Currency items refer to flight activities on which proficiency is maintained by virtue of frequent exercise during routine operations. Such items do not need to be addressed for training or proficiency evaluation purposes in periodic training sessions. However, verification is required that proficiency on such items is being maintained. Such verification may be obtained during line checks.
The applicant may also elect to categorize terminal proficiency objectives, including currency items, as critical or non-critical, based on operational significance and the consequences of error. This categorization is employed to determine the time interval within which training and evaluation on such items must occur for continuing qualification curricula. Critical terminal proficiency objectives must be trained and evaluated during an evaluation period the initial duration of which cannot exceed thirteen months. Each such evaluation period must include at least one training session. Non-critical terminal proficiency objectives may be distributed over a continuing qualification cycle the initial duration of which cannot exceed twenty-six months.
These distinctions directly impact the content of training and checking activities for continuing qualification curricula in AQP. By virtue of identifying routine activities as currency items, and classifying certain proficiency objectives as critical, limited training time and resources may be devoted to greater emphasis on abnormal conditions, emergencies, CRM, and those skills which the applicant's operational experience may indicate are most important to the maintenance of a well trained pilot population.
For all cockpit aircrew, a proficiency evaluation must be completed in either an aircraft, flight simulator, or flight training device during each evaluation period. In addition, for pilots in command a line check must be scheduled at the midpoint of the evaluation period, plus or minus one month, unless an alternative line check schedule has been otherwise approved by the FAA for the applicant's AQP.