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General terms, acronyms, and questions

What is OTS?

On-the-spot hiring authority. Commonly referred to as "off the street", because there is no specific experience or education needed. There are a few different ways to qualify for OTS bids, the two most common are: Bachelors degree and 3 years progressive full-time employment history.

What is VRA?

Veterans Recruitment Appointment, a hiring authority for veterans meeting specific criteria. A VRA hire can be OTS or previously experienced.

What is a PTOL?

A Pre-Tentative Offer Letter will be sent out to those that are selected after taking the AT-SA test. It seems to be used to ensure an applicants continued interest in ATC, and it will include a general time frame to expect to attend the academy. The 2015 bid had time frames every 3 months (January 2016, April 2016, July 2016, etc).

What is a TOL?

A Tentative Offer Letter is given as an offer for employment, pending clearances. It must be accepted or declined.

What is a FOL?

A Firm Offer Letter is an offer of employment. You will receive one once all your clearances are cleared and you have been offered a class date. Your FOL will come with information regarding attending the academy and your class information, or facility assignment for direct hires.

What is a CIL?

Clearance information letter. An email which contains instructions, forms, and contact information for completeing security and medical clearances. This is givin out after acceptance of the TOL.

What is the AT-SA?

The Air Traffic Skills Assessment test is the replacement for the AT-SAT. 2016 is the first time it is being used, so there is not much information available for it. It is likely to be substantially similar to the AT-SAT.

What is the MMPI-2?

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a psychological evaluation everyone is required to take. It consists of 567 True/False questions conducted on a computer at a FAA facility.

What is a Tier 2?

An extended medical evaluation. "Failure" of the MMPI-2 will require a tier 2 evaluation, given by a psychologist. Trying the 'cheat' the MMPI, or testing too perfectly will force you to take a Tier 2. You can also receive a Tier 2 if you have any past drug or alcohol related incidents. Also, if any irregularities are found on your medical, you can be given a Tier 2 to verify.

What are Credit Hours

Credit hours can be earned by working overtime, but you earn credit hours in lieu of overtime pay. Credit hours are used as leave, and no special pay will apply while credit hours are being earned or used. There's no limit on the amount of credit hours that can be earned, but only 24 hours can be carried over per pay period.

How much leave will I earn?

For both DoD and FAA, all federal service counts when calculating how much leave you accrue, including military service. Leave accrues as follows:

  • 1-3 yrs service: 4hrs per pay period
  • 3-15 yrs service: 6hrs per pay period
  • 15+ yrs service: 8hrs per pay period

6hrs/pp come out to 19.5 days of leave a year. Those in this category are given an extra 4hrs at the end of the year to round it to 20 days.

Updated 15-Feb-2017

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