Level 5

Air Traffic Controller

Reference Number: ST0595

Entry requirements:

Individual employers will determine their own entry requirements; in addition, and in accordance with European and UK law, all prospective Air Traffic Controllers must obtain an EU Class 3 medical certificate.

Details of standard and occupational profile

The UK manages one of the busiest and most complex pieces of airspace in the world. A range of specialist air traffic controller roles contribute to the safe and efficient movement of aircraft with civil and military operations working collaboratively to maintain a fully integrated service to all users, 24 hours a day, every day of the year Air Traffic Controllers work in a number of aviation environments such as an air traffic control centres, commercial airports, military bases and aerodromes, or other airfields; some air traffic controllers find their training and experience useful in consultancy, aerospace manufacturing or in the global aerospace industry.

The guiding principle of air traffic control is to deliver a safe, efficient and reliable service using their knowledge and skills.

Air traffic controllers in the UK would usually work for a commercial/ civil employer or the military. Tasks will vary depending on the specialism of the air traffic controller but include:

  • preventing collisions between aircraft and between aircraft and obstacles
  • making sure that minimum safe distances are maintained between aircraft
  • keeping radio contact with aircraft
  • maintaining surveillance contact with aircraft using equipment such as RADAR
  • issuing instructions to aircraft
  • expediting and maintaining a safe and orderly ow of air traffic
  • providing information to aircraft about information pertinent to the flight
  • monitoring data systems
  • handling unexpected events, emergencies, and unscheduled traffic.

The apprenticeship adopts a core and options approach to allow flexibility for employers and enable transferability between roles and employers for apprentices. All apprentices must attain competence in each of the core knowledge, skills and behaviours.

In addition, one specialist option (for additional knowledge and skills) must be taken out of the eight specialisms listed further below, which are:

Civil Area/ Terminal Controller, Civil Approach Controller, Civil Approach Procedural Controller, Civil Aerodrome Controller, Military Weapons Controller, Military Area Radar Controller, Military Terminal Radar Controller, Military Terminal Aerodrome Controller.


TypeEnd-point Assessment
Product CodeL5EPATC
Duration of Apprenticeship15 months (this does not include EPA)
EPA Components1. Practical Assessment
a. Live observation
b. Emergency / unplanned events simulated assessment
2. Oral Assessment – Professional discussion

Before going forward for End-point Assessment, the apprentice must:

  • Achieve level 2 English and Maths (if not already held or valid alternatives)
  • On-programme learning and assessments completed
  • Evidence of satisfactory performance and progression completed and approved by Employer and Training Provider
  • Employer satisfied that the Apprentice has gained all of the knowledge, skills and behaviours (for the core competencies and selected specialism option)
  • Civil Apprentices only: The Apprentice holds a student licence as awarded by the appropriate licencing body

The EPA period should only start once the employer is satisfied that the apprentice is consistently working at or above the level set out in the occupational standard, that is to say they have achieved occupational competence. In making this decision, the employer may take advice from the apprentice’s training provider(s), but the decision must ultimately be made solely by the employer.

Apprentices must not be put forward for their End-point Assessment before they are ready.

Further information can be found at the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE) webpage –



Recruitment Pack

Due to ongoing growth, we are always looking to recruit Independent End Point Assessors, if you meet the requirements and are interested in becoming an Independent End Point Assessor for FutureQuals, please get in touch.

Please click here to view the full person and job specification

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