Interpersonal Relation Skills of Assessors

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Interpersonal Relation Skills of Assessors

42ND ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 17-21 March 2003

WP No. 167

Interpersonal Relation Skills of Assessors


At the 2002 IFATCA Conference in Cancun, Committee C accepted a recommendation to amend IFATCA policy to define criteria for selection of Check Controllers. One of the criteria set was that a candidate for Check Controller must have a “high standard of credibility” (IFATCA Manual, page 4344, Para 4.5.9).

“4.5.9. Additionally, a controller considered for the Check Controller role should have the following minimum experience:

  • 4 years operational experience;
  • 1 year experience on the position being assessed;
  • 2 years OJTI experience;
  • having a high standard of credibility and communication skills in the OJTI/coaching role, and
  • currency on the position being assessed.”


SC4 was given the task at conference to expand upon these criteria of “credibility”.


In the context of a Check Controller, it is not easy to define into words what “credibility” should mean. It is perhaps best to look at it in terms of personal and professional attributes of the candidate.

Operational ability – the IFATCA policy (IFATCA Manual page 4344, Para 4.5.9) now defines minimum experience levels for Check Controller candidates, which should help establish operational credibility to be assessing others. Ideally the candidate should be generally considered to be “above average” technical ability.

OJTI experience – The policy requires that the candidate have 2 years OJTI experience. This experience should be relevant to the positions where assessments will be conducted. The OJTI experience should also be “successful”, i.e. that a consistent and suitable standard has achieved by those being trained.

Fair and Objective – The candidate’s performance when assessing others must obviously display these attributes, without any influence or personal prejudice affecting the assessment. These attributes should have been successfully demonstrated in the OJTI/coaching role.

Consistent and Predictable – The candidate’s performance in the Check Controller role should always be of a consistent and predictable nature with all controllers being assessed, under all circumstances. Again, these attributes should have been successfully demonstrated in the OJTI/coaching role.

Comparable Judgment – The effectiveness of the Check Controller’s training should be demonstrated by a comparable level of judgment between Check Controllers being displayed, i.e. a very similar assessment would be arrived at if the Check were performed by different Check Controllers.

Respect – The candidate should be someone who is respected by his/her peers and by the staff they will be assessing. This respect will have been earned through both their personal and professional conduct.

Respectful Manner – The candidate should always display a respectful manner in his/her conduct towards those being assessed.

Three Way Assessment

The IFATCA policy (IFATCA Manual page 4344, Para 4.5.10) requires that a Check Controller undergo the same periodic proficiency assessments as other controllers. This will obviously assist with maintaining operational credibility.

To help obtain and maintain the high standard of credibility in all the attributes required of a Check Controller, including all the previously discussed interpersonal skills as well as technical performance, the Check Controller should undergo periodic, perhaps annual, “three way” assessments in the “Check Controller skill set”. This would not be an “over the shoulder” type assessment, but rather a opportunity for feedback to the Check Controller about his/her interpersonal skills to be provided, by one or more of his/her managers, on or more of his/her peers, and a number of controllers who have been assessed by the Check Controller.

Ideally the responses should be collated by one of the Check Controller’s managers, de-identified to remove any fear of reprisal by those who have been assessed, and then discussed with the Check Controller. The intent would be to provide genuine and constructive feedback to the Check Controller to help them develop in that role.


In summary, a Check Controller should have a high standard of credibility and this should be demonstrated by displaying above average interpersonal skills of fairness, objectivity, consistency, judgment, conduct and respect, in addition to maintaining the required level of technical skill.

Maintenance of these skills should be established by regular use of “three way assessments” where feedback is provided to the Check Controller about his/her interpersonal skills from his/her managers, peers, and controllers they have assessed.


It is recommended that this paper be accepted as Guidance Material.


IFATCA Policy Manual.

IFATCA Professional and Technical Policy Manual.

Cancun 2002 WP161.

Last Update: September 29, 2020  

March 21, 2020   636   Jean-Francois Lepage    2003    

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