Competency-based training and assessment (CBTA) for flight crew - draft Advisory Circular 61-09 v1.0

Closed 1 Mar 2022

Opened 15 Feb 2022

Feedback updated 1 Apr 2022

We asked

From 15 February to 1 March 2022 we sought feedback on draft advisory circular (AC) 61-09 - Competency-based training and assessment for flight crew. The consultation asked if the AC contained sufficient explanation for the implementation of competency-based training and assessment (CBTA) and recognition of prior learning (RoPL) in the flight crew training environment.

This consultation has now closed, and a summary of feedback is provided below.

About this consultation

Prior to this consultation, there has been inconsistent awareness and implementation of CBTA systems and the use of RoPL for Australian aviation training. While CBTA training concepts are not new in vocational education and training environments, they may not yet have been completely introduced and accepted in a flight crew training setting. This consultation enquired into the understanding and experience of CBTA and RoPL, asking respondents if the AC provided a sufficient explanation of the concepts, and an opinion of its success if and when implemented.

You said

In total, there were 10 respondents to the consultation. Responses came from various groups (some respondents were part of more than one group); 4 flight training operators, 5 flight instructors, 5 flight examiners, 1 CASA inspector and 1 trainee. Of the submissions, 5 consented to allow their responses to be published and 4 requested their submissions be confidential.

Summary of feedback

The majority of responses agreed with the amount and relevance of the information within the AC, although various responses requested clarification or additional guidance.

Common themes across the feedback were:

  • CBTA and RoPL has a diverse meaning amongst a wide range of training environments
  • there were several suggestions to include guidance on specific matters or training
  • the terminology used around CBTA and RoPL can be confusing, particularly when comparing other training sectors
  • these methods may already have been implemented by some FTO's but further guidance will be helpful.

We did

There were few responses which disagreed with the AC contents which confirms the information is generally accepted.

CASA accepts CBTA training methods are varied and broad in many environments. CASA recognises the challenges faced by many training organisations to implement or transform their current training methods to a CBTA framework, while keeping up with industry standards.

CASA agrees with the responses regarding some difficulties in interpreting information on the RoPL Candidate Application (Annex A). Minor amendments will be made to improve this sample form. Similarly, amendments will be made to the AC to include information that may have originally been omitted.

CASA is dedicated to assisting training operators with a smooth, simple transition to, and maintenance of CBTA methods.

Next steps

CASA thanks the many highly qualified people and organisations contributing their time and thought to this consultation and acknowledges the feedback as beneficial to the effectiveness of the consultation process.

Relevant stakeholders will be notified of the AC, a Notice to Instructors circulated and a proposal to develop further education and training on CBTA and RoPL.

Based on industry feedback, CASA will proceed with the publishing of AC 61-09 and will undertake the following activities:

  • provide comparison of traditional training methods against CBTA methods to assist with interpretation of CBTA methodology
  • investigate the development and promulgation of further educational tools to assist training operations with CBTA and RoPL methods.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Advisory Circular (AC) 61-09 v1.0 will help flight training operators, instructors, examiners and assessors to understand and apply the principles of Competency-based Training and Assessment (CBTA) guidelines.

The AC provides:

  • advice on how to further develop and maintain the highest standard of training
  • how to navigate and use the Recognition of Prior Learning (RoPL) process and support ongoing activities where there is a requirement for training to be conducted by an authorised operator in accordance with an approved syllabus of training
  • guidance for CBTA assessment programs to support flight training operators, instructors, examiners and assessors
  • assistance in the development of RoPL policy and processes
  • supporting tools to assist in gathering of evidence and confirmation of competency
  • guidance in making and recording assessment decisions
  • examples of Training and Theory Examination Summary, Units of Competency, a planning matrix, and lesson planning for flight training.

It will be of interest to:

  • flight training operators
  • flight instructors
  • flight examiners and CASR 61.040 approval holders
  • RoPL assessors
  • CASA flying operations inspectors
  • trainee pilots
  • trainee flight engineers
  • VET and tertiary sector organisations 

Why your views matter

CASA recognises the valuable contribution that community and industry consultation make to the regulatory development process.

This is the initial AC for Competency-based training and assessment (CBTA). We are seeking feedback on whether this AC is fit for purpose and provides adequate guidance on:

  • the CBTA concept and its utilisation.
  • RoPL evidence gathering, assessment and implementation

A copy of the draft AC is provided below under the Related heading, as well as appearing on the feedback page of the survey.

Please read the draft AC before providing your feedback.

We have also provided an MS Word copy of the online consultation for ease of distribution and feedback within your organisation.  Please note, the MS Word copy is not to be used as an emailed submission, unless there are extenuating circumstances and this form of submission has been agreed to by the consultation project lead.

What happens next?

At the end of the response period for public comment, we will review each comment and submission received. We will make all submissions publicly available on our website, unless you request your submission remain confidential. We will also publish a Summary of Consultation which summarises the feedback received, outlines any intended changes and details our plans for the AC.



  • Flight instructors and flight examiners
  • Flight training operators
  • Self-administering aviation organisations
  • Parachuting sport aviation bodies
  • Balloon Instructors and flight examiners
  • Balloon Sports aviation operators
  • Part 142 of CASR operator
  • Part 141 of CASR operator
  • School/educational institution
  • VET and tertiary sector organisations providing aviation theory training


  • Licensing
  • Flight training
  • Training and checking systems