The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is proposing to amend the CASR Part 66 Manual of Standards (MOS) to allow self-study programs for engineering qualifications.
Under the current rules new engineers must undertake licence category training with a Part 147 maintenance training organisation.
A Post-implementation Review (PIR) of Part 66 revealed industry concerns that candidates had very limited access to Part 147 organisations, which impacted the flow of newly-qualified people into the industry.
"To address this issue and to more closely align Part 66 to EASA Part 66, we propose to introduce a new training pathway to obtain a Part 66 maintenance engineer licence," CASA has stated.
"The new pathway would provide industry a self-study option as an alternative to the existing Part 147 MTO requirements, under which a person may be granted a licence by:
- passing theory exams administered by CASA based on the 17 Part 66 basic knowledge modules contained in the MOS (the syllabus could be self-studied from CASA recognised EASA Part 66 textbooks)
- submitting to CASA a log demonstrating they have achieved the required practical maintenance experience on operating aircraft specific to the category of licence being applied for."
Ken Cannane, Executive Director of the Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association (AMROBA), has applauded CASA's move to allow self-study, but told Australian Flying there is more that needs to be done.
"We support the move to self-study, but we need to return to trade training under the VET system so it will support skills into the future," Cannane said.
"There is a review happening at the moment with the Aerospace Industry Reference Committee (AIRC) to get trade training back in place and get the system properly organised."
Trade training would mean an apprentice studying for a maintenance qualification under the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and the Australian Qualification Framework Level 4 (Certificate IV), which requires both theoretically and practical skills.
"If we return to some basic things that worked in the past, it would allow someone to study for a trade and self-study for an exam, and still come through the licence system," Cannane believes.
CASA is seeking industry feedback on the proposals via the Consultation Hub. Submissions will be accepted up to the close of business on 27 September 2019.