At the BMFA Full Council meeting in May earlier this year, a vote was passed that effectively prohibits achievement scheme tests being conducted by examiners working in commercial model flight training schools. It prevents them testing their own pupils and or those of other instructors working at the same school.
This doesn’t necessarily put an end to testing taking place at training schools full stop, it’s just that from now on the test will have to be conducted by an external examiner i.e. not one who is employed or associated with the school for gain.
Whilst this decision may seem a sudden change, this subject has actually been the matter of some debate over recent years, in various forums and committees within the BMFA. It’s also important for everyone to appreciate that this decision is a direct consequence of concerns expressed to the BMFA by clubs and Area delegates. As such it is a result of ‘grass roots’ experience and it’s fair to say that the initiative has been driven from the bottom up, not the top down.
I think it’s also important to identify that this decision merely serves to formalise what many training schools do already, which whilst not necessarily being the most convenient for the school or pupil, is a commendable way for a school to operate, as it eliminates any question of vested interest in the result of the test, for either outcome! It also has the advantage that the examiner is unlikely to have been directly involved with the training of the individual concerned.
As power scheme controller I will do what I can to help mitigate any impact this decision may have on business for the flying schools, by helping source suitable external examiners, but if any of you out there are having difficulty in arranging for an achievement scheme test, for whatever reason, please don’t hesitate to contact me (RCPAS@bmfa.org) or your Achievement Scheme Area co-ordinator.
RC PAS Controller