I applied while living in Calgary maybe 4 years ago..
By now I did the online assessment 3 times, when I first applied I did not get any response back only saw wait for in person assessment.
During the time I moved to SK, after emailing them, they did the move from Edmonton to Winnipeg. In the mean time their website also changed.
The second time I did the assessment I got the emailed for an in person assessment (probably 2-3 years in), but I could not sign up before it filled up (sometime March this year)
I just did the third assessment a couple days ago and I got an email about the in-person assessment sign up (testing in Nov)
The email says
"Please note that this assessment is ONLY for a career as a Flight Service Specialist. If you are interested in a career as an Air Traffic Controller, please do not sign up for the testing session."
I am interested in ATC more so should I leave it )= , will there be a chance to switch/transfer over down the line if I do it since it looks like they are hiring/training for FSS this round or just go do it anyways and see what happens.
Also about the 18 months timeline, how does that work? From last activity? or first signing up? confusing and long wait times with this ..
Is it about location? Fss can forsure send you to some remote locations.
Could I become a controller? If you get through the fss training you could apply to cross train within ~3 years
The success rate of FSS trainees is incredibly high comparatively. I'd guess around 80% complete it. Youd likely move somewhere shitty, work a ton of overtime, then 3 years later apply to for a vfr or ifr class in your FIR. If you dont make it your job on the other ended is guaranteed afterwards.
Tip 1 of Nav is get your foot in the door.
This is the most important piece of advice around here.
Also, just because you write the assessment doesn't mean you'll get an offer to train, just because you get an offer to train doesn't mean you'll be successful.
I always recommend that if you're interested go through the application process and make a decision once you get an offer. I'd also keep it to myself that you wanted to be a controller. Right now, FSS is the (good!) opportunity, tailor your approach accordingly.
FSS pros in my mind are a bit less stress in training, shorter training, higher pass rate; cons would be less pay.
ATC pros are higher pay; cons are fewer work locations, longer training, lower pass rate.
From what I can tell having been through the ATC application process recently it seems as though NAV CANADA uses some sort of scoring/ranking system at each step and then proceeds from there. At each level people are either flat out cut and have to wait 18 months to reapply, move on to the next step or are put into a "limbo zone" for people who met the minimum score. From what I can tell this "limbo zone" grows with each subsequent class and it seems like they either give preference to the current applicant pool, or that the scores for these people are right on the cutoff mark so new applicant classes often have enough people who score higher than these people in limbo so it is rare that they ever need to access that pool. This is why in general it is suggested if you get an offer for the next step take it, and then move around within the company after you have a job there. Working FSS a few years and then attempting to get into ATC is a much better option than flat out saying no and then waiting another 18 months or potentially years to even get in.
The numbers I have heard for ATC are as follows: online test 25-50% pass rate, FEAST 20-40% pass rate, Bootcamp 30% pass rate. So if they are looking for 10 ATC they will have roughly 200-300 applicants who took the online test, 100 FEAST, 30 Bootcamp. The pass rate for IFR qualification is then around 30-40% and maybe just slightly better 40-50% for VFR. I'm less sure about FSS but word is the cutoffs are maybe a bit lower and pass rates higher at each step, especially training.
18 months is from most recent failure point, so if you get put into the "limbo zone" you can remain in that pool for I think up to 18 months and would then have to wait another 18 months to retest, from what I understand. Basically it is 18 months from when they tell you you are not longer eligible for the next step.
The whole process isn't very transparent which is understandable for some parts of their evaluation and interview process, but really frustrating for other parts where you are sort of just left waiting (sometimes for months) without much or any information. The do run classes about every six months so if you make it to one step and remain eligible for the next for much longer than a few months then you've likely entered the "limbo zone". They always tell you if you failed out from what I can tell.