RAAP 04 Instructor Supervision

Friday 15 September, 2017

Recreational Aviation Advisory Publication (RAAP) – 4-2016

Version 1, November 2016

Download the PDF here

Instructor supervision requirements 

Operations Manual 7.1 provides definitions for indirect and direct supervision requirements of Instructors by CFIs and Senior Instructors. These terms are referenced in Section 2.08 paragraph 6 (a) for Instructor and Section 2.09 paragraph 10 (a) for Senior Instructors respectively. 

A large number of enquiries received by Operations relate to the direct and indirect supervision for Instructors and Senior Instructors, leading to the creation of this RAAP. 

Historically, the single CFI operation was the core of RAAus training delivery, however schools with large numbers of Instructors along with an increase in satellite facilities and the convergence of combined GA/RAAus flight schools has presented the potential for dilution of supervision requirements for Instructors. 

It is accepted that in any “real world” training environment there are times when the supervisor may not be able to be present for short periods of time. This may include times where other domestic or commercial tasks are being performed, or indeed when the supervising instructor is involved in direct training of a student themselves. 

The paragraphs below are taken from the revised definitions in Operations Manual Issue 7.1.

Definitions and Abbreviations

Direct Supervision

The supervisor personally provides surveillance, assessment and mentoring development of persons providing ground and flight training to ensure it meets the training and safety requirements of this Manual and the RAAus Syllabus of Flight Training. 

The intention of direct supervision is that the supervisor, being the CFI or Operations approved Senior Instructor, is to be physically present at the location where the training is being conducted to oversight the Instructor as detailed below in the paragraph titled Considerations. The supervisor may conduct flight training while providing direct supervision, provided they are present for elements such as briefings of the proposed flight and review the outcome of the training exercise with the Instructor as soon as possible after completion.  

Indirect Supervision

The surveillance, assessment and mentoring development of persons providing ground or flight training and associated operations by a means other than the physical presence or personal surveillance of the supervisor to ensure it meets the training and safety requirements of this Manual and the RAAus Syllabus of Flight Training. Such indirect supervision is provided as deemed appropriate by the RAAus Operations Manager.  

Indirect supervision refers to the supervisor not being required to be physically present at the school while the instructing is being conducted. The supervisor may elect to communicate by text, email or phone with the Senior Instructor before and after the flights are conducted. 

Indirect supervision is not available to Instructors, who must have a supervisor present at the location whenever training is being conducted. 


The importance of mentoring and development of Instructors in the training environment is a vital part of professional development and should never be underestimated. When issued an Instructor rating the candidate has met the standard for minimum delivery of training, however this should be seen as a starting point for his or her professional development. It is the responsibility of the CFI and experienced Senior Instructors at the Flight School to provide mentoring and development for Instructors to ensure their ongoing development. 

Areas of mentoring should include:

•Confirmation of accurate, consistent terminology and delivery of training, both on the ground and in-flight

•Professional presentation of training

•Attention to detail when completing student training records, including noting areas of deficiency and subsequent correction 

•The debrief process

•Review of student communications

•Regular flights with the CFI at key stages with students trained by the Instructor 

•Review of the student training records

•Regular meetings to provide feedback to the Instructor

•Ensuring the Instructor displays the highest levels of airmanship


The CFI is responsible for the ongoing development of all Instructors at the Flight Training School via supervision. It is obviously not possible for the CFI to be present for all flights, and therefore an appropriately experienced Senior Instructor may be recommended to directly supervise an Instructor if the CFI cannot be present. 

Operations Manual 7.1 was amended to include the expanded definitions to clarify the requirements intended with supervision and practical restraints of constant monitoring by CFI’s and supervising Senior Instructors. The guidance provided above does not diminish the responsibility for all flight Instructors to be mentored and developed by the CFI extending beyond the required proficiency checks. 

That's a WRAP!