Pre-screening Tool for Trainee Pilots

Pre-screening Tool for Trainee Pilots

As part of *ServiceIQ's work to assist the aviation industry in improving outcomes from pilot training, we are working with flight trainers and the aviation industry to introduce a pre-screening tool for trainee pilots.

This pre-screening tool will enable flight schools and people applying for training as pilots, to assess each trainee’s potential to successfully complete training as a pilot of any type and become employable as a pilot.

This tool is expected to be available by early October on the website. Flight training schools will need to direct potential trainees to this website to complete the assessment before they apply for enrolment. 

It will cost $70 plus GST ($80.50 including GST) to sit the online assessment. Candidates will be required to pay online by credit card before they can access the test.


*ServiceIQ (ATTTO) has been working with the aviation industry on projects that have culminated in the development and registration of two New Zealand Diplomas in Aviation (Pilots).

For more details about this project, please see the Aviation Map of Provision page.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) recently released a Request for Proposal outlining the requirements for training providers seeking Student Achievement Component (SAC) funding for pilot training for 2012 and future years. TEC have set out the following requirements for organisations seeking funding for pilot training from the TEC:

  • Organisations must be a tertiary education institution or registered private training establishment
  • They must meet all relevant Civil Aviation Authority requirements to deliver pilot training
  • The must deliver the industry-agreed New Zealand Diplomas in Aviation (if delivering at sub-degree level qualification)
  • They must deliver training that meets audited safety and competency standards (Part 141 of the Civil Aviation Authority rules or equivalent)
  • They must ensure students meet robust industry-agreed selection procedures (such as those being developed alongside the New Zealand Diploma of Aviation or equivalent).

The below questions and answers outline how the pre-screening tool will assist flight training providers to meet the requirement regarding selection procedures. A two-stage selection process has been agreed in conjunction with industry.

Read more about the pre-screening tool, including questions and answers for candidates

Why a two-stage process?

To ensure graduate pilots are more likely to complete their studies and are fit for employment in the industry, a two-stage pre-screening and selection process has been recommended. It is intended that all students will be pre-screened before applying to a provider, and then screened by the provider through their own selection process at the point of entry into training.

  • The first stage of screening will be a pre-screening test, carried out independently by each trainee at their own cost.
  • The second stage will be managed and controlled by training providers, using their specific enrolment selection process. This provider process should complete the demonstration of compliance with the AIA’s Code of Compliance.

It is also likely that success in assessment once trainees are engaged in training will act as a further screening tool, to indicate appropriate elective stream/s for individual trainees..

How can prospective students access the pre-screening tool?

*ServiceIQ will be incorporating the tool into the aviation section of careers portal NZSkillsConnect. This will be available from late September/early October 2011.

Why do we need a pre-screening tool?

Training to become a pilot is not easy and is among one of the most expensive qualifications in New Zealand. To ensure that trainees have a good chance of being successful and completing the course, a simple pre-screening test can show if they have the aptitude and ability before they enrol.  

International research shows that by undergoing some pre-screening tests the chances of becoming a pilot are increased. Some organisations in New Zealand are already using pre-screening or aptitude tests, but having a single pre-screening tool used by all flight training schools will increase the confidence of Government funders with regard to their investment in pilot training.

What tool will be used?

ADAPT© is a unique screening and assessment tool designed to help airlines and flight training organisations screen the right individuals to train as civil aviation pilots. It identifies those people who can “think and do” to the levels required by pilots across the different areas of aviation.

ADAPT© immerses the candidate in a simulation that gauges their performance against required skills and abilities. This tests the dimensions of skill, personality and reaction to situations using physical and cognitive tasks. Blending aviation and performance psychology with psychometrics and simulation, makes this a state-of-the-art pre-screening tool.

Who has developed the tool?

ADAPT© is an internationally recognised product developed by UK-based organisation Symbiotics. This tool was selected after being generally acknowledged as appropriate and high quality after the demonstration to industry at the July 2011 AIA conference. Symbiotics specialises in human performance, with a focus on training and selection.

During its 14 year history, Symbiotics has been actively involved in several projects with government agencies, including the emergency services, where understanding behaviour, human performance and the delivery of effective training have proved critical. Nikki Heath, the CEO of Symbiotics Ltd, is a human factors and behavioural psychologist expert. She was the principle psychologist member of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorist Advisory Board, providing advice on collective behaviour in a variety of threat situations.

Is this tool suitable for the aviation industry?

Symbiotics’ ADAPT© candidate pre-screening and more advanced selection tools are fully compliant with and exceed the new guidelines detailed in the IATA “Guidance Material & Best Practices for Pilot Aptitude Testing”. ADAPT© has proven itself as a world-class tool for successfully selecting top candidates for a range of aircrew roles.

Will there be a charge for the pre-screening tool?

Yes. It costs $70 plus GST. Potential trainees will need to pay online with a credit card before they take the test.

What are the benefits to providers of asking prospective students to do the pre-screening assessment?

Pre-screening has the potential to reduce the cost of sale (what it costs to attract and sign up a student) because it will help screen out those who are less likely to succeed in training.

Using the recommended standardised ADAPT© tool for pre-screening provides a common starting point for all training providers.

If all prospective students are directed to the same pre-screening tool prior to being selected and enrolled by a provider, the process will - over time - enable providers to demonstrate value to funders. This  be achieve through the ability of providers to correlate increased programme completions and positive student outcomes with pre-screening and the quality of their own organisation’s AIA Code of Compliance selection processes.

How does the pre-screening tool work?

The pre-screening tool is a reliable indicator of whether a student can be expected to demonstrate confidence and effective learning strategies during the early stages of flight training. It is NOT a pass or fail test but enables training providers and airlines to make a select/not select decision based on whether the prospective student has the right thinking, action and multi-tasking skills required of pilots.

What is the process involved in completing the pre-screening assessment?

Below is a flowchart of the assessment process outlining the stages involved in completing the online test.

What kind of information will the tool provide?

ADAPT Pre-Screen provides a 10 minute pre-screening assessment, which analyses both physical and cognitive skills. It provides prospective education providers with an overview of a candidate’s breadth of skills and learning potential in the form of an instantaneous candidate report.

What do the results tell me?

On completion of the assessment, a report will be produced that details the candidate’s performance. Areas covered are:

  • The candidate’s overall performance level, shown as a colour grade
  • A personality summary describes key elements of their profile
  • Physical assessment and debrief is broken down to indicate performance across the stages
  • The candidate’s performance within physical and cognitive skills is examined to determine learning across the assessment
  • The candidate’s overall performance level is reiterated and an associated suitability statement is provided (relating to trainability)

How can the results be used by flight training schools?

The trainee pilot will receive the results directly and will be asked if they want assistance with finding a local provider. Please note you will need to ensure your flight school is registered as a training provider on in order to appear in the list of training providers. See below for information about registering as a training provider.

Candidates can then forward their results on to their chosen provider with their application to enrol. A copy of results will also be retained by *ServiceIQ for independent verification purposes. This copy will be available to providers on request.

If a trainee applies to a provider for enrolment and has not completed the assessment, the flight training school will need to direct them to go to so that they can complete it.

Once you have registered your flight training school on you will be emailed a copy of a document that outlines how to interpret the results of the assessment.

The pre-screening tool is basic. Is there more a advanced screening tool available?

Yes. There is a next level of testing appropriate to pre-enrolment screening that some providers are currently evaluating. *ServiceIQ is not involved in any way in the next level of entry testing for enrolment. This is in the control of the training providers.

How do I enrol my flight school as a training provider on

When candidates complete the online pre-screening tool they will be shown a list of flight training providers that offer the New Zealand Diplomas in Aviation (Aeroplane and Helicopter). To ensure your organisation is included in this list, please register online as a training provider:

Please email us on to advise when you have registered so that we can ensure approval of your registration is fast-tracked. We will email you to advise when your registration has been approved.

You will then need to add the NZ Diplomas in Aviation to your profile. To do this, please login to On the right hand side of the screen you will see a heading ‘National Qualifications’, with a long list of qualifications underneath. Scroll down this list until you find the NZ Diploma in Aviation (Aeroplane and Helicopter) – L5; and the NZ Diploma in Aviation (Aeroplane and Helicopter) – L6. Tick the box for the diplomas you will offer and then click ‘Save’.

If you are already registered as a training provider on, you will need to update your listing to show that you offer the new diplomas. To do this please follow the steps in the above paragraph.

For any enquiries about registering as a provider or updating your provider profile on NZSkillsConnect, please email

*1 January 2013 the Aviation, Tourism and Travel Training Organisation (ATTTO), the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI) and Retail Institute (RI) merged, transforming into ServiceIQ - the service-based Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the aviation, tourism, travel, retail, wholesale and hospitality industries.