Flight Attendant Certification – What’s Required Before You Fly

Flight attendant certification requires a cabin crew member to successfully completed the initial Safety and Emergency Procedures training (SEP’s) as per (CAO 20.11) or country of origin equivalent.

This flight attendant certification means that you are legal to fly and while valid for 12 months must be exercised at least once every 60 days. That is you must fly in a crewing position not less than once every 60 days.

You will receive a ‘Certificate of Proficiency’ or ‘Certificate of Graduation’ (different airlines call these certificates different names but they all mean that you have completed your SEP’s) and a copy of such documentation will be held by your flight attendant department.

Your details will likely be entered into a computer system common to airlines called Geneva and if so you will automatically be reminded of your next due date for you to attend SEP’s, commonly called revalidation (or "reval" for short) which will maintain your flight attendant certification.

Your certificate will need to be completed every 12 months or less and requires you to satisfactory complete the CAO SEP examination and associated company assessments.

If however you have not operated (due sickness, ill health etc)  as a cabin crew member for more than sixty days not exceeding 6 months, you must complete an approved refresher training course and pass both a practical and written test.

Further, if you have not operated (due sickness, ill health etc) as a cabin crew member for more than six months but not exceeding 12 months, will before undertaking duties as a crew member on any aircraft shall:

a) Complete a refresher training school on the aircraft type

b) Sit and pass all required aircraft types examinations that you are endorsed or need to be endorsed upon

c) Operate 4 sectors as paxing or supernumerary crew. As a paxing crew member you are not part of the operating crew but you are there to observe (and learn) from the other crew

The Company (in practice ‘the crewing department’) shall ensure that any cabin crew member who has not operated an aircraft for which they are employed to operate for more than 12 months will be required to complete the full initial and aircraft type training and pass all flight attendant certification tests. This crew member must also operate at least 4 sectors as supernumerary (paxing) crew.

It should be noted that if the cabin crew member does not operate on an aircraft type for more than 90 days their re-currency on that aircraft type will expire and the crew member will have to successfully complete the aircraft type test before resuming flying duties on that aircraft type.

The CAO 20.11 annual proficiency test covers all emergency procedures that the Crew Member may be called upon to perform.

The crew member has to demonstrate competency in the use of emergency and life saving equipment, first aid, all emergency procedures relating to the aircraft type and it’s systems in which they operate in both written and practical assessments.

Should a crew member fail any assessment or examination they will be removed from their rostered duties to participate in further training and be re-examined. They will then return to rostered duties subject to operational clearance.

If the crew member fails the re-sit, then a grievance or ‘show cause’ process will be followed which can result in termination of employment.

In addition to annual SEP’s (revalidation) an annual competency check is required under CAR’s for all operating Cabin Crew to participate in a ‘Line Check’. This is an on-board assessment with an examination paper and aircraft emergency equipment layout that needs to be completed at the end of a tour of duty.

Initial Line Checks must be undertaken before your six month anniversary of commencing on-line duties and must occur within four to eight months of completing initial revalidation.

Most operators now set a probationary period of between 3 to 6 months.

Obviously all mandatory training and standard performance requirements and competencies such as:

  • Your individual performance
  • Normal Operating Procedures
  • Safety and Emergency Equipment
  • Drills
  • Procedures and
  • In-Flight Service.

must be met in order for you to retain your flight attendant certification and subsequent employment.

Your assessment will be shown to you on completion and gives you scope to add input to any comments made be it negative or positive and also requires your signature.

More information on airlines and Flight Attendant jobs and career availability with every other airline on this web site (plus others) can be viewed via our facebook page from post to post as news becomes available.

You're also invited to view The Secrets of Flight Attendant Interviews for more information.

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