US technicians who have developed new skills on the job or through self-learning may be disadvantaged in the employment market if a new Federal Aviation Administration rule is brought in.

The rule, which will codify training standards and procedures for repair stations, places a large administrative burden on management to regularly assess and record what training technicians have received.

Job applicants' personal records of training and qualifications could become more important than the CV and interview, says Ric Peri, vice president, government and industry affairs of the Aircraft Electronics Association, as smaller repair stations especially will want to minimise their red tape.

"No matter how much they have learned on the job, that will be the least desirable person," says Peri.

"There will be zero benefit to the self-learner and proactive technician that looks for opportunities, whereas the technician who spends their life in a classroom will find themselves ahead," he says.

Peri estimates that applying the standards could cost businesses several thousand dollars per employee. "We have a problem with the administrative burden of this bureaucratic programme to manage a non-issue," he says.

The FAA will decide on 22 March whether to apply the new rules.

Source: Flight International