How to apply

We are currently closed to new applications. We review our requirements on a regular basis, so please register your details below and you’ll be the first to know when we are recruiting for Trainee Air Traffic Controllers.

  • By completing this form, you are consenting to NATS holding your personal information. For further details on how NATS manages your personal information please see our privacy notice.

Our new selection model now consists of three stages and the first two online stages must be completed within 28 days (14 days for each stage).You should be confident and able to progress through the stages within these timescales before submitting your application.

Further information on the different stages is available below.


Before you apply, check your eligibility and ensure you understand the stages involved in the process.

Registration and online form

When you click apply, you’ll be asked to register and then complete an online application form. This takes approximately seven minutes to complete. Our Talent Acquisition team will communicate with you by email, so please make sure you check your inbox and any junk or
spam folders.

If you meet our minimum requirements, we’ll invite you to take our first set of online assessments. Make sure that you’re in an undisturbed environment and can complete the assessment in full.

Stage 1 – Online ability tests

At stage one you will take nine tests designed to look at things like your spatial orientation, logical thinking and English language. Each test lasts between two and nine minutes and we recommend you allow 90 minutes to read the instructions, practise and complete the live tests.

From the date of your application you will have 14 days to complete this stage.

Stage 2 – Online situational judgment test and online personality questionnaire

Stage two consists of a Situational Judgement Test and an Occupational Personality Questionnaire. These assessments aren’t timed, but we recommend you allow 30 minutes for each.

From the date that you receive the invite to take the assessments, you will have 14 days to complete this stage.

Stage 3 – Assessment Centre

If you’re successful at stage one and two, you’ll be invited to an Assessment Centre at various locations across the UK. Before you arrive you will be sent an information pack to study. On arrival you will take an ATC knowledge test based on the information you have learnt and you will repeat the ability tests you took at stage one.

You will also participate in a group exercise and a formal interview. This is a very important stage and it’s essential that you’re able to provide evidence of your achievements, whether in a formal work capacity or in other areas of life. Trained assessors from across NATS will score your responses.

Accessibility and reasonable adjustments

As an employer we are passionate about diversity and inclusion, and will strive to accommodate any adjustments you may require, so please do let us know if we can help.

Successful candidates

If you are successful we will give you a conditional offer of employment, which depends on you obtaining a Class 3 Medical Certificate and security clearance.

Medical Clearance

We will need to know all of your medical history since birth.

You’ll complete two medical forms and will attend a full medical assessment with an Aeromedical Doctor.

You’ll need to bring any specialist reports or GP records requested and if you wear spectacles or contact lenses, you’ll need to bring a copy of your current prescription.

You will require a comprehensive optometrist check, assessing your colour vision, central and peripheral vision and you must inform us of the dates of any issues, the diagnosis, treatment and any ongoing medication.

If you have ever had refractive surgery, bring specialist reports and a copy of your pre-operative prescription.

You will undergo tests including a urine test, heart trace, hearing test and lung function test. Some conditions will require further assessment e.g. currently or previously taking SSRI antidepressant medication for anxiety, depression or stress, migraine, asthma, head injury or heart conditions.

Security Clearance

You will be required to obtain SC level security clearance. That means that we will
need you to disclose in full, details relating to the following:

  • Personal details such as name, marital status, dependants
  • Details of current partners, current spouse, previous spouses, parents, step-parents, parents partners – details required are full name, previous name, address, place and date of birth
  • Employment status – we’ll need to know details of any previous employers for the past five years, or personal referees for any gaps in employment
  • Six years worth of addresses, including anywhere you have lived outside of the UK
  • Details of any existing security clearances that you may hold
  • Financial details
  • Your nationality and immigration status
  • Criminal convictions that you hold or which are spent/unspent including cautions and minor offences such as speeding tickets

We will also carry out the following checks on you; Police check, credit check, fraud
check, counter terrorist check.

Shape tracking, sequential memory, reactivity- do you have the skills?

Ready to apply for a career in air traffic control?

NATS is excited to announce that we are currently applying to make part of our Air Traffic Control training an accredited Apprenticeship scheme. We have been training people to become Air Traffic Controllers for many years but this marks the start of a new form of delivery. What this means is should we be successful in our application to become an accredited Apprenticeship scheme, and should you be successful in your application, candidates who begin training at our HQ in Hampshire will not only be trained to be competent as an Air Traffic Controller, you will also get a L5 recognised apprenticeship qualification.

The duration of the Apprenticeship is between 15-18 months, depending on which specialism you are routed for. At the end of the apprenticeship you will continue your training and learning within a permanent role with the opportunity to progress into management or training positions should you wish. This apprenticeship sits alongside the traditional training pathway and by the end of your apprenticeship you will be competent to control live air traffic. In addition to the technical skills the ATC Apprenticeship will develop your professional and personal skills such as problem solving, teamwork and communication skills. The skills, knowledge and behaviour learnt as part of the apprenticeship are as valuable outside of NATS as they are in.


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