Foundation meteorologist

We provide training for forecasters and observing staff from meteorological services all over the world

The Initial Forecasting course (IFC) is designed for staff new to forecasting.

This course covers the requisite meteorological knowledge in the WMO Basic Instruction Package for Meteorologists (BIP-M) and the fundamental forecasting skills required to forecast the weather in our area of airspace responsibility.

Aim: To equip the attendee with the skills and knowledge required to take up a post as forecaster under supervision.

Course length: 17-19 weeks.

Scheduled button

Location: This course runs regularly at the Met Office College Exeter headquarters.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • make weather reports to the standard necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft;
  • meet the mandatory minimum standards of 'theoretical knowledge' for aeronautical observers required by ICAO/WMO/CAA policy;
  • demonstrate an acceptable level of knowledge of meteorological theory for our area of airspace responsibility;
  • employ guidance effectively as the basis of the forecast;
  • interpret actual and forecast data correctly and identify the most relevant data for any given situation;
  • produce weather forecasts consistent with the guidance and other relevant data;
  • present forecast products to an acceptable standard and in the style required by customers;
  • monitor the latest data - amending forecasts and issuing warnings when appropriate;
  • be an effective member of an operational forecasting team.  

On-the-job training and assessment of competence

The Initial Forecasting course should be followed by an on-the-job training phase and assessment of competence; the trainee weather forecaster will then be qualified as an independent forecaster.  The final assessment of competence can be done in any way that the forecasting organisation in question deems suitable for their purposes. In the UK, the assessment is made against National  Occupational Standards for forecasting. For more details about the competence-based assessment of forecasters see vocational qualifications.

The Met Office College provides a wide range of courses. To receive more information about training please register your details.

Last updated: 1 May 2015