Let me see if I can help you all.
R-side = Radar Controller
D-side = Manual or associate or assistant controller
A-side = hands out flight progress strips, where needed. (all trainees have to check out here first, never seen a wash out on the A-side:LOL
Position are staffed with a radar controller first and as it gets busy, a D-side is added to the sector to help out.
In the past, a trainee would come into a center and learn their maps and LOA, etc. Do some dysim training on the D-side for a sector and then go to the floor for D-side training on all the sectors. After spending some time working as a D-side they would return to class and the dysim for radar training. After that they would return to the floor for r-side training. This program would take 3-4 years, but in my eyes made a better controller.
Now "Functional training" combines all of your training up front, so that when you come to the floor, you now have a "Function" to train on, 2 R-sides & the D-sides with them. You should still start training on the D-sides, but as you progress, we can now add in R-side training along with your D-side training. In some ways this helps, as you get to see what the help an R-side might need, but it hurts, because you don't get to see what is happening at the sectors around you. You also don't get to learn from watching others. Good & Bad, you will have to decide.
Expect to train about 4.5-5.5 hours a day, we try for 5 hours. Doesn't seem like much, wait, there will be days that you will not remember that happen at the start of that day. Then there will be about 30-45 minutes of writing up your performance sheet and talking about how the day went and what you did right or wrong.
Now, if you think you can make it in a year, good luck
. The fastest I have seen a trainee make is just at 2 years and he had a lot of radar time at as a military controller. I would guess the avg is around 2.5 - 3.5 years. From what I heard, training in places like NY was taking up 7 years, but I am not sure much has changed there. That time could go up, with a back log of trainee, but that would happen under the old system too. Yes the wash out rate is high, because we are putting a bigger load on your back. The trainee I have right now, is a good trainee (ex-Navy controller) and he just pasted his 1 year in the FAA, he has 1 D-side and we are working on another D-side and also his first 2 R-sides.
I been training people since 1989 and have work with both systems, I like the old way better, but I also think "Functional Trainee" has some good ideas in it. Mr Greg Haywood is a good guy, for a while he was sup in my area and I think wants the trainees to make it, he doesn't look to wash people out. This system is being used at Houston, Chicago & New York.