The Master Instructor Continuing Education Program (MICEP) was conceived in 1995 by flight instructors Sandy & JoAnn Hill of Longmont, Colorado. After two years of research, development, and vetting, the program was formally introduced by then-FAA Administrator Barry Valentine:
The FAA is pleased to see that industry is taking its own steps to raise the quality and professionalism within the flight instructor community. The Hills are to be commended for putting together a detailed program in the form of the Master Instructor designation that will truly enhance the abilities of dedicated instructors everywhere.
MICEP has grown from humble beginnings to an internationally recognized and highly coveted family of credentials appealing to a cross-section of aviation educators. As a measure of the program’s significance, for example, former FAA Administrator Marion Blakey observed in 2007: The Master Instructor accreditation singles out the best that the right seat has to offer. In 2008, acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell stated: kudos to Sandy and JoAnn Hill for their dedication to the Master Instructor Program and the Masters themselves.
The Hills and several other highly qualified Masters comprise the MICEP Board of Review. To date, the Board has processed more than 1,600 applications.
Retired school teachers, the Hills got their start as national-level aviation educators in the late 1970s working as staff instructors for AOPA’s Air Safety Foundation (now Air Safety Institute). They served as directors of the National Association of Flight Instructors for more than 25 years, including more than a decade as vice presidents and directors of education.
The Hills formed Master Instructors LLC in 2009 in order to bring greater autonomy to MICEP, while preserving impartiality in the designation process. JoAnn Hill also served as co-chair of the General Aviation Awards program, while Sandy Hill served as that program’s communications director. Themselves Master Instructors Emeriti, the Hills are FAASTeam representatives for the Denver Flight Standards District Office and charter members of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE).