CAA About Turn on Exam Recognition

10th October 2020   
CAA About Turn on Exam Recognition

The UK CAA has issued a complete bombshell this week reversing its previous position on ATPL exam recognition. For students under training, to get a CAA commercial pilots’ licence, any other NAA ATPL exam passes will now only be recognised by the CAA up to the end of this year - not for the next 2 years after Brexit as previously published (see comparison below).

However, the CAA has said that anyone part way through their exams can transfer any NAA exam passes to the CAA as long as they take any remaining exams and finish their series with the CAA (applies from 1 Jan 21).  This will qualify them for a CAA licence. However, be aware that this is against EASA rules that state that all 14 exams must be taken with the same NAA. 

The CAA have noticeably just started taking a very aggressive stance towards EASA in the last month.  In addition to this latest bombshell, the recent extension to the taking the first old syllabus exams by 3 months until March next year is also completely non-compliant with EASA Directives.  This unilateral decsion by the UK CAA to introduce the new syllabus after the EASA deadline (probably politically driven) is being formally challenged by a number of ground schools including us - we at Pathway are keeping within EASA rules and starting the new syllabus course in November as you know to avoid any licence issues in the future.

The extract showing the previous and latest CAA position (9 Oct 20) on recognising ATPL exams taken with other EASA NAAs is as follows:  


Validity of EASA Exams for CAA Licence

CAA Website (28 Sep 20) 

"Therefore, students undertaking or considering commencing a course of theoretical knowledge or flight training for a pilot’s licence, rating or certificate are recommended to approach their current or potential future training provider to establish what approvals the organisation currently holds and what additional approvals it intends to seek in the event of UK participation in EASA ceasing without mutual recognition of certificates and licences. This should assist them in determining how best to achieve their own personal training aims.

The CAA would intend to continue to recognise current (and valid) EASA certificates for up to two years after the end of the transition period. Validity after this period would be dependent on the outcome of the negotiations on longer-term UK-EASA arrangements.”


Current CAA website (7 Oct) 20

"The CAA will to continue to recognise EASA Theoretical Knowledge certificates that are current (and within their validity dates) on 31 December 2020 for up to two years after the end of the transition period toward satisfying the requirements for the issue of a UK CAA licence. Any exams completed under the auspices of an EASA Member State’s competent authority after 31 December 2020 will not be recognised toward meeting the requirements for the issue of a UK CAA licence."