Apply for a Language Proficiency Endorsement (for licences issued before 17 September 2012)

Guidance for holders of UK Flight Crew licences


Since 5 March 2008 ICAO has required the following people to be proficient in their command of the languages that they use for radio communication:

- all pilots of aeroplanes, helicopters, airships and powered lift aircraft

- all flight navigators who use radiotelephony equipment in aircraft

- all air traffic controllers

Language proficiency is assessed on a scale of 1 to 6, with Level 6 being the standard of an expert speaker of the language. ICAO requires the minimum standard for a licence holder to be Level 4.

Licence holders assessed as Level 4 or 5 shall be re-tested periodically but this is not required for people assessed as Level 6.

PART-ARA specifies that the Language Proficiency level and validity must be stated on a Part-FCL licence. This means that UK pilots must hold a valid English Language Proficiency level before they can be issued with a PART-FCL licence. English Language proficiency must be assessed as Level 4 or higher before any EASA licence requiring such proficiency is used.

Although not all pilots require a Language Proficiency assessment, it is recommended. The pilots that are exempt from a Language Proficiency assessment are holders of, sailplane or balloon licences, UK NPPL (M) UK PPL (M), UK PPL (G). Unless they hold a UK FRTOL.

A UK FRTOL held by a licence holder or for the issue of a UK FRTOL will not be acceptable unless and until the applicant has a valid endorsement of English Language Proficiency at Level 4, 5 or 6.

For more information see CAP804, section 4, PART M.


If you hold a UK licence holders and need to revalidate or renew a language proficiency endorsement previously issued by the UK CAA you can be assessed as follows:

    At the Radiotelephony Test

    During the practical test for the UK FRTOL an Examiner who has Level 6 proficiency in English and is authorised by the CAA as an English Language Assessor, can assess your proficiency in English.

    At a Flight Test

    Type Rating Examiners (TREs), Flight Examiners (FEs) and Class Rating Examiners (CREs), who have been assessed as proficient at Level 6 in English and are authorised by the CAA as English Language Assessors, can include language proficiency assessment as part of the licence proficiency check that is conducted for the revalidation or renewal of a rating or certificate.

    Through a Language School

    Provided that the school is approved by or is acceptable to the CAA for the purpose of language assessment. 
    At a Training Organisation (ATO)

    Many CAA approved ATOs offer language training modules that meet the requirements of Part-FCL.055 as part of an overall training package. Language proficiency can be determined by this means provided that the school is approved by the CAA for the purpose.

    A list of training organisations and language schools acceptable to the CAA for assessing language proficiency can be found in Standards document 31 (Organisations conducting approved courses of flight and Ground Training).

If you hold a UK FRTOL it will not be valid unless you have a valid endorsement of language proficiency at Level 4, 5 or 6.


The fee can vary depending on whether;


  • you already hold a UK licence, and if so, whether it has already been converted to an EASA-FCL licence,
  • your application relating to Language Proficiency is made at the same time as applying for something else.

Applications to amend the Language Proficiency licence endorsement require a payment of £20 to update and re-issue the flight crew licence. 

If the application requires an existing EASA Flight Crew Licence to be reissued, all existing ratings associated with that licence will be checked for currency of validity and a further charge of £20 will apply.

The Fee Calculator will show you the price for the type of application you are making.

More information is available in the Scheme of Charges (Personnel Licensing).

Processing time (On receipt of all required information)

  • We endeavour to process licence applications within 10 working days. Incomplete applications are not subject to the 10 working day turnaround until all application requirements are met.

Validity period

  • Operational Level (ICAO Level 4) shall be retested every 4 years.
  • Extended Level (ICAO Level 5) shall be retested every 6 years
  • Expert Level (ICAO Level 6) does not require retesting.

EASA-FCL licences have no expiry date and are therefore valid for the holder’s lifetime

Associated Rules, Regulations and Forms

You will need to provide

For assessments completed in association with a Skill Test, Proficiency Check, Assessment of Competence of Flight Radio Practical Test:

  • Applicants must supply the appropriate Examiners Report, completed by the examiner, confirming that the candidate has demonstrated proficiency at Level 6

For assessments not completed in association with a flight test:

  • We require the Application for Record of English Language assessment (form SRG1199) and supporting material as applicable for your circumstances and the type of application; as per the guidance attached to each application form

How to apply

Once all of the requirements above have been met, the application should be submitted by post or in person to the address below.

What to expect

  • A desk based assessment from a Flight Crew Licensing Officer or Assistant.  
  •  Following an acceptable assessment your licence will be processed signed and despatched.  
  • We will contact you if we have any queries regarding your application and may keep your application pending while the additional requirements are met.
  • An assessment and refund fee may be charged if the UK CAA rejects your application for not meeting all of the requirements.  
    This will also be applied if you choose cancel your application.  
  • In some circumstances an applicant for a conversion of an existing licence to an EASA licence may also require a national licence to fly Annexe II aircraft (Aircraft not on the EASA Type List).  This process is undertaken by the Licensing Officer who assesses your application

Contact us

Licensing Department
Aviation House
Gatwick Airport South