You will need an instrument rating attached to your licence if you want to fly under instrument flight rules. The instrument rating enables you to fly the aircraft solely with reference to the in-cockpit instrumentation. This means you will be able to fly in cloud and other circumstances of reduced visibility.
You can complete an IR for the following aircraft categories:
Once you have completed you IR, you will be able to fly under IFR with a minimum decision height of 200 feet (60 m) on instrument approach procedures.
You need to have met certain pre-requisite requirements. These are explained below.
You will need to hold a current and valid Class 1 Part medical or Class 2 medical with a valid audiogram to apply.
As part of the application for an instrument rating, exams will need to be taken and passed in the following subject areas:
This should be completed as part of a course at an appropriately authorised ATO.
In some instances you can elect to take ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations instead of instrument rating exams.
If you hold an instrument rating held in one category of aircraft, it will fulfil the theoretical knowledge requirements for an instrument rating in any other category of aircraft. The instrument rating must be issued onto an EASA licence for this to apply.
You will need to pass a skill test to demonstrate that you can perform the relevant procedures and manoeuvres to an appropriate standard.
For a multi-engine aircraft IR you will need to take your skill test in a multi-engine aircraft, and for a single-engine aircraft IR you will need to take your skill test in a single-engine aircraft. Multi-engine centreline thrust aeroplanes cannot be used as a multi-engine aircraft for the skill test.
Please refer to Standard Document 1A (for aeroplanes) and 1H (for helicopters), 7 A/H and Appendix 7 to Part FCL.
To gain an instrument rating by completing a standalone training course and operate aeroplanes under IFR and in IMC conditions.
You must hold one of the following licences:
If you want to use the privileges of the IR(A) at night and you only hold a PPL(A) you will also need to hold a Night rating.
You must also have completed at least 50 hours of cross country flight time as Pilot in Command (PIC) in aeroplanes, TMGs, helicopters or airships of which at least 10 hours shall be in aeroplanes.
If you don't hold a CPL(A) and you want to complete the Procedural Instrument Flight Module you will need to have a Course Completion Certificate for the Basic Instrument Flight Module you will need to have a Course Completion Certificate for the Basic Instrument Flight Module before you take the course.
If you are completing a multi-engine IR(A) course but don't hold a multi-engine aeroplane class or type rating you will need to complete the training requirements for the multi-engine aeroplane before you start the IR(A) course.
This consists of 10 hours of instrument time under instruction, of which up to 5 hours can be instrument ground time in a BITD, FNPT I or II, or an FFS. Once you have completed this you will be issued with a course completion certificate.
This consists of the remainder of the training syllabus for the IR(A), 40 hours single engine or 45 hours multi-engine instrument time under instruction and the theoretical knowledge course for the IR(A).
You will need to complete an integrated or modular course.
You must complete at least 150 hours of theoretical knowledge instruction.
You must pass the relevant theoretical knowledge exams within an 18 month period.
You must demonstrate a level of theoretical knowledge appropriate to the privileges granted in the following subjects:
An applicant for an IR or an EIR having passed the relevant theoretical examinations for a CPL in the same aircraft category is credited towards the theoretical knowledge requirements in the following subjects:
A single engine IR(A) course must include at least 50 hours instrument time under instruction, of which:
You must take a skill test in a single engine aeroplane at the end of your training course.
For more details please check Appendices 6 and 7 of Part FCL and Standards documents 1A and 7.
A multi-engine IR(A) course must include at least 55 hours instrument time under instruction, of which:
The remaining instrument flight instruction shall include at least 15 hours in multi-engine aeroplanes.
You must take a skill test in a multi-engine aeroplane at the end of your training course.
A course of at least 5 hours instruction in instrument flying in multi engine aeroplanes, of which up to 3 hours may be in a FFS or FNPT II.
A valid class or type rating needs to be held unless this
is combined with a proficiency check as detailed in FCL. 625 and FCL.625 (A) and advised in CAP1855
This page will be updated shortly to reflect these
If an IR(A) has expired, applicants need to:
The UK CAA has adopted a derogation against FCL.625(d) (see paragraph 5.3). The 7 year period specified in FCL.625(d) commences from the date the IR(A) rating has expired.
The UK CAA has adopted a derogation such that where a pilot holds or has held an Instrument Rating issued by a third country and that rating is compliant with Annex I to he Convention on International Civil Aviation, the applicability of FCL.625 IR(c) and (d) may be based on the validity dates of the Instrument Rating of that other country.
The effect of this exemption is that to renew the IR on a UK issued licence:
a pilot with a current and valid 3rd country IR shall complete the revalidation requirements of FCL.625(b) and the aircraft category specific requirements for revalidation of the Part-FCL IR; meaning that he must pass the proficiency check, but is not required to undergo training or to re-take the theoretical knowledge examinations;
a pilot who held a 3rd country IR that is no longer valid but had been revalidated or renewed within the preceding 7 years shall comply with the renewal requirements of FCL.625 IR(c), but is not required to re-take the theoretical
Paragraph (c) of FCL.625 determines that if the instrument rating has lapsed, the applicant shall go through refresher training at an ATO, to reach the level of proficiency needed to pass the instrument element of the skill test in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part-FCL.
The amount of refresher training needed should be determined on a case-by-case basis by the ATO, taking into account the following factors:
It should be expected that the amount of training needed to reach the desired level of competence will increase with the time elapsed since the privileges of the rating were llast used.
Once the ATO has determined the needs of the applicant, it should develop an individual training programme based on the ATO's approved IR training course, focussing on the aspects where the applicant has shown the greatest needs.
Theoretical knowledge instruction should be included as necessary. The performance of the applicant should be reviewed during the training and additional instruction provided where necessary to reach the standard required for the proficiency check.
After successful completion of the training, the ATO should provide a training completion certificate to the applicant, describing the training provided. The training completion certificate should be presented to the Examiner prior to the Proficiency check.
Following the successful renewal of the rating, the completion certificate and examiner report form should be submitted to the competent authority, together with the relevant application form if the examiner cannot sign the certificate of revalidation in Section XII of the UK-issued licence.
Note: Licence holders, ATOs and examiners are reminded that examiners are only authorised to sign the certificate of validation in Section XII (page 5 onwards) of a UK-issued licence when the rating is still shown on page 4 (Section XII) of the licence.
If the rating is no longer printed on page 4 (Section XII) of the icence, but appears in the section “ratings previously held by holder”, the rating is no longer included in the licence and cannot be reinstated by an examiner. In those circumstances application for renewal of the rating must be made to the CAA so that the rating may be made valid by being included in the licence again.
When combined with the revalidation of a class or type rating, applicants must complete a proficiency check in accordance with Appendix 9 to Part-FCL;
When not combined with the revalidation of a class or type rating, applicants must :
Cross-credit shall be given in accordance with Appendix 8 to Part-FCL.
Credits detailed in Appendix 8 can only be used when both IRs are current and valid.
Cross-crediting of the IR part of a class or type rating proficiency check
Credits shall be granted only when the holder is revalidating IR privileges for single-engine and single-pilot multi-engine aeroplanes, as appropriate.
MP type rating;
High performance complex aeroplane type rating
SE type rating
SP ME class, and SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating, only credits for section 3B of the skill test for single pilot non-high performance complex aeroplane of Appendix 9
SP ME class
SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating,
SE class and type rating
SE class and type rating, and
SP ME class, and
SP ME non-high performance complex aeroplane type rating
SE class and type rating
SP ME class
If you hold a Part-FCL licence you are required to submit a certified copy of your licence with your application.
You will need to hold a valid English Language Proficiency and your valid Part MED Medical certificate must be held on our UK database.
For all other routes, please apply via our postal application forms with all other required associated documents listed in the guidance of the application forms (such as your original
Identity Document and logbook or certified copies):
If you are applying on the basis of training and testing conducted by a non UK approved EASA Part FCL Approved Training Organisation you must provide copies of the following:
If you are applying on the basis of a Third country ICAO licence conversion you will need to provide us:
Please ensure that your training provider is approved to conduct the training that you are undertaking.
We strongly recommend you check that your instructor and examiner hold the relevant privileges to conduct the training and any flight test, examination or assessment of competence that is being carried out.
Read all @UK_CAA
Singapore and the United Kingdom commence trials to improve public health safety for air crew
6 July, 2020
Further advice to UK consumers impacted by Flybe entering administration
5 March, 2020
Advice to UK consumers following Flybe entering administration
4 March, 2020
Read all News
Girls in aviation day
22 October, 2018
Tackling crime and improving safety
4 October, 2018
International women in engineering day
22 June, 2017
Read All Blogs