• PPL e-Exams - information for training organisations

    The new PPL e-Exams system, which replaces Part-FCL PPL aeroplane and helicopter paper-based theoretical knowledge (TK) exams, is now live. This follows the completion of a three-month pathfinder phase, where we successfully tested the system with a number of volunteer pilot training organisations to ensure the service is right for the GA community. The PPL e-Exams delivered by the pathfinder phase were with real exam candidates and exam passes counting towards pilot licence issue.

    If you had provided your training organisation details via the Survey Monkey data collection form, you should have received your login credentials.

    If you have not yet received your login credentials, or if you have any other questions around the implementation then please contact  pplexams@caa.co.uk

    What can you do to prepare?

    Candidate registration – In order to book exams on behalf of candidates, your candidates need to first register for PPL e-Exams on the CAA portal. A candidate needs to register on the portal only once.  There is approximately a five working day lead time on this activity as we need to approve each candidate, therefore it is important that you encourage candidates to register in advance of sitting their first exam. Please see our  guidance on the customer portal for more information.

    Review Training Material – to support your organisation for e-Exams, we recommend that you review the training material that we have made available below. This will help you to understand the key processes of the new system and make the transition as smooth as possible. All our guides also come in a 'quick guide' format, which outlines the key information to get you started. Information of our email and telephone support services are shown below.

    Paper exceptions process

    As part of the project, we need to remove the usage of the current paper PPL theoretical knowledge exams. Our current expectation is for all PPL exams to be taken online from the 5 October 2020.

    We wish to make the transition from PPL TK paper to e-exams as smooth as possible. Therefore, we are implementing an exceptions process until 5 January 2021 whereby a paper exam (for the in-scope PPL e-exam subjects) can be sat if there is a valid reason why an electronic exam could not be sat. Please follow the process below in the event that a paper exam needs to be taken:

    1) The training organisation attempts an e-Exam but encounters an issue that cannot be resolved immediately (i.e. Device or internet failure).

    2) The training organisation sits a paper exam instead, allowing them to continue their operations.

    3) The training organisation emails  PPLExams@caa.co.uk to notify us that a paper exam has been sat instead of an e-Exam, with justification.

    4) The training organisation receives a confirmation from the CAA that the paper exception has been accepted.

    A final confirmation that any paper exams that have already been passed before 5 Oct 2020 will remain valid under the normal examination rules but any remaining exams in a series must be completed online.

    Training organisations and ground examiners with queries relating to the new exam service should contact our exams team on 0330 022 1909. Alternatively, for queries relating to candidate registrations within our portal should contact us on 0330 022 1972. Our lines are open Monday – Friday 0830-1630 and we can also be contacted on pplexams@caa.co.uk

    Until PM Sunday 20 December 2020 we also have a short-term out of normal office hours support service which is available on Saturday and Sunday, which can be contacted by calling 0330 022 1972. This service is available 9:00am – 4:30pm. 

    Guides for training organisations are available at:

    PPL candidate Tasman guide  CAP 1903A
    PPL candidate quick guide  CAP 1903G 
    PPL organisation Tasman guide CAP 1903B
    PPL quick guide: Accessing the portal CAP 1903C
    PPL quick guide: Managing memberships CAP 1903D
    PPL quick guide: Booking and results CAP 1903E
    Professional and Private e-Services Terms and Conditions
    CAP 1903F


    PPL Examinations - Learning Objectives 

     020 Aircraft General Knowledge - Aeroplane and HelicopterCAP 2090A 
     030 Flight Performance and Planning -  Aeroplane and HelicopterCAP 2090B
     040 Human Performance - Aeroplane and HelicopterCAP 2090C 
     050 Meteorology - Aeroplane and HelicopterCAP 2090D
     060 Navigation - Aeroplane and HelicopterCAP 2090E
     070 Operational Procedures - Aeroplane and HelicopterCAP 2090F
     081 Principles of Flight - AeroplaneCAP 2090G
     082 Principles of Flight - HelicopterCAP 2090H
     090 Communications - Aeroplane and HelicopterCAP 2090I 

    010 Air Law - Aeroplane and Helicopter

    CAP 2090J


    VFR Navigation Chart for PPL e-Exams

    Where an examination requires reference to a paper VFR Navigation chart this will be:

    • The current edition 1:500,000 Southern England & Wales VFR navigation chart listed here

    It will always be the current edition rather than a specific edition number.


    Ground Examiner (GR) Authorisations & PPL e-Exams

    The safety improvement and standardised exam security arrangements that PPL e-Exams brings requires each examination to be conducted by a Ground Examiner (GRs) in accordance with their Ground Examiner authorisation.  This is different to the arrangements for PPL paper-based Theoretical Knowledge exams.  A GR is a trusted and competent person authorised by the CAA for this purpose.  The process and criteria to become a GR is published in CAA Standards Document 11.  

    To support the uptake of GRs the CAA has already significantly reduced the Scheme of Charges certification and re-certification fee from £255 to £125, which is available now.  This reduced fee will be updated in the next CAA Scheme of Charges revision.  An organisation can have as many GRs as required to meet their e-Exams operational need and each will have their own e-Exam log-in credentials. 


    FRTOL Examiners (RT Examiners)

    FRTOL examining arrangements are not part of PPL e-Exams implementation. FRTOL examiners may hold a PPL VHF communications Theoretical Knowledge (TK) examination paper (Subject 090) that is common to the examination paper held by Ground Examiners.

    As FRTOL is not in scope of e-exams:

    • FRTOL examiners should continue to use the VHF Communications paper (Subject 090) they have access to.
    • For FRTOL Examiners the exceptions notification process for paper exams use does not apply.
    • FRTOL Examiners should recognise a TK exams pass achieved in VHF Communications (Subject 090) delivered by e-exams.
    • A paper based VHF Comms paper pass undertaken by an FRTOL Examiner will always count towards licence issue.
    • A Ground Examiner should only use a paper based VHF Communications paper when authorised by the exceptions process.
      • This applies until 5 January 2021, as e-exams are now available to Ground Examiners.