• We have long recognised the importance of continuous training and skills development for private pilots, as a means to ever improve the safety standards of recreational flying.  For this reason, the CAA has introduced the Pilot Recognition for Operational Up-skilling and Development (PROUD) scheme. 

    PROUD works with organisations and associations representing private pilots, to develop structured training programmes. These courses allow ‘PPLs’ and ‘NPPLs’, old and new, to develop skills and acquire knowledge, thereby producing better individual pilots and improving safety levels across the board.

    Other training could involve obtaining more ratings, attending safety events or even taking part in an air race. Whatever the activity, the CAA strongly recommends that private pilots, particularly those recently qualified, invest some time in further training and skills development. It will ultimately make you a better and safer pilot. 

    Our PROUD framework

    ‘Proud to develop piloting skills’ - an initiative supported by the CAA

    Schemes should have a logical hierarchical progression through clearly defined steps, which if completed, would lead to a formal recognition within the scheme of the achievement at that level. The scheme should include a minimum of three levels. Within each level of the scheme, there should be requirements to fulfil targets in each of the following areas.

    Flying experience

    Flying experience is essential. So, the number of hours required for qualification at each level, should be set at levels appropriate for the award, taking into account minimum total flight time, and hours acting as aircraft commander.

    Ratings and qualifications

    Just flying more hours doesn’t necessarily mean you have a greater depth of knowledge or breadth of experience.  So, the scheme should require additional training or achievements leading to the addition of ratings or certificates.

    To qualify for each level of award there could be a requirement to add a further two flying achievements. The list below is not exhaustive but gives examples of the scope for pilots to select a combination of achievements that suit their personal choices:

    • IMC rating
    • Night rating
    • Instrument rating
    • Flight instructor rating
    • Multi engine rating
    • Seaplane rating

    Differences training

    Training that doesn't lead to a specific rating should also be considered. 

    This could include differences training such as:

    • Tailwheel conversion
    • Variable pitch propeller
    • Glass cockpit training.

    Activities

    There are also many organised flying activities that encourage pilots to challenge themselves, such as:

    • Compete in a Royal Institute of Navigation challenge
    • Compete in a Royal Aero Club air race
    • Complete a British Aerobatics Association competition

    Safety event attendance

    At least one seminar should be attended to qualify at the lower entry level, two attendances at an intermediate level, and three or more for the advanced level.

    Available safety events may include:

    • GASCo safety evening
    • Military civil air safety days
    • Aircraft maintenance engineering course
    • Flight instructor seminars
    • PPL master classes 

    Extended navigational challenges

    Many pilots never venture out of their local area, which is both limiting in terms of enjoyment and fulfilment, but also stifles development and confidence.  The schemes should therefore include an element of longer navigational flights, which would be increasingly more demanding. 

    How to apply for endorsement

    If you wish to create a developmental scheme to be endorsed under our PROUD framework, then please submit your proposals, demonstrating how your programme satisfies the suggested framework to GA@CAA.co.uk.  

    If we think it complies, then we’ll grant you an endorsement (which will include a CAA PROUD logo) which you can then use when you publicise the scheme. 

    Validity and how to re-apply for endorsement

    PROUD endorsements are valid for 3 years. If you wish to re-apply, then please submit an updated proposal to GA@CAA.co.uk