Polite discussion about EASA, the CAA, the ANO and the delights of aviation regulation.
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By pilotamx
#1832510
Hi all,

has anybody had to deal with the language proficiency check renewal? I am level 4, that is the level I was tested before moving to the UK.

My rating expires at the end of August and it seems more difficult to renew it here than when I was abroad. I understand I need to go to a test centre and according to the Standards Document 31 there're just a few in all the UK.

Is it possible there are centres not listed there? I did a search on google and it seems not many FTOs do it, but a lot of them do a TEA test, which seems to be same thing although the CAA does not even list this acronym on its website.

Any idea is welcome.

Thanks
User avatar
By SafetyThird
#1832532
I've just had to provide proof of language proficiency despite being born and, at least for most of my life, living here. Of the schools I phoned, none were able to help me due to either being closed, doing online only classes or needing me to take an entire course. In the end, I looked up instructors and found a language instructor able to be happy after a phone call that I was obviously sufficiently proficient and she signed a form to that effect.

Also, I believe that a flight instructor can also do this if they have previously been certified as meeting the proficiency levels so that might be another alternative.
User avatar
By Morten
#1832562
English is my second/third language but when I did my FRTOL there was no question or specific test to be done to 'prove' level 6.
You say you've spoken to FTOs about this but did you ask them to 'upgrade' from 4 to 6 or did you ask them to just do a test with you and see whether they could give you a 6? The latter (ie doing a test 'from scratch') may be much easier and, because 'straight' FRTOL exams are done all the times, people know how to do it...

Maybe my old examiner can help you - try contacting Vicky at Flyers
#1832568
I think there's a difference in level. If you're a native speaker, or as good as, then various instructors/examiners can sign off your proficiency as being level 6. However if you're a non native speaker, they aren't allowed to assess you for a renewal of level 4 I don't believe.
Instructor Errant liked this
By James33
#1832603
Hi,

I am an EASA approved language proficiency examiner.

The UK CAA will accept EASA certificates for the next 2 years.

I can do the renewal for you via video conference.

Feel free to send me a PM.

Best
James
#1832632
Just thinking about this a little leads me to a strange conclusion, not directly related to the OP, so apologies in advance.

So, EASA will no longer accept tests/results from UK-CAA approved/licensed/otherwise authorised professionals, and that includes English proficiency testing. But they will accept English proficiency testing from EASA states, obviously.

The nice 'Alice in Wonderland' aspect is that here in the UK we speak, straight from the breast, English, mostly (gentle nod to some of the Welsh speakers amongst us). Whereas for almost the whole of EASA-land (again, another gentle nod to our Irish friends), they rather don't speak English, as a first language anyhow.

So we can have the lovely prospect of an, say, Italian possibly certifying that an Englishman is, indeed, proficient in English to Level 6.
How the hell would he know? :lol:
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By James33
#1832669
Kemble Pitts wrote:So we can have the lovely prospect of an, say, Italian possibly certifying that an Englishman is, indeed, proficient in English to Level 6.
How the hell would he know? :lol:


I don't make the rules, I just provide solutions within them :lol:

Yes, it is entirely possible for a non-native speaker to end up certifying the English level of a native speaker, although to be a language proficiency examiner you (normally) have to have been tested at level 6 yourself, and to have undergone several hours of assessor training.

What counts is not your own level of English, but how accurately you can assess someone else's.
User avatar
By kanga
#1832794
When we were in Ottawa, in the Canadian Federal Civil Service, all promotions were probationary until the successful candidate has passed the language proficiency appropriate to the higher grade in his/her less familiar official language. This involved a fairly brief oral interview with a qualified assessor in that language. Most of my colleagues were perfectly bilingual, but as French was the commoner first language we tended to use that in the office (except when we had any US or some UK visitors :roll: ).

One of my colleagues, newly promoted, went for his interview for French proficiency. After a brief chat in English with the assessor, the latter opened the colleague's paperwork to check the level needed for the test. It was then that the assessor discovered, and the colleague was reminded, that the colleague on entry had registered as a francophone, and it was an English assessment he needed :)
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By Irv Lee
#1833040
Hi @James33
I remember a time when UK was part of Easa, and you could do assessments for many Easa States but the UK CAA insisted on their approved list (= those who had paid them money). What changed?
Ps: shout if you ever intend to get over for a curry in the next few years
By James33
#1833156
Irv Lee wrote:Hi @James33
I remember a time when UK was part of Easa, and you could do assessments for many Easa States but the UK CAA insisted on their approved list (= those who had paid them money). What changed?
Ps: shout if you ever intend to get over for a curry in the next few years


On 11 November 2019, EASA put out a reminder to all member states that they must accept all Language Proficiency certificates from other member states, regardless of the level.

This meant that the UK was forced to start accepting EASA certificates, and that the French DGAC was made to stop its policy of always downgrading a level 6 obtained abroad to a level 5.

I'd like nothing more than to get stuck into a vindaloo in good old Pompey, watch this space!
Last edited by James33 on Sun Mar 14, 2021 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By James33
#1833158
Paul_Sengupta wrote:I think there's a difference in level. If you're a native speaker, or as good as, then various instructors/examiners can sign off your proficiency as being level 6. However if you're a non native speaker, they aren't allowed to assess you for a renewal of level 4 I don't believe.


When FCL.055 under EASA came in, the UK CAA established two ways by which you could get your language proficiency signed off :

1. Informally, via a radiotelephony or flight examiner, or as part of a flight test

2. Formally, by going to one of their approved testing bodies and taking a formal language exam.

If a language endorsement was obtained via the "informal" route, it had to be a level 6, as flight and RT examiners were not authorised to assess any less than that.

If the examiner felt the pilot was not up to level 6, the guidance was then to send them for a "formal" test at a language school. However, for many years, this rarely happened in practice, and a lot of non-native speakers obtained their level 6 pretty much automatically.

I believe the UK CAA reviewed its guidance around 2019 (Irv will correct me on this) and restricted the "informal" level 6 to native speakers and/or people who could provide documentary proof of having lived for many years in an English-speaking environment.

Since Brexit, a UK-issued language proficiency endorsement (obtained either formally or informally) is no longer recognised for licence issue in EASA member states.

This has meant in practice that I am now regularly contacted by native English speakers looking to get their EASA English endorsement to get their Irish/French/Austrian etc. licence issued.
User avatar
By Irv Lee
#1833160
James33 wrote:
Irv Lee wrote:On 11 November 2019, EASA put out a reminder...

Ah, a reminder... so presumably you sued the CAA for the business you had had to turn down prior to that, as I know you did. So you should be able to pay for my curry..... ;-)
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By kanga
#1833169
Paul_Sengupta wrote:... If you're a native speaker, or as good as, then various instructors/examiners can sign off your proficiency as being level 6. ...


[my underline]

:thumright:

Mind you, I don't think the CFI, who had known me for years, at the first relevant Revalidation signed me as 6 ever knew that English was not my first language :)