Use this forum to flag up examples of red tape and gold plate
A note for anyone who took ATPL TK with another EASA authority AND with the UK CAA after the 31st Dec 2020 Brexit cutoff and the hassle I had with the CAA for licence issue...

I took the first 10 of my ATPL exams with Austro Control - as recommended by BGS - prior to 31/12/20. The reason for this is longwinded. I wasn't sure if I wanted an EASA licence and/or a CAA one, and there wasn't clarity on whether or not the UK would be aligning. In the end, I decided that I wanted a CAA CPL and wouldn't bother with an EASA one in tandem.

After 31/12/20 the CAA would no longer recognise any new exam passes with another authority for licence issue, so I had to do the last couple of exams with the CAA. The understanding being that while there was still equivalence (prior to brexit) the exam results were valid, but any new ones would not be.

So far, so complex. 10 exams with Austro, another couple with the CAA post brexit, and all within the required timeframe.

Licence application;
After passing the CPL in March I submitted my paperwork for licence issue. For the TK specifically I submitted; ATPL course completion certificate, authorised (stamped/signed) copies of my Austro TK results and my CAA results (which they had on file anyway).

After the standard 10 days, I received the update 'licence in technical review' and then a subsequent ' licence pending technical review board' . Finally I heard from the desk officer; your licence cannot be issued because you do not have the required TK.... uhuh.

Many phone calls later, I got to the crux of what the CAA deemed to be the issue. In order for you to sit exams with the CAA, I was told, the CAA must first validate your prior EASA results. But no reference to an actual order, or direction on where I could find that in the legislation.

Funnily enough, none of this is pointed out while booking CAA exams either - there were no checks on what, if any prior TK had been done and what the process was to 'validate' it.

After hearing this response from them, but having being given no guidance from the licencing offier on what I could do to resolve, I tried submitting SRG2142: Application for the Verification of a Third Country ICAO Licence and/or TK examination results. This was rejected by the CAA after a few days.. and I was told it was not required.

The line from the CAA seemed to be; Your CAA exam passes were not valid because when you sat them, we had not got your EASA ones on file > therefore you did not complete all exams in time > therefore your CPL course / skills test is invalid > therefore no licence. This caused me quite some anguish... a waste of 3 years and who knows how much dosh.

I asked them to look into it again, having sent a summary of the situation as I understood it and asking them to provide the regulations which I'd failed to meet, but heard nothing.

After another week of no responses - a text from FedEx - a package is on the way from Crawley. They had finally issued the licence without any further questions or requirements... a month later, I am still scratching my head as to what happened...