Proficiency check

Like a flight review, a proficiency check assesses your flying skills and operational knowledge.

It ensures you have the capability to keep using the ratings that include privileges to conduct a flight under the IFR and some other ratings.

Unlike a flight review, a proficiency check is a pass or fail activity. It is not an opportunity to receive training to achieve competency.

You may need to complete refresher training before attempting a proficiency check to avoid losing the privileges.

Not all ratings require a proficiency check.

You must get a proficiency check for these types of operational ratings:

  • instrument rating
  • aerial application rating
  • night vision imaging system.

Who conducts the proficiency check

A flight examiner with the relevant flight test endorsement can do your proficiency check.

When an examiner occupies a control seat to conduct the check in an aircraft, they must be:

  • authorised to fly the type of aircraft
  • approved to conduct proficiency checks in an aircraft.


You need to meet the proficiency check standards for your rating. These are similar to the standards specified for the flight test for the rating. You can find them outlined in the Part 61 Manual of Standards (MOS).

At the end of a successful check the flight examiner will record the details in your licence and notify us. We will update your records with the details.

If you fail

If you don’t meet the proficiency check standards during the flight, the examiner will let you know.

You can't use your rating until you have subsequently passed the proficiency check.

Before attempting the proficiency check again, consider completing refresher training from a Part 141 or 142 flight training operator. You should complete refresher training if the examiner has recommended you do so.

Validity period

Proficiency checks for operational ratings are valid for one year from the last day of the month in which you completed your check.

You can complete a proficiency check up to 3 months before it is due to no longer be valid. It will remain valid for 12 months from the date the previous check would have expired.

Difference between a flight review and a proficiency check

Like a flight review, a proficiency check is an assessment of your competency to the standards specified by us. A flight examiner or a person authorised by us will assess you.

Completion of a proficiency check for an operational rating in an aircraft can also satisfy the flight review requirement for the relevant aircraft rating.

For example, if you complete an aerial application rating proficiency check in a single-engine helicopter, you satisfy the flight review requirement for the single-engine helicopter class rating.

A flight review can include training along with an assessment. A flight instructor or a person we authorise will carry out the flight review.

Operator proficiency check

An operator proficiency check is an assessment conducted by an operator. It ensures you are competent to conduct flights that the operator has assigned to you.

Under Part 61 rules, an operator proficiency check may sometimes substitute for another Part 61 proficiency check when conducted by a flight examiner.

Your operator may have a 61.040 approval to have your operator proficiency check substitute for another Part 61 required check. In this case, you can do your operator proficiency check with:

  • a check pilot
  • your operators’ Head of Operations.

If the operator proficiency check includes Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations, it may satisfy:

Rules for operational proficiency checks

You can find the following rules for proficiency checks in Part 61 of CASR. They include:

  • limitations of multi-crew pilot licences – regulation 61.640 and 650
  • limitations of air transport pilot licences – regulation 61.6780 and 695
  • proficiency checks and flight reviews – aircraft type rating – regulation 61.745(3) and (3A)
  • operator proficiency check and instrument proficiency check – regulation 61.805(2)(c)
  • instrument proficiency checks – regulation 61.880
  • night vision imaging system proficiency checks – regulation 61.1015
  • aerial application proficiency checks 61.1110.

Note: Regulation 61.1055(2) refers to an operator proficiency check in low-level operations.

Last updated:
2 Nov 2023
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