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Meeting language standards for flight crew
From August, CASA approved assessors can use myCASA when assessing or validating a candidate's English Language Proficiency for both general English language proficiency and aviation English language proficiency notifications.
There are two different English language proficiency standards for flight crew:
- Aviation English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards for operational flight crew
- General English Language Proficiency (GELP) standards for Recreational pilots and those wishing to have an AROC.
Aviation English Language Proficiency (ELP)
Flight crew must meet the ELP standard to be issued with an operational licence, including a:
- private pilot licence (PPL)
- commercial pilot licence (CPL)
- air transport pilot licence (ATPL)
- flight engineer licence (FEL)
- recreational pilot licence (RPL) wishing to add a flight radio endorsement.
To obtain an ELP assessment, the candidate does not attend an English school (or similar) but is assessed by an approved examiner on each of the following six elements:
Each of these elements is scored a value between 1 and 6 - the overall rating is the lowest of these individual scores. The ELP is measured on a scale of 1 to 6. A minimum of ELP level 4 is required for any operational purpose, level 6 is rated as an Expert speaker.
Typically the assessment will take about 20 - 30 minutes depending on the candidate's ability. If a candidate does not meet the ELP level 6 standard, they will need to attend a specialist centre where they may be assessed at any of the lower levels.
Validity periods are as follows:
- ELP Level 4 - valid for a period of 3 years from the date of testing
- ELP Level 5 - valid for a period of 6 years from the date of testing
- ELP Level 6 - valid perpetually.
If a candidate is awarded ELP level 4 or 5, it's their responsibility to be re-assessed prior to the expiry date in order to continue to exercise the privileges of their licence.
Language proficiency standard for recreational pilots and those wanting an AROC (GELP)
We have an Australian standard on general, or everyday English language proficiency for recreational pilots doing their flying training in Australian airspace. A recreational pilot must meet the GELP standard to be issued with a RPL.
Note: ELP and GELP are designed to different standards. Normally a candidate will gain a GELP in order to commence flying trying, but then after becoming familiar with aviation terminology, undergo an ELP assessment prior to obtaining their flight radio endorsement or PPL/CPL licence.
CASA approved GELP and AELP assessors will use the form, Notification of English Language Proficiency (ELP) (pdf 154.63 KB), when assessing or validating a candidate's English Language Proficiency for both GELP and aviation ELP.
If you require assistance with completing this form please contact the Client Services Centre.
The following pages will help you understand how these different standards may affect you.