ICAO English Language Proficiency test
Since 5th March 2008, the ICAO requires, as defined in Annex 1 (Personnel Licencing), that certain Flight Crew Licence holders demonstrate an acceptable level of proficiency in the languages used in radiotelephony, including English. The level of language proficiency is determined by assessing the candidate’s ability to communicate using both standard phraseology and plain language. Both are essential for safe radiotelephony communications. The demonstration of plain language skills is especially important because many of the situations which are experienced in aeronautical communications cannot be handled by using only standard phraseology.
During the test, the candidate’s language skills are evaluated against the ICAO Rating scale criteria. The ICAO Rating Scale establishes six levels of language proficiency, ranging from Level 1, also known as Pre-Elementary, to Level 6 or Expert. Each level is defined by the performance in each of the following six areas: pronunciation, vocabulary, structure, fluency, comprehension and interaction. Level 4 (Operational) is the minimum acceptable level to obtain and exercise the privileges of most licences (the only exceptions being gliders and balloons).
The duration of the test is approximately 1 hour, including a 10 minute briefing. The test is composed of two parts. The first part is called the semi-direct part, which consists of 18 questions somewhat tailored to the candidate’s aviation experience. This will last 25 to 30 minutes. The second part is the interview, which will account for the last 15 minutes. The examiner will ask the candidate different questions, some of which may not be job or aviation related. The candidate can also ask the examiner questions as part of the conversation. The aim of the interview is to verify the linguistic performance demonstrated in the semi-direct part.
The certificate received is the ICAO English Language Proficiency, in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) 1178/2011 Appendix 1, EASA FCL.055 and ICAO Doc 9835.
There are no prerequisites to take the test. The test can be taken by a student pilot who does not yet hold a licence.
Only one candidate can be examined at once.
Online or in-person
It can be both online or in person.