Coronavirus update – Exams & Classroom courses

Bristol Groundschool formalises ONLINE training for full ATPL course

To keep candidates and staff safe, we require anyone sitting exams at BGS to follow our updated Terms and Conditions, as well as our social distancing measures. Please read them here.

Online revision weeks

The Revision Weeks are continuing as programmed but will be conducted online, following the normal Revision Week timetables starting daily at 08:30 and concluding at 16:40, Monday to Friday until further notice. As Government and NHS guidelines develop we will continue to review the situation and when able to offer classroom tuition once again we will also offer this as an additional option.

Revision weeks are available to BGS students who’ve purchased a module or full course through by registering here.

Crediting webinars and online tutorials to ‘classroom time’

The UK CAA have allowed us to replace the classroom courses with online learning so that the mandatory 10% of course time can still be credited.  Online webinars are available throughout the working week and an extensive library of recordings is also available. Only live webinars and revision weeks can be counted towards the classroom time. This permission goes with our approval and means that webinars can be used prior to exams with any EASA State.

Classroom hours requirement

You must complete a total of 650 hours of learning for your ATPL theory. 10% (65 hours) of this must be ‘classroom time’. This works out at a minimum of just under 22 hours per Module.

Currently live webinars can count towards the classroom hours requirement, but recorded lessons do not.

If you have already attended a revision week at Bristol Groundschool this week credits you 32 hours.  Therefore, if you have completed two revision weeks, you would need 1 hour of extra classroom tuition.

Someone approaching Module 2 exams who has already done 1 revision course would need 12 hours of classroom tuition to hit the minimum.

Students will be able to add up their current attendance to work out their remaining hours requirement before sitting the exams.

Getting close to your 18-month time limit?


In 2020, due to delays caused by Covid-19, the CAA issued ORS 1425 granting an extension to the 18 month deadline for the completion of the Flight Crew Theoretical Knowledge Examinations. That exemption has now expired but, due to the current Covid crisis was replaced on 14 January 2021 by ORS 1464 granting a further extension (details below).

Updated 22 January 2021

CAA Publication notification service: Covid-19: Theoretical knowledge examination completion period.

The CAA issued an information notice extending the 18 month period for the completion of all Theoretical Knowledge exams for those candidates who had sat at least one exam before 19 March 2020.  The extension appears to expire on 18 November 2020 and candidates who have not already requested an extension must do so; see the full details on the CAA document here.

The UK CAA have issued an exemption extending the 18 month exam validity period to 31 May 2021 with some conditions.  The extension is automatic for those who comply with the text of this ORS 1464 extension. Therefore, no individual applications are required from such candidates.

Other States have made similar announcements extending deadlines by between 4 and 6 months.

The CAA have recently issued exemption ORS4 1488 for the extension of validity periods of theoretical knowledge exams and training for the issue of licences and type rating.

Austro Control

With reference to the constant changes and restrictions in connection with the outbreak of Covid-19, we would like to inform you about the current developments regarding our examination centres. Austro Control has submitted to EASA an “Exemption” based on Article 71(1), which we would like to add accordingly:

All candidates who have taken at least one examination with Austro Control GmbH before 23 March 2020 shall be granted an automatic 6 month extension to the 18 month period.

Update from Austro Control on the 22/01/21

Based on the current pandemic developments and as a reaction to the extension of the various national lockdown regulations, we have received the information by many of our exam centres that exam sessions had to be cancelled.

Austro Control GmbH will therefore extend the deadline for taking the exam by a further 2 months for each candidate who has already started exams under our responsibility .

In total, including the extension granted so far, candidates of Austro Control will now have 26 months instead of 18 months to take the entire set of theory subjects.

For details please refer to the corresponding Civil Aviation Personnel Notice ( ZPH FCL 16 ) on our homepage.

In this context, however, we must explicitly point out that although the extension is in line with EASA recommendations, individual member states do not have to accept the mentioned extension of cut off dates. Therefore, after completion of the theory examinations, the licence issuing authority of the respective country in which the licence is applied for may refuse to accept the theory certificate. Although this is unlikely, we must urge each candidate to contact the authority to which the licence is finally applied for before taking up the extension.

          Please note that the implementation of the ECQB 2020 on 1st of April 2021 is not affected.

We hope to be able to react adequately to the ongoing closure of the examination rooms and ask for your understanding for the measures taken.


The IAA have also permitted an additional 6 months to complete their exam series extending it from 18 to 24 months. Details on the conditions of this exemption and how to request it are in their statement

View the IAA statement


UK CAA and Austro Control exams

The Austro exam sittings in February at BGS will run as planned, with some caveats. Candidates are required to be symptom free on arrival and to show us a negative PCR or lateral flow test in the previous 72 hours or evidence of double vaccination before arrival for their first exam. The test cannot be from a home testing kit because we need to see an official test result, it needs to be from an official lateral flow testing centre. There are test centres across the country, results usually in 30 minutes and the results are texted to your phone. Social distancing will be observed throughout following the procedures we have had in place for some time, details on this page.

Accommodation is available, at least at the Bristol Airport Hilton and Warren Village, but quite possibly elsewhere as well.

Please visit the links to read the exam information and timetables for exam sittings with Austro control and UK CAA exams.


Easing of lockdown restrictions

While hotels and B&Bs have started to reopen, social distancing remains in force, including at Bristol Groundschool when conducting exams.

We are running online revision weeks for BGS students who’ve purchased a full course or module – find out more on our revision courses page.

If anyone has any other questions or difficulties with this please contact Alex Whittingham by email at to discuss.

Alex talks to Pilot Career News about training and webinars

Advice for students

Head to our blog to look at our general advice for students who are in flight training, about to start, or have just finished. View the post here.

For specific information about exams and revision weeks at BGS, please scroll up.

Online orders

We are continuing to process and dispatch any orders made through our website. We will update this page in the event that this changes.

Public Health England advice

View UK Government guidance on coronavirus