Coronavirus update – Exams & Classroom courses

BGS is open – we’re accepting new students & orders   This page was last updated: 28/05/2020

Updated exam and revision course dates

Below is the schedule for exams and revision courses that have been confirmed so far. 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.

8 – 12 June (no change) Module 1 Revision week  via classroom video and live webinar.

15 – 17 June (no change) Austro Exams. Please be aware of our coronavirus precautions and the fact that we may refuse entry if you do not comply.

29 June – 03 July (new) Module 2 Revision week via classroom video and live webinar. Fixed Wing only.

6 – 9 July (no change) CAA exams at BGS. Late minute changes possible as CAA appear not to have planned for reduced capacity.

6 – 10 July (new) Module 1 Revision Week via classroom video and live webinar.

13 – 17 July (new) At Austro Control’s request, exams have been moved forward from 20 – 23 July. Students previously booked on 20 -23 July will have their exam bookings automatically moved to the same day of the week and time but on week commencing 13 July. This session will be open to BGS students only, unless a non BGS student had previously booked on the week of the 20 July. New bookings will be open to BGS students only.

20 – 23 July (new) As mentioned above, Austro exams are cancelled 20 – 23 July.

3 – 6 August CAA exams (TBC by CAA)

17 – 19 August Austro Exams are TBC. (Austro are unlikely to be able to run exams due to staffing issues.)

Revision courses 27 July onwards are TBC.

Easing of lockdown restrictions

The Government have now clarified the rules for easing the lockdown. The parts that particularly affect us are:

  • Social distancing remains in force
  • Schools, universities and further education colleges generally will not return, although there is a phased return for particular pupils allowed from the 1st of June
  • B&B and hotel accommodation will not be allowed to open until early July at the earliest

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. Live webinars are available throughout the working week and a library of recordings is also available. Only live webinars and tutorials 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 webinars do not.

If you have already attended a revision week at Bristol Groundschool this week credits you 32 hours and accelerators are 6.5 hours a day.  Therefore, if you have completed two revision weeks, discounting accelerators, you would need 1 hour of extra webinars.

Someone approaching Module 2 exams who has already done 1 revision course, discounting accelerators, would need 12 hours of webinars to hit the minimum.

Accelerator weekends (both days) count as 13 hours, or 6 hours 30 mins if you attended 1 day.

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

Webinars

A full list of our scheduled webinars is available here. Webinars are for students who study directly with us in Clevedon, and does include students of partner schools.

Classroom courses & exams

UK CAA Exams 

The UK CAA have cancelled their exam sittings up to and including mid-June. The next CAA exam sitting will be 6 – 8 July. Please note there are likely to be less seats per sitting available, due to maintaining social distancing. We are awaiting further information from the CAA about this. 

Candidates/ATO’s will receive an automated notification of cancellation and monies will be returned to their respective accounts

For a period of three months, from 16 March 2020 to 16 June 2020, the CAA will waive any fees normally incurred for cancellation and/or transfer to a future CAA examination sitting

The latest information from the CAA is available on their website.

Austro Control Exams

The option to run exams opens up from the beginning of June, but we are advised that strict social distancing measures will need to be adopted which might make it an unusual experience.

Accommodation – We are aware some students seem to be finding accommodation available to book. However, this is likely to be limited as there are not many hotels and B & B’s open yet that we are aware of. Candidates will also need to recognise that the lockdown may return and that our plans may need to change yet again at short notice.

Austro Control have confirmed that they are able to provide us with exam services for the 15th, 16th and 17th of June. We therefore intend to run an exam sitting on those days. This sitting is already fully booked, and the candidates who have booked on it will be getting email information about the conditions, including our social distancing requirements.

We feel we should give our students some precedence over those who attend other ATOs. With regret, therefore, we will not be accepting new bookings for Austro Control sittings from anyone other than BGS students for the forseeable future.  Existing bookings by non-BGS candidates will be honoured as far as we can. The Austro bookings site will be down until tomorrow, 19th May.

Classroom courses

All classroom courses up to the end of June are, again with regret, cancelled. The following contingency measures will be in place to ensure candidates meet the EASA requirement for classroom time and are adequately prepared for any exams booked with any EASA Authority:

  • Those expecting to attend the Module 3 revision courses planned for the week commencing the 26th of May will already have very nearly met the legal minimum amount of classroom time by attending earlier revision courses. They are invited to complete at least 1 more hour of the live webinars to hit the precise minimum, but of course you can participate in as many more as you wish.
  • Those expecting to attend the Module 2 revision course on the week commencing the 8th of June will already have accumulated some ‘spare’ classroom time towards the legal minimum but will be invited to complete at least another 12 hours of live webinars to hit the precise minimum.

If you are booked on one of these two courses and feel that you will have difficulty attending the live webinars but wish to count accelerator weekends attended as classroom time, please email info@bristol.gs with details of the accelerator days you wish to count.

  • Those expecting to attend the Module 1 revision course on the week commencing the 8th of June will be asked to attend the course online on the booked dates. Details to follow. Because this will be an online course, we can now offer additional places on this course for any other of our customers who need a Module 1 revision course. Please book on our website in the usual way – click here to book.

As further details are confirmed we will continue to update our website.

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

Getting close to your 18-month time limit?

UK CAA

Because Covid-19 has resulted in cancellations and delays to exams, candidates who have the UK as State of Licence Issue  (SOLI) and who have already started their Flight Crew Theoretical Knowledge Examinations will be 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 are detailed in ORS 4 NO 1353.

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

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:

The content of this “exemption” is an exception in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 Art 71 (1) to prevent negative consequences for civil aviation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions on individual freedom. This automatically extends by 4 months all deadlines set out in Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011, Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014 Annex III and Regulation (EU) 2015/340 and implementing acts adopted on the basis thereof, which expire within 4 months of the entry into force of this derogation.

As a result, all candidates who would have had the 18-month period to complete the theory test within the next four months will benefit from an automatic extension for a further four months. Should candidates continue to be affected by restrictions after this period, we will evaluate this and, if necessary, extend the period accordingly. All other affected deadlines will also be extended accordingly by the aforementioned period.

View the full Austro Control statement

IAA

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

 


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 are still being taken

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

Questions for our instructors

If any BGS students have questions for our instructors, please post it to our online discussion board, ATPforum. This way you can see if the question has already been asked, and other students can also benefit from seeing the discussion.

Public Health England advice

View UK Government guidance on coronavirus