AOPA (UK) Ground Instructor Certificate

AOPA (UK) Ground Instructor Certificate is a qualification available to anyone who wants to give instruction in the ground subjects associated with the PPL or NPPL

Help improve the status and quality of instruction and training in the technical subjects for the PPL / LAPL / NPPL


It is a qualification attainable by an individual who undertakes to give instruction in the ground subjects associated with the PPL, LAPL or the NPPL. The purpose of the certificate is to improve the status and quality of instruction and training in the technical subjects for the PPL / LAPL / NPPL. In addition, it would allow an FI who may have lost his licence to continue to teach PPL / LAPL / NPPL subjects on the ground

Pre-Entry Requirements

(a) Normally hold or have held within the last 10 years a PPL

(b) Have attained the age of 18 years

(c) Complete a registration form and paid the appropriate fee to AOPA

(d) Pass a pre-entry written examination

Pre-Entry Examination

This is a 2 hour multi-choice examination consisting of 50 questions covering the PPL theoretical knowledge syllabus. The pass mark is 75%. A pass in the examination is valid for a maximum of 6 months during which the candidate must commence the Ground Instructor Course. Candidates who do not pass the examination at the first attempt may re-sit the examination


To give training to the applicant in teaching and learning and in theoretical knowledge instruction in order to be able to give ground tuition for the PPL / LAPL / NPPL and such associated ratings which the applicant may also hold e.g. IMC rating / IR (Restricted)


The applicant must be able:

(a) To explain the importance of human factors in the application of theoretical knowledge to flying

(b) To understand adults needs, their behavioural attitudes and be able to assess their variable levels of education

(c) To explain the technical subjects as per the PPL syllabus

(d) To decribe the principles of basic instruction and be able to apply them at PPL level

(e) To discuss flight safety as it is related to the ground instructor's task

Course Description

It must be undertaken at an ATO which is a corporate member of AOPA approved to conduct courses for the FI rating. The instruction shall be given by an FIC (Flight Instructor Course) authorised instructor and will consist of lectures, tutorials and directed private study. The course may be attended full or part time. At present there are no credits towards any EASA instructor certificates


The mandatory training for the certificate requires a minimum of 63 hours of theoretical knowledge instruction. The subjects covered during the course will include Teaching and Learning and Training Administration and the following theoretical knowledge subjects from the PPL syllabus:

Air Law, Aeroplane General Knowledge, Flight Performance and Planning, Human Performance and Limitations, Meteorology, Navigation, Operational Procedures, Principles of Flight and Communications.

During the course the student instructor will practise giving ground lectures in the above subjects from the PPL syllabus to other students or the FIC instructor giving the course.

Ground Instructor Assessment of Competence

On satisfactory completion of the training the applicant must pass a Ground Instructor Assessment of Competence with an FIE (Flight Instructor Examiner) or FIC instructor. The contents of the test include:

(a) Theoretical Knowledge lesson not exceeding 45 mins given to the examiner or to other students one of whom will be the examiner (Subject chosen from the PPL syllabus)

(b) Oral examination covering Teaching and Learning and subjects from the PPL syllabus

(c) Result and applicant de-brief


3 years

Exemptions / Credits

The table summarises the exemptions and credits for the AOPA (UK) Ground Instructor Certificate

Pass Pre-Entry Exam
Attend Ground Instructor Course
Pass Ground Instructor Skill Test
Yes but reduced by 25 hours
CPL / ATPL Ground Exams
FI (A) lapsed within last 6 years
FI (A) lapsed more than 6 years


There are 2 methods of revalidating the certificate within the 3 year period of validity:

Pass a revalidation Ground Instructor Assessment of Competence with an FIC instructor or FIE


Attend an Instructor Refresher Seminar


To renew a certificate which is no longer valid:

Pass a Ground Instructor Assessment of Competence with an FIC instructor or FIE


AOPA Ground Instructor Certificate Syllabus
PPL (A) Syllabus
NPPL (A) Syllabus



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