Validity periods of EASA theoretical knowledge examinations

By Erlend Vaage (Updated 2021-08-25)

I often get the question: “How long is my theory valid before I have to take my skill test?

The answer to this can be found here (Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 of 3 November 2011), but for your convenience; here it is (important stuff emphasized):

(c)   Validity period

(1)The successful completion of the theoretical knowledge examinations will be valid:

(i) for the issue of a light aircraft pilot licence, a private pilot licence, a sailplane pilot licence or a balloon pilot licence, for a period of 24 months;

(ii) for the issue of a commercial pilot licence or instrument rating (IR), for a period of 36 months;

(iii) the periods in (i) and (ii) shall be counted from the day when the pilot successfully completes the theoretical knowledge examination, in accordance with (b)(2).

And then you will have to pass your Skill Test (flight examination).

Here are the prerequisites:

FCL.030   Practical skill test

(a)   Before a skill test for the issue of a licence, rating or certificate is taken, the applicant shall have passed the required theoretical knowledge examination, except in the case of applicants undergoing a course of integrated flying training.

In any case, the theoretical knowledge instruction shall always have been completed before the skill tests are taken.

(b)   Except for the issue of an airline transport pilot licence, the applicant for a skill test shall be recommended for the test by the organisation/person responsible for the training, once the training is completed. The training records shall be made available to the examiner.