The Professional Aviation
   Board Of Certification


This page briefly addresses the following questions:

What is the Global Professional Pilot Certification (GPPC)?

The GPPC is an international certification program (scheme) that helps ensure air transport safety by: 

  • Setting pre-employment training standards for professional pilots.
  • Testing pilots to ensure they meet those standards.
  • Establishing criteria for keeping the certification current over time.
  • Administering the program in a manner that ensures the exam is fair, effective, current and secure.

The scope and depth of these new entry-level professional knowledge standards will be equivalent to or more rigorous than those specified by state regulators for the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) written examination.

The GPPC exam will test candidates' technical and non-technical (NoTech)  knowledge and their ability to effectively apply that information in dealing with generic operational situations. It will be:

  • Based on the standards used for development of ICAO's Multi-crew Pilot License (MPL).
  • Written and validated by highly experienced professional airline and business pilots, instructor pilots and evlauators.
  • Compliant with strict standard-setting, test design and administration criteria specified by the International Standards Organization in ISO Standards 17021 and 17024, which are the basis for certifying professional practitioners in many other high consequence career fields, such as health care, engineering, architecture, accounting, etc.   

What does the GPPC do for me?

Each of the seven (7) stakeholders benefits from the GPPC in different ways:

  • Educators need a baseline standard for the training they design and deliver to aspiring professional pilots. This baseline:
  • Defines the scope and depth of the knowledge, skill and competence expected of their students in each subject area.
  • Stablilizes their training footprint and costs.
  • Distinguishes high quality training programs by the proven performance of their graduates on the GPPC exam.
  • Employers need a reliable baseline for determining which applicants are well-qualified to enter their initial, new hire training programs.
  • Insurers need reliable criteria on which to base risk assessments.
  • Manufacturers need to ensure that their equipment is properly used.
  • Pilots need clear guidance about employer expectations of professional pilots in order to select a training provider and make sound career choices.
  • The Public has a right to expect their flights to be conducted by well-prepared, professional pilots, and competency-based training is the key to achieving that objective.
  • Regulators need a way to reliably assure that pre-employment training and testing of candidate pilots is current, comprehensive, effective, rigorous, fair and secure in order to support the state's requirements for licensure of its professional workforce. 

What does it cost?

As an Industry: The following are best estimates of the expected costs involved in launching and sustaining the GPPC program to the point that it is financially self-sustaining. 

  • The average annual cost for the first five (5) years of development and operation is $1.6 million (USD).
  • Test revenues are expected to enable the program to be fully self-sustaining in the fourth year of operation.

Based on current test reqirements for the Multi-crew Pilot License and the ATPL, the GPPC examination is expected to be comprised of at least eight (8) separate tests.

As a Candidate PIlot: The individual cost for pilots to sit for this series of examinations is currently estimated to be $1200 (USD).

Actual costs for the program and/or examinations may be higher or lower depending on a number of factors including:

  • Financial and in-kind contributions made by stakeholders and states that help reduce development and operating costs; i.e., providing subject matter experts, non-revenue travel for team members, use of industry facilities including communication and IT systems, etc.
  • Program requirements specified by stakeholders.
  • Rate of acceptance where:
  • GPPC standards are adopted for use in developing training courses, materials and devices.
  • The GPPC exam is used by:
  • Employers for screening new hire applicants.
  • Regulators for testing pilot knowledge as one part of their licensure process.

When will the standards and exam be available?

Standards in the 1st Year

When funded, the standard-setting phase of development will take approximately one (1) year, after which the standards will be made available for use by all stakeholders.

Exam in the 2nd Year

It will take an additional year to write and validate the GPPC exam, after which testing will commence. As part of that process, information about the exam and practice test materials will be made available for stakeholders as well.  

Will all pilots be required to take the exam?

No. The GPPC is a voluntary professional certification program. Employers will be free to hire a non-certified pilot if that individual is more compatible with the employer's corporate culture than a GPPC-certified applicant. 

We anticipate that:

  • New pilots will want to use the GPPC to gain a competitive advantage over other applicants by obtaining this credible proof of their preparedness to enter the industry.
  • Employers will list the GPPC as a "preferred" or "strongly preferred" credential in their pilot selection process.
  • Some employers may require experienced candidate pilots to take the GPPC exam as a way to satisfy regulatory or insurance reqirements.  

Because the test is voluntary, the GPPC will be awarded only to pilots who have passed the required exams. As the certifying body responsible for this credential, PABC's Board of Directors will set this and other test related policies and requirements.