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The Badge System

There are essentially two parts to the badge system. The Solo, Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsements to the Gliding Certificate (provided on application for the Solo Endorsement) issued by the BGA under UK requirements demonstrate piloting skills and knowledge. The sporting badges issued under UK and FAI requirements demonstrate soaring skills. Soaring is really what gliding is about - staying airborne using the energy provided by nature. It's great fun and provides an enormous sense of satisfaction to achieve the standards required. And particularly when your certificate arrives in the post!

The table below outlines the requirements and privileges for each of the badges. In the case of privileges, it should be noted that these are ultimately at the discretion of the Chief Flying Instructor of the site where you are flying.

The requirements here are not definitive - more precise definitions for Silver, Gold and Diamond Badges can be found in the FAI sporting code Section 3, or definitions for all badges can be found in Laws and Rules and also on the claim forms.

After diamond, there is a UK 750 kilometre diploma and the FAI issues diplomas for flights of 1000 kilometres or more in 250 kilometre increments.

For details of the requirements listed below, please refer to BGA Laws and Rules

Syllabus information is available here.

Badge Minimum Requirements Privileges Notes




Must be over 14 years old

Must demonstrate appropriate skills & knowledge following dual training and
show reasonable knowledge of the rules of the air, including local airspace rules

Demonstrates a standard of proficiency reached.

Training f light time minimum may be waived if a Private or Commercial Pilot's Licence is held or if you are a qualified services pilot.

An Air Cadet Vigilant solo flight can qualify providing the throttle remains closed after the takeoff and climb, and the flight is supervised on the ground by the Air Cadet A Category Instructor who signs the application form




Must be over 16 years old

Must have completed the training syllabus including solo flying requirement

Pass a flying skills test

Pass multiple choice written Air Law and General papers (on airmanship, meteorology, principles of flight, radiotelephony, navigation, etc)




Bronze Cross-Country Endorsement

Must have Bronze Badge and approval of the CFI.
Two soaring flights of at least 1 hour and one flight of at least 2 hours.
Field selection flight.
At least 2 successful approaches into fields.
Plan and fly a triangular task of at least 100km (in a glider, motorglider or light aircraft).

With the Bronze Badge, equivalent to a Private Pilot Licence and allows you to fly cross-country, and also allows you to apply for the Glider pilot's licence (not essential).  



Height - a gain of height of 1000 metres (3281 feet) or more.
Distance - a flight on a straight course of 50km or more.
Duration - a flight of 5 hours or more.
Minimum requirement to fly in a competition (for which an FAI sporting licence is needed). Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsement are needed before attempting the distance component.
UK 100km Diploma

Part 1: A pre-declared 100km triangle or out-and-return flight.
Part 2: Same as part 1, but with a handicapped speed of 65kph.

  Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsement are needed first.



Height - a gain of height of 3000 metres (9843 feet) or more.
Distance - a flight of 300km or more.
Duration - a flight of 5 hours or more
  Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsement are needed for the distance component
The flight for Silver duration can count for Gold.



Height - a gain of height of 5000 metres (16405 feet)
Goal - a goal flight of 300km or more over an out-and-return or triangular course
Distance - a flight of at least 500km
  Bronze and Cross-Country Endorsement is needed for the distance component.
It is considered a big achievement to gain "all three Diamonds"!

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