UK CAA Approved training

Training to gain your UK CAA Permission for Commercial Operations for aircraft up to 20kg

If you’re considering a move into this exciting new industry, we offer a course leading to a Commercial Pilot qualification which will enable you to gain your CAA Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO). If you’re an established aerial filming professional looking to grow and expand your business, we are developing post qualification courses designed around specific industries and technologies that are fuelling the growth in this sector.

When you successfully complete our CDP-C™ (Certified Drone Pilot – Commercial) course we issue with a Certificate of Recommendation which allows you to apply to the CAA for your PfCO. You will also have gained your CDP-C™ qualification which is non-expiring


We offer you two different ways of completing the CDP-C™ course: –

CDP-C™ Online is an innovative remote learning course which allows you to study at your own pace and at a time and place which suits you. You will not need to take time off work or spend valuable time travelling to attend a classroom-based course. You will study using our Course Handbook and Online Learning System. Once you have completed the online course, you will participate in a series of GoToTraining virtual classroom sessions which give you an opportunity to interact directly with your Instructor and other students. When you are ready you will take your Theory Examination online and if successful you will be issued your Remote Pilot Certificate of Theoretical Training.

CDP-C™ Ground School if you prefer more traditional, face-to-face training this is the course for you. This option combines online learning with a two-day classroom-based ‘Ground School’. You and your fellow students will be trained by one of our experienced Instructors. You will have plenty of interaction time and to immerse yourself in everything ‘drone’. The Theory Examination is taken at the end of the two day Ground School.

Course Structure

The CDP-C™ course has two stages. Stage 1 is theoretical and concludes with an examination.  Stage 2 is practical, consisting of the creation of your Operations Manual and finally a Flight Operations Assessment.

Stage 1 - Theory

You will cover the theory syllabus set down by the UK CAA. The course is made up of the following modules: –

Course Modules

  • Air Law and Responsibilities
  • Maps and Navigation
  • Airspace – Operating Principles
  • Aircraft Knowledge
  • Battery Management
  • Human Factors
  • Meteorology
  • Airmanship
  • Aviation Safety
  • Planning and Operating Procedures

On completion of your studies, you will take an invigilated theory examination which validates that you have a sound working knowledge of the subject matter set out in the CAA syllabus. The examination has 50 questions which you have 60 minutes to answer. The pass mark is 80%. The course is structured and delivered so as to ensure that you have the required knowledge to pass the exam by the time you come to sit it! You are also able to have two attempts at a ‘mock examination’ online before you attempt the formal examination.

When you pass the examination you will receive a ‘Certificate of Competence in Remote Pilot Theoretical Knowledge & General Airmanship Syllabus’ which is recognised by the UK CAA.

Stage 2 – Practical
Once you have passed the theory examination you move on to the practical application of the theory which you have learned in Stage 1. This starts with the creation of an Operations Manual and finishes with your Flight Operations Assessment with one of our Flight Examiners.

Operations Manual
Your Operations Manual is a very important document and it is crucially important that it is written well and that you are familiar with the contents.  We provide you with our own Operations Manual Standard, which meets all CAA requirements and will enable you to create a first draft your own Operations Manual quickly and easily. We review your draft and may give you feedback and suggestions to ensure that your Ops Manual is to the highest standard. When we are happy with it, we will approve it and you will then be able to book to your Flight Operations Assessment.

Flight Operations Assessment
This is the final part of the CDP-C™ Course. You spend half a day with one of our Flight Examiners and during that time you will demonstrate that you can competently plan and execute a mock commercial drone operation. The FOA is not just about being able to fly your drone, you will need also to show that you have good knowledge of your aircraft and its systems and that you can operate procedurally.

Once you have passed your Flight Operations Assessment we issue you with a Certificate of Recommendation which is recognised by the CAA as evidence that you have completed the course and been assessed as competent to operate a drone commercially.

Course Outcome

Once you have successfully completed all elements of the course you will hold a CDP-C™ qualification and we will apply on your behalf to the CAA for the grant of a standard Permission for Commercial Operations. As soon as this has been received and you have public liability insurance in place you will be able to start flying your UAV commercially.

Call us

Please feel free to call us on 01285 610038 to discuss any aspect of our course or the process of gaining your PfCO. It is an important decision and we are here to help you understand what is involved.

If you hold a UK Pilots Licence

If you hold a UK issued PPL, CPL or ATPL, provided that it has been ‘current’ since January 1st 2010, you are exempt from having to attend the theory part of the PfCO course.  You would complete Stage 2 (Operations Manual and Flight Operations Assessment). We also give you access to some of the drone specific courses on our Online Learning System.  To enrol please call our office on 01285 610038