CDP-C™ Online – Full PfCO Course
Featuring online instructor-led live classes and a remotely invigilated theory exam
This is an innovative remote learning course which allows you to study at a time and place which suits you and at your own pace. You will not need to take time away from work or travel to attend a classroom-based course. You will not have to sit through two to three days of classroom training. Instead, you will study using our Course Handbook, Online Learning System and a series of online ‘webinar’ style sessions delivered by one of our experienced instructors. These virtual classroom sessions give you an opportunity to interact directly with your instructor and other students. When you are ready you will then take your Theory Examination online (with remote invigilation) and be issued with your CAA recognised Remote Pilot Theoretical Knowledge Certificate. All of this can be done from your home at a time and pace to suit you.
The ONLY time you will need to travel is when you have your Flight Assessment
You can choose to enrol for the full CDP-C™ Online course or start with Stage 1 – Theory and then enrol for Stage 2 – Practical when you are ready.
Stage 1 – Theory
- Printed Course Handbook
- Online Learning with quizzes
- Online virtual-classroom sessions
- Mock Examinations to check your knowledge
- Formal Theory Examination is taken online
- Theory Certificate issued
Stage 2 – Practical
- Creation of your Operations Manual based on our Standard
- Our review, feedback and approval of your Ops Manual
- Flight Operations Assessment (half a day at one of our assessment locations)
- A final check of all documentation required for PfCO application
- Certificate of Recommendation issued
- PfCO application and issue
Once you have successfully completed all elements of the course you will hold a non-expiring CDP-C™ qualification and we will issue you with a Certificate of Recommendation which will allow you to apply to the CAA for a Permission for Commercial Operations. As soon as this has been received you will be able to start flying your drone commercially.
UK Pilots License holders are exempt from Stage 1 and can gain
I have just completed the online PFCO course with the UAV Academy and from start-to-finish, the experience has been fantastic. I would recommend the online course to anyone who cannot take time away from family and work as it gives you the opportunity to learn at your own pace. Andrew Bailey has been there for me every step of the way giving support where needed and sharing real-life experiences. This course has been the stepping stone needed to start my own aerial photography business.Andrew Poole
full PfCO Course
(Stage 1 and Stage 2)
£498 (incl. VAT)
Stage 1 – Theory Only
£300 (incl. VAT)
Stage 2 – Practical
£300 (incl. VAT)
Only available when Stage 1
has been completed or if you hold
a UK Pilots License
Please Note: There is an application fee, currently £253, payable to the CAA when you submit your PfCO application. CAA fees are not subject to VAT.
– New for 2019 –
Free Flight Assessment Insurance.
We provide free £1m public liability and up to £3,000 hull cover for your Flight Operations Assessment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of using Online Learning?
You save money by not having to take time away from your work or business and you also will not be incurring any travel and accommodation costs. Running our courses online also means that we can keep our costs low because we are not having to rent space to run a classroom-based course. This means that we can keep the course fee much low too.
Learn at a place and pace to suit you
Our CDP-C™ Online course can be accessed from any location using a laptop, tablet or smartphone. All that is needed is an Internet connection. This means that you can use any available spare time to learn and you can work through the lessons as many times as you like.
Keep track of your progress
We use one of the most sophisticated Learning Management Systems (LMS) available. The system continuously updates your progress as you work through the course. You just log into your dashboard and can see your progress at a glance.
Learn in private
Some people prefer to study in private rather than being part of a group in a classroom environment. With our CDP-C™ Online course, you can study by yourself and at a pace that works for you.
What are the 'virtual lessons'?
We use a web-based conferencing system called GoToTraining to run instructor-led lessons and workshops to supplement the learning you do online. We schedule regular sessions which you can register for and we do not limit the number of times you can participate in these sessions. They will cover topics like air law and operations planning in depth and give you the opportunity to ask questions and enter into discussion with your instructor and fellow students. You can expect to attend approximately 4 hours of these sessions as part of Stage 1 of your course.
What are the subjects I will be learning about?
The course covers the following topics
- Air Law and Pilot Responsibilities
- Maps and Navigation
- Airspace – Operating Principles
- Aircraft Knowledge
- Battery Management
- Human Factors
- Airmanship and Aviation Safety
- Planning and Operating Procedures
This is the syllabus set down by the UK CAA as being required for the theoretical part of the training required for the issue of a UK Permission for Commercial Operations
Is there a printed course handbook?
Yes, when you enrol on the course we post to you our 90-page high quality printed and bound course handbook. This is a great supplement to your online learning.
Where and when do I take my Theory Examination?
We are the only training provider authorised by the CAA to conduct remotely invigilated theory examinations. This means that you can take your theory exam at a place and time to suit you. You will need a Windows or Mac computer with a working webcam, speakers and microphone. You have a chance before you take your exam to practice using the computer-based exam system. You will know your results immediately you finish the exam and will be sent a CAA recognised Theory Competence Certificate.
How do I write my 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 its contents. We provide you with The UAV Academy Standard which will ensure that you are able to create your own Operations Manual quickly and easily. We will review your draft Operations Manual, give you feedback on it, and ultimately approve it as meeting current CAA standards. When you take your Flight Operations Assessment your Examiner will ask you questions about the procedures in your Operations Manual.
What can I expect when I take my Flight Operations Assessment?
Everything you have learnt during Stage 1 of the course come to together for the last part of the course which is a Flight Operations Assessment (FOA). This will take the form of an imaginary client request for Aerial imagery. We will send you a client brief, with details about the location and what you are being asked to do. You will agree a date for your FOA with your Examiner and then will need to demonstrate to the Examiner that you are capable of operating using the procedures set out in your Operations Manual and that you as Remote Pilot have the flying skills necessary to conduct the flight competently and safely whilst operating within the rules and regulations laid down by the CAA.
At some point during your FOA, you are likely to have to deal with a couple of simulated emergencies which will be given to you by the examiner. If your aircraft is capable of being switched into ATTI mode (no GPS position hold) you will be asked to demonstrate that you are capable of flying your drone without GPS position holding.
You must take your FOA within six months of passing the Theory Examination. If you are not able to do this we will ask you to complete the Online Learning again and you will be charged an additional fee of £200 + VAT.
Once you have successfully completed your Flight Operations Assessment we will submit your Operations Manual and our recommendation to the CAA who will, in due course, issue you with your Permission for Commercial Operations.
Where can I take my Flight Operations Assessment?
Currently, we have the following Flight Assessment and Training sites:
- Northern Ireland
- West Sussex
How long does it take to complete the course?
It is possible to complete Stage 1, the theory part of the course, in just a few days, or you can just take as much time as you like or need. The choice is yours. On average we believe that our students spend about 20 hours studying to complete Stage 1.
Once you have completed Stage 1 there is no reason why you cannot complete Stage 2 within a few days. You Operations Manual does not need to take longer than just a few hours to complete. Once approved you can book to take your Flight Ops Assessment and our availability is excellent, so you should not need to wait more than a few days.