CDP-C™ Ground School

full PfCO course

Two days in the classroom for those who prefer a more traditional face-to-face approach to training

If you feel that you would enjoy interacting with an Instructor and fellow students, in-depth discussions and sharing of experiences, then the CDP-C™ Ground School course is the right choice for you.

Course Structure

Stage 1 (Theory) of this course is comprised of online learning, a printed course handbook and two days of Instructor-led classroom-based theory training (Ground School) culminating in you taking a Theory Examination. Stage 2 (Practical) requires you to create an Operations Manual (using our Standard) and a half-day practical Flight Operations Assessment.

Successful completion of our CDP-C™ Ground School course leads to us making a Recommendation to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for you to be granted a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO).

Preparatory Study
Once you have enrolled for the course we will register you on our Online Training System and send you the printed Course Handbook. You will be expected to have read the Course Handbook and completed the online training before attending your Ground School. This should take around 10 hours of study. The preparatory learning is important because not all the theory modules will be covered in detail during the Ground School. We prefer to use the valuable Ground School time to focus on those modules which we believe cannot be adequately covered online.
Ground School & Theory Exam
You will spend two days in a classroom with one of our highly experienced instructors covering the CAA syllabus. The Ground School will finish with you taking a closed-book, Multiple-choice examination. There are 50 questions in the examination, for each question you have to pick the correct answer from 4 possible answers; there will only be one correct answer. 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 attend the Ground School.
Operations Manual Creation, Review and Approval
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 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.
Flight Operations Assessment

Everything you have learnt on Ground School and the procedures you set out in your Operations Manual 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. You will also need to demonstrate to your Examiner that you are capable of flying your aircraft without GPS position hold (ATTI Mode).

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.

Course Modules

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

Course Outcome

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 and you have public liability insurance in place you will be able to start flying your drone commercially.

Ground School Schedule

Hartham Park, Wiltshire

12-13 February, 2019
(+ VAT)


18-19 February, 2019
(+ VAT)

Hartham Park, Wiltshire

12-13 March, 2019
(+ VAT)

Please Note: There is an application fee, currently £247, payable to the CAA when you submit your PfCO application. CAA fees are not subject to VAT.