CAA Approved Drone Training Course (PfCO)

Comprehensive training for drone operators seeking CAA approval.

3 Days
£600 ex. VAT

Commercial drone training course for pilots looking to attain their PfCO from the CAA.

This course delivers the skills and knowledge required to operate a drone commercially, and meets the CAA requirements for attaining Permissions for Commercial Operations (PfCO). Our Commercial Remote Pilot Qualification (CRPQ) includes:

  • Mix of theoretical and practical exercises
  • Templates and guidance for operation manuals
  • Professional flight assessment
  • Free extension for night flying
  • DJI Enterprise discounts on commercial equipment

Our courses are tailored for professional industrial inspections, and provide industry-focused advice and guidance for a wide range of sensors and applications.

View Upcoming Dates
  • CAA Approved
    This course is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.

  • 0% Finance
    Interest-free finance is available for this course.

CAA Approved NQE

Course Content

Day 1

• UAS Airspace Operating Procedures
• Airmanship & Aviation Safety
• Human Factors
• UK Air Law

Day 2

• Meteorology
• Charts and Navigation
• Aircraft Knowledge
• Practical Exercises

Day 3

• Operating Procedures
• Practical Planning Exercise
• Operations Manual
• Theory Exam

Course Details

The Commercial Remote Pilot Qualification (CRPQ) is a 3-day training course for new drone pilots. The course teaches delegates how to operate a drone safely and commercially.

Using both practical and theoretical exercises, this course delivers a comprehensive, hands-on drone training experience for pilots looking to attain their PfCO from the CAA. The course trains delegates how to pilot and navigate the airspace around them in accordance with CAA regulations.

The CAA Approved CRPQ courses’ main topics include:

  • Drone Operating Procedures
  • Fundamentals of Air Law
  • Airmanship and Aviation Safety
  • Human Factors and Considerations
  • Basics of Meteorology
  • Charts and Navigation
  • Operating Procedures
  • Operations Manual Guidance

Successful completion of the course and flight assessment will give delegates the skills and knowledge to create a CAA-compliant Operations Manual. This manual can then be used to to apply for Permissions for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the CAA.

Further practical exercises (weather permitting) may feature within this course. These exercises are seperate to the flight assessment, with any UAV flying being conducted by our instructors. As such, delegates will not need to own a drone for the first 3-days of the course. Delegates will, however, need to own an aircraft for their flight assessment.

Our drone training courses are industry-focused, providing extra insight and guidance for commercial applications. This is why our PfCO training is different to the rest. As commercial surveyors and inspectors, our instructors have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can’t be found at any other training centre.

The course fee includes a student study guide, templates, tuition and daily lunch & refreshments. Our team can also provide extra guidance for night flying operations – at no extra charge.

A drone will be required for completing both the Operations Manual and Flight Assessment.

As a DJI Enterprise dealer, we provide commercial UAV platforms for drone training. We also offer exclusive discounts for our studying members.

There are four main steps for becoming a CAA approved drone pilot:

1. NQE Drone Training

Delegates must first attend a training course delivered by a National Qualified Entity (NQE) such as iRed. An NQE is a training centre that has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority to deliver commercial drone training.

This form of training is commonly referred to as drone pilot ground school.

2. Operations Manual

After completing the course, delegates will have the knowledge required to create an Operations Manual. This manual is based on your specific drone, and will provide guidance as to how to safely operate it for commercial applications.

Once completed, your manual is then submitted to iRed for assessment. This is when our instructors will provide guidance and feedback before final CAA submission.

3. Flight Assessment

Once your Operations Manual has been successfully reviewed by iRed, you’ll be able to attend your flight assessment. This can be attended up to a year after course completion, and involves conducting practical flight movements with your drone.

We also offer one free re-sit for all flight assessments.

4. CAA Application

When both your Operations Manual and Flight Assessment have been successful completed, we’ll provide you with a ‘letter of recommendation’. This can then be submitted – along with your manual and CRPQ certificate – to the CAA for approval.

PfCO approval can take up to 28 days, and is not a guarantee. However, a ‘letter of recommendation’ is essential for those applying for a PfCO.

As of 2018, the CAA fees for unmanned aircraft permissions are as follows:

  • Initial Application Fee: £247.00
  • Annual Renewal Fee: £185.00

To find out more about registration fees and the application process, please visit

As a DJI Enterprise Partner, we’re able to provide students with the latest in aerial surveying equipment. Our team of technical integrators can recommend appropriate drones, advise on a range of sensors and create bespoke platforms.

Students attending the Commercial Remote Pilot Qualification course will have exclusive members access to discounts on the iRed Store.

Once the course has been completed and your Operations Manual has been successfully reviewed by our instructors, delegates will be able to attend their flight assessment.

Delegates are only able to attend their flight assessment after their Operations Manual has been submitted. Flight assessments can be taken up until 90 days after course completion.

Flight assessments are included within the course cost, and can be booked during the course.

Operations Manual

During the course, delegates will receive guidance on how to create an Operations Manual for their drone. This manual – along with your Commercial Remote Piloting Qualification – is what needs to be submitted for your PfCO application.

Further Information

Those attending the first 3-days of the course are not required to bring a drone or any remote sensors. All equipment for training will be provided for the duration of the course.

Delegates are required to bring their own drone for their flight test, which is to be scheduled after they complete their operations manual.


We’ve delivered over 15,000 days of training for local authorities, public bodies and global brands.

“Very good knowledge provided during the course and lots of information attained. The course very much exceeded expectations.”

Jamie Taylor, Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)

“Fantastic course, instructed by some of the most knowledgeable people in industry. Both theory based and vocational, it’s a great mix of both.”

Robert Wade, Condor Ferries

“Course thoroughly met our expectations and gave us great confidence in our ability to use and understand our thermal camera.”

Chris Davies, Eastwood Media

“The instructors were well informed, engaging and balanced the practical training with the theoretical training. Highly recommended to anyone seeking to improve their skills.”

Vasileios Sougkakis, University of Nottingham

Upcoming Courses

Interested in bespoke training? Enquire Now

How to book

To book on a course, choose from the available dates and complete the booking form. During the booking form, you will be able to choose accreditation options, payment options (ELCAS, invoice or credit/debit card) and inform us of any dietary requirements.

Got questions about this course?

Contact our training team:

[email protected]
01243 370 296

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Start a new career as a drone pilot.

Commercial drone training course for pilots looking to attain their PfCO from the CAA.

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