So you want to use drones for commercial purposes?

There is no such thing as a “Drone Licence”. However, you are required to have a Permission for Commercial Operation’s (PfCO) if you wish to fly drones for any form of renumeration. A PfCO can only be issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In order to apply for a PfCO, you need to successfully complete this course to demonstrate that you are able to safely operate a drone in accordance with guidelines set by the CAA.

HALO Drones is a fully approved Recognised Assessment Entity (RAE), formally known as an NQE, with the CAA which allows us to provide training and assessments in order to issue you with your certificate which enables you to apply for a PfCO.

How this course differs from its competitors

Training & Assessment

No more death by PowerPoint

HALO Drones is the only CAA approved drone training school to use Practical and Scenario based training methods as the foundations of our course design. These keep you engaged and put content into context, making it relevant, understandable and memorable.

Cost Savings

100% Extra Value

Rather than giving you content to remember, our training methods help you develop skills that will allow you to apply your knowledge on the job so that you can present yourself with confidence and competence in front of your clients, helping you win work and separate yourself from your competitors. 

Experienced Instructors

Drone-specific expert instructors

Our instructors are all current commercial drone pilots. Combined, they have thousands of logged hours of operational experience for your learning benefit. They have also successfully taught over 1,000 commercial drone operators within the UK.


Maximum class sizes

We do not operate as a meat factory and minimize the number of attendees to no more than 6. This ensures substantial contact time between you and your and instructor, to ensure you have the attention they need and a chance to ask important questions.

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Call our experts

Click the following link to discuss what works best for you

Course Locations

A revolutionary approach to drone training

We believe learning should be fun! We have used our expertise and experience to redesign the concept of what is considered a normal course. We have incorporated modern adult learning and assessment methodologies which will accelerate your learning, so that you are better prepared for the competitive and challenging world of commercial drones.

We have given a lot of consideration to the logistics of our course and ensure it represents good value for money. This means we provide a lot of learning hours with minimal contact time ensuring expenses are minimised, and people can fit the course into their busy lives.

There really isn’t another course like HALO’s GVC Course.

Halo flight preparation
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What is included?

  • All reference materials, workbooks & handouts
  • 2 day ground school (Webinar and Face to Face options now available)
  • All day refreshments and lunch both days (Face to Face)
  • Guidance on how to complete your Operations manual and 3 reviews
  • Theory exam & flight assessment*
  • Certificate of recommendation

* Retests are charged in addition to the course fee.


"One of the best courses I have ever been part of. Very well designed course, on which I learned as much as possible in two days. Great material, very inspiring and engaging instructor, who not only answered all of our questions with great proficiency and support, but really helped us learn in an effective team. This course will really give you a solid foundation in all aspects of commercial drone operations, that will help you get a huge leap in the market. Worth every penny. Great job!"

Oliver Wagner Skyports

Course Details

  • Who should attend this course?

    Whether you intend to progress your hobby, become a pilot for an existing drone company, start a new business or add drones to your existing one, this course has been specifically designed for people looking to fly drones for commercial purposes.

    This is the higher level of training for commercial drone pilots and is aimed at beginners who either have little or no prior experience with drones. Therefore, there is no requirement for any pre-existing knowledge or qualifications.

  • Course Objectives

    To provide sufficient knowledge to pass theory and flight assessments. To provide a framework for operations through scenario based experiential teaching and the development of the operations manual template. To teach you to be self-sufficient (learn how to find the information rather than memorise it).

  • Course Outcomes

    Once you have submitted an approved operations manual and are successful in passing both the theory and flight assessments, you will receive a GVC Certificate. This can be used in the application for a PfCO or allow you to operate for another drone operator.

  • Course Content

    The following areas of knowledge will be covered: Airmanship Air Law Airspace Meteorology Human Factors Aircraft Knowledge This syllabus is mandated by the CAA for all RAE’s. By the end of this course you will understand and be able to apply the knowledge required to make you a competent and safe drone pilot.

  • Course Prerequisites

    No prior knowledge or experience is required prior to booking onto this course, although if you do have experience it will be beneficial. The minimum age for attendance is 16 for pilots flying for a company with an existing PfCO. The minimum age for applying for a PfCO is 18 years of age. The drone that you conduct your flight assessment with must be the one that you are looking to apply for a PfCO with (Multirotor or Fixed wing).

    You will be required to bring a laptop that is reliable and fast and be competent at using it. Anything less will compromise your experience and ability to learn which can impact on others in the classroom.

    We recommend a minimum of 10 hours practice flying prior to booking a flight assessment, and our additional practical flight training options can help save a lot of time and money along the learning and development process.

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Why train with HALO?

Learn more about HALO Drones and why you should train with us

Course Structure

  • Stage 1: Distance Learning

    First you will learn the knowledge needed to operate drones with help of our unique interactive course handbook. This is full of quick quizzes, tops tips, anecdotes and illustrations to help make the information relevant and bring it alive so thats its an informative and enjoyable read. If you have a drone and feel confident to fly it, then any flying experience will help put things into context.

  • Stage 2: Ground School

    The 2 day ground school focuses on consolidating your understanding of the knowledge you have gained when reading the handbook by guiding you through the workflow process for delivering a real world scenario over the course of the two days. This puts the knowledge you’ve learnt into context and makes you familiar with what to expect in preparation for your first job.

    The ground school includes various activities, group sessions, discussions and even a word search. There is no exam which means there is more time for learning and less time for worrying. This is in contrast to most other training schools which simply repeat the information provided in the course handbook in a series of powerpoint slides.

    The workflow is as follows: 1. Task Review 2. Risk Assessment 3. Method Statement 4. Pre Deployment 5. On Site 6. Flying 7. Post Flight 8. Emergencies 9. Operational Procedures.

    In addition, the start time on the first day allows candidates to travel in on the morning of the course, therefore requiring only one night of accommodation if staying away from home.

  • Stage 3: Operations Manual Development

    Once the ground school is complete the candidate will need to prepare for their assessment day. The flight assessment must be completed in accordance with an approved operations manual that is specific to your organisation. This requires you to write one and we’ve taken yet another innovative and unique approach to integrating this into our course. Rather than simply giving you a completed template or one with little guidance to complete it, we’ve turned it into another learning tool to further help consolidate your knowledge and understanding.

  • Stage 4: Assessment Day

    Once the operations manual has been approved and the candidate feels prepared they can then book the assessment day. There are two assessments to be completed: 1. Theory Exam 2. Flight Assessment. 4 hours is allocated for both assessments which gives plenty of time.

  • Stage 5: Application to CAA for a PfCO

    Upon successful completion of the two assessments, HALO Drones will provide a GVC Certificate and guidance on how to apply for a PfCO using the CAA online application form.


"The initial discussions / sales pitch was much better than other training companies providing a lot more information and background on the industry, regulations, your company and the course, indicating a solid knowledge base and commitment to education / training. As a local authority I wanted to ensure we were trained thoroughly and properly and not just going through the motions to obtain necessary CAA permissions."

Joe Brickley Bristol City Council
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Types of courses

Open Courses

These are great for individuals to book on to. You will share the room with people from all sorts of backgrounds which will inevitably stimulate networking and discussion.  We have set dates for all of our locations so please contact us to find availability.

Bespoke Courses

These are preferable for any company with multiple individuals looking for a private and bespoke course. We can come to your venue and tailor the course structure to suit your organisational needs. Prices vary depending on numbers, location and course structure.

Drone building experience


Please get in touch with our personable staff to discuss your requirements so that we can create a specific quote for your course.


  • What if I fail either of the assessments?

    If you fail any assessments, you will be allowed to re-sit subject to the following criteria: – A mark within 25% of the pass mark – A resit is permitted after a minimum of 1 week – A mark outside 25% of the pass mark – A resit is permitted after a minimum of 2 weeks. You will still be able to complete the flight assessment, even if you fail the theory assessment on the same day. You can complete a maximum of three attempts in either of the assessments, before having to attend another ground school. There is a charge of £150 + VAT per re-sit, but before you worry about the cost implications of failing, we would like to reassure you that our course structure and practical training methodology has been designed to reduce the likelihood of this happening. We don’t want you to fail, and the charge is merely to cover our expenses

  • Does it matter if I have more than one drone?

    You must complete your flight assessment with the drone you wish to apply for a PfCO with. A standard permission is granted to fly either a 0-20kg Multirotor or Fixed wing.

    If you wish to upgrade your drone or change it for another one in the future, you will not need any further training or assessment so long as it is the same type that your PfCO permits you to fly. Therefore, all you are required to do is update your operations manual to incorporate procedures for its operation and insure it.

  • What is not included on the course?

    Accommodation and the CAA’s application fee which is currently £257.00 (June 2020). Visit the CAA website for the latest information.

Course Brochure

Click the following link to download a course brochure

© Ben Phillips

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