Convert Your PfCO To A GVC

Convert Your PfCO To A GVC

Heliguy is running a PfCO to GVC Conversion Course, enabling commercial drone pilots to benefit from updated provisions as part of the new UK drone laws.

4 minute read

  • Convert your PfCO to a GVC to benefit from updated provisions, as part of upcoming new drone laws;
  • Heliguy is holding a conversion course, available to book now;
  • Complete your theory exam preparation and test online for an on-demand learning experience.

Heliguy is running a PfCO to GVC Conversion Course, enabling commercial drone pilots to benefit from updated provisions as part of the new UK drone laws.

Under the updated rules - beginning on December 31, 2020 - a GVC (General Visual Line of Sight Certificate) will be required to apply for an Operational Authorisation, which is replacing the PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operation).

This will allow drone pilots to operate in the new Specific Category - geared towards enterprise missions.

Obtain a GVC to get an Operational Authorisation, which will replace the PfCO.

While valid PfCOs can still be used after the laws start, it is prudent to make the switch to a GVC to benefit from new privileges afforded by an Operational Authorisation.

Heliguy’s PfCO to GVC Conversion Course will make this transition smoother, enabling candidates to benefit from our years of industry experience, online training provision, streamlined Operations Manual system, and aftercare support.

Ben Shirley, Heliguy’s Head of Training, said: “The PfCO to GVC Conversion Course is a means for those individuals who have already completed the PfCO package to obtain the latest qualification and benefit from the provisions of the Operational Authorisation.

Benefit from the latest provisions by switching from a PfCO to a GVC.

“We are advocates of back-to-basics learning to reinforce key information and ensure the fundamental principles of UAS operation are not forgotten, even after years of operating under a PfCO.

"Our conversion course is perfectly aligned with this ethos, giving candidates the chance to continue their professional development and further expand their professional capabilities.”

To sit our PfCO to GVC Conversion Course, click here.

Why Do I Need To Do The Course?

Firstly, all PfCO-qualified remote pilots must make the transition to a GVC qualification.

All PfCO-qualified drone pilots will need to transition to a GVC qualification.

Admittedly, this doesn’t need to be done for a few years yet, with the unconfirmed deadline set for either January 1, 2024, or 2025.

However, there are good reasons why you should convert sooner rather than later.

The new drones rules aim to create harmonisation throughout Europe.

After December 31, 2020, valid PfCO holders will not be able to apply for authorisation to operate under the EVLOS (Extended Visual Line of Sight) or BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) bolt-on modules afforded by an Operational Authorisation.

Rather, PfCO operators will need to apply for this authorisation through an Operating Safety Case (OSC). Heliguy does provide an OSC consultancy.

What Will Heliguy’s Conversion Course Involve?

To standardise training provision, our conversion course will match the pathway of our standard GVC training, following a three-step process.

This is:

  1. Completion of the GVC Course syllabus online, through our e-learning portal, Blackbox, culminating in a 40 question multiple choice theoretical examination, which can be sat remotely;
  2. Refresh your Operations Manual to make it compliant with the new regulations. Use Heliguy’s bespoke Operations Manual creation method for a streamlined process.
  3. GVC practical flight assessment conducted during weekdays at Newcastle, Manchester or St Albans.

After sitting the course and successfully obtaining a GVC, pilots can then apply to the CAA for standard permissions under an Operational Authorisation.

Apply to the CAA for an Operational Authorisation after obtaining a GVC.

What Do I Need To Sit The Course?

To take the course, candidates must hold the following documents:

  1. An NQE Approved Certificate of Competence in Remote Pilot Theoretical Knowledge/ General Airmanship Syllabus;
  2. An NQE Approved Certificate of Practical Flight Assessment for the weight class and type of aircraft.

Pilots who do not have legacy NQE certificates can complete our standard GVC course, or the A2 CofC course if that better suits operational requirements.

How Much Will It Cost?

The conversion course has different price structures.

The course costs £349 (inc VAT) for former Heliguy candidates who successfully obtained a PfCO with us, while PfCO holders who trained with another provider will be charged £399 (inc VAT).

Heliguy candidates from 2018 to 2020 who started a PfCO with us but did not finish can transition to the GVC or A2 CofC course free of charge.

Candidates who started but did not complete our PfCO training prior to 2018 can re-train with us, but will incur an administration fee of £99 for the GVC or £49 for the A2 CofC transition.

Find out more about the GVC and A2 CofC by clicking here.

Why Train With Heliguy?

Heliguy is an experienced drone-training provider, having taught more than 2,500 candidates and held dedicated industry-specific courses for the emergency services and large businesses.

Heliguy is an experienced drone training provider.

Other benefits of training with Heliguy include:

  • Support from our four full-time training team members, plus extra contractors.
  • Flexible and on-demand online learning through Heliguy Blackbox. No need to travel for your theory exam preparation.
  • Engaging content covering the conversion syllabus with videos, quizzes, webinars, and task sheets. Access live Q&A sessions to access interactive training support.
  • Flexible invigilation. Book a time that suits you; Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Sit your conversion theory test remotely for a more relaxed and convenient exam environment.
  • Unlimited free resits on theory exam and practical flight assessment.
  • Our team will offer advice and support after you've passed your exam to ensure you continue to fly legally and safely. Also access our Operations Manual renewal service and Operating Safety Case/Exemptions consultancy.
  • Join Heliguy Blackbox for partner discounts, bonus material, and additional industry courses for value-added learning.
  • Access to the Heliguy ecosystem, which spans hardware supply and consultancy, in-house repairs, R&D, ongoing training support, and our industry-wide partner network. This provides an end-to-end solution for building, scaling, and standardising commercial drone programmes.

To sit our PfCO to GVC Conversion Course, click here.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

If you have a question or require urgent assistance, please contact us to ensure your query is dealt with quickly.

Please note, this hidden field is to prevent bot submissions and entering data will result in your comment being discarded without moderation.


Recent heliguy™ Blog Posts