The PfCO Operations Manual just got easier

The PfCO Operations Manual just got easier

Candidates sitting Heliguy’s Commercial Drone Operators Training Course will now be able to complete the Operations Manual quicker and easier than ever before.

Last updated: Mar 11, 2021

7 minute read

Candidates sitting Heliguy’s Commercial Drone Operators Training (C-DOT) Course will now be able to complete the vital Operations Manual quicker and easier than ever before.

The new streamlined approach, unveiled by our dedicated training team, will shave many hours off the once time-consuming and complex process, meaning more flying and less typing.

It will make the task much less onerous for budding commercial drone pilots and deliver a much more hands-on learning experience.

It will save a significant amount of time - by tens of hours for some, and even more for others.

heliguy™ Training Team

And the end result - candidates will gain a thorough understanding of the document and leave with a personalised and tailored Operations Manual in a fraction of the time, standing them in good stead to apply to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for their Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO).

This easier-to-digest operations manual process has already received positive feedback from users, who have said that it is ‘very good in terms of speeding things up’ and they 'love the idea of a more standardised document'.

Ben Shirley, who is part of the heliguy™ training team, said that the company is delighted to unveil its new approach to the Operations Manual as it will aid candidates significantly.

“We’re very proud to announce our new Operations Manual process, which has been developed to complement our renowned Ground School training to expedite the production of a robust, comprehensive and future-proof document.

"We have ensured that the highest operating standards are maintained thanks to our intricate knowledge of unmanned aircraft systems, while facilitating a punctual and straightforward production process for our candidates.”

Ben - heliguy™ Training Team


Over the last few years, heliguy™ - the North East England based DJI-approved retailer and repair centre - has forged a fine reputation for its high-quality C-DOT Course, which is CAA-approved and delivered throughout the UK.

The three-day tutorials, held in Newcastle, Manchester and Farnborough by our expert and knowledgeable training team, are designed to deliver the theoretical knowledge necessary to obtain a PfCO from the CAA.

Working towards a PfCO involves numerous steps. These are:

Gives pilots an understanding of safe drone operations, UK air law, airspace operating principles and the equipment used during flight. Following the classroom-style learning, a theory exam must be completed to ensure a comprehensive understanding.

A document required by the CAA for all commercial drone operators and details your organisation, operating procedures and the technical specifications of your aircraft.

Once the document is completed and approved by Heliguy’s instructors, candidates are then required to conduct a Practical Flight Assessment to ensure that they are competent and confident in operating their aircraft. On successful completion of this, trainees are eligible to apply for a PfCO to the CAA.


Prior to heliguy™ introducing our more streamlined strategy for completing the Operations Manual, it is fair to say that the process was a fairly daunting and time-consuming task.

While the heliguy™ training course equips candidates with the knowledge, support and confidence to compile the document, previously this would need to be done outside of the three-day tutorial.

And with the manual subject to intense scrutiny by the CAA - needing to be an original piece of work, completed to a high standard and with accurate information - this comprehensive document needs proper thought and attention.

But now, thanks to our new approach, completing the Operations Manual can be done during the three-day course.

It means more flying, less typing

heliguy™ Training Team

In most cases, it can now be finished in the space of three or four hours - compared to days or weeks previously. But while Heliguy’s streamlined approach saves on time, it certainly doesn’t scrimp on quality.

Edward Jackson, from the training team, said: "This new streamlined process is approved by the CAA and we have done this in response to the CAA's changes in the way that it accepts submissions of Operations Manuals.

"It means that the turnaround time is a lot quicker, making the process more appealing to candidates and delivering a more hands-on learning experience."

"Our new streamlined approach will still allow each candidate to have a personalised, tailored Operations Manual, but it is now not as onerous and it has reduced the volume, time and complexity of the document.

"It will save a significant amount of time - I would say by tens of hours for some, and even more for others. This will be a huge weight lifted off people’s minds."

Ed - heliguy™ Training Team 

He continued: "This more refined document and guide to creating a bespoke Operations Manual means that candidates will now be able to do it during the Ground School course.

"The time saved means that candidates will be able to focus more on practising their commercial skills and working to comply with their Operations Manual, rather than sitting at a desk. It means more flying, less typing.

“We consider ourselves a leading NQE and we will ensure that our candidates will leave the course with a completed Operations Manual which they can work with to develop their commercial operations."

Students wishing to continue on the new route will need to call heliguy™ on 0191 296 1024 or email to request the password to access this new procedure.

The training team, which has an impeccable approval rate for the Operations Manual - likely due to its high standards - will review each candidate’s document before submission to the CAA to ensure approval and avoid delay in the process. Below is a selection of images from a recent heliguy™ training course.


This new approach has already been praised by candidates.

Rupert Lloyd Parry said: "Being 50, it’s been a while since I needed to produce something like this, so I certainly found it the hardest part of the course. What I love is the idea of a more standardised document, particularly for regulation change in the future. Having a due diligence test to accompany that is a brilliant idea."

Kevin Evans said: "The new approach is very good in terms of speeding things up and getting quick results. The documentation process is also very good."


It isn’t just the new streamlined approach to the Operations Manual which is attracting positive feedback from candidates. Glowing comments have poured in for Heliguy’s C-DOT Course.

Among the recent reviews, Alistair Holmes said: “Fantastic course. I highly recommend this to any and everyone. It has to be one of the best courses I've been on. The team are amazing, very knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. Thanks Heliguy.”

Arnel Clemente, from Sunderland City Council, posted: “Heliguy has been fantastic in its delivery in bringing my hobbyist piloting thinking to a safe, competent and law-abiding brain. Their hard work and experience reflect in the training course. Very friendly. Highly recommended.

Further praise came from Jonny Alderton, who wrote: “I came to heliguy™ to do my practical flight assessment after doing PfCO through a different provider as heliguy™ were more local. The assessor was very good, even though I wasn't using a DJI drone, and offered a lot of constructive feedback on areas to improve after my test. Highly recommended.”

Meanwhile, Baz Vaughan described the course as well-paced and friendly and the tutors ‘exceeded my expectations by a long way’.


As well as Heliguy’s PfCO training course, several other training options are available through us:

New Pilot Event

In partnership with DJI, heliguy™ offers a free monthly event in our Newcastle training facility. Attendees will be given an overview of DJI’s product range, an insight into the drone industry, including businesses and basic air law and have a chance to get some hands-on experience with drones.

Drone Video Editing Course

In Heliguy’s Newcastle office, a video editing course is available. The course is a beginner’s guide on how to capture the best drone footage and edit into something commercially worthwhile.

ES-Dot Training

Tailor-made training for the emergency services including the Police, fire and rescue, ambulance, mountain rescue, Coastguard and control centre support staff for the deployment of UAS.

Flight Assessment Preparation

A training day designed to help prepare you for your Flight Assessment. We will deliver a theory refresher, discuss case studies and deliver individual advice and support.

NQE Adoption

The NQE Adoption is for a candidate who has completed Ground School with another provider or has a PPL or CPL licence. We will arrange a refresher or help with the submission of your Operations Manual and Flight Assessment.

To discuss becoming a commercial drone pilot, other heliguy™ training, or for product information, give one of our team a call on 0191 296 1024 or email us at

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