CAA drone training courses

Drone Training

Get your permission to fly with heliguy™ drone training.

heliguy™ Drone Training

Trusted by UK Emergency Services, Oil & Gas Majors and the AEC industry

heliguy™ is an industry leader in drone training.

Our in-house team of instructors - including ex-military personnel - have vast experience in multirotor and fixed-wing aircraft to empower commercial and enterprise drone operations.

They have taught more than 3,000 candidates and delivered training to the likes of Network Rail, National Grid, Balfour Beatty, London Fire Brigade, Phillips 66, PD Ports, and police forces around the UK.

Through comprehensive and wide-ranging training provision, heliguy™ offers a career pathway to allow organisations to scale their drone programmes, and individual pilots to develop their operational capabilities.

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Who Trains with Us

Take a look at some of the brands and businesses who've trained with heliguy™.

CAA Approved Drone Training

heliguy™ offers a range of CAA-approved drone training courses

A2 CofC Drone Training Course

£149.50£299Save 50%

The A2 CofC is a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) qualification to operate drones in the Open Category.

This course benefits aspiring recreational and commercial remote pilots.

Suitable aircraft for the A2 CofC include the DJI Mavic 3, Mavic 2 Series, Air 2S and Phantom 4 Series.

The A2 CofC enables operations in the A1 subcategory of the Open Category with an A1 Transitional aircraft and A2 subcategory of the Open Category with an A2 Transitional aircraft.

Complete the learning and theory test online with heliguy™

Course Timeline

Course Registration

Drone Registration

Online Learning

Self-guided Flight Training

Theory Test Via Webcam

Achieve A2 CofC

GVC Drone Training Course

£699.50£999Save 30%

The GVC is a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) qualification to operate drones in the Specific Category under an Operational Authorisation.

This course benefits aspiring commercial remote pilots.

Suitable aircraft for the GVC include the DJI M300 RTK, M30 Series and Inspire 2. Operators of drones such as the Mavic 3 Enterprise and Phantom 4 RTK may also choose to do the GVC over the A2 CofC.

Upon successful completion, receive the General Visual Line of Sight certificate and submit an application to the CAA for an Operational Authorisation.

Complete the learning and theory test online with heliguy™

Course Timeline

Course Registration

Drone Registration

Online Learning

Theory Test

Operations Manual Generation

Practical Flight Assessment

Operations Manual Completion

CAA Application

Operational Authorisation

Combined A2 CofC & GVC Drone Training Course

£749.50

    This course combines the A2 CofC and GVC –making it a more cost-effective option than sitting both courses separately.

    It also provides more operational freedom, enabling operations throughout the Open and Specific Categories.

    The combined course is best suited for operators needing to utilise both categories or for pilots/organisations who want to scale their enterprise.

    Complete the learning and theory test online with heliguy™

Course Timeline

Course Registration

Drone Registration

Online Learning

Theory Test

Operations Manual Generation

Practical Flight Assessment

Operations Manual Completion

CAA Application

Operational Authorisation

A2 vs GVC breakdown table

You need A2 CofC Training You need GVC Training
Permitted Operational Categories
Open Specific
Training Requirements
Theoretical Learning
Theoretical Exam
Self-Guided Practical Flight Training
Theoretical Learning
Theoretical Exam
Operations Manual
RAE Practical Flight Assessment
CAA Fees
None Initial application for UKPDRA-01 Operational Authorisation (after passing GVC): £290
Annual renewal for Operational Authorisation: £217.
Permitted SUA
A1 Transitional (250g - 500g)
A2 Transitional (500g - 2kg)
0 - 25kg SUA
Example Operations
Photography
Videography
Real estate
Roof inspections
Industrial inspections
Drone mapping
Public safety
Search and rescue
Commercial Activity Permitted
Yes Yes
Qualification Validity
5 Years 5 Years
Advantage
No costs with CAA
No Operations Manual
No Flight Assessment
+400ft Structure Inspection Permitted
EVLOS Fixed Wing Bolt-on Modules
Any SUA (0-25kg)
Governance & operating procedures
Multiple RP permitted
Disadvantage
Limited to aircraft
No recognised qualification
Single RP only
Longer training pathway
Comprehensive Syllabus
Longer Examination
Ongoing CAA Costs
Audit & Governance
Book Now Book Now

There are two main drone training courses in the UK: The A2 CofC (Certificate of Competency) and the GVC (General Visual Line-of-sight Certificate). Which one you choose depends on your drones and where you plan to use them. heliguy™ also runs a combined A2 CofC and GVC course.

Use the table, or visit our drone license calculator to choose which training course is right for you. Alternatively talk to our expert training team who will help you decide.

Drone Licence Calculator  Talk to the team  A2 CofC vs GVC blog post

Regulated Qualifications

Ofqual-recognised drone training qualifications for pilots and operations managers.

Ofqual Level 4 Drone Training Course

£1,249.00

The Level 4 drone training qualification is an Ofqual-regulated version of the GVC (General Visual Line of Sight) Course.

Designed for aspiring remote pilots and those with previous experience, the course goes beyond the standard GVC syllabus, demonstrating an enhanced understanding and level of operational competence.

The Level 4 Course consists of 60 hours Total Qualification Time (TQT), equating to 6 credits.

Upon successful completion you will be awarded the Level 4 GVC, certificated by TQUK.

Ofqual Level 5 Drone Operations Manager Course

£1,499.00

Ofqual regulated TQUK Level 5 UAS Operations Manager Qualification.

The Level 5 Operations Manager qualification is tailored to meet the needs of UAS Operations Managers who will be responsible for leading drone programmes/teams.

Designed to provide the skills to lead enterprise drone programmes, the course covers hazard and safety management, operational oversight, and an optional EVLOS module.

The Level 5 Award consists of 45 hours Total Qualification Time (TQT), equating to 5 credits. There is also an optional unit for EVLOS flights, with a credit value of 2.

Extra Skills and Additional Training

heliguy™ offer a range of added value training courses alongside CAA certifications.

Additional Training Provision

Supporting the lifecycle of a drone programme

heliguy™ provides additional training provision to help operators scale their drone programmes.

This includes an OSC (Operating Safety Case) consultancy for enhanced operational permissions, and the Drone Assistive Programme to conduct complex operations like industrial inspections.

Complex OSC Consultancy

Gain competitive edge and fly more specialist drone missions with a complex Operating Safety Case.

Our OSC consultancy service - led by Josh, a former CAA OSC expert - will help you create a compliant and bespoke document - saving money in the process.

Operations Manual Creation

GVC candidates benefit from the heliguy™ streamlined Operations Manual creation service which has been endorsed by IQ verify as meeting the highest industry standards.

This removes the complexity of building the document, shaves days off this previously time-consuming process, and helps candidates build a compliant Manual tailored to their operations.

We also run an Operations Manual renewal service, to help operators keep their document up to date.

Closed Training Courses

Dedicated training delivered to a large group or organisation in a 'closed course' format.

This approach enables standardised and highly-specific drone training.

Our closed courses have been delivered to the likes of Network Rail and Balfour Beatty, while our ES-DOT course caters for the UK emergency services.

Click to view the interactive training career pathway

Drone Training Career Pathway

A2 CofC

Designed for Open Category operations, this is an ideal entry level drone training course.

Can be used for commercial or recreational flights with drones such as the Mavic 2 Series.

GVC

Drone training course for Specific Category operations, suited to enterprise drone operations with aircraft such as the M300 RTK and Inspire 2.

Can be taken as a stand-alone entry point course or following the A2 CofC as a business/individual scales. Or sit both together with the combined course.

Drone Assistive Programme

Onsite industry-specific training beyond the GVC to help in-house drone programmes develop capability to conduct critical asset inspections or emergency services operations, safely and competently.

Also features training such as mapping/surveying principles, data capture/analysis, and emergency services/crisis management.

OSC

The heliguy™ in-house OSC consultancy helps UAS operators secure special permissions to operate outside standard permissions for niche jobs: Perfect for growing the capability of a drone programme and gaining competitive edge.

Operations Manual Renewal

The Operations Manual is an important document and needs to be updated to reflect legislation or operational changes. heliguy™ provides a renewal service to keep your manual compliant and enhance operational capability, where possible.

CPD

The heliguy™ Continuing Professional Development programme, for enterprise organisations and the emergency services, helps experienced pilots maintain and enhance operational standards and compliance.

TQUK

Regulated Qualification Programme, including Level 5 certificate for Commercial Drone Chief Pilots. Ideal for those who wish to forge a lengthy and progessive career in the UAS industry.

Night Permissions
Lifetime Support
Free Resits
Facebook Group
Operations Manual Creation
Online Training

Meet the Drone Training Team

Meet the expert heliguy™ drone training team who will guide you through your certification.

Mark Blaney

Head of Training, Training Instructor
  • Worked with drones since 2008, including roles as a military UAV Operator and international operations of the Hermes 450 Tactical UAV.
  • Logged 1500+ flying hours with fixed-wing and multi-rotor drones.
  • 7 years' experience as RPAS instructor; conducting flight assessments, instructing courses, and deploying internationally.
  • Former chief Remote Pilot for UK-based fixed-wing drone manufacturer.

Tom Anderson

Head of Safety, Training Instructor
  • A commercial drone remote pilot, working as a full-time heliguy™ training instructor since 2016.
  • Vast experience of working as an instructor: DSA Approved Driving Instructor, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer.
  • One of the UK's first to attain Mountain Training Association Development Coach Award.
  • Tom is not only a remote pilot but also designs and builds both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

Ben Shirley

Head of Training Development
  • Former commercial drone operator, with a passion for aerial photography / videography.
  • Key member of heliguy™ training team since 2017.
  • 13 years in the British Armed Forces, attaining rank of Staff Sergeant and conducting international tours.
  • Former Royal Military Police, bringing his knowledge of policing to the emergency service application of UAS.
  • Experience of working in the TV, film and gaming industry.

Jack Sharp

Training Instructor
  • Qualified drone training pilot, with GVC, A2 CofC and a PfCO.
  • Recreational drone pilot since 2017, specialising in aerial photography.
  • Photography work featured by the BBC, Forestry England and Mountain Warehouse.
  • Vast training background, developing experience in NHS forensic section and at HM Prison Service.

Brandon Jones

Training Instructor
  • Commercial drone operator, specialising in photography and cinematography and part of the heliguy™ in-house photography team. This experience will benefit candidates who are focusing on aerial content creation.
  • Accumulated an extensive technical prowess operating in alpine terrain, with more than a decade of dedication to maintaining and expanding a degree of alpinist mastery, culminating in both domestic and GBR athletic representation.
  • Developed extensive dexterity in coordinating and delivering in-person and remote training programmes in the outdoor pursuits sector, including climbing, skiing, and drones.
  • Has developed excellent working relationships with UK-based and international clients.

Josh

OSC Specialist
  • Former UAS Technical Surveyor at the CAA, responsible for the evaluation, development and approval of OSC applications.
  • Well versed in the process, requirements, and best practises of building an OSC document.
  • His experience will save applicants' time in creating an effective and compliant OSC and should stop the need to go through potentially costly reviews and rewrites with the CAA - saving you money in the process.

Ben Sangster

In-house GIS specialist
  • Working within the sales, training and technical departments of heliguy™ in order to provide consultancy and develop educational material for our customers.
  • Account manager for AEC clients such as Laing O'Rourke, Boskalis, Balfour Beatty and Komatsu, providing aerial surveying consultancy, hardware supply, and workflow support.
  • Experienced with ESRI’s AcGIS & SiteScan, Pix4D, DJI Terra, Terra Solid and CAD.
  • Guest speaker at 2021 Digital Construction Week in London, representing heliguy™ and Esri UK.
  • Technical lead on aerial surveying, ESRI Site Scan and Zenmuse L1 training courses.

Faye Ashton

Training Administrator
  • More than 10 years of experience in logistics, including former heliguy™ warehouse manager.
  • Spent 7 years as an online technical advisor for HMRC.
  • Served in the Royal Navy for 7 and a half years, employed in the warfare branch communications sector and reached the rank of Leading Hand.
  • Served onboard HMS Cumberland, HMS Illustrious and HMS Invincible, with active service around the world, in locations such as the Gulf and Sierra Leone.
  • Faye's career has helped her develop public interaction skills, understand the value of teamwork and experience different cultures.

Leon Henderson

Training Instructor
  • 24 years in the British Armed Forces, with multiple operational deployments overseas.
  • Was responsible for the execution of counter-surveillance and counter-insurgency operations which required the crucial support of UAS.
  • Delivered UAS training for the British Armed Forces - including hardware capabilities, deployment techniques, and how to incorporate the technology into the planning and execution phases of operations.
  • Experienced instructor in training and development with skills ranging from designing, implementing, and delivering a wide selection of courses and materials for both UK and overseas clients.
  • Leon's experience is particularly suited to heliguy™ training candidates in the security, surveillance, and public safety sectors.

Chris Thompson

Training Instructor
  • Six years of training experience for Sage as a Professional Services Consultant.
  • 3D Computer Animation Degree. Chris is using his experience to design eye-catching and engaging graphics and visuals for the heliguy™ online training content, helping to benefit candidates' learning experiences.
  • Was a coordinator at a 3D product visualisation platform, helping brands increase customer conversion through digital solutions. This experience helps heliguy™ training candidates who want to receive advice on ways of advancing their drone business's digital offering.
  • Previous experience in the technology sector, having worked for an automotive car configurator company.

Accreditations & Awards

"The Heliguy-delivered training was fantastic. I can't recommend them enough.

Two of our officers were deployed with the drone less than 48 hours after training, filling a gap in operational capability in the process. That they had the confidence and ability to deploy so quickly after passing was due to Heliguy. If our officers had not done the course, there would not have been drone cover over that period. Having a greater number of officers trained around the Force gives us 24/7 drone capability."

PC Tom Gee

Derbyshire Constabulary

heliguy™ End to End Support

Drone training is just one part of a drone programme.

heliguy™ provides end-to-end support encompassing all aspects of a drone programme, from dynamic supply to in-house repairs & drone maintenance. This provides continuity from your drone training experience.

Free Consultancy

This comes as standard. Benefit from our vast knowledge pool, industry case studies and network of worldwide suppliers to build a tailored and appropriate solution for you.

Large Supply, Including Rental

Access our vast stock inventory, specialising in, but not confined to, DJI hardware. We also offer drone rental for dynamic scaling, one-off jobs, and proof of concept.

Logistics Network

Next-day delivery and IATA Certification to ship high-power batteries overseas; especially useful for international drone programmes. We've shipped to the U.S, Africa and the Middle East.

In-house Repairs

Utilise our in-house team of DJI-approved technicians to minimise your downtime. This includes fast-track repairs, swap-outs, fault diagnosis, and one-to-one support.

R&D Lab

heliguy™ Lab drives drone industry innovation. In-house 3D printing machines for R&D, product development/design, and rapid prototyping.

Drone Defence

Need to protect your airspace? heliguy™ Detect can help with a range of industry-leading solutions. Our drone defence clients include Gatwick Airport, the MET Police and MOD.

Drone Regulations & Registration

Supporting the lifecycle of a drone programme

When do I not need Drone Training?

You do not need drone training if you are flying drones under 250g, such as the DJI Mini range.

Drone training is also not required if you are flying in the Open Category's A3 subcategory, stipulating that there must not be any uninvolved people present within the area of flight and you must not fly 150m horizontally of residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas.

UK Drone Registration

You must register before flying most drones or model aircraft outdoors in the UK. This is done through the UK Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service (DMARES).

There are two elements and you may need to meet both.

  • If you’ll fly, you must pass a free theory test to get a flyer ID.
  • If you’re responsible for a drone or model aircraft, you must register for an operator ID.

It is against the law to fly a drone or model aircraft without having the required IDs.

However, you do not need to register if you will only fly or use the following types of drone or model aircraft:

  • Toys below 250g;
  • Below 250g, not a toy, no camera.

A Guide To The UK Drone Registration Service

Read the UK Drone Laws blog

UK Drone Laws

The new regulations started in the UK and throughout Europe on December 31, 2020.

The regulations intend to do away with the limitations and ambiguity around commercial and non-commercial drone operations, and instead follow three basic concepts, based around:

  • the type of operation being conducted;
  • the level of risk;
  • the level of performance;

In the long run, the new regulations will open up new possibilities for operating a drone, including letting you fly closer to people than you have been able to previously, and letting you sell your stunning drone images without needing to complete a drone training course.

Read our in-depth guide to UK drone laws, including where you can fly, a guide to the Open and Specific drone categories, what training is best for you, and specific laws on FPV flights.


Read the UK Drone Laws blog

Certified Category
  • Very complex operations
  • Present equivalent risk of to that of manned aviation
Specific Category
  • Mass / Height: No limits, subject to approval
  • Flight Type BVLOS, EVLOS, subject to approval

Requirements

Operational Authorisation, Risk Assessment

Open Category
  • Mass: < 25kg
  • Max Height: 120m
  • Flight Type: VLOS

Permissions

  • A1: Fly over people
  • A2: Fly near people
  • A3: Fly far from people
Drone Training Videos

We've created some video guidance around drone training requirements in the Open and Specific category.

Simply click the videos below to watch.


UK Drone Regulations - The Open Category


UK Drone Regulations - The Specific Category

"Flexible and on-demand online training is available anytime, anywhere to anyone who wants it. This means that you can learn at your own pace...

heliguy™ drone training courses cover the theoretical basis required to become a specialist in aerial operations."

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