A2 CofC Drone Training Course
A2 CofC Drone Training Course
CAA permissions to fly small drones in the A2 subcategory.
The A2 CofC (certificate of competency) is a drone training course to fly small drones 'close to people' in the Open Category.
The A2 Certificate of Competency is valid for 5 years and can be used by drone pilots who are flying commercially or recreationally.
Prepare for the A2 CofC course remotely using online, on-demand training modules, delivered by the heliguy™ in-house instructors.
Take advantage of flexible booking slots and sit the A2 CofC 30-question multiple choice theory exam via webcam. Pilots also need to complete a period of self-guided flight training.
heliguy™ is a CAA-approved RAE and our instructors have trained more than 3,500 people and delivered courses to the likes of Network Rail, National Grid and the UK Emergency Services.
Our instructors will offer you lifetime support, during your learning and after you've passed the A2 CofC.
A2 CofC Drone Training
CAA permissions to fly in the open category.
Fly small drones "Close to People"
The A2 CofC enables pilots of small drones to fly close to people in the A2 subcategory of the Open category.
It permits the following:
The UK CAA has announced that class marks on drones (ie C0-C4) issued in the EU are currently not recognised in the UK. This is because no relevant designated standards, Market Surveillance Authority, or conformance assessment bodies have been established in the UK, so it is currently not possible to comply UK class marking requirements.
Currently in the UK, an A2 CofC is only relevant for A1 and A2 Transitional aircraft, for operations in the A1 and A2 subcategories.
A2 Transitional Aircraft
During the Transitional Period (extended to January 1, 2026), an A2 CofC enables operators of drones without a class mark and weighing up to 2kg to fly in the A2 subcategory under Transitional provisions - which stipulates no flights closer than 50m horizontally from uninvolved people.
This applies to the following DJI aircraft: Mavic 3 Series, Mavic 3 Enterprise Series, Mavic 2 Series, Phantom 4 Series, Phantom 3 Series, Mavic Air 2 and the Air 2S.
A1 Transitional Aircraft
Holders of an A2 CofC can operate non-class-marked drones, with a take-off weight of between 250g and 500g, in the A1 subcategory, under A1 Transitional provisions, during the Transitional Period (extended to January 1, 2026). This stipulates that there must not be any intentional flight over uninvolved persons.
This applies to the following DJI aircraft: Mavic Air, Spark, and the Mini 3 Pro, Mini 2 and Mavic Mini if their take-off weight exceeds 250g.
The Transitional Period in the UK has been extended to January 1, 2026. It means that pilots flying non-class-marked drones will be able to continue to enjoy the benefits of the current UK drone rules for longer - beyond December 31, 2022, as previously planned.
The A2 CofC can be used with the following DJI drones:
- DJI Mini 3 Pro and Mini 3 (if over 250g or for additional permissions)
- DJI Mini 2 (if over 250g or for additional permissions)
- DJI Mavic Mini (if over 250g or for additional permissions)
- DJI Mavic 3 Series
- DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise Series
- DJI Air 2S
- DJI Mavic Air 2
- DJI Mavic Air
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro
- DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
- DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Series
- DJI Phantom 4 Series
- DJI Phantom 3 Series
"Far From People"
If you don't have an A2 CofC, you could find yourself limited in terms of where you can fly your drone.
Up until the start of 2026, if you have a ‘legacy’ drone weighing between 500g and 2kg (such as Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom, Phantom Series) and you don’t have an A2 CofC, you will have to operate in the A3 subcategory (far from people), which stipulates that there can be no uninvolved people present within the area of flight, and no flight within 150m horizontally of residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas.
Likewise, if you have a ‘legacy’ aircraft which has a take-off weight of between 250g and 500g – such as the DJI Spark and Mavic Air – and you don’t have an A2 CofC, you will be restricted to flying in the A3 subcategory.
A2 CofC Drone Training Process
Passing your A2 CofC with heliguy™
Flexible on-demand learning through our online, interactive Learning Management System.
Multiple choice theory exam - taken remotely under exam conditions via webcam link - to confirm understanding.
Period of self-guided practical flight training (min 8 hours).
Learning Management System
The online, interactive drone training portal from heliguy™
- Complete the syllabus on-demand - any time, any place.
- Learn at your own pace and convenience and re-watch content to reinforce learning.
- Need help or advice? Contact our expert instructors via the live messenger.
- Fun and engaging learning, covering the syllabus through videos, quizzes, and task sheets. An example is presented in this video.
- Sit your exam remotely using a webcam. Flexible exam slots to book a time that suits you.
- The LMS is an industry hub: Regulation and policy updates, advanced learning modules, and discounts.
A FREE New Pilot Course is available on the Learning Management System providing an overview of UK drone regulations and a sample of our online tuition.
Self-guided Flight Training
The A2 CofC requires pilots to undertake a period of self-guided practical flight training.
This should be a minimum of 8 hours and flight logs should be provided to heliguy™ demonstrate this.
Your self-guided practical flight training should abide by any rules and regulation you have learned around the A2 subcategory, and ideally would be conducted 'far from people'.
The A2 CofC examination comprises a minimum of 30 multiple-choice questions. These questions cover meteorology; UAS flight performance; and technical and operational mitigations for ground risk. These subjects will be covered in your online learning material.
Sit your exam remotely using a webcam. Flexible exam slots are available to book a time that suits you. For your exam, you will require:
- A quiet, private space
- Desktop or laptop
- A reliable internet connection
- Photographic ID (if you don't have photo ID, you will need to complete the exam at heliguy™ HQ during office hours)
The exam, sat in formal conditions, is a closed-book format (except when questions require reference to charts, or other sources of specific aeronautical information). The minimum pass mark is 75%.
The exam duration is 75 minutes, but candidates tend to complete the exam much quicker than this timeframe. Any candidate with a recognised disability or additional needs (e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia) will be given an additional 15 minutes.
Practise tests and mock exams are available on heliguy™ LMS, you can resit these as many times as you like until you are confident in your ability to pass.
Self-guided Flight Training
Theory Test Via Webcam
Achieve A2 CofC
A2 vs GVC breakdown table
|You need A2 CofC Training||You need GVC Training|
|Permitted Operational Categories|
Self-Guided Practical Flight Training
RAE Practical Flight Assessment
|None||Initial application for Operational Authorisation (after passing GVC): £260
Annual renewal for Operational Authorisation: £195.
|A1 Transitional (250g - 500g)
A2 Transitional (500g - 2kg)
|0 - 25kg SUA|
Search and rescue
|Commercial Activity Permitted|
|5 Years||5 Years|
|No costs with CAA
No Operations Manual
No Flight Assessment
Reduced Separation Distances (C2)
+400ft Structure Inspection Permitted
|EVLOS Fixed Wing Bolt-on Modules
Any SUA (0-25kg)
Governance & operating procedures
Multiple RP permitted
|Limited to aircraft
No recognised qualification
Single RP only
|Longer training pathway
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
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
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.
- Very complex operations
- Present equivalent risk of to that of manned aviation
- Mass / Height: No limits, subject to approval
- Flight Type BVLOS, EVLOS, subject to approval
Operational Authorisation, Risk Assessment
- Mass: < 25kg
- Max Height: 120m
- Flight Type: VLOS
- 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
heliguy Training Ecosystem
Learn why our training is the best rated in the industry.
- Flexible and on-demand online learning through the heliguy™ Learning Management System.
- Engaging course content and interactive support from our training team.
- Experienced instructors who have trained drone-pilot teams from the likes of Balfour Beatty, Sellafield Sites, Manchester City FC, and BBC Natural History Unit.
- Sit your theory test remotely, at a time that suits you, with unlimited free resits and dedicated support both before and after your exam.
- Partner discounts, bonus material, regulation updates, and additional industry courses through heliguy™ Learning Management System.
- Scale your drone programme through industry tailored closed courses, OSC consultancy and streamlined Operations Manual creation.
Industry-specific closed courses are a major part of the heliguy™ training ecosystem.
We have delivered tailored training to the likes of Network Rail, Phillips 66, and many of the UK's emergency services.
- Private drone training courses
- Multiple candidates at once
- A tailored yet standardised approach
- CPD courses and application-specific training, such as surveying and inspection
heliguy™ offers an integrated end-to-end solution of services, including:
- Hardware support
- Supply from a vast stock inventory
- Drone-defence solutions
- In-house repairs and crash support from DJI-trained technicians
- Rental equipment and service level agreements
- Large logistics network for rapid supply
heliguy™ provides a foundation for you to grow your drone operations.
Expand your enterprise with an Operational Authorisation through the GVC Course.
Further extend your permissions with an Operating Safety Case (OSC) to enable more bespoke missions.
- OSC consultancy service
- GVC Drone Training Course
- Streamlined Operations Manual creation/renewal