The Unique heliguy™ Training Ecosystem
Advanced Online Learning
Flexible and on-demand online learning - any time, any place. Learn at your own pace, replay and rewatch content to reinforce learning, and access live support from our expert training team.
Work With The Best
Hone your skills with a drone training industry leader. Our experienced CAA-qualified instructors have taught 3,000+ candidates, including staff from Network Rail and UK emergency services.
Avoid Hidden Costs
Unlike some, we won't surprise you with extra exam fees or extra costly modules to get qualified - what you see is what you pay.
Ongoing Advice and Support
Your qualification is just the start. Receive lifetime support with dedicated aftercare, partner discounts, added-value learning courses, and professional advice to further your drone pilot credentials.
GVC Drone Training
GVC (General VLOS Certificate) Training Course.
General Visual Line of Sight Certificate
The GVC is a remote pilot competency certificate, suitable for VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) operations within the Specific Category.
It enables you to apply for an Operational Authorisation, issued by the CAA and crucial for Specific Category missions.
The GVC/Operational Authorisation are aimed at commercial drone pilots, ideal for operations with aircraft such as the DJI M300 RTK, Matrice 200 Series, and Inspire 2.
GVC drone training involves a multiple choice theory examination, a practical flight assessment, and the completion of an Operations Manual.
Take the theory course online with heliguy™, and learn from a team which has trained more than 3,000 candidates and delivered training to the likes of Network Rail, National Grid, and the UK emergency services.
Who We've Trained
GVC Drone Training Benefits
Learn why our training is the best rated in the industry.
- CAA-approved GVC course delivered by our experienced in-house instructors who have trained drone-pilot teams from the likes of Network Rail, National Grid, Sellafield Sites, Manchester City FC, and Phillips 66.
- Flexible and on-demand online learning through the heliguy™ Learning Management System, with engaging course content and interactive support from our training team.
- Sit your theory test remotely, with flexible exam slots available.
- Streamlined Operations Manual creation process, as well as annual renewal service and guidance.
- Conduct your bespoke flight assessment - tailored to your commercial operation - at any of our UK venues.
- Unlimited free resits for the theory exam and flight assessment, and dedicated aftercare support.
- Partner discounts, bonus material, regulation updates, and additional industry courses through heliguy™ Learning Management System.
- Industry-specific closed courses and on-site learning provide your organisation with tailored learning.
- Operate beyond Standard Permissions with the heliguy™ Operating Safety Case consultancy.
- heliguy™ Operations Manual framework judged to meet the highest drone industry standards, endorsed by IQ Verify against the requirements of BS ISO 21384-3: 2019.
GVC Drone Training Process
Find out more about passing your GVC exam with heliguy™
3 Part GVC Course Process
The GVC drone course is a three-step process: Theory exam, Practical Flight Assessment, and the creation of an Operations Manual.
It sets the foundations for your commercial drone journey and enables you to become a qualified and competent remote drone pilot who can operate safely and legally.
Our experienced team of in-house instructors will be on hand to help you throughout the GVC process, and continue to offer support and advice long after you've passed.
GVC Theory Test
The first stage of the GVC: Prepare for the GVC exam through our online training, and then sit the theory test remotely.
The examination covers air law/responsibilities; UAS airspace operating principles; and Airmanship and aviation safety.
The heliguy™ team will support you throughout your online learning.
GVC Practical Flight Assessment
After passing the GVC theory exam, conduct the Practical Flight Assessment at one of our UK venues.
Demonstrate your ability to control your drone, safely and accurately, through a series of manoeuvres.
Our practical flight assessment is tailored to your operational needs, ensuring you have the right skills for the right job.
Drone Operations Manual
This important document, submitted to the CAA, explains how you will conduct operations in the Specific Category under UKPDRA-01.
It covers areas such as safety, incident reporting, flight planning, and emergencies, as well as information about your drones and pilots.
heliguy™'s streamlined Operations Manual creation process shaves days off this once time-consuming task and has been judged to meet the highest industry standards against the requirements of BS ISO 21384-3: 2019
GVC Commercial Drone Operations
Grow your commercial drone programme with heliguy™
Our expert instructors have created rich course content to help you pass the GVC exam and embrace a commercial drone programme.
But that is only the beginning. We offer an ecosystem beyond the GVC syllabus to enable you to scale your drone enterprise, enhance pilot capability, and conduct missions outside the confines of Standard Permissions.
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
Gain the competitive edge with an Operating Safety Case (OSC), enabling you to push the boundaries of your missions by operating outside Standard Permissions.
Our OSC consultancy service is led by Josh, who previously evaluated, developed and approved OSCs at the CAA.
- Save time in creating a compliant OSC
- Reduce the need to go through costly reviews/rewrites with the CAA
- Pre-submission review of OSC
- Dedicated project manager
UK Drone Training Accreditations
We hold a wide range of commercial, industry and service based accreditations and awards.
Still confused about training?
Alternative courses and more information on UK drone laws
A2 CofC Course for pilots of small drones
A2 CofC (Certificate of Competency)
Learn more about the A2 CofC drone training course
A2 CofC is a remote pilot competency certificate which provides a single qualification that is suitable for VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) operations.
The A2 CofC facilitates operations within the A2 Subcategory of the Specific Category; useful for enhancing permissions flying smaller legacy DJI aircraft.
GVC Fixed Wing Drone Training
GVC for Fixed-Wing Drones
heliguy™ also delivers GVC training for fixed-wing drones.
This specialist module enables Remote Pilots to apply for a Fixed Wing Operational Authorisation.
Combined A2 & GVC Course
Combined A2 & GVC Drone Training Course
Learn more about the Combined A2 & GVC course
The Combined A2 CofC and GVC drone training course gives you the chance to complete both modules in one package.
This is a more cost-effective option than completing both courses separately and provides flexibility to operate across the Open and Specific Categories.
Which course is right for me?
Which drone training do I need?
Learn more about which drone training is right for you.
UK drone laws blog
Read about UK drone laws and which qualifications are relevant to different drones and operations.
Talk to heliguy™ training team
Request a callback and cut out the confusion by talking to our expert team who will happily steer you in the right direction.
DJI drone training calculator
Select the DJI drone model or family you own and find out which training is relevant to your operation.
CAA Drone Registration
Register to fly with the CAA (UK Civil Aviation Authority).
Drone Pilot Registration
The majority of drone pilots will need to register with the CAA (UK Civil Aviation Authority) and get an operator ID and/or flyer ID.Operator ID
If you’re responsible for a drone or model aircraft, you are required to register as a drone operator to get an operator ID. This costs £9.Flyer ID
If your drone weighs over 250g, the drone pilot must register and get a flyer ID. There is a 40 question multiple choice exam. This is completely free.
A GVC is best suited to the following DJI drones:
- DJI M300 RTK
- DJI M30 Series
- DJI M200 Series
- DJI Inspire 2
- DJI M600 Series
The GVC is an advanced level of drone training/qualification compared to the A2 CofC. Operators of drones such as the DJI Phantom 4 Series, Mavic 2 Enterprise Series and Mavic 3 may opt to do the GVC, instead of the A2 CofC, to enhance their permissions.
- Valid for 5 years
- Suited to commercial drone pilots
- Allows for operations in the Specific Category
- Remote learning through online platform (closed courses available)
- Live support from instructors via online messenger, telephone or 1-2-1 video link
- Online theory test, via webcam
- Practical Flight Assessment
- Operations Manual
- Additional modules available, including fixed wing
Flight Assessment Modules
Candidates must complete 1 required flight assessment module and at least 1 of 3 optional modules.
Optional modules will align with the operations you want to undertake as listed in your operations manual
- Basic manoeuvres flight module - take-off, landing, 45 degree ascent and descent, figure of 8. GPS and/or ATTI mode flight.
- Drone photography flight module - how to use the camera and gimbal to take professional quality photographs.
- Drone videography flight module - how to use the camera and gimbal to shoot video both while stationary and in motion.
- Autonomous drone flight module - how to direct and manage autonomous pre-planned drone missions.
Frequently Asked Questions
GVC Drone Training FAQs
Answers to your most frequently asked questions about the GVC drone training course.
The GVC (General Visual Line of Sight Certificate) is a remote pilot competency certificate, introduced as part of the new drone regulations, which started in the UK and throughout Europe at the end of December 2020. It provides a single qualification that is suitable for VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) operations within the Specific Category.
Mainly aimed at enterprise drone pilots, the Specific Category covers operations that present a greater risk than that of the Open category, or where one or more elements of the operation fall outside the boundaries of the Open category.
Drones such as the DJI M300 RTK, Matrice 200 Series, and Inspire 2 will fall into this category. Depending on operational requirements, there may also be pilots of aircraft such as the Phantom 4 RTK or Mavic 2 Enterprise Series who choose to do the GVC instead of an A2 CofC (for operation in the Open Category).
The Specific Category hinges on an Operational Authorisation being held by the drone operator, which has been issued by the CAA, before the operation can commence.
Please note, a £290 fee to the CAA applies when applying for a UKPDRA-01 Operational Authorisation. An annual renewal of £217 also applies.
The GVC is acceptable for all VLOS operations conducted under a PDRA (Pre-Defined Risk Assessment) and, in most circumstances, it will be considered an acceptable level of remote pilot competency within an operational risk assessment for any other VLOS operation.
For more details, read our UK Drone Laws blog.
The Operational Authorisation – which has replaced the term PfCO – is based upon a risk assessment that is completed by the UAS operator, or through a series of Pre-Defined Risk Assessments (PDRA).
This means that individuals or organisations that wish to operate a drone within the Specific Category must either provide a risk assessment to the CAA (by following the OSC – Operating Safety Case – process), or adhere to the requirements of the PDRA.
Please note, a £290 fee to the CAA applies when applying for a UKPDRA-01 Operational Authorisation. An annual renewal of £217 also applies.
You can obtain a GVC by sitting a two-day Ground School course with heliguy™ via our online Learning Management System. This enables you to complete the modules remotely in your own time and at your own convenience.
The GVC course syllabus will cover topics such as airlaw/responsibilities, UAS airspace operating principles, airmanship/aviation safety, meteorology, and navigation/charts, among other things. The GVC course will culminate in a theory test. As a Recognised Assessment Entity (RAE), we now have dispensation from the CAA to allow us to invigilate the GVC theory examination remotely using your webcam to maintain virtual exam conditions within heliguy™ Learning Management System.
All candidates will also be required to complete a practical flight test, which will be taken on a separate date following successful completion of the Ground School course. The completion of an Operations Manual is also required. heliguy™ has a streamlined Operations Manual creation process to assist candidates with this task.
The GVC examination – sat in formal conditions – will comprise a minimum of 40 multiple-choice questions.
There will be a minimum of five questions in each of the following subject areas:
- Air law/responsibilities;
- UAS airspace operating principles;
- Airmanship and aviation safety.
The exam will be a closed-book format (except when questions require reference to charts, or other sources of specific aeronautical information) and the minimum overall pass mark is 75%.
The duration of the examination can be determined by the RAE and is subject to acceptance by the CAA. Any candidate with a recognised disability or additional needs (e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia) should be granted an extra 10% of the allocated assessment time to complete the examination.
The GVC practical flight test is designed to provide assurance that the remote pilot being examined can safely undertake a wide range of VLOS operations within the Specific Category, including those conducted under a published PDRA, whilst adhering to a set of procedures contained within an Operations Manual.
The test will be conducted outdoors and candidates must sufficiently show competence in a range of pre-and-post-flight actions, and in-flight procedures.
All candidates must complete the practical flight test.
Yes. You must successfully complete the CAA’s Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service free online competency test, and be in possession of the Flyer ID number associated with that test.
Yes, there are. The GVC can be augmented by a number of additional modules. Currently, one additional module has been developed; this is the GVC Module 1, which covers operations that involve an unmanned aircraft being flown beyond the VLOS of the remote pilot but make use of visual observers for the purpose of avoiding collisions (ie Extended VLOS operations).
These bolt-on modules will allow you to complete more complex missions with your drone, similar to what is now granted through an OSC (Operating Safety Case).
heliguy™ will be releasing more information on these bolt-on modules in due course.
The GVC, along with any additional modules that are attached to it, is valid for a period of five years from the date that the examination was taken.
Pilots with a valid PfCO (which runs beyond December 31, 2020) don't need to panic, as their PfCO did not become null and void at the start of the new drone regulations.
Rather, operating conditions on valid PfCOs will be amended to bring them into line with the Operational Authorisation. This ensures that all relevant UAS operators hold the same privileges.
This special permission is applicable until the expiry date of a remote pilot’s PfCO/standard permission.
Once a PfCO renewal application is submitted, the applicant will receive an Operational Authorisation and individuals with NQE qualifications may continue to renew that Operational Authorisation until January 1, 2024, before which, they’ll be required to undertake the PfCO to GVC Conversion course.
heliguy™ offers free resits. If you have not completed your practical flight assessment/Operations Manual within a year of passing your exam, you will be required to re-do the exam.
No - heliguy™ offers free insurance for your practical flight assessment through our partners at Coverdrone.
Once you're operating commercially of course, you'll need to have insurance in place to protect your operations and your equipment.
No. Whether you have experience or not - our drone training school helps take you from novice to commercial pilot, regardless of any existing drone experience.
Our curriculum is well-paced to ensure that those more recently entering the industry can get up to speed, while experienced pilots will still be getting value at every stage.
Under the new drone laws, three categories will define where drones can be flown.
These categories are:
Open: Operations that present a low (or no) risk to third parties.
Specific: Operations that present a greater risk than that of the Open category, or where one or more elements of the operation fall outside the boundaries of the Open Category. Holding an Operational Authorisation allows you to fly in this category.
Certified: Operations that present an equivalent risk to that of manned aviation. This category is for high-complexity missions.
The Open Category is broken down into three subcategories:
A1: Fly over people.
A2 : Fly close to people.
A3 : Fly far from people.
Each of these subcategories has more specified criteria of where/how your drone can be operated.
As part of the new regulations, a new class system for drones was introduced. Each make of drone will have its own class rating – from C0 to C4 – which will be based on certain criteria, such as weight, maximum speed and other features based around safety and geo-awareness.
Specific classes of drone can be flown in specific subcategories of the Open Category.
However, 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. This came into force from December 23, 2022.
As a result, non-class-marked drones (ie, current drones on the market without a class mark, or without a UK-recognised class mark) can continue to be flown based on Transitional provisions, which have been extended to January 1, 2026.
A Transitional Period is currently running in the UK up to January 1, 2026, to give manufacturers the chance to bring out C0-C4 drones which are recognised by the UK CAA.
Currently, no class markings are recognised in the UK, including drones which have received a class marking in the EU.
The Transitional Period was due to finish in the UK at the end of 2022, but has subsequently been extended.
This means that you can continue to fly your current DJI drones - to become known as legacy aircraft - in accordance with Transitional provisions. In the UK, ignore all references to class markings on drones.
In the past - heliguy™ was happy to assist candidates who had started their training elsewhere.
However, due to the improvement in the structure of the A2 CofC and GVC courses when compared to the PfCO, there is no longer the chance to switch midway through your training.
If you're in the position where you have completed some part of your training, please give the training team a call on 0191 296 1024 to discuss what options you may have.
As of the time of writing, there is no hobbyist drone license in the UK.
Whether or not you'll need some form of qualification depends on the circumstances of your flight.
Use the button below to learn more about the "categories" of flight.