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A2 CofC (Certificate of Competency) Drone Training

Secure your A2 CofC with Heliguy - CAA Approved UK RAE
Code: a2-c-of-c-training
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A2 Certificate of Competency (A2 CofC) Course 

The A2 CofC remote pilot competency course for hobbyists and pilots of small drones.

A2 CofC Drone Training Course Benefits

  • Course approved by the CAA.
  • Flexible and on-demand online learning through Heliguy Blackbox. Convenient and no need to travel.
  • Engaging content covering the A2 CofC syllabus with videos, quizzes, webinars, and task sheets.
  • Live Q&A sessions to access interactive training support.
  • Flexible invigilation - wide scope to book a time that suits you.
  • Sit your theory test remotely for a more relaxed examination environment.
  • Unlimited free resits.
  • Learn from our experienced team, which has trained more than 2,000 candidates and held dedicated courses for the police and large businesses.
  • No need to complete a time-consuming Operations Manual.
  • No practical flight assessment needed.
  • No requirement to apply to the CAA.
  • Dedicated aftercare support. Whether it's by phone, email, or through Blackbox, our team is there to offer advice and support after you've passed your exam. 
  • Go beyond the syllabus - join Heliguy Blackbox for partner discounts, bonus material, and additional industry courses for value-added learning.
  • Heliguy will issue your A2 CofC, valid for five years.
 
"Carrying out my A2 CofC course on the Blackbox syllabus and I have just sat my online exam. The whole experience with Heliguy has been awesome. Every contact for advice or any query has been met with a friendly can-do attitude by staff with a wealth of expertise and knowledge. I simply cannot envisage using any other training establishment for any further course or training need."

Ray Mills

What Is The A2 CofC?

The A2 CofC is a new qualification which came into effect in the UK on December 31, 2020, as part of new European regulations.

An A2 CofC allows you to fly in the A2 or A1 Transitional subcategories of the Open Category - regardless if you want to fly as a hobbyist or make money from your drone missions.

The A2 subcategory (fly close to people) will let you fly a C2 aircraft down to a maximum distance of 30m horizontally from uninvolved people. Or up to 5m in 'low-speed mode'.

From December 31, 2020, until December 31, 2022 - known as the Transitional Period - an A2 CofC will let you operate aircraft weighing up to 2kg in the A2 Transitional subcategory. You will be able to fly up to 50m horizontally from uninvolved people.

Having an A2 CofC will also allow you to fly a drone weighing up to 500g in the A1 Transitional subcategory, which stipulates no intentional flight over uninvolved persons.

How Do I Get An A2 CofC?

Candidates can complete the A2 CofC course via Heliguy Blackbox, our online drone training platform. The A2 CofC is typically a one-day Ground School course, culminating in a theory examination, however, the advantage of utilising Heliguy Blackbox is that candidates can complete the syllabus at their own pace whilst still retaining access to our training team throughout the process.

The A2 CofC course will cover topics such as basic principles of flight, congested area operations, avoiding collision, battery safety, and environmental factors. It will culminate in the theory test. Candidates training online can sit the exam remotely, using a webcam to maintain virtual exam conditions.

You will also have to complete a period of practical flight training (either with the RAE or under self-monitored circumstances), but there is no flight assessment or no need to complete a time-consuming Operations Manual.

Your qualification lasts for five years, after which you’ll have to renew it.

As well as getting your A2 CofC, you will also need to register as part of the UK's Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service.

What Can Fly In The A2 Subcategory?

You can fly C2 aircraft in the A2 subcategory.

A C2 aircraft is one which has a maximum take-off mass less than 4kg, is equipped with a low-speed mode (max speed 3m/s or 6.7mph), has been built to minimise injury to people, and meets other requirements, such as geo-awareness systems and noise limits.

However, there are currently no C2 drones available to buy. So, to give manufacturers the chance to release C2-rated drones, drone pilots can fly their existing drones (to become known as legacy aircraft) in the A2 Transitional subcategory if it weighs less than 2kg, from December 31, 2020, to December 31, 2022.

During the Transitional Period, you can also fly drones weighing up to 500g in the A1 Transitional subcategory, stipulating no intentional flight over uninvolved people.

But remember, you need your A2 CofC to be able to fly a C2 drone or a 'legacy' drone (less than 2kg) in the A2 subcategory or the A1 Transitional subcategory.

After the Transitional Period has finished, legacy aircraft (not including Mavic Mini/Mini 2) can only be flown in the A3 subcategory (fly far from people), which means no uninvolved people can be present within the area of your flight, and you can not fly within 150m horizontally of residential, commercial, industrial, or recreational areas.

What If I Haven't Got An A2 CofC?

If you haven't got an A2 CofC, you could find yourself limited in terms of where you can fly your drone.

From December 31, 2020, to December 31, 2022, if you have a 'legacy' drone weighing between 250g and 2kg (such as Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom, Mavic Air 2, Phantom Series) and you don't have an A2 CofC, you will have to operate in the A3 subcategory.

What If I Have A PfCO?

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 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.

Read more here.

However, if you have never had a PfCO but want to operate under similar permissions, or if your PfCO expired before December 31, 2020, and you didn't renew it, you will need to complete the GVC training.

A2 CofC FAQs

Answers to your most frequently asked questions about the A2 CofC.

What is the A2 CofC?

The A2 CofC (Certificate of Competency) is a remote pilot competency certificate primarily intended to assure safe operations of drones close to uninvolved persons. It was introduced as part of the new EASA drone regulations and started in the UK and throughout Europe on December 31, 2020.

 
Why do I need an A2 CofC?

An A2 CofC allows pilots to fly a C2 class aircraft, or sub 2kg legacy aircraft, within the A2 subcategory of the Open Category and aircraft weighing less than 500g within the A1 transitional subcategory.

How Do I Obtain an A2 CofC?

You can obtain an A2 CofC by completing the equivalent of a one-day Ground School course with Heliguy. Currently, our training can be completed online via Heliguy Blackbox. This allows you to complete the modules remotely in your own time and at your own convenience.

The A2 CofC course will cover topics such as basic principles of flight, congested area operations, avoiding collision, battery safety, and environmental factors. It will culminate in a theory examination. As a Recognised Assessment Entity (RAE), we now have dispensation from the CAA to allow us to invigilate the A2 CofC theory examination remotely using your webcam to maintain virtual exam conditions within Blackbox - if you choose to sit our online drone training

There are no requirements to complete a practical flight test or an Operations Manual for the A2 CofC.

 
How Long Does An A2 CofC Last For?

Your qualification lasts for five years, after which you’ll have to renew it.

What Happens If I Haven’t Got an A2 CofC?

If you haven’t got an A2 CofC, you could find yourself limited in terms of where you can fly your drone.

From December 31, 2020, to December 31, 2022, 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 weighs up to 500g – such as the Spark/Mavic Air – and you don’t have an A2 CofC, you will be restricted to flying in the A3 subcategory from December 31, 2020.

Do I Need To Do Anything Other Than My A2 CofC?

Yes. You must complete a period of practical flight training, either under the guidance of an RAE (ie Heliguy - additional charge applies) or under self-monitored circumstances, conducted within the operating conditions of subcategory A3 but simulating the operating situations associated with the A2 subcategory.

You can complete the practical flight training before or after the A2 CofC Ground School. When conducting the self-guided practical training, you should perform as many flights as you deem necessary to gain a reasonable level of knowledge/skills to operate your drone. Heliguy recommends a flight time of eight hours. 

After you have completed your practical flight training, fill out the Candidate Practical Flight Training and Declaration Form and sign it. Scan this form or take an image of it with your phone, and then upload it to the Heliguy site.

In preparation for your practical flight training, you must first complete the following activities:

    • Register your drone and complete the CAA’s Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Service mandatory training and examination, and be in possession of the Flyer ID number associated with that test;
    • Download the Candidate Practical Flight Training and Declaration Form;
    • Familiarise yourself with your drone's user manual;
    • Download NATS Drone Assist App.

 

What Do I Have To Do In The A2 CofC Theory Examination?

The exam – sat in formal conditions – comprises a minimum of 30 multiple-choice questions, specifically covering meteorology; UAS flight performance; and technical and operational mitigations for ground risk.

The exam is a closed-book format (except when questions require reference to charts, or other sources of specific aeronautical information) and the minimum pass mark is 75%.

The examination will last for 75 minutes. Any candidate with a recognised disability or additional needs (e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia) will be given an additional 15 minutes.

 
What Happens If I Fail The A2 CofC Exam?

Heliguy will offer free resits for a period of 12 months after you have failed your first exam. Any candidates who need to resit the test a year after failing the first will have to pay a nominal fee and re-do the one-day A2 CofC course, as well as sit the exam.

Does the A2 CofC allow me to operate commercially?

Yes. From December 31, 2020, anyone can operate a UAS for commercial gain within any category or subcategory. The purpose of the flight no longer dictates your requirement for training meaning there is no distinction between commercial and non-commercial operations.

Where can I fly my drone if I have an A2 CofC?

Providing you have an A2 CofC, operators can use a C2-rated drone (up to 4kg) in the A2 subcategory to fly up to 30m horizontally from uninvolved people, or 5 metres in ‘low speed’ mode. This will be a huge benefit for drone pilots.

During the Transitional Period – from December 31, 2020, to December 31, 2022 – operators who have an A2 CofC can fly a ‘legacy’ drone weighing up to 2kg (ie a DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom, or Phantom 4) in the A2 subcategory and get as close as 50m horizontally from uninvolved people.

During the Transitional Period, operators who have an A2 CofC can also fly a ‘legacy’ aircraft which weighs up to 500g in the A1 Transitional subcategory, where the stipulation is that you must not fly over uninvolved people.

Do I need any experience with Drones before attending the courses?

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.

 

Do I need any kind of insurance before I take the course?

No - Heliguy offers free insurance for your practical flight assessment through their partners at Coverdrone.

If you are operating commercially you will need to have insurance in place to protect your operations and your equipment.

What are the Open, Specific and Certified drone categories?

Under the new EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) 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.


More Information On New UK Drone Regulations

 
What Are The New Drone Classes?

As part of the new regulations, a new class system for drones has been 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.

Currently, no drones meet the current class requirements, so no C0-C4 aircraft exists.


Explore New Drone Class System

What Is The Transitional Period?

Because no drones currently meet the class requirements, a Transitional Period is running from December 31, 2020, to December 31, 2022, to give manufacturers the chance to bring out C0-C4 drones. 

This means that you can continue to fly your current DJI drones - to become known as legacy aircraft - in accordance with the new rules.


A2 CofC vs GVC - Which Do You Need?

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 862 298 5964 to discuss what options you may have.

Do I need a Commercial Drone License or a Hobbyist Licence?

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.

Find out more here.

Showing 10 of our total 14 reviews, with an average rating of 5 stars. Read all 14 reviews for A2 CofC (Certificate of Competency) Drone Training.
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Review Summary - 5 out of 5 based on 14 ratings.
January 8, 2021 | Mr John Jefferys
A2 CofC Drone Training

Excellent Course, Very Informative great back up staff and Covers all aspects of the Drone regulations.
Would recommend to others.
John

Colena Inc
January 1, 2021 | Andrew Small
A2 C of C review

I would just like to comment on the quality of the A2 C of C course. The training materials were excellent and any questions were answered by the team quickly. The process was smooth and the virtual examination was easy to set up. I highly recommend this course and is essential for anyone wishing to fly other than in the open category.

Colena Inc
December 29, 2020 | Mark Reynolds
I’m a 55 year old heating engineer...

I’m a 55 year old heating engineer and I’m used to getting 100% in my gas exams, but that is open book so it was a culture shock to be asked to take an exam which is, quite rightly, closed book!
The guys at Heliguy couldn’t be more helpful, offering one to one sessions, nothing is too much trouble and the way they conduct themselves is exemplary.
It is my intention to use my drone commercially when surveying industrial units and buildings and having found Heliguy they have made this a simple path to follow.
Had I not succeeded this review would be the same, you get out what you put in.
Thanks folks for all you have done to get me through

Colena Inc
December 11, 2020 | Richard Wise
CoFC A2

Excellent professional service from start to finish. Blackbox is easy to use and no problem with webcam exam, every interaction via message chat/email/phone was answered within minutes and dealt with very professionally.
Heliguy team a credit to the industry and recommend to anyone.

Colena Inc
December 2, 2020 | Keith Scott
A2 CofC (Certificate of Competency) Drone Training

i would highly recommend the Heliguy Team for your training requirements as well as the drone products they provide. Their knowledge and experience is second to none. The training documents are so easy to understand and you can ask questions if needed. The Heliguy Team really set about to help you and keep in touch with you throughout your learning journey.

Colena Inc
November 30, 2020 | David Thurston
Couldn't be better.

I have just completed the A2 CofC course.

The course content was excellent. The staff couldn't be more helpful, knowledgable and friendly.

I received my certificate a mere 2 hours after completing all the requirements.

Colena Inc
November 28, 2020 | Paudie Spillane
A2 CofC

Really happy with the course and I am enjoying learning remotely as I can learn when I’m free.
The online tutorials are very interesting and informative. And I have enjoyed taking the little tests after each tutorial..

Colena Inc
October 16, 2020 | Phil
A2 black box course

Not really started it yet as I am in the process of selling my house, this course suited me because I could do it in my own time and at my own pace.

Colena Inc
October 16, 2020 | Robert Tudor
A2 CoC training

Extremely impressed with this course. It is concise and does not have unnecessary waffle. Lots of interesting support material in form of videos etc.

Colena Inc
September 22, 2020 | David Sheehan
A2 CofC

Very informative. Easy to follow learning. A real eye opening thought provoking course.

Colena Inc

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We endeavour to ship all items as fast as possible. Occasionally during peak times orders can take longer to ship - please accept our apologies if this is the case.

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The team were quick to dispatch my order and very helpful when a problem needed solving. A really positive experience all-around, and I'll certainly consider purchasing products from them again in the future. Thanks team!

January 12,2021

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Smooth transaction and a great product

December 23,2020

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Excellent and delivery date and time was spot on.

December 3,2020

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Excellent and delivery date and time was spot on.

December 3,2020

.

Excellent prompt service.

November 9,2020

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Good advice, genuine products, fast delivery, no worries!

November 9,2020

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Great service, quick delivery, grand price!!

November 1,2020

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Great deal on the product, delivered the next day securely within the allotted time slot

October 5,2020

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Great deal on the product, delivered the next day securely within the allotted time slot

October 5,2020

.

The best online seller,
Easy purchase process,
5 stars.

October 4,2020

JANUARY

Saturday

9

January

From: Agus Santoso

Happy

Quick and great respon.

Wednesday

6

January

From: Garry Andrew Jones

Happy

Phoned Helliguy today spoke to a gentleman called Ben he was a great help five stars I highly recommend.

DECEMBER

Friday

11

December

From: Clint swann

Happy

Very helpful in all the questions I asked thank you. Second drone I will be buying from you guys wouldn’t go anywhere else

Wednesday

2

December

From: Angela Parton

Happy

Quick response, very helpful !

NOVEMBER

Monday

30

November

From: Tony McGuire

Happy

Great customer service - sorted my first purchase out and Heliguy will have my custom from now on. Thanks Ben

Friday

27

November

From: Simon Buck

Happy

Matthew is a credit to the Heliguy brand - the time and energy he put into helping me with my order was faultless. Please acknowledge this with him. Thanks Matthew - and Michael for the added input along the way.

Friday

27

November

From: Barrie Whittle

Happy

As usual,fantastic friendly help from Matt and all at Heliguy!!

Thursday

26

November

From: Colin

Happy

Thanks for info and getting back to me so quick

Tuesday

24

November

From: Robert Smith

Happy

Thank you for your quick responce and patience

Monday

23

November

From: Angela Parton

Happy

Very helpful

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