PfCO Course (E-Learning)

PfCO Course (E-Learning)

Start your CAA approved drone training online today! Gain the skills and knowledge needed to operate a drone commercially and apply for your Permissions for Commercial Operations (PfCO).

Taken completely online, this online PfCO self-study course is delivered with e-learning modules, meaning students can learn at their own pace and get qualified from home.

Please Note: After attending the course, students will need to complete an in-person flight-assessment (included). Due to CAA regulations changing, delegates will need to have completed all elements of the course (Ground school, Operations Manual + Flight test) and submitted their application to the CAA before 1st December 2020.

Physical classroom courses available here: CAA Approved PfCO Course
Virtual tutor-led courses available here: Virtual Approved PfCO Course

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Please Note: The final exam will be invigilated via Google Meets. Exams are scheduled every Friday at 10:00-12:00 & 14:00-16:00. Delegates will need to ensure they have access to a webcam, microphone, speakers and a strong internet connection. This will need to be completed in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Final exams must be booked 5 days in advance.

About the course

Our online PfCO e-learning course – also known as the iRed® Commercial Remote Pilot Qualification (CRPQ) – is specifically designed for new commercial drone pilots. The course provides students with the necessary skills and knowledge to apply for their Permissions for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).

Commercial Remote Pilot Qualification

Delivered as a blended learning experience, this course is comprised of a series of video presentations, reading assignments and multiple-choice tests. Once completed, students will be able to apply for their PfCO using their qualification.

Course content

During the theory course, students will learn the essential skills and knowledge needed to operate a drone for commercial purposes. Pilots will learn how to navigate the airspace around them in accordance with CAA regulations.

Course content includes drone operating procedures, air law, airmanship, meteorology, and navigation. Alongside this, students will gain industry-focused advice and guidance for professional industrial inspections, as well as different applications for their drone including a range of sensors.

At the end of the e-learning course, delegates will sit a multiple-choice theory exam.

What’s next?

Successful completion of the course will give delegates the skills and knowledge to create a CAA-compliant Operations Manual. This manual will focus on your specific drone, and the operations you will be conducting. Additionally, it will include details of your organisation, your aircraft, and the operating procedures you intend to follow. Once complete, you can submit your manual to the iRed® Academy, where our instructors will provide guidance and feedback before final CAA submission.

Flight Assessment

Once your Operations Manual has been successfully reviewed by our instructors, you will be able to book your practical flight assessment. The flight test is the only time during this course when delegates will need to travel, as it will take place at our assessment location. The aim of the flight test is to ensure that you are both confident and competent when operating your aircraft. During the test, delegates will demonstrate the procedures they put in place before, during, and after a drone operation. You can schedule your flight test for up to a year after course completion.

CAA Application

When students have successfully completed both their flight assessment and operations manual, we’ll provide you with a ‘letter of recommendation’. You can then submit this, alongside your operations manual and Online CRPQ Course Certificate to the CAA for approval.

PfCO approval can take up to 28 days, and is not guaranteed. However, a ‘letter of recommendation’ from an approved training provider is a requirement for those applying for a PfCO.

Our drone training courses provide extra insight and guidance for commercial applications and using your drone within industry. As commercial surveyors and inspectors, our instructors have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can’t be found at any other training centre.

Our team can also provide extra guidance for night flying operations – at no extra charge.

Questions? Speak to our learning advisors!


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