GVC Course (Classroom)

£700.00 inc. VAT

GBP700 including VAT

The General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC) is a new drone qualification that will be introduced from 31 December 2020.

The GVC allows pilots to conduct VLOS (Visual Line of Sight) operations within the Specific Category.

Please note: Course dates are subject to change due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We are currently not taking bookings for Plumpton and Lancaster.


Course Description

The General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC) is a remote pilot competency qualification.

Following the launch of new drone regulations from 31 December 2020, this qualification aligns with certain drone operating categories. As such, pilots holding a GVC are able to conduct Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) operations within the Specific Category.

The iRed GVC course provides a mixture of theory and hands-on, practical assessment. This ensures that pilots have the skills and knowledge to operate their drone safely and responsibly.

Course Content

To gain their GVC, delegates must first attend a training course delivered by a Recognised Assessment Entity (RAE), such as iRed. An RAE is a centre approved by the CAA to deliver drone training courses and certification.

During this course, delegates will learn the essential skills and knowledge needed to operate a drone within the Specific Category. As such, the GVC course introduces delegates to factors such as air law and basic principles of flight, plus flight planning and preparation.

The syllabus includes:

  • Air Law and Responsibilities
  • UAS Airspace Operating Principles
  • Airmanship and Aviation Safety
  • Human Performance Limitations
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation and Charts
  • UAS General Knowledge
  • Operator Responsibilities
  • Operating Procedures

At the end of the course, delegates will sit a 40-question theory exam.

Operations Manual

In addition, delegates will need to produce an Operations Manual. This document sets out the procedures that a pilot will put in place to make sure they are flying their drone safely. As such, the Operations Manual forms part of the practical flight assessment, as delegates will need to follow the procedures listed in their manual during the test.  iRed’s expert instructors will provide templates and guidance for creating an accurate Operations Manual.

Practical Flight Test

After completing the theory course, delegates will also undertake a practical flight test. The GVC course cost also includes the practical flight assessment.  This assessment ensures that a pilot is able to operate safely in the Specific Category, and can competently undertake a range of VLOS operations. For example, delegates will need to demonstrate their procedures before, during, and after a drone flight.

During this comprehensive course, drone pilots will gain the skills and knowledge to conduct a variety of VLOS operations within the Specific Category. After you have successfully completed the theory course, Operations Manual, and flight assessment, iRed will provide you with a ‘recommendation’. You will need to submit your ‘recommendation’, along with your Manual and iRed Certificate, to the CAA for approval of your GVC.

Further ‘bolt-on’ modules will enhance the standard GVC qualification. Though currently unavailable, these modules are suitable for pilots looking to operate under more complex STS or PDRA. This is similar to what is currently granted under an OSC (‘Operating Safety Case’). As a result, pilots completing the additional modules will be able to undertake a wider range of operations. We will be releasing more information about these modules soon.

Who Should Attend

The GVC is a requirement for any pilot who wants to fly their drone within the Specific Category. This category is specifically for operations that fall outside of the boundaries of the Open Category. Therefore, pilots holding an A2 Certificate of Competency cannot fly within the Specific Category.

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Additional Information


10 – 11 January 2020 (Emsworth, Hampshire), 10 – 11 Feb 2020 (Emsworth, Hampshire), 10 – 11 Mar 2020 (Emsworth, Hampshire), 10 – 11 Apr 2020 (Emsworth, Hampshire), 10 – 11 May 2020 (Emsworth, Hampshire)


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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a GVC?
A General VLOS Certificate applies to all drone pilots, whether commercial or recreational, who want to conduct operations that are classed within the Specific Category. This refers to operations that cannot be done within the Open Category, but are not complex enough for the Certified Category. This includes operations involving drones of more than 25 kg. Pilots operating in this category can also fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

The GVC system is similar to the current PfCO and OSC. This will also apply to all VLOS operations conducted under a published ‘Standard Scenario’ (STS) or ‘Pre-Defined Risk Assessment’ (PDRA). Pilots who hold a GVC can ‘declare their intent’ to operate to the CAA without the need for further authorisation.

What’s the difference between an A2 CofC and a GVC?
The main difference between the A2 CofC and the GVC is the fact that each of these qualifications relates to separate operating categories.

An A2 CofC allows pilots to operate within the A2 subcategory of the Open Category – whereas pilots with a GVC are able to conduct VLOS operations within the Specific Category. As such, the qualification you need will depend on the type of operations you want to conduct – factoring in operating distances from people and buildings, as well as the class of drone you’ll be flying.

If you’re aiming to conduct operations across multiple categories, you may need to gain the A2 CofC as well as the GVC.

What happens if I already have a PfCO?
The A2 CofC and GVC qualifications will be introduced from 1 July 2020. New drone pilots will have the choice between these certificates, and PfCO training will no longer be available.

After this date, a PfCO will be known as an ‘Operational Authorisation’. Pilots who hold a valid PfCO that expires after July will not automatically be transferred across to a GVC. However, these pilots will be able to operate under the terms of their existing permissions until their renewal date.

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