Advanced PfCO

3 Day Commercial Drone Training Course

Infographic showing 3-Day Advanced Pathway to CAA PfCO with Uplift Drones
  • 3 days
  • No prior experience required
  • Max 3 people per course

3-Day Advanced PfCO Course

At Uplift Drones, we recommend all students completely new to drone flying should take the Advanced PfCO course. This is because it includes 2 days of theory training followed by a third day of practical flight test preparation, to ensure you become a competent and confident drone pilot.

This 3-day PfCO course leads to our NQE recommendation to the CAA for granting the applicant a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) and leads to full CAA qualification, that allows you to undertake commercial work with drones in the UK. Infographic showing Reasons to completed CAA PfCO drone training with Uplift Drones

Part 1: eLearning Study Material

To ensure you are well prepared for the course, you will have access to our online pre-course material (e-learning). Please ensure you work through the e-learning material prior to attending Ground School, as this will greatly improve your understanding of the modules and theory test score.

Part 2: Ground School & Theory Exam

Our 2-day Ground School is all theory-based in the classroom. Within those 2 days we cover modules from Air Law to Meteorology to Risk Assessments. You will take your theory examination at the end of Day 2.

All course days run promptly from 08:30 to approx. 17:00, please allow ample travel time to and from your course location. Course attendees must bring a laptop or tablet/mobile device that is WiFi capable to the course as this will be used in classroom activities.

Part 3: Flight Training (Practical Test Preparation)

Your third day of the Advanced PfCO course features 3 hours of hands-on practical flight training, focusing on how to plan and fly a commercial job in readiness for your flight test. This is a rare opportunity to practice more difficult flying (such as ATTI flying) in a safe environment, and to enhance your flight skills with an instructor on hand.

It’s an invaluable practical session for those looking to maximise their chances of passing their flight test, and for those who want to ‘hit the ground running’ when they are ready to start their commercial operations. We provide all students with a market-leading drone and drone insurance for the practical flight training session.

Part 4: Practical Flight Test

The Advanced PfCO course also includes the cost of your practical flight test, which is conducted on a separate day when you feel ready to pass with confidence. Although the cost is included, you will need to book your practical flight test separately and in advance with the Uplift office team. If the examination is failed the student will incur a retest fee. 

There is a Flight Test Preparation eCourse included within your eLearning study materials, to guide you through the process and requirements to undertake your Practical Flight Assessment.

You will need to complete the following before your Flight Test:

  • Theory exam passed.
  • Operations Manual reviewed and passed by the training team OR Uplift Drones’ procedures learned before test.
  • We strongly recommend a minimum of 5 hours of logged flight time; this is to ensure you are able to successfully pass your flight exam and you meet the minimum standard required.
  • Insurance in place.
  • Risk Assessment & Site Assessment paperwork.
  • Book your Flight Test with the Uplift office team.


  • Appropriate weather
  • A drone! If you do not yet have an aircraft, please speak to us about hiring or purchasing a drone for the Flight Test.
  • Safety equipment; you can purchase our Flight Safety Starter Kit here.


  • Spaces can be limited so please book & confirm your time slot by calling us on 0330 111 8800 as soon as you feel confident to pass your flight test.
  • You must complete the whole process within 12 months of passing your theory test, otherwise additional training may be required.
  • The test takes approximately 1.5 hours, however this may vary.
  • If the flight test is failed the student will incur a retest fee.

Our friendly team are on hand to answer any questions you may have about the Flight Test, so please do not hesitate to contact us!

Part 5: Operations Manual

You are required to complete an Operations Manual. This sets out how you will operate your drone safely and contains the procedures you will use when flying your drone. This is something you can complete in your own time with our templates, which you can access via the online portal ‘Downloads’ section.

All of our PfCO students are assigned a dedicated Uplift Drones Instructor as their main point of contact throughout the Permission application process. This instructor will review your Ops Manual and answer any queries you may have along the way. Once this final section is complete and has been signed off by the Uplift training team, you can then submit your PfCO application to the CAA.

Part 6: CAA PfCO Application

When you have completed all parts of the course successfully, you can submit your paperwork to the CAA via their online application process. But first, read through our guidance to the CAA PfCO application: https://www.upliftdronetraining.com/documentation/ – you will also find the direct link to the CAA’s online application portal.

The CAA charge a fee for UAS applications (currently £253) in addition to the online course price. Payment is made online in the final stages of their online UAS application.

Our Guarantee

Did you know, the CAA now charge an application rejection fee of £124.00, with one of the most common reasons for rejection being ops manuals that do not meet the required standard.

We are so confident that our PfCO Refresh & Review course will lead to your application renewal being approved first time, that we will refund you £124.00 to cover the CAA fee should your application be rejected due to any errors relating to your operations manual, following our comprehensive review. Terms and Conditions apply.

Prefer To Complete Your PfCO Course Online?

Day 1: Ground School

Day 1 of the Uplift Drones theory course will cover the following subjects that meet and exceed the CAA recommended syllabus.

  • Air Law
  • Maps and Charts
  • Airspace
  • Meteorology
  • Aircraft

Day 2: Ground School

Day 2 introduces exciting new subjects that will expand your knowledge of drone operations and prove invaluable in your career.

  • Airmanship
  • Human Factors
  • Operating Procedures
  • Revision
  • Test

Day 3: Flight Training

Day 3’s flight training is conducted with our qualified flying instructors, to apply the key principles of flying and the skills needed to be confident and safe during operation of the unmanned aircraft. The flight training consists of:

  • Basic site setup.
  • Completion of risk assessment paperwork on site.
  • Correct use of all checklists and flight procedures.
  • Basic operation of GPS, ATTI mode, including the benefits of intelligent flight modes.
  • Strictly limited to 3 students per instructor, per day.

Practical Flight Test

Your practical Flight Test is conducted at a later date, when you feel ready to pass the practical examination with confidence.

The cost of your Flight Test is included within this course, however your test must be booked separately, in advance with our office team.

You must book and pass your Flight Test within 9 months of passing your Theory Test.

Uplift Drone Training Ltd. CAA Approved. UAS Sub 20kg. 0816/2061

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