Online PfCO

Become a Commercial Drone Pilot with our exclusive CAA Drone Training eCourse

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  • Complete at your own pace
  • No prior experience required

The UK’s Leading Online PfCO Drone Course

The Online PfCO is an all-inclusive, CAA-approved drone training course that leads to your NQE recommendation for the Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) to fly drones commercially in the UK whilst becoming a certified drone pilot.

Part 1: PfCO eCourse Syllabus

The Uplift Drones Online PfCO eCourse has been created by our expert training team of commercial drone operators and manned pilots, to cover the following subjects that meet and exceed the CAA PfCO training recommended syllabus:

  • Air Law
  • Ground Maps & Air Navigation Charts
  • Airspace Operating Principles
  • Meteorology
  • Aircraft Knowledge
  • Airmanship & Aviation Safety
  • Human Factors
  • Operating Procedures

Plus –

  • Theory Exam Preparation

The eCourse material is made of comprehensive written information and packed with interactive content, videos and activities to test your new knowledge along the way. Whether you’re a visual or verbal learner, our online PfCO makes learning easy, quick and enjoyable.

Learn at your own pace, in your own time – without taking any time off work. All you need to do is login and pick up where you left off. With a progress tracker to mark your success and guide you through each module, all in the comfort of your own home or office.

Part 2: Online Theory Exam

The online theory exam is 1 hour long consisting of 57 multiple-choice questions, and there are mock exam questions included within the eCourse to aid your preparation.

When you feel ready to pass your theory examination, you can contact us on 0330 111 8800 or info@upliftdrones.com and we will provide you with login details and instructions to access our external examination system. To complete your online theory exam you will require a laptop/PC, webcam and Google Chrome browser.

In the unlikely event a resit is required the first resit is free for the online theory exam. Any additional resits are chargeable at £30.00 ex VAT.

Part 3: Practical Flight Test

The Online PfCO course also includes the cost of your practical flight test, which (availability permitting) can be taken on the same day as your written exam. Although the cost is included, you will need to book your practical flight test separately and in advance with the Uplift office team.

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; Uplift PfCO students receive FREE insurance for their PfCO practical flight assessment. Click here for details and to redeem.
  • 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 process within 6 months timeframe, otherwise additional training will 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.

Testing Locations

We offer 8 testing locations across the UK so you can complete your practical flight exam close to home; Brighton, Bristol, Dunsfold, High Wycombe, Maidstone, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow. 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!

Add A Practical Flight Training Session?

Part 4: Operations Manual

You are required to complete an Operations Manual as part of your CAA PfCO training. 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 our online 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 5: CAA UAS 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.

The Online PfCO Process

pfco drone training course timeline infographic


Whether you’re busy with work, family or life in general, not everybody is able to attend an in-person PfCO training course. That’s why we’ve created the perfect online learning solution, so your PfCO training can seamlessly slot into your schedule. Here’s answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:

Would You Rather Complete Our Classroom Course?


All students are assigned a dedicated Uplift Instructor as their main point of contact throughout the Permission application process. This instructor will review your Operations Manual and answer any queries you may have along the way.


To access the Uplift eLearning Portal you will require an internet connection. The eCourse can be completed on multiple platforms including tablet, Apple Mac and PC. If you are a desktop user, we recommend that you use the most up-to-date version of your preferred browser.

Flight Training

If you feel that you would benefit from practical Flight Training at one of our outdoor training locations, this can be booked separately for an additional cost of £350 plus VAT. Please contact us on 0330 111 8800 for more information or book online.


Online students will require the specified drone insurance for their Practical Flight Test. You can claim free flight test cover from our insurance partners Coverdrone. Click here for more information.

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

© Uplift Drone Training T/A Uplift Drones 2017-2019 - All rights reserved. Company No: 10064089. VAT No: 260036345.
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