So you want to use drones for commercial purposes?

The use of drone technology is growing exponentially and it is critical to understand the legal and practical implications of flying drone’s safely.

There is no such thing as a “Drone Licence”. However, you are required to have a Permission for Commercial Operation’s (PfCO) if you wish to fly drones for any form of renumeration. A PfCO can only be issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In order to apply for a PfCO, you need to demonstrate that you are able to safely operate a drone in accordance with guidelines set by the CAA.

HALO Drones is a fully approved National Qualified Entity (NQE) which allows us to provide training and assessment in order to make a recommendation for a PfCO on behalf of the applicant.

In order for HALO to provide a recommendation for a PfCO, an individual must complete our Foundation Certificate in Commercial Drone Operations (FCCDO) course.

Benefits of the FCCDO course

Training & Assessment

No more death by PowerPoint

The FCCDO course has been designed through a unique collaboration between adult learning and subject matter experts. We have used modern experiential and accelerated learning techniques. These account for different styles of learning, as not everybody learns in the same way. It is understood that most people will forget over 75% of information they are told within 24 hours, so our aim is to significantly increase this figure.

Scenario Based Training

Scenario based training

The two-day ground school focuses on consolidating understanding through the practical application of working to solve two real world scenarios. We will propose two jobs in two different locations, facilitate your assessment of the feasibility, and plan for delivery. This helps put knowledge into context so that you are not left trying to figure out how to apply technical information on the job. It will also give you an understanding of what to expect when you start talking to customers once you have your PfCO.

Practical Engagement

Practical engagement

The two-day ground school includes a range of practical tasks, activities, group sessions and discussions and even includes a quiz. No one enjoys death by PowerPoint and practical engagement is a proven method of increasing knowledge retention and enjoyment.

Framework For Operations

Framework for operations

Rather than having to memorise technical information, the FCCDO course gives you a framework on which you can build your commercial operations. Essentially, we teach you how to find the answer, rather than give it to you and expect you to remember it.


Guided learning

You will be provided with a Handbook and a Workbook. These documents have been designed for use throughout the course so that your notes act as a practical reference in the future. This means you will always have relevant information to reference when you are operating alone in the future.

Optimised Course Design

Optimised course design

The theory exam is on the same day as the flight assessment in order to maximise contact time during the 2-day ground school. The 09:30 start time on the first day also allows you to commute in on the same morning. This means that only one night of booked accommodation is required if commuting a long distance, minimising your costs.

Experienced Instructors

Drone-specific expert instructors

Our instructors are all current commercial drone pilots. Combined, they have thousands of logged hours of operational experience for your learning benefit. They have also successfully taught over 1,000 commercial drone operators within the UK.


Maximum class sizes

We guarantee a maximum class size of no more than 6 candidates. This ensures substantial contact time between you and your and instructor, to ensure you have the attention they need and a chance to ask important questions.

A revolutionary approach to drone training

We believe learning should be fun! We have used our expertise and experience to redesign the concept of what is considered now a normal PfCO course. We have incorporated modern adult learning and assessment methodologies which will accelerate your learning, so that you are better prepared for the competitive and challenging world of commercial drones.

We have given a lot of consideration to the logistics of our course and ensure it represents good value for money. This means we provide a lot of learning hours with minimal contact time ensuring expenses are minimised, and people can fit the course into their busy lives.

There really isn’t another course like HALO’s FCCDO.

Halo flight preparation
halo training documentation

What is included?

  • Indoor training drone for the candidate to keep
  • All reference materials, workbooks & handouts
  • 2 day ground school includes venue hire and wireless Internet
  • All day refreshments and lunch both days
  • Guidance on how to complete your Operations manual and 3 reviews*
  • Theory exam & flight assessment**
  • Certificate of recommendation
  • HALO Drones ID Card

* Additional fee for further reviews and late submission. ** Retests are charged in addition to the course fee.

Course Details

  • Who should attend this course?

    Whether you intend to progress your hobby, become a pilot for an existing drone company, start a new business or add drones to your existing one, this course has been specifically designed for people looking to fly drones for commercial purposes.

    This is the first level of training for commercial drone pilots and is aimed at beginners who either have little or no prior experience with drones. Therefore, there is no requirement for any pre-existing knowledge or qualifications.

  • Course Objectives

    To provide sufficient knowledge to pass theory and flight assessments. To provide a framework for operations through scenario based experiential teaching and the development of the operations manual template. To teach you to be self-sufficient (learn how to find the information rather than memorise it).

  • Course Outcomes

    Once you have submitted an approved operations manual and are successful in passing both the theory and flight assessments, you will receive a certificate for each assessment along with a Certificate of Recommendation. This can be used in the application process for a PfCO or allow you to be added to an existing operations manual. You can then operate under a company’s existing PfCO.

  • Course Content

    The following areas of knowledge will be covered: Airmanship Air Law Airspace Meteorology Human Factors Aircraft Knowledge This syllabus is mandated by the CAA for all NQE’s. By the end of this course you will understand and be able to apply the knowledge required to make you a competent and safe drone pilot.

  • Course Prerequisites

    No prior knowledge or experience is required prior to booking onto this course, although if you do have experience it will be beneficial. The minimum age for attendance is 16 for pilots flying for a company with an existing PfCO. The minimum age for applying for a PfCO is 18 years of age. Two hours of logged flying time is a requirement of the CAA and it must be on the drone that you are looking to apply for a PfCO with (Multirotor or Fixed wing).

    You will be required to bring a laptop that is reliable and fast and be competent at using it. Anything less will compromise your experience and ability to learn which can impact on others in the classroom.

    We recommend a minimum of 10 hours practice flying prior to booking a flight assessment, and our additional practical flight training options can help save a lot of time and money along the learning and development process.

Halo geo zoning

Why train with HALO?

Learn more about HALO Drones and why you should train with us…

Course Structure

  • Stage 1: Distance Learning

    First you will learn the knowledge needed to operate drones with help of our unique interactive course handbook. This is full of quick quizzes, tops tips, anecdotes and illustrations to help make the information relevant and bring it alive so thats its an informative and enjoyable read. If you have a drone and feel confident to fly it, then any flying experience will help put things into context.

  • Stage 2: Ground School

    The 2 day ground school focuses on consolidating your understanding of the knowledge you have gained when reading the handbook by guiding you through the workflow process for delivering two real world scenarios over the course of the two days. This puts the knowledge you’ve learnt into context and gets you familiar with what to expect in preparation for your first job. The ground school includes various activities, group sessions, discussions, word searches and we even have a pub quiz on the first night! There is no exam on the ground school which means more time for learning and less time for worrying. This is in contrast to most other training schools which simply repeat the information provided in the course handbook in a series of powerpoint slides. The workflow is as follows: 1. Feasibility Study 2. Risk Assessment 3. Pre Deployment 4. On Site 5. Flying 6. Post Flight 7. Emergencies 8. Operational Procedures In addition, the late start time on the first day was purposefully chosen so that candidates can travel on the morning of the course, therefore requiring only one night of accommodation if staying away from home.

  • Stage 3: Operations Manual Development

    Once the ground school is complete the candidate will need to prepare for their assessment day. The flight assessment must be completed in accordance with an approved operations manual that is specific to your organisation. This requires you to write one and we’ve taken yet another innovative and unique approach to integrating this into our course. Rather than simply giving you a completed template or one with little guidance to complete it, we’ve turned it into another learning tool to further help consolidate your knowledge and understanding.

  • Stage 4: Assessment Day

    Once the operations manual has been approved and the candidate feels prepared they can then book the assessment day. There are two assessments to be completed: 1. Theory Exam 2. Flight Assessment. 4 hours is allocated for both assessments which gives plenty of time.

  • Stage 5: Application to CAA for a PfCO

    Upon successful completion of the two assessments, HALO Drones will provide a Certificate of recommendation for a PfCO. We will provide guidance on how to apply for a PfCO using the CAA online application form.


"One of the best courses I have ever been part of. Very well designed course, on which I learned as much as possible in two days. Great material, very inspiring and engaging instructor, who not only answered all of our questions with great proficiency and support, but really helped us learn in an effective team. This course will really give you a solid foundation in all aspects of commercial drone operations, that will help you get a huge leap in the market. Worth every penny. Great job!"

Oliver Wagner Skyports

Course Locations

Halo meeting

Types of courses

Open Courses

These are great for individuals to book on to. You will share the room with people from all sorts of backgrounds which will inevitably stimulate networking and discussion.  We have set dates for all of our locations so please contact us to find availability.

Bespoke Courses

These are preferable for any company with multiple individuals looking for a private and bespoke course. We can come to your venue and tailor the course structure to suit your organisational needs. Prices vary depending on numbers, location and course structure.

Drone building experience


Please get in touch with our personable staff to discuss your requirements so that we can create a specific quote for your course.


  • What if I fail either of the assessments?

    If you fail any assessments, you will be allowed to re-sit subject to the following criteria: – A mark within 25% of the pass mark – A resit is permitted after a minimum of 1 week – A mark outside 25% of the pass mark – A resit is permitted after a minimum of 2 weeks You will still be able to complete the flight assessment, even if you fail the theory assessment on the same day. You can complete a maximum of three attempts in either of the assessments, before having to attend another ground school. There is a charge of £150 + VAT per re-sit, but before you worry about the cost implications of failing, we would like to reassure you that our course structure and practical training methodology has been designed to reduce the likelihood of this happening. We don’t want you to fail, and the charge is merely to cover our expenses

  • Does it matter if I have more than one drone?

    You must complete your flight assessment with the drone you wish to apply for a PfCO with. A standard permission is granted to fly either a 0-20kg Multirotor or Fixed wing.

    If you wish to upgrade your drone or change it for another one in the future, you will not need any further training or assessment so long as it is the same type that your PfCO permits you to fly. Therefore, all you are required to do is update your operations manual to incorporate procedures for its operation and insure it.

  • What is not included on the course?

    Accommodation and the CAA’s application fee which is currently £247.00 (August 2018). Visit the CAA website for the latest information.

Course Brochure

Click the following link to download a course brochure

© Ben Phillips