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 payment. 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.

How this course is different from its competitors

Training & Assessment

No more death by PowerPoint

HALO Drones is the only CAA approved drone training school to use Practical and Scenario based training methods as the foundations of our course design. These keep you engaged and put content into context, making it relevant, understandable and memorable.

Cost Savings

100% Extra Value

Rather than giving you content to remember, our training methods help you develop skills that will allow you to apply your knowledge on the job so that you can present yourself with confidence and competence in front of your clients, helping you win work and separate yourself from your competitors. 

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?

  • All course materials, workbooks & handouts
  • 2 day ground school
  • All day refreshments and lunch both days (Face 2 Face only)
  • Guidance on how to complete your Operations manual and 3 reviews
  • Theory exam & flight assessment*
  • Certificate of recommendation

* 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 of Recommendation. This is 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.

    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.

    You are required to bring a LAPTOP that is reliable and fast and be competent at using it. It must have MICROSOFT WORD or Apple Pages so that you can use the Operations Manual template and you must be competent at using it.

    If you’re participating in our online ground school by webinar, you must also install the conference calling software ZOOM and have a webcam and speakers installed in order to effectively participate in the course.

    Anything less will compromise your experience and ability to learn which can impact on others in the classroom.

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

    Prior to attending the ground school, you will be provided with a Course handbook which you will be required to read. This contains all the theoretical knowledge you will need to be a competent pilot and pass your exams. If you have a drone and feel confident to fly it, then any flying experience will help put things into context during the next phase.

  • Stage 2: Ground School

    The 2-day ground school element has been designed to minimise contact time and expenses. There are now two options to attend which include;

    Face 2 Face  

    For those who particularly prefer learning in person, there is no doubt that communication is more personable, easier and faster when face to face.  We have designed the timetable to minimise travel expenses so that you can travel in on the morning of the course, therefore requiring only one night of accommodation if staying away from home.

    Online Webinar 

    Originally developed in response to the lock down during the recent pandemic, this option has proven popular for those who wish to save on travel expenses and learn from the comfort of their own home.

    The ground school focuses on the consolidation of knowledge that is learnt prior to attendance through use of practical and engaging tasks and activities that are based around two typical real-world scenarios so that your knowledge is put into context. We believe this helps you remember and apply this new information.

    It does NOT include a theory exam. This is to maximise the time we have on the course for learning and also helps increase focus due to reduce stress levels.

  • Stage 3: Operations Manual Development

    Once the ground school is complete, you will need to prepare for your flight assessment which must be completed in accordance with an approved operation manual. We provide a template and guidance material so that the process is as easy as we can make it, without actually doing it for you.

  • Stage 4: Assessment Day

    Once the operations manual has been approved and you feel suitably prepared you can then book the assessment day. There are two assessment to be completed:

    Theory Exam (an online option is now available)

    Flight Assessment

    It is not a requirement to pass the theory in order to do the flight assessment and 4 hours is allocated for both assessments (1 hour theory and 3 hours practical) which gives plenty of time.

  • Stage 5: Application to CAA for a PfCO

    Upon successful completion of the two assessments, we will provide a Recommendation for a PfCO certificate and 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 £253 (March 2019). Visit the CAA website for the latest information.

Course Brochure

Click the following link to download a course brochure

© Ben Phillips