Drone Training (PFCO)

Drone Training (PFCO)

Duration - 5 Day course

we supply a wide range of drones for you to use on our course


How to become a drone pilot and gain your ‘PfCO’

The CAA does not issue licences.

There is no such thing as a ‘Drone licence’ in the UK.

You’ll actually receive a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) after completing the necessary course.

There are three stages:

Ground School.

The two days of theory gives students the understanding of the equipment used, safe aircraft operations and a variety of aviation knowledge. A theory exam is completed at the end of day two.

Flight Assessment.

This is a practical assessment where student’s skills are assessed in controlling the aircraft, testing in real-world scenarios and completing required checks and notifications for a commercial operation.

Operations Manual.

The Operations Manual details the student’s operational procedures they are required to follow. TMST guide and mentor students throughout the completion of their manual.

Only after this stage can you apply to the CAA for your PfCO.


TMST 5 Day Drone Course

Designed for clients with little or no drone experience.

Pre-learning via online portal.

Days 1-2 Theory - classroom training, including flight planning and theory exam.

Day 3 Practical flight training using a range of drone platforms.

Night flight training, using drones equipped with thermal cameras aimed at security.

Day 4 Flight assessment - using TMST's drones and real task scenario training.

Day 5 Operations manual workshop – at the end you should have a fully completed operations manual that will be endorsed by our NQE and is ready for submission to the CAA to gain your Permission for Commercial Operations ‘PfCO’.

Experience a wide range of drone platforms.​

The 5 day TMST drone course is ideal for clients to get hands on experience with a wide range of drone platforms.

Giving you a better understanding of the equipment available without having to purchase a drone just for training.

Practical drone training


Course Fees

TMST 5 day Level 3 / 4 Diploma drone course.

20 hours pre-course learning via our online portal.

Free drone hire and insurance.

Practical flight training - Day and Night.

2 days classroom theory, including exam.

Flight test.

Real task scenario training.

Operations manual assistance enabling you to submit your Ops manual application by the end of the course.

Total cost £2065.83 (EXC VAT).

ELCAS Approved for ELC funding

Enhance your career prospects and maximise your ELCAS funding:

Lower tier: ELCAS provide £1000 of funding

Higher tier: ELCAS provide £2000 of funding

You must contribute a minimum of 20%

The following example for higher tier funding

PfCO Drone – £2,479 [ELCAS contribute £1,983.20, you pay £495.80]

TMST 5 day drone course - Night training


TMST 5 day drone course - Search and Rescue training


Practical drone training with thermal camera


Courses overview

TMST's Unmanned Aircraft Qualification (UAQ) drone course will be made up of people with a varied mix of experience and the informal nature of the course encourages discussion and questioning.

TMST 5 day – ‘Zero to Hero’ course is set over five days and covers all the necessary theory and practical elements for your Level 3 Certificate or Level 4 Diploma. Candidates who wish to apply for their Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) can complete in addition an Operations Manual, where our approved National Qualified Entity (NQE) can make the recommendation to obtain the permission from the CAA.

Once you complete your pre-course learning (approx 20hrs), you will join us for two days of flight training (which includes - hands-on drone experience with TMST's selection of state of the art (drones).

This is bespoke drone training designed for complete novices to advanced flyers.

The classroom element of the course includes a significant amount of important content and culminates in the multi-choice theory exam and separate flight planning exercise.

The Flight Assessment takes place at our local flying venue.

Course includes

  • Course manual
  • Practical flight training, based on individual skill levels
  • Advanced flight training and flight assessment preparation, day and night.
  • Real task scenario experience.
  • Refreshments
  • Instructor-led classroom sessions by experienced professionals
  • Theory and Flight Planning exams
  • 90min Flight Assessment to assess practical flying competence
  • Operations Manual development session and access to templates
  • Certificates and full category NQE Recommendation**

Note: CAA fees for a PfCO are not included in the course fee.

** Full category NQE recommendations will be issued following the final review of your completed Operations Manual by our NQE.

Real task scenario experience


Course Details

Online Learning Portal

Here, we have broken down the sections of the Course Study Manual (CSM) into subject lessons so it is easier to digest. Where relevant, there are supplementary videos to aid learning. At the end of each lesson, there is a quiz that has a selection of questions in the same style as those in the final exam for exam practice.

You will also receive a hard copy of the CSM and a Flight Assessment Handbook (FAH) posted directly to you.

Flight Training conducted with TMST Drones

The course starts with two days of practical flight training - TMST will provide you with all you need to learn about the basics of drone flying.

TMST have a selection of drones you can fly from DJI products to bespoke thermal imaging drones for commercial operations. As well as gaining invaluable flight experience we aim to give you a better understanding of the drones that are available and help you make the correct choice when considering what to buy in the future.

Ground School Learning

The CSM contains all the information required to pass the theory exam section of the course, but during this stage we will go over the important areas and ensure that you are fully prepared for both the theory and flight planning exams.

Ground School will build on your pre-course learning and aims to cement the concepts and ideas you’ll need to be a competent drone operator.

Our two days of classroom learning will be facilitated by up to 2 instructors with extensive backgrounds in either manned or unmanned aviation (or both) and who have a wealth of relevant experience.

The emphasis during this stage is practical application through case studies and discussion. You will see how theoretical knowledge is applied to the real world operations that you will carry out on a daily basis. Through a series of exercises, we will bring together all the theoretical elements and ensure that a good understanding of how work in the field has been achieved.

Ground School.

  • Air Law
  • Airspace
  • Navigation and Charting
  • Human Factors
  • Weather (pre-course learning only)
  • Principles of Flight
  • Risk Management
  • Flight Planning Tutorial
  • On-site Procedures
  • Operations Manual Guidance
  • Flight Assessment

The focus of the final day of the UAQ is solely on the Flight Assessment. This can be done with reference to the handbook we provide, or you can choose to bring your own reference material if you prefer. Each candidate will be fully briefed so you will know exactly what to expect and all efforts will be made to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere to bring out the best performance in each individual.

Flight test

The flight assessment is the last part of our five day UAQ PfCO course.

The Flight Assessment is designed to take 90 mins of which approximately 10-20 mins will be spent flying. The remaining time will be spent discussing the safe operating procedures, checklists and site assessment.

We will provide you with a 'Flight Assessment Handbook’, which comes with procedures, and checklists that are suitable for the drone you will fly during your assessment.

Skills Test Content

Although there is far more to the Flight Assessment than just flying the drone itself - We believe in de-mystifying what is involved in the actual skills test and being transparent about it – so as a candidate you know if you are ready to take the Flight Assessment based on your own performance in practice.

Upon enrolling on a course with us, we will give you our Skills Test Candidate Guide, which outlines in detail the manoeuvres you will be expected to perform on the day. As a general guide these may include:

• Hovering in a fixed position

• Orbit an object

• Height perception

• Linear tracking

• Emergency procedures

Operations Manual

As part of the course, we will provide you with a quick and easy Operations Manual template. During the fourth day of the Ground School, we will go over a few key sections and make sure the requirements are clearly explained. This is only relevant if you want to apply for a PfCO after completion of the course.


  • 18 years or older.
  • TMST will supply you with a drone and insurance for your flight training and flight assessment.
  • If you already own a drone you can use your own.
  • If you wish to use your own drone please provide proof of applicable drone insurance.

Real task scenario experience



Bespoke Security Training Courses

Our instructors are all qualified in their specialised field; they have a wealth of knowledge gained through working in hostile and challenging environments within the military, law enforcement and the private security industry.

T McAdams Security Training Solutions provide commissioned packages to our clients to meet all of their objectives. We do this by using the tried and tested ‘Systems Approach to Training’ (SAT), combined with project management methodology which ensures that courses are delivered on time, to the agreed standard and within budget.