Drone Training (GVC) (A2 CofC)

Drone Training (GVC) (A2 CofC)

Duration - 5 Day course

we supply the drones for you to use on our course


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

The CAA does not issue licences.

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

You’ll actually receive a (GVC) after completing the necessary course.

There are four 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 Training conducted with TMST Drones

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

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 GVC.


TMST 5 Day Drone Course

Designed for clients with little or no drone experience.

Pre-learning via online learning.

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

Day 3 Practical flight training using our drone platforms.

Night flight training, using drones equipped with thermal cameras.

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 Full GVC.

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 4 Diploma drone course.

20 hours pre-course learning via our online learning.

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%

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 4 Diploma. On completion of our course candidates who wish to apply for their Permission for Commercial Operations (GVC) will be awarded by our approved National Qualified Entity (NQE) the recommendation needed to obtain permission from the CAA.

Once you complete your pre-course learning, 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

  • 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 GVC 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

Ground School Learning

The CSM contains all the information required to pass the theory exam section of the course. 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 unmanned aviation 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
  • Principles of Flight
  • Risk Management
  • Flight Planning Tutorial
  • On-site Procedures
  • Operations Manual Guidance
  • Flight Assessment

Flight Training conducted with TMST Drones

The course contains 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.

Flight test

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. Day 5 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 GVC 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



New drone regulations for 2020

From 1st July 2020 new EU regulations governing the use of drones will come into force in the UK and across Europe.

If you currently fly a drone, whether you fly just for fun or you fly for commercial gain, these new regulations will make a difference to you.

This article sets out to help you understand what your options are, where the opportunities may be and what you will have to do to fly legally after 1st July 2020.

The new regulations coming into force on 1st July 2020 are substantially different from the regulations we work with now. The key changes these regulations require are:

There will be no distinction between commercial and recreational flying.

The training organisations current known as National Qualified Entities or NQEs will have to ‘transition’ to be Recognised Assessment Entities or RAEs.

There will be three categories of operation, Open, Specific and Certified.

There will be three standard levels of training and assessment – which one you will need will be determined by the nature of your intended flying and the drone you will use.

The levels will be:

1 The A2 Certificate of Competence (A2 CofC) is required to fly in the Open Category A2 (near people). This requires you to complete an online course and pass a 30 question exam. There is no practical flight assessment for the A2 CofC but you will need to self-declare that you have completed training flights. These courses will be available from RAEs.

2 The General VLOS Certificate (GVC) is required for you to fly in the Specific Category. This requires for you to take a course much like the current PfCO courses. Theory, Operations Manual and Flight Assessment.

Current PfCO Holders

If you already hold a current CAA Permission for Commercial Operations (either Standard Permissions or OSC/Non-Standard Permissions) it will continue to be valid for as long as you renew it. You will be able to renew indefinitely and will retain all the privileges of your PfCO indefinitely. Should you let your PfCO lapse you will lose these privileges and will then need to fly within the new regulatory framework. The first time you renew after July 2020 your PfCO will be changed to an Operational Authorisation, but the terms in it will remain as they are

If you need to fly a drone with a Maximum Take-Off Mass over 2kg and to operate in or near congested areas or where there are likely to be any members of the public (uninvolved people) the only way you will be able to continue to operate it from July 2020 is by retaining your PfCO.

You may, however, choose to switch to the Open Category A2 and purchase a C2 drone (up to 4kg) when they become available. You will then be able to fly as close as 30m to uninvolved people in normal flight or 5m in a switchable ‘slow flight mode’. These distances are lateral, i.e. a cylinder; the bubble rule will no longer apply. To fly in Open Category A2 you will need to take the A2 Certificate of Competence (A2 CofC) exam, but you will not need an Operations Manual or to apply to the CAA for an Operational Authorisation. As soon as you have been issued with your A2 CofC you will be able to fly. You will then let your PfCO lapse.

For many PfCO holders it will not be possible to operate in the A2 Sub-Category, particularly as there are no C2 drones yet available. If you need to fly a drone over 2kg, fly within 30m of uninvolved people during take-off and landing, use the bubble rule to be able to transit over roads or property etc. etc. then you will no be able to fly in the A2 Sub-Category. You have the option either to renew your PfCO to retain those permissions or you will need to apply for an Operational Authorisation in the Specific Category which will require for you to complete the General VLOS Certificate (GVC) training, including the flight assessment, and have Operations Manual. This is very similar to the current PfCO course and application process.

As it stands, there will be no exemptions from the requirements for gaining a GVC for remote pilot who have already completed a PfCO course with a NQE.

Holding a PfCO is the only way you can legally operate a drone for commercial gain between now and 1st July 2020.

Our advice is to complete your course and apply for a GVC. You then have all the options open to you as set out above for PfCO holders.

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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.