Frequently Asked Questions…

Drone Masterclass is part of Crowded Space Drones, a leading drone company working for well-known organisations ranging from the BBC to Live Nation, Walmart and the Royal Family.

Our online A2 CofC and GVC theory course is presented by Andrew Hamilton who until July 2020 was the UAS (Drone) Unit Manager at the Civil Aviation Authority, responsible for all registration, permissions, exemptions and anything operational.

His wealth of experience, including his experience setting up the first UK Police Drone Unit, is passed down to students in our Learner Management System.

We also have a range of highly experienced trainers and assessors who delivery our in-person training and assessments.

We use a specialist learning platform which we have populated with content including videos of our instructors, giving you a better experience than being in the classroom as you can learn at your own pace. Our online theory for the A2 CofC and GVC is presented by Andrew Hamilton, former CAA Drone Unit Manager.


We provide a full range of support from a comprehensive Students Manual packed with our experience, sample forms and procedures to help you setup your drone operations and access to our entire teaching and learner support team. 


If you have any concerns or questions, you are able to video conference with our teachers who will support you.

Our primary flight assessment locations are Belfast, Silverstone Circuit, Devon, Cumbria, Sussex and Cheshire. For organisations booking courses for multiple students, we can normally conduct flight assessments at your location.

The new rules applied in the United Kingdom from the 31st December 2020

The new drone regulations can be confusing so we have tried to make them easier to understand in this summary to help decide what training is right for you. In the new regulations the main principle is that the riskier your flight, the more training and oversight you will need.

The regulations are in three main categories so you will need to know which category you wish to operate in to understand what level of training you require.

Open Category


  • To operate in this category, you will present a low (or no) risk to third parties.
  • There are different rules for different weights of drones.
  • A new product class of drone is coming out on 01/01/2023 where you can make best use of this category. Until then you can use existing drones known as ‘legacy drones’


When operating in the Open category you will operate to pre-defined characteristics which are;


  • Not above 400 feet Above Ground Level (AGL)
  • Within Visual line of sight
  • With a drone below 25 kg.


You will not need to submit any documentation to the CAA or be audited by them. The A2 Certificate of Competence (A2 CofC) is a theory only course and can be completed in one day.


You will need to pass a final multiple choice examination. There is no practical flight test and the A2 CofC certificate will last for 5 years.


To fly with less restrictions than the open category you will need to operate within the Specific Category which means you will need a GVC certificate.


To operate in the specific category, you must;


  • Pass the General Visual Line of Sight certificate (GVC), including a theory examination and practical flight test.
  • Submit an Operations Manual to the CAA for them to assess your operations.
  • Once approved by the CAA you will be issued with an Operational Authorisation. (This is very similar to the Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) issued previously)

Any new applications to the CAA after 31st December will require the applicant to hold a GVC. If you qualified prior to 31st December 2020 your full recommendation from an NQE will be valid.


However, all persons that have all Remote Pilots in the Specific Category will require the GVC certificate from 01/01/2024.

We run conversion courses to convert you to the new regulations, which will enable you to change your old NQE full recommendation into a GVC.


You will have to sit the theory element of the GVC course but we will assess your flying skills to ensure the remote pilot can safely undertake a wide range of VLOS operations within the specific category. If you cannot achieve this, we will require you to sit a practical flight test.


If you have any questions or queries regarding the qualifications required for your type of operations then please don’t hesitate in contacting us using the online chat or emailing courses@dronemasterclass.co.uk

We allow you to take a free re-sit of your examination or practical flight test if you fail your initial examination or test.

Drone Masterclass

Drone Masterclass is approved as a Recognised Assessment Entity (RAE) by the Civil Aviation Authority.

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