Combined GVC and A2CofC Course Information

The General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC) became the new standard in drone training in 2020. It is designed to tie in with the new UK drone regulations that came into force in December 2020, allowing you to operate under an Operational Authorisation in the Specific Category. The UK CAA will accept the GVC as proof of remote pilot competence when applying for an Operational Authorisation. All GVC Courses include the new A2 CofC as standard.

At present, all theory elements and examinations of our GVC course are now being carried out online. But our course has some differences to those being carried out online by other providers:


  1. All courses are “live” online courses taught by an instructor via Zoom so that you can ask questions and interact with other candidates. We believe that open access online training often still leaves candidates with misconceptions.
  2. All our courses include 3 months of Pro membership following the course, meaning that we are available to assist with ongoing questions and support for your drone operations.


GVC course flow diagram

The GVC Theory Course forms the first step towards your CAA Operational Authorisation (until 31st December 2020 this was known as a PfCO).

The Operational Authorisation (OA) is held by a legal entity such as a limited company or an individual sole trader. This is a great post to explain a legal entity.  Anybody operating under the OA must prove they are competent in the theoretical and practical aspects required by the CAA.

The GVC Theory Course covers all unmanned aircraft from 0-25 kg, regardless of aircraft type, so it covers both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

The other aspect of applying for an Operational Authorisation from the CAA is the Operations Manual. As we work through the theory course we will begin to relate the course content to the Operations Manual and therefore its practical application.

The Practical Flight Test fulfils the CAA requirements with regard to practical competence. The practical competence is categorised by aircraft type. The Practical Flight Test is designed to test both your drone flying skills and the practical application of the knowledge and operational processes covered in the Theory Course. Drone Training Ltd provides £1M public liability insurance for your Practical Flight Test. We are not able to provide insurance for your equipment.

Once you have completed all your assessments, if you have purchased application assistance, we will then assist you with your application to the CAA. The CAA can take up to 28 WORKING days to process your application and issue your Operational Authorisation.

As regulations in the drone industry are still evolving, it is important that you keep yourself up-to-date with any changes and we assist you with that, mainly through our web portal, as part of your Global Drone Training Pro Membership.

GVC Theory Course

The GVC Theory Course is a two-day course that covers the GVC syllabus as directed by the CAA. We have arranged the course so that day 1 covers the material necessary to obtain your A2 Certificate of Competence (A2 CofC). The modules cover a range of subjects that allow you to use drones safely in UK and EU airspace. There is a short multiple choice exam associated with each module.

GVC drone course

8 Modules

The Theory Course covers the following 8 modules:


  • UAS General Knowledge and Flight Performance
  • Meteorology
  • Human Factors and Airmanship
  • Open Category UAS Operating Procedures
  • Airspace Operating Principles
  • Air Law and Responsibilities
  • Navigation and Charts
  • Specific Category UAS Operating Procedures


Pass Mark

There is a short closed-book exam associated with each module. These are multiple choice and are designed to reinforce the learning from the course.

The pass mark for each exam is 75%.


Course Materials

Most course materials, including pens, will be provided. We will ask you to complete an initial process so that you have all the paperwork you need for the course. You can bring that with you in digital or printed format. For online courses your course materials will be posted to you or sent digitally depending on your preference.

GVC Course Pricing

Global Drone Training closed Facebook group Facebook Group

As you proceed through your course you will be invited to join one or both of our closed Facebook groups. We have a more open group that can be joined by free or pro members to network with other drone pilots as well as our pro member group where we prioritise those members who support us through a Pro Membership.

The groups are for anyone who has been through a course with Global Drone Training and are moderated by the Global Drone Training team. They are a useful resource for asking a wider group of operators with different levels of experience questions around drone hardware, drone regulation and other operational issues.

Please see a recent post from Elliott below around the use and purpose of the group.

Don’t use Facebook?

If you do not use Facebook then please don’t worry as all important regulation updates are communicated by email and posted to the news page.

GVC Practical Flight Test

You can attempt the Practical Flight Test once you have successfully completed the Theory Course.

When you are ready to undertake your Practical Flight Test you will need to book a time with your examiner. Contact details for the examiner will be sent to you following the Theory Course.

During the Practical Flight Test you will be expected to use your draft Operations Manual and a Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) that is appropriate to your aircraft.

The Practical Flight Test is designed to test that you have understood, and can apply, the principles from the GVC Theory Course. It is a great opportunity to test your own drone operating procedures in a safe environment. Full details of the assessment, with guidance on how to prepare will be provided during the course.

CAA Operational Authorisation

Once you have successfully passed the Practical Flight Test you will receive an email with instructions for preparing your documentation to apply to the CAA for your Operational Authorisation. We will support you all the way through the process if you have purchased Application Support.

As well as needing to have public liability insurance that meets the EC 785/2004 regulation in place, or a cover note to that effect (see this FAQ on insurance for more information), the UAS Operator must also submit an Operations Manual to the CAA during the application procedure. The Operations Manual system on the website will guide you through this process to make sure that all relevant information is included in the Operations Manual.

The Operations Manual and insurance forms will be checked by the Global Drone Training team who will also setup your online application for you so that all you have to is to check through the application pages and make payment to the CAA for the OA application.