Online or classroom training to gain a PfCO…..what is the best route?

As more individuals and companies look at drone training so they can operate drones for drone inspection, drone survey and aerial filming, Aerial Media Scotland can offer two potential routes for drone training to achieve the Permission for Commercial Operations Certificate (PfCO) issued by the CAA. These options are Classroom based or online training.

Classroom PfCO training

Firstly, we offer a Ground School, which includes web based and classroom based training. This course comprises of the following key points

drone training

  • 15 hours web based learning prior to classroom attendance
  • 2 day classroom based theory drone training including lunch
  • Written exam (with resit if needed)
  • Template and support in writing the operations manual
  • Practical flight assessment
  • Certificates and supporting documentation to apply to the CAA for the PfCO

If you like a structured learning environment with direct personal access to an experienced instructor with live discussions and the ability to interact and clarify understanding, this is the course for you.

Benefits for drone training ground school

  • Ability to work in person with an experienced instructor and clarify any learning points
  • Only take two days to complete
  • Sharing ideas and experiences with other students and networking opportunities

Points to consider for drone training ground school

  • Slightly more expensive than full online course
  • Potentially taking two days off work (we do offer weekend courses)
  • May have to travel to attend course

Online complete drone training course

Secondly, we do offer the full commercial drone training course in an online format. Everything that is covered in the classroom style learning environment is taught within the online training course. The key ares covered within the online booking are –

online pfco training

  • 55 – 60 hours web based learning to complete all of the modules
  • Assessment day. This comprises of the written exam in the morning and the practical flight assessment in the afternoon.
  • Written exam resit if needed
  • Template and support in writing the operations manual
  • Certificates and supporting documentation to apply to the CAA for the PfCO

This style of achieving your drone PfCO certification works well if you are trying to save money and feel you have the time to dedicate to completing all of the modules with peace and quiet.

Benefits for online drone training

  • Ability to learn at your speed
  • Have enough time to dedicate to completing al of the modules
  • Slightly cheaper than the Ground School

Points to consider for online drone training

  • Students can feel isolated working in the evenings trying to complete the modules
  • Will take 60 hours to complete the online training compared to two days in the classroom
  • A number of questions generated and students don’t always feel as confident when sitting there written exam, but still do pass it.


In our experience many of our delegates have underestimated the intensity of the training involved and the complexity of the learnings required to be mastered to be successful in obtaining your PfCO.   We would recommend that when choosing a route to your PfCO you speak to us and we can help you choose the right course for you depending on your experience and background.


Book Aerial Media Scotland Today to save money and make work safer

Call 01383 324541 today to contact Aerial Media Scotland or use the contact page.

 Answers to a number of the Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.