Anyone who wants to fly a drone for commercial operations needs a permission from the CAA known as a 'Permission for Commercial Operations' (PfCO).
The permission is held by the operator. The operator is generally a legal entity, such as an individual, company or charity.
This Permission lasts for 12 months. To gain this Permission from the CAA, you will need to:
be at least 18 years of age
demonstrate a sufficient understanding of aviation theory (airmanship, airspace, aviation law and good flying practice)*
develop procedures for conducting flights, set out in an Operations Manual
pass a practical Operational Flight Assessment (flight test)
*Concessions against the theory part of the course are possible. See Section 2, Chapter 4 of CAP 722 for full details.
Discounts are available to companies who send more than one pilot operating under the same PFCO.