GVC Course Information

The General Visual Line of Sight Certificate (GVC) is a new standard in drone training in 2020. It is designed to tie in with the new EU drone regulations that become active in December 2020, allowing you to operate under the EASA Specific category. It is also accepted by the UK CAA as proof of competence for the current PfCO system. All GVC Courses include the new A2 CofC as standard.


GVC course flow diagram

The GVC Theory Course forms the first step towards your CAA Operational Authorisation (until 31st December 2020 this is 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 0-20Kg, regardless of aircraft type, so it covers both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

The other aspect of your application 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 maximum take-off mass and aircraft type. The Practical Flight Test is designed to test both your 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 elements 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 this young 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%.


Lunch, refreshments and course materials

A light lunch will be provided on both days of the two day GVC Theory Course and refreshments will be available during the morning and afternoon breaks.

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.

GVC Course Pricing

Global Drone Training closed Facebook group

dronetraining.co.uk Facebook Group

Once you have successfully passed the GVC Theory Course you will receive an invitation to join the closed Facebook group. The delay is to prevent any accidental breaches of the integrity of the exams.

The group is for anyone who has been through a course with Global Drone Training and is moderated by the Global Drone Training team. It is a useful resource for asking a wider group of operators with different levels of experience questions around hardware, regulation and 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 don’t worry as all important regulation updates are communicated by email and posted to the news page.

As numbers have grown again and I’m starting to lose track of posts a little bit, just a few things from people have nudged me to write this. There is starting to become a real critical mass of very competent people in their own areas on here, but we all have things we don’t know, can improve etc. and we really do want this to be a place for collaboration and personal/business development. I will be populating the Global Drone Training membership area with useful general information, but this is still going to be a good place for all kinds of assistance. Please do remember that there will always be those less experienced than you so please be nice!

1) Can you sell things? Certainly, second-hand sales are fine. Please make sure you describe the item well, state the price and collection details clearly and provide good photographs. We can’t take responsibility for any transactions organised between group members.

2) Can you post your own work? Definitely. All members are welcome to post their own work or even work they find inspiring. Please don’t be offended if moderators delete duplicate posts.

3) Can we invite anyone? No. This group is very deliberately for instructors and current and past candidates of Global Drone Training. At least that way we mostly know people are singing from the same song sheet. There are a good number of open FB groups that people can join.

4) Is Jonathan really scared of cows? Yes, did he mention it?

Elliott Corke

Director, Drone Training Ltd

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 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 and at first renewal 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 SUA (Small Unmanned Aircraft) 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.

Global Drone Training Pro Membership

...we will be there to support you!

Global Drone Training Pro Membership

Undertaking a GVC Course with Global Drone Training enrols you automatically into a Pro Membership. This lasts for 12 months following your Practical Flight Test and provides you access to the latest training resources, email and telephone advice with your operations, and regulation updates. If you have purchased Application Support, it entitles you to generate an up-to-date Operations Manual which we will check before assisting you with your renewal documentation.

After 12 months, Pro Membership is subject to a fee and is entirely optional! We hope you will benefit from the resources we make available for you but there is no obligation to take them.

Your certifications, once attained, are yours and remain valid and recognised by the CAA for 5 years from the date of issue. The expiration date is shown clearly on each certificate.