If you want to become a commercial drone operation, you’ll need to find a flight school that can help you prepare for your theory test and flight assessment. These are often referred to as National Qualified Entities (NQEs). 

A National Qualified Entity (NQE) operates on behalf of the CAA in training and examining drone pilots who want to obtain a 'Permission for Commercial Operations' (PfCO).

We want to help you find a course provider that suits you, and we work with several NQEs throughout the country. You can find a few examples of these along with their contact information and a little bit about how they operate below.H owever, a full list of all the CAA accepted NQE's in the UK can be found on their Drones Guidance page.

Example NQEs

3iC Limited


The 3iC drone school benefits from many years of experience in manned and unmanned commercial operations and business environments. The company was founded to bring the best of these worlds together and focus on the exciting and rapidly growing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry. 3iC’s core team members have wide and deep experience of safety-critical industries. They provide their clients with Safety focused professional drone training, consultancy and operational support. They have in the region of 20 (always expanding) assessment centres across the country.

Coptrz - Sheffield

COPTRZ exist to enable businesses and governmental organisations to get the most from drone technology. To date, COPTRZ has helped over 1000 businesses to access the benefits of drone technology. The COPTRZ CAA Drone Training Course takes place over a 4 day period in total and includes a pre-course study guide, ground school lessons, theory test, flight test and operations manual review. COPTRZ offer 12 different drone training locations throughout the UK in Edinburgh, Hampshire, Barnsley, Cardiff, Brighton, Belfast, Rugby, Kent, Middlesbrough, Aberdeen, Norfolk and Leeds.

Drone Partners Limited - County Durham

The Drone Partners course takes you beyond a basic ground school course. With 3 days of classroom training covering the key education goals required by the UK CAA, practical flight planning and safe setup demonstration we really give you the confidence you need. The course covers more than the CAA’s minimum requirements including: Congested Area Planning and Better Data Collection (photography fundamentals), so that they can really help you accelerate becoming a real drone pilot. They have around ten assessment centres across the country.

Drone Pilot Academy Ltd - Barnsley  

The Drone Pilot Academy Limited (DPA) is a Civil Aviation Authority authorised training provider for those who wish to use drones for commercial work or simply those hobbyists who would like to gain some professional training prior to being let loose with their expensive new machines. The Drone Pilot Academy offer a variety of different courses throughout the country in several different locations.

Flyby Technology (c/o Pilotwise International) - York

Flyby Technology is one of the market leaders in Commercial Drone Training. They are proud to offer a cost-effective route to your Permission for Commercial Operation with their 3 day Commercial Drone Training. You will spend 2 days at our groundschool covering everything you need to know about operating your drone safely and within the rules. On day 3 you will complete your operations manual and take your flight skills test with an independent examiner. They have over 15 assessment centres across the country.

Hummingbird UAV - Doncaster

Hummingbird provide first class training through employing the best instructors. With over 30 years of manned and unmanned aviation experience between them, they look forward to passing on everything they know, to you, in an informal but safety driven atmosphere. Hummingbird are located at Hangar 3, Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

Icarus / UAVHUB - Wallingford

Developed by AMP's founder Matt Williams, the ICARUS course is one of the most respected and popular drone training options in the UK. It draws on years of experience as military helicopter pilots and drone operators to teach everything you need to know to become a safe, competent and confident commercial UAV operator. ICARUS offers a variety of different courses in 8 different locations throughout the country.

RUSTA  - Lincoln

RUSTA is one of the original drone and UAV academies in the UK. Established in 2014, RUSTA leads the way in UAV commercial training and has trained in excess of 1000 operators and entities. All RUSTA instructors are aircrew instructors from both the Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps with thousands of hours flying experience on both manned and unmanned platforms. RUSTA offers a variety of different courses in Telford, Lincoln and Edinburgh.

Global Drone Training - Drayton

Global Drone Training is a drone training school for all drone pilots, whether complete novices or those with previous flying experience. With a wealth of experience in flying drones, their team firmly believe education is the best way to maximise the potential of drone technology. Their course consists of a 2 day Ground School and an Operational Flight Assessment at a later date. They offer drone training at Swansea, Norwich, Bath, Cobham (Surrey), Liverpool, Alnwick, Cupar (St Andrews) and High Wycombe.

The UAV Academy  - Kemble 

UAV Academy Instructors and Examiners are all highly experienced commercial UAV operators and skilled remote pilots. Their background as professional operators has enabled them to develop and deliver training tailored to new commercial UAV pilots. You will learn from their experiences (good and bad) and graduate from the CDP-C™ course with the skills, knowledge and processes you need to confidently and safely operate a UAV commercially. The UAV Academy Training Centre is located in the Control Tower building at the Cotswold Airport (formerly known as Kemble Airport).

 UAV Trade Craft - Catterick Garrison

The UAV Trade Craft courses are delivered by experienced drone pilots who make a living from their commercial drone operations. The use of drones is growing year on year, and they would like to pass on their knowledge to ensure that drone pilots new to commercial operation are given the best training possible. They offer a 3 and a 5 day course and are based in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

UAV8 Limited - Elmsett

Set up with the sole aim of delivering first class aviation instruction and Drone Pilot Training for the commercial sector. Committed to keeping the skies over the UK safe and working closely with the CAA. They offer a 2-day course and are based in Ipswich Suffolk but bespoke training can be delivered anywhere in the UK including clients premises.

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