OFQUAL 5: Chief Pilot Training course

Last updated on

May 23, 2020


Take your drone training to the next level with OFQUAL 5 Chief Pilot Training

As we’ve discussed in the past, if you want to operate drones on a commercial basis in the UK you need a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) – typically delivered via a three or four-day course from a National Qualified Entity (NQE), such as the team here at COPTRZ, and then approved by the CAA. But once that’s been done what’s next?

There’s plenty more to learn and improve upon from those initial foundations that are touched upon by your PfCO studies but not a lot of clear options to further your pilot education and enhance your professional standing. One such solution is the OFQUAL Level 5 Training Course for Chief Pilots.

In this blog you will learn;

  • What are the benefits of the OFQUAL 5 Chief Pilot Training
  • Who is the OFQUAL 5 Chief Pilot Training for
  • What’s covered in the Chief Pilot Training course
  • What our Chief Pilots say about the course

If you would like to know more about the course then head to OFQUAL 5 Level 5 Course on our website or contact our team to ask any questions on 0330 1117177 or info@coptrz.com

You can join our Webinar; OFQUAL 5 Chief Pilots Course – Your Questions Answered (Thursday 11th June)  here


Chief Pilot Training - Drone In The Sky

The mission behind the course is to assist pilots looking to operate at higher levels. If you’re working as a chief pilot and have a team of operators to manage or you’re just looking to increase your ongoing Continuous Professional Development (CPD) then the OFQUAL 5 Chief Pilot training is for you.

Its aim is to enable you to gain more in-depth knowledge and practical skills that go beyond the fundamentals included in your PfCO training. The course also aims to deliver a professional and recognised academic qualification to further serve as emphatic proof of your abilities to would-be clients or employers.

After all, anyone with a PfCO can lay claim to a wealth of potential operations, from thermal inspections to 3D mapping, whether or not they actually have the capacity to deliver to the highest levels that an ever-demanding industry has grown to expect.

And if there are hundreds, or even thousands, of PfCO holders, touting their commercial prowess to would-be clients across a variety of fields, having something to make your business stand out from the crowd can be invaluable.

This extra professional pilot qualification can give your business a crucial edge in an expanding marketplace, and also give existing and potential customers that extra peace of mind that you know what you’re talking about.

What are the benefits of the OFQUAL 5 Chief Pilot Training?

Our OFQUAL 5 Chief Pilot Training course is approved by Training Qualifications UK (TQUK), which in turn is regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations (OFQUAL). It’s been developed by our talented and experienced team of experts and world-class instructors and is designed to take your aerial operations to a more professional, proficient and successful level.

And if that’s not enough as a graduate of the OFQUAL 5 you are eligible for up to a 20% discount on your next insurance premium with Moonrock. In fact, it’s very likely that any drone insurance provider would consider your OFQUAL 5 when deciding on your insurance premium as it shows you have taken significant steps to improve your safety and risk assessment while flying UAVs.

Chief Pilot Training - Moonrock Logo“The OFQUAL Level 5 for Chief Pilots delivers a major step forward in pilot professionalism and personal development. With the increased standards delivered by this course, Moonrock insurance will provide up to a 20% discount on drone policies for those companies or organisations who have a pilot certified to this standard.”

Simon Ritterband, CEO, Moonrock 


Who is the OFQUAL 5 Chief Pilot Training For?

The Chief Pilot Training course is open to all PfCO qualified pilots and operators, regardless of the areas of unmanned operations you’re involved in.

If you studied (or plan to study) for your PfCO with us, you can automatically apply for our OFQUAL Level 4 certification to get the ball rolling, though the OFQUAL 4 is not a prerequisite to the OFQUAL 5.

On an academic level, this sits between A-level and degree standards and lays a lot of the groundwork for the subjects covered in the Level 5 course. It not only echoes the fact that you know your stuff and are serious about your work, but it also serves as the perfect stepping stone, providing you with an exemption to some of the foundation modules on higher levels – potentially saving you time and money a little down the line!

Chief Pilot Training - Drone Pilot

As the full title suggests, the OFQUAL Level 5 course is geared towards high-level operators, or those who might be managing a team or network of operators.

Comparable to an HND or the second year of a Batchelor’s degree course, it further builds upon some of the key facets of your PfCO training, going into greater depth to give you an even greater understanding of all aspects of aerial operations. It covers a wealth of essential topics, from mission planning, airspace management and risk awareness, to running UAV teams and applying flight theory to practical application such as image acquisition and data processing in fields such as thermography, surveying and inspections.

By the end of the course, you’ll be making 3D maps with ease!

Chief Pilot Training - Drone In The Sky

Not only will the OFQUAL 5 qualification make you stand out from the other commercial pilots out there, it will also make you a more accomplished and efficient operator, ensuring that you can apply best practice on each and every flight you undertake. So you’re not only making money by drawing in new clients but also saving money by making your operations all the more efficient as well!

This can be applied to all manner of commercial operations and help to cement your place on the market, whether it’s rubber-stamping your expertise in mainstream fields or finding your feet in more niche markets. Perhaps the goal is to help establish a standardised knowledge and skillset across a team of pilots.

Upon completion of the course, successful students will be able to clearly demonstrate their capacity to deliver to the highest levels as chief pilot in commercial drone operations. They will also have proven technical attributes for working safely in the field and hold a sound understanding of the surrounding UAV technologies.

What’s covered in the Chief Pilot Training course?

  1. Academic Ground School

The Chief Pilot Training course is broken down into three main sections. The first is an Enhanced Academic Ground School, designed to give you the knowledge and the confidence to carefully prepare for every mission long before you take to the air and ensure your operations are safe and perfectly planned.

It digs deeper into the principles of flight theory and aerodynamics, and explains some of the key weather-related factors to consider. You’ll get further grounding in airspace structure and management as well as broadening your understanding of situational awareness, airmanship and those all-important human factors that can apply.

Chief Pilot Training - Map

  1. Operations Management

The second section covers Operations Management, this includes many aspects of managing a safe and successful drone operation and/or team.

We’ll take you through planning, briefing, deploying and debriefing a team of UAV pilots, including maintaining flight logs and maintenance records of your work.

It also takes in a look at operating standards, safety and quality management systems, risk management and dealing with incidents that might occur in the field.

Drone surveying consultancy

  1. Thermography, Surveying & Inspection

Adding more of a practical element to the course, the third section deals with industry-specific UAV applications.

In short, these target the aforementioned areas of thermography, surveying and inspection techniques, but it also includes a wider look at the use of differing payloads and the fundamental factors behind high-level image capturing and processing that all-important data. As part of the course we’ll take you through the stages required to plan and carry out a mission before converting your results into a full 3D map.

Fire Service Thermal Imagery

The three modules are designed to enhance your academic and technical understanding of running aerial operations and give you a clearer understanding of how these apply to running a drone team or operating as a solo pilot.

Our aim is that this extended education will take the quality, safety and efficiency of your work to a greater level than any PfCO course can touch upon, giving you and your potential clients even more confidence both on the ground and in the air.

GeoAccess enrol on the OFQUAL Level 5

Among those already booked into our first group is Rob Fisher, UAV Operations Accountable Manager for GeoAccess – a company used to operating at the forefront of drone operations, working to exacting standards and managing risk without compromise.

After initially signing up Rob said: “The industry has been waiting a while for a professional, recognised academic qualification that represents the importance of this growing industry and those who work in it. It comes as no surprise that COPTRZ are that provider and I’m very much looking forward to the course, expanding my knowledge and improving upon our day-to-day UAV operations.”

Meet your Trainer – Nigel Breyley

The course creator and trainer Nigel Breyley is a highly experienced Pilot and Flight Operations Manager who now specialises in BVLoS Commercial Drone Pilot Training.

Nigel has developed a rigorous 3-day online course covering operations tracking for drone operators undertaking complicated inspections or extensive surveys using UAVs.

Nigel explains OFQUAL 5 is “Suited to organisations with a team of drone operators where one individual is in a leadership role looking to develop their skills and confidence in order to lead a team of drone operators. The course suits operators piloting multi-rotors up to 20kg and fixed-wing aircraft”.

What did our Chief Pilots say about the OFQUAL Level 5 course?

“Working alone as a sole trader it’s easy to become isolated and unaware of what is happening in the industry, doing this course is enabling me to see what is, and what isn’t possible for me in my business.”

“What I’ve already learnt has stopped me from making some very expensive mistakes.”

“If you are responsible for a team of pilots in your organisation you would be irresponsible not to do this course.”

“Although challenging to be back in a classroom environment for a week the course was very well constructed and delivered by Nigel.”

“The more we learn the more we understand why that learning is necessary, and how it will greatly benefit the industry.”




Interested in OFQUAL Level 5 course?

If you would like to know more about the course then contact our training experts at sales@coptrz.com

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