Ofqual 5 Award for Chief Drone Pilots | COPTRZ

Ofqual 5 Award for Chief Drone Pilots

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Watch this short webinar recording to find out whether this course is for you


    Product Details

    Level up your experience and knowledge with OFQUAL 5 for Chief Pilots

    OFQUAL 5 is designed to give operators the skills and confidence to take on multi-million pound, large UAV projects that involve more than one pilot.

    We designed this course based on our experience of running large scale drone operations to the value of £67 million.  It covers everything we wish we knew at the time to prevent us from making costly mistakes.  We’ve now packaged up that learning into a course that is regulated by an independent body so you can be certain of teaching excellence and course quality.


    What is the OFQUAL 5 equivalent to?



    What you will cover on the course

    The course is designed to make sure you have everything covered when it comes to the project management of large UAV Projects.  If you’re running multi-million pound projects, then knowing this is critical.

    The course covers:
    • Managing the deployment of Commercial Drone Pilots
    • Management of Flight Log Records
    • Managing the audit and maintenance of on-site equipment
    • Planning and operation with an Operational Safety Case (OSC)
    • Planning and operation with Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS)
    • Planning and operation with Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)
    • Planning and operating safely in congested areas

    Learning outcomes

    The aim of this course is to give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to take on large UAV projects.  This isn’t about your skills as a pilot, this is about levelling up your project management skills to ensure you have everything covered.

    What this means to you:
    • Improved operational knowledge, capability and safety standards
    • The ability and confidence to lead a team of operators on large, complex UAV Operations
    • The ability to implement these skills into an organisational process that will be resilient to auditing and due diligence

    This online training course is aimed at Organisations and Service Providers

    If you’re just going out taking pictures on a part-time level, then this isn’t the course for you.  It’s for organisations and service providers that want to deliver large scale projects and want to have the management skills in-house to run them.

    What the course also provides for organisations:
    • Provide a progression and benchmarking system for employees
    • Assess the skills of staff and subcontractors
    • Provide a recognised standard in a new discipline
    • Gain knowledge and confidence to take on large UAV projects 


    In our previous business Martek Marine, we won a contract of £67 million for a Maritime Drone Contract involving BVLOS flying across different areas of Europe. The tender process to win the contract was an eye-opener to what needs to be considered, what needs to be invested in and what the standard should be for large drone operations.

    We’ve packaged up all that learning into this course so you don’t make the same costly mistakes we did.  We truly believe that as the industry grows, the requirement and standard for drone operations will get higher an higher.  This course will give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to operate these kinds of operations.



    What is OFQUAL?

    OFQUAL stands for The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation and relates to qualifications, examinations and assessments in England.

    OFQUAL maintain standards and confidence in qualifications in England such as:

    • GCSE’s
    • A Levels
    • AS Levels
    • Vocational and technical qualifications (this is what OFQUAL 5 comes under)
    What does Level 5 mean?

    Level 5 qualifications by OFQUAL cover:

    • Diploma of higher education (DipHE)
    • Foundation degree
    • Higher National Diploma (HND)
    • Level 5 Award (this is what you’ll gain with OFQUAL 5)
    • Level 5 Certificate
    • Level 5 Diploma
    • Level 5 NVQ
    What is an OFQUAL 5 equivalent to?

    The educational standard of an OFQUAL 5 is equivalent to that of an HND or the second year of a bachelor’s degree.


    The course is distanced learning course delivered online on COPTRZ ACADEMY using live webinars, assignments, tests and other engaging learning tools. The course concludes with a written test to gauge the participants understanding of the assessment topics.

    The course contains 3 main threads, concentrating on Operations Management, Operational Safety Case Planning, and Human Factors and Airmanship. Candidates should hold or have held a Permission for Commercial Operations or a Permission for Aerial Work.


    1) Operations Management

    To work at a higher level, candidates will be introduced to a more complex level of Operations Management, covering record keeping – Pilot’s Log Books, Air System Records, Reporting requirements, Deployment Planning, and Risk Planning & Incident Response. Critically, candidates will be given an in-depth opportunity to discuss and develop their understanding of Operations Management in aviation, and gain a thorough knowledge of the factors involved.


    2) Operational Safety Case Planning

    The course covers Operational Safety Case Planning and examines Safety Management Systems; including the necessary organisational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures.  It looks at the different elements of the OSC and SORA approaches as part of a comprehensive set of lessons aimed at increasing the attendees’ awareness of this vital topic.  Students will learn to conduct a hazard analysis along with creating a risk assessment and learning to identify suitable control measure (mitigations) for unmanned operations.


    3) Human Factors and Airmanship

    This element of the course will examine the vital role of the human in unmanned operations through studying topics such as situational awareness and perception.  The course also considers the principles of a Just Culture,the creation of an Error Management System and the benefits which they can bring to an organisation.


    Learning outcomes

    By the end of the course the student will be able to apply the acquired knowledge and skills to;

    • Identify sources of information and analyse information relevant to SUAS operations
    • Identify hazards, assess risks and manage threats through the application of suitable mitigations
    • Apply solutions to common problems encountered during the conduct of SUAS operations
    • Effectively manage the deployment of personnel and equipment to conduct SUAS operations

    • An approved and independently audited professional qualification
    • Clear CPD pathway
    • Clarity and benchmarking for employers and organisations
    • Heightened safety for organisations
    • Increased job and contract prospects
    • Increased chances of winning projects for service providers
    • Lower insurance costs – see Moonrock’s announcement here
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it internationally recognised?

    Yes. It is the UK standard which you can check on the Europa website here. There are equivalents to the OFQUAL in many different countries, it’s worth mentioning that OFQUAL itself is especially recognised in English-speaking countries such as Canada, Middle East, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.


    I don’t have much flight-time under my belt, would the OFQUAL 5 be right for me?

    You do need a PfCO, GVC, A2 CofC or any other country equivalent to do the course but there is no requirement on the course for any significant flying experience. The course structure is theory-based with no practical assessments. The modules are framed around project management as opposed to the actual deployment of drones. If you are more likely to be managing the operators who are flying the drones rather than operating the drones themselves then the OFQUAL 5 would be suitable for you.


    I’m not UK-based, can I still take this course?

    Yes, you certainly can, as long as you have a valid PfCO, GVC, A2 CofC or your country’s equivalent to this then you can enrol on the OFQUAL 5. The course is available classroom-based in the UK but also can be done from distanced learning by logging into our COPTRZ Academy learning portal, so the course can be done in it’s entirety from anywhere in the world.


    A Chief Drone Pilot. Is it an actual pilot or rather a manager of pilots?

    A Chief Drone Pilot is equivalent to a Manager or a Team Leader. There is nothing stopping someone from being a Chief Drone Pilot and getting involved in the actual operation and deployment of drones but this course specifically is aimed at upskilling someone who would be managing a team of drone operators.




WEBINAR: OFQUAL 5 Chief Pilots Course – Your Questions Answered 

Watch this recorded webinar with Co-founder Steve Coulson and Head of Training Daniel Wilson, in this short webinar they cover:

• An overview of the course and what you’ll learn

• OFQUAL accreditation, what it is and why it’s important

• Q&A at the end with the presenters



Daniel spent 7 years in the British SAS Reserves, delivered the world’s highest video broadcast to the BBC on the summit of Everest, cycled for Great Britain and currently works with the world’s top outdoor and cycling brands to capture the most extraordinary places on the planet.