How to (NOT) choose your CAA NQE - Who is the BEST Drone Training School - Part 2

How to (NOT) choose your CAA NQE - Who is the BEST Drone Training School - Part 2

September 30, 2019

Hey everybody and welcome to the blog!

In today's blog post, we are going to be looking at Part 2 of the things you need to consider when choosing your Drone Training School... 

When we created the original video (part one), we thought that we had answered most of the questions which people have with regards to choosing their CAA drone training provider. However, it became quickly apparent from the response to the video and all of the comments that people had a bunch of additional things which they wanted to ask and receive the answers for.

So, here it is; the second instalment of the how (not) to choose your NQE and why we haven't renewed our PfCO!

Read time approximately 3 minutes or alternatively click the video below to see this on the Mr MPW YouTube channel


Following on from part one of this short series of videos, as we originally discussed: choosing your CAA drone training provider and who to get your drone licence with used to be a really simple exercise. You would look at the nearest of five drone training schools and choose one with a date and location to suit you.

Yes, of course the quality (and in some cases the content) of each course varied but you were pretty much guaranteed to receive a reasonable standard of training and enter the drone industry at a point where it was possible to get work (and hopefully make money) without having much more than your drone licence, a dragon and a website.

However, the industry itself has changed massively over the last few years and one of the elements which has also seen a huge transformation is the CAA drone training school landscape.

At the time of writing this blog, there are in the region of 45 drone training schools all of whom have been approved by the civil aviation authority (CAA).

We've already seen the first few schools which haven't managed to survive this increase in drone training provider numbers versus a reduction in the number of people getting trained up to receive their PfCO and I think, there will be plenty more following suit in the coming months, unfortunately.

As more and more people enter the drone industry from the 'training' side of things so there are an increasing number of commercially qualified drone operators.

At Aerial Motion Pictures (our original, parent company) we've conducted drone operations all over the world. Primarily in high-risk environments and often in places where people either couldn't get permissions or weren't able to deliver on the datasets which the client had requested.

We recently decided to double down on our training efforts: increasing our marketing, training delivery and the number of training products which we have available to our clients.

Much to the disdain of our accountants and bank manager, we also made the decision to cease conducting commercial drone operations in the United Kingdom. Although this will inevitably have an impact on our bottom line (in a potentially significant one), we thought it was the only right thing to do so that we weren't in direct competition with our students, when they completed our ICARUS training course.

This inevitably created the basis for quite an interesting question.

Some of the other CAA NQEs making elements of their training deliberately weak (or just about hitting the elements required by the CAA in order to hold their permission to provide recommendations)?

Is this the reason that many NQEs don't provide much help and guidance with completing a CAA Drone Operations manual for example?

Far be it for me to speculate one way or the other on this but all I can talk about is the difference that making this decision has made on the level of training and support (which is already far and above that provided by other drone training providers - you just have to look at our trust pilot reviews to see that!) and we can already see that making this choice has and will be a great thing for the commercial drone industry/community.

It's an interesting time for sure and if you need any help or advice at all, then please don't hesitate to give the team a shout. We don't care if you already have your CAA PfCO or if you have no idea what one is yet; we are here to get the education out there in an open and honest way, so that the industry can survive and prosper.

As always, make sure you sign up to the newsletter at the bottom of the page so that we can keep you up-to-date with all of the latest offers, announcements and news as and when it's drops.

Fly safe and blue skies



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