UAV Training: Remote Pilot Certificate SUAS (RPCS)

RUSTA UAV Course  UAV Course RUSTA UAV Course students at work

RUSTA’s Remote Pilot Certificate SUAS (RPCS) course is CAA approved and offers training and assessment to SUAS, UAV or drone operators that wish to obtain Permission For Commercial Operation (PFCO) from the CAA. Operators require Permission For Commercial Operation if they wish to fly their aircraft on a commercial basis (conducting ‘aerial work’ for payment or valuable consideration), or fly a camera/surveillance fitted aircraft within congested areas or close to people and properties that are not under their control. This course ensures operators fly safely and legally in the UK.

The RPCS course is made up of two phases, which can be broken down into three main components; Theory, Ops Manual Assessment and Practical Assessment. Phase One consists of classroom theory, with Phase Two containing the Ops Manual Assessment and Practical Assessment.


The theory component consists of two and a half days in the classroom, supported by eLearning, and covers the following modules:

  • Air Law
  • Theory of Flight
  • Meteorology
  • Civil Aviation Procedures (CAPS)
  • Navigation
  • Lithium Polymer Batteries
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Human Factors
  • Flight Planning Exercise, and
  • Operations Manual Guidance

On the third day candidates complete a Theory Exam, which once passed, awards them with the Remote Pilot Certificate Theory (RPCT). This is a pre-requisite to completing the practical component.

Ops Manual

After successful completion of the RPCT, candidates are given 3 months to complete and submit their Ops Manual for approval by one of RUSTA’s highly qualified experts. This is completed in the candidate’s own time and requires them to produce a manual detailing the way in which they operate their SUAS to conform to regulations and safety standards.

RUSTA prides itself on the attention to detail and support it offers candidates throughout this process. The theory course is structured so that guidance on the Ops Manual is received from day one of the course, giving candidates the knowledge and confidence necessary to fulfill this task without undue delay.

Operational Evaluation (Flight Test)

Once the Ops Manual is deemed and ratified satisfactory by our experts, you will be assigned a RUSTA evaluator. The evaluator will give you a practical scenario that reflects a normal task that you can expect from a customer in the future. You will plan the mission and carry out the practical task at one of the approved RUSTA operational sites. Successful completion of the practical task gives students the RPCS award and ability to apply for PFCO from the CAA. Operational Evaluation details


Flying Area

Flying Area


RUSTA’s focus is primarily on safety. We make sure that when someone graduates from the Academy they operate proficiently, to the highest safety standards and in strict accordance with the Civil Aviation Authority regulations.

RUSTA has excellent fixed training sites that are second to none nationwide but is also able to travel and conduct a class wherever may be suitable if the student numbers are appropriate. The fixed sites have excellent classroom facilities and a flying area in the vicinity for demonstrations and exercises.


Find a RUSTA Remote Pilot Certificate SUAS (RPCS) course