Updated: May 14, 2019
This is a very old saying, but never a truer word has been spoken. It’s a plain fact of life that you cannot buy the cheapest of cheap and expect the results that you might expect from a professional who commands the market rate in any industry and the same can be said of commercial drone training. When you buy training you are investing in your future, not just trying to buy your way to a piece of paper!
The commercial drone industry is very new with more and more pilots finding their way into the industry every month. Whilst this is great, what makes life complicated for both new operators and their clients alike is the inherent lack of skill at the point of qualifying as a PfCO holder (this is not always the case!) Many newly qualified commercial drone operators are so carried away with the euphoria of holding a PfCO that they forget little inconvenient truths, like the fact that many are unable to operate a camera to its fullest potential and take on jobs which are completely beyond their level of competence.
When you hire to book your course with your chosen NQE you should always buy based on value. And when say value I don’t mean getting as much as possible for a stupid price! (Common sense should tell you that you won’t get the same thing for £500 that you will pay £1000 for elsewhere) I mean by hiring an expert who knows what they are doing, preferably who has industry experience and knows their subject matter inside out.
There are currently 36 NQE’s out there offering CAA mandated training. When you choose your NQE you should ask yourself several questions.
1. Do these guys look credible
2. Can I speak to previous students (not on facebook on the phone!)
3. Am I getting value?
I recently had a conversation with a gentleman who said that his chosen partner had spent more time trying to sell him a drone than they had teaching him to operate safely and competently. I dug a little deeper after he had mentioned that he couldn’t fly here and there and wasn’t sure why he had even bothered getting his PfCO. I discovered that he had absolutely no understanding of what are basics for gaining certification from an NQE.
That’s why we cap our class sizes at 8, have two instructors in the room, and offer a range of bolt-on courses to add value to our students skill sets. Guess what! We’re not the cheapest! But, all of our students know their stuff and are imbued with a sense of personal responsibility the minute they walk through the door.
Most training companies in the UAS sector do outstanding work, so take your time and make sure you choose the right partner for you, even if it is not us! And when you hire a professional in any field bare in mind that the sweet taste of quality hangs around a lot longer than the pungent smell of a job half done!