About this course

Designed by farmers for farmers in partnership with NSW Farmers and delivered by highly experienced drone operator and trainer Ben Watts, this course will teach you how to use drones to collect farm data to help make informed decisions such as refined fertiliser plans, sowing plans or monitoring water systems, and check livestock.

Operating a drone is like any other precision control system ­- with proper planning, set up and confidence to operate safely, it can provide real on-farm benefits.

The course aims to develop knowledge and skills in:
  • Safe and efficient operation of drones in an agricultural context
  • Australian laws related to the use of Remote Pilot Aircraft’s (RPA) for private use
  • Collecting and processing data for use in creating a crop planting map or precision fertiliser program.

At a glance:

Location: Statewide
Course duration: 1 day face-to-face with pre-course online work
Start date: Multiple intakes
Number of units: 2
Indicative fees: Nil to eligible applicants
Accredited Course: Yes

NSW farmers logo

Delivered in partnership with NSW Farmers.


  • How to control your drone – get it to return home
  • Setup, procedures and safety checks
  • Basic maintenance and repair
  • Overviews of available drones on the market
  • Australian laws related to the use of RPA’s for private use
  • Collecting and managing aerial images

Nil to eligible applicants*

*Fully subsidised by the NSW Government for eligible applicants To find out whether you are eligible, contact a training coordinator in your area.

This course explores the opportunities drones provide in farming operations by working through 4 steps.

Step 1. Identify the farm area or mapping project

Listing the details of the farm, airspace and other requirements will help shape where we can use agricultural drones and which airframe may best suit to cover the area required.

Step 2. Preparation

Using drones in your operation is like any other specialised equipment, preparation is key!

Preparation will cover your hardware, battery or fuel systems, ancillary equipment such as sensors or spreaders and finally air maps to help us plan the airspace we wish to operate in.

Step 3. Operation

At the face-to-face workshop you will have hands-on sessions where you will build skills in a range of equipment setups, prestart checks, fundamental flight drills, refuelling procedures, automated operation, and data retrieval

Step 4. Shutdowns and maintenance

Full shut down and maintenance requirements to ensure safe operations and ensure that your equipment is packed away for safe transit and be ready the next time you require it.

This course is a blend of online and face-to-face training.

  • Pre-workshop online component (reading and video, short quizzes and assessment)
  • 1 full day practical workshop
  • There are no entry requirements for this course.

    This course is mapped to the following national units of competency:

    1. AHCMOM305 - Operate specialised machinery and equipment
    2. AHCMOM311 - Operate precision control technology

    Additional Information

    For information on students rights and responsibilities, and the Tocal College Code of Practice see Industry qualification student policies.