Operator accreditation

You must get a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operator accreditation to fly for business or as part of your job, if your drone weighs:

  • 250 g or less (a micro RPA)
  • more than 250 g but no more than 2 kg (a very small RPA)
  • more than 2kg but no more than 25 kg and you only fly it over your own land (a small RPA).

You do not need an operator accreditation if:

You must also register your drone before you can fly.

The requirements

You must get an operator accreditation if you fly for business or as part of your job, including, but not limited to:

  • selling photos or videos taken from a drone
  • inspecting industrial equipment, construction sites or infrastructure
  • monitoring, surveillance or security services
  • research and development
  • any drone activities for your employer.

Accreditation is:

  • free
  • can be completed online
  • valid for three years
  • required to fly and supervise others from 28 January 2021.

You must be 16 or older to become an accredited operator. An accredited adult (over 18) must supervise you if you’re under 16.

You must follow the:

To understand the rules and standard operating conditions that apply:

If you fly without an operator accreditation or an unregistered RPA, penalties will apply.

Micro RPA

You can fly a micro drone or RPA that weighs 250g or less for business or as part of your job. You do not need a RePL or remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC).

You must:

  1. get an aviation reference number (ARN) – you may require an organisation ARN for your business
  2. get an RPA operator accreditation
  3. register your drone
  4. only fly your drone within the drone safety rules.

Very small, excluded category RPA

You can fly a very small drone or RPA that weighs 2 kg or less for business or as part of your job. This is also called the sub-2 kg excluded category because you do not need a RePL or ReOC.

Examples of businesses that fly under this excluded category may include:

  • photographers and film makers
  • real estate agents
  • researchers
  • construction workers and tradespeople
  • government and community service providers.

You must:

  1. get an aviation reference number (ARN) – you may require an organisation ARN for your business
  2. get an RPA operator accreditation
  3. register your drone
  4. only fly your drone within the standard operating conditions.

Small, excluded category RPA

You can fly a small drone or RPA that weighs more than 2 kg but not more than 25 kg over your own land for business or as part of your job, provided you do not accept any type of payment for the services. This is called the landowner or private landholder excluded category because you don’t need a RePL or ReOC.

Examples of the types of operations you can do under this excluded category include:

  • aerial spotting
  • crop, livestock or equipment inspections
  • land surveying
  • agricultural operations
  • carrying cargo.

You must:

  1. get an aviation reference number (ARN) – you may require an organisation ARN for your business
  2. get an RPA operator accreditation
  3. register your drone
  4. only fly your drone within the standard operating conditions
  5. keep the required operational records
  6. not accept payment for the services you provide.

Medium, excluded category RPA

You can fly a medium drone or RPA that weighs more than 25 kg but not more than 150 kg over your own land for business or as part of your job, provided you do not accept any type of payment for the services. This is called the landowner or private landholder excluded category. You must get a remote pilot licence (RePL) for the type and model of drone you want to fly. Find out how to get your RePL.

How to get your operator accreditation

Get your accreditation online using myCASA.

To get an operator accreditation, you need:

  1. to be 16 or older
  2. a myCASA account
  3. a digital identity or proof of identity, such as an Australian passport, Australian birth or citizenship certificate, or ImmiCard
  4. an individual aviation reference number (ARN)
  5. an understanding of the standard operating conditions and the rules that apply to excluded category and micro RPA
  6. to pass an online quiz
  7. to download and/or print your PDF accreditation certificate or download your accreditation to either an Apple or Android device, using the Apple Wallet or Google Pay from myCASA.

Download your accreditation

Once you’ve passed the online quiz, you can download your accreditation using myCASA.

To download your operator accreditation:

  1. Sign into your myCASA account on your iPhone or Android
  2. View your operator accreditation details
  3. Choose to download either to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay
  4. Tap the 'add to Apple Wallet' or 'Save to phone' button

Your licence will then load into your Apple Wallet or Google Pay.

Contact us

Have a question? Need help? Try asking our virtual assistant in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

You can also contact us through our online enquiry form.

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Watch our step-by-step video on how to get an RPA operator accreditation.

Last updated:
15 Aug 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//drones/get-your-operator-credentials/operator-accreditation
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