Set your career apart from others in the remote pilot industry and let your years of experience and professional development training work for you by earning an AUVSI Trusted Operator professional certification. 


Becoming a commercial drone pilot and operating a UAS represents an exciting and rewarding career in a dynamic and emerging industry, but from a regulatory perspective, there is little required for the commercial drone operator to demonstrate competency or proficiency in his or her operations. There are training courses available to the prospective drone pilot, however, so far there has been no industry unification with respect to remote pilot competency training or testing programs, until now…

AUVSI has worked with industry experts to create the Trusted Operator Program™ (TOP), to raise the trust and acceptance of the use of unmanned aircraft around the world. TOP is a professional unmanned systems community initiative aimed at supporting industry accepted remote pilot standards and protocols, which will result in the safe and sustainable advancement of the industry.


Find a TOP Certification Body


Find a TOP Training Provider




Professional Advancement: AUVSI TOP Operators can use the designation as a competitive advantage when it comes to applying for positions or negotiating rates/salaries.

Recognition: As the premier industry recognition, TOP Operator designations distinguishes holders as career professionals who have demonstrated a high level of experience, skill and knowledge as well as a commitment to professional development.

Professional Differentiation: TOP Certification holders stand out among other remote pilots and will make you more desirable to prospective employers.

Personal Achievement: Being awarded TOP Operator Certification provides a sense of personal and individual achievement as an experienced and skilled professional.

Commitment to Safety: Successful completion of the TOP certification process conveys that the recipient is committed and goal-driven in their career.



Under the program, UAS operators will be able to achieve three levels of certification:


Each level is comprised of a series of protocols that outline the best practices, skills and competencies that all professional remote pilots and operators should follow. TOP uses a set of safety protocols and includes aviation regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Aviation Safety Authorities, Directorates General of Civil Aviation and others.



Companies and Organizations Currently Participating in the Trusted Operator Program:

  • Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc. (PACI)
  • SGS
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Consortiq
  • DARTdrones

Learn More About How You Can Take Your Career to the Top with the AUVSI Trusted Operator Program

Safety First

AUVSI and the FAA recognize the importance of developing a ‘real-time’ next generation safety culture and safety assurance for the unmanned aircraft industry. Learn more about AUVSI’s Safety Xchange.

Read more about AUVSI’s UAS Pilot Code & Safety Culture Pledge


Find a TOP Certification Body


Find a TOP Training Provider



View our TOP FAQ sheet. Still have questions? Please contract Tracy Lamb at