Most definitely not. Some companies will try to persuade you that in order to get CAA approval re your PfCO for night flying you have to do a course/flight test before the CAA will grant approval - this is a total rip-off and most certainly not required. All it takes is a properly worded inclusion into your Ops manual to cover all aspects of safety/preparations/pre and post flight that will satisfy the CAA that you are competent to fly at night. When I did my PfCO Ops Manual I merely inserted a few paragraphs into it. What’s more you don’t even have to get it approved immediately before commencing flights at night, so as long as it’s in your contract with the CAA (i.e. your Ops Manual) you’re covered - you can wait until your renewal date before submitting your newly revised Ops manual. Can you imagine the extra workload if, for every little amendment to your Ops Manual, every operator was required to submit it to the CAA for immediate approval? The extra workload for the CAA would grind the system to a halt. This is what I inserted in my Ops Manual only last year and was subsequently approved by the CAA -
"4.5 Night Operations
Where a client request entails a flight operation to be undertaken at night, (the company) will strictly adhere to the current UK CAA requirements for night-time SUAS operations to accommodate the client’s needs whilst carrying out the operation with safety remaining as a paramount concern.
CAP 393 Schedule 1 (Interpretation) defines ‘day’ as meaning the time from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset (both times exclusive), sunset and sunrise being determined at surface level; similarly, it defines ‘night’ as meaning the time from half an hour after sunset until half an hour before sunrise (both times inclusive), sunset and sunrise being determined at surface level.
To that end, whilst undergoing night operations (the company) flight crews will comply with the following: -
a) A site suitability survey as per 4.11 of this Operations Manual must be carried out in daylight hours to assess any possible hazards/obstacles to the intended flight.
b) The SUSA must be fitted with sufficient, additional artificial lighting to enable the PIC to maintain visual line of sight (VLOS).
c) The take-off and landing areas must be illuminated with adequate daylight coloured illumination prior to take-off and throughout the intended flight operation.
d) All SUSA builds, pre- and post-flight checks must be carried out under the above type of daylight coloured artificial illumination.
e) The PIC must ensure that sufficient trained spotters/observers are used to ensure flight safety and to ensure that situational awareness is maintained. The use of two-way radios is vital to maintain communication between the PIC and spotters/observers.
f) The PIC will ensure that all ‘standard daylight procedures’ covered in 4.12, 4.13 and
4.14 of this Operations Manual will be maintained.
g) The PIC must ensure that special attention is paid to obtaining an as accurate weather forecast for the site for the flight time as possible via 4.10 to mitigate the effect of any rapid changes in weather that cannot be visually anticipated as would be possible in daylight."
I hope this helps.