Dates and booking
Live online training
Birmingham / Bromsgrove training centres
Bristol training centre
Milton Keynes training centre
Reading training centres
Accredited AutoCAD training for beginners, teaching core skills for creating 2D drawings, plans and designs.
AutoCAD training hosted highly experienced AutoCAD instructors, teaching you the key commands and techniques for producing high quality, accurate 2D drawings.
This course has been developed by CAD professionals to teach you in the most efficient way. It has been attended by many hundreds of delegates over 15 years.
In lockdown or been furloughed?
You can participate in this course online, from your place of work or home, at a discounted price. To read about how this works, see Live online training.
Been furloughed? You can still participate in training without this affecting your furloughed status, as confirmed on gov.uk.
Subject to Government guidance, we plan to recommence in-class courses late June, applying social distancing measures – fewer people per class, you won’t sit next to another person.
Upcoming course dates
Who should attend?
This course is ideal for:
- Newcomers to AutoCAD and CAD drawing.
- Users who are self-taught, who want to learn correct techniques.
- Users who have previously used a different CAD tool and are switching to AutoCAD.
Is AutoCAD training industry-specific?
The AutoCAD drawing techniques taught are generic, relevant to all industries. You will be able to apply them to whatever you’re going to be doing in the application.
Our trainers draw on exercises from a variety of disciplines.
Accredited AutoCAD training
Armada is an Autodesk authorised Training Centre (ATC), and our AutoCAD training courses are accredited by Autodesk.
AutoCAD training is hosted by Autodesk Certified Instructors, with vast experience of using the application professionally. For details, see Expert trainers.
How will I learn?
AutoCAD training is hands-on and practical.
Our trainers teach the necessary theory then demonstrate techniques step-by-step. You then practice the techniques taught on a computer running AutoCAD.
There is plenty of time to ask questions, and you can take away all the files you create.
AutoCAD training guide and certificate
Course delegates receive:
- A highly-practical training guide for AutoCAD, to refer to throughout the course, and to use as a refresher afterwards.
- An e-certificate confirming successful completion of an accredited AutoCAD training course. This is emailed to delegates directly from Autodesk. Click here to see an example of the certificate you receive.
After course support
Following AutoCAD training, delegates are entitled to 30 days’ email support from their AutoCAD trainer to help with any post-course issues. For further details, see Support.
Delegates should have a good working knowledge of Windows. No prior CAD knowledge is necessary.
Training is based primarily on AutoCAD 2021, running on Windows. It is relevant to:
- All recent versions of AutoCAD – 2010 and later.
- AutoCAD LT and full AutoCAD.
Please contact us if you’re going to be using AutoCAD for Mac.
Our guarantees to you
- A price guarantee that you’re getting the best value for money.
- A training guarantee that you’ll learn the concepts and skills you need.
On-request AutoCAD training available
AutoCAD Essentials training is available on-request, i.e. one-to-one training or a ‘closed course’ for your group, hosted at one of our centres, your venue or online.
On-request AutoCAD training can be tailored to take into account any existing knowledge you have, and the work you’re going to be doing. Please contact us for a quote.
Payment for AutoCAD training can be made bank transfer or card.
We accept purchase orders from UK-registered companies and public sector organisations.
If you’re self-funding your training, you can pay in staged payments, interest-free, over 12 months.
For further details, see training course payment options.
Cancellations and transfers
We understand that you require flexibility in these uncertain times. So, we’ve temporarily relaxed our Terms and Conditions relating to the cancellation and postponement of places booked on scheduled courses (classroom-based or online).
If you’re not able to attend a scheduled course you’ve booked, you can postpone your training and attend a later course giving us just one working days’ notice.
Alternatively, you can cancel your course place without penalty giving us just one weeks’ notice. Any fees paid will be refunded.
We hope this helps you to plan and book training with us safe in the knowledge that, if circumstances worsen to the extent that you’re not able to attend, you won’t lose your money.
Terms and conditions
Training course bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.
AutoCAD Essentials training courses are hosted by:
- Carl Portman
- Stewart Cobb
- Simon Oliver
- Andy Roe
- Wendy Sprakes
- Rod Cleasby
- Martin McCann
- Peter Jones
- Lee Brown
- Philip Madeley
Carl Portman has been an Autodesk-accredited instructor for 25 years, a College Lecturer (City and Guilds 3D modelling) for 15 years and a CAD consultant for 35 years.
Carl’s background is in engineering. He has vast design experience in a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace and medical. Projects that Carl has completed include designing complete car plants for Jaguar Land Rover.
Carl has expert knowledge of a wide range of 3D design applications used in engineering, including AutoCAD, Autodesk Alias, Fusion 360 and Inventor, and Dassault Systemes SolidWorks.
Until recently, Carl raced motorbikes. He knows Silverstone and Brands Hatch like the back of his hand, and he has the scars to prove it.
Stewart began his working life as a junior draughtsman, and progressed through to Design Director leading a studio of designers working on both 2D and 3D projects.
He then worked for himself for over 25 years, completing around 100 design projects per year for a myriad of clients, including household names such as Vauxhall and McDonalds.
More recently, Stewart’s focus has been on training. He has been an Autodesk Certified Instructor since 2010, hosting courses in AutoCAD, Revit, 3ds Max, AutoCAD Plant 3D and SketchUp.
In between courses, Stewart uses these applications professionally when carrying out project work for clients. Using the applications regularly helps him to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and practices. He also specialises in the production of photorealistic rendered images and visualisations using renderers including V-Ray.
Outside of work, Stewart enjoys music (he runs the sound desk for a number of local bands), reading and playing with any new piece of technology he can lay his hands on!
Simon studied Building and Civil Engineering and worked for a short while in a shop fitting drawing office. This gave him a good background for when he started to work with AutoCAD and Autodesk’s architectural add-on such as AEC and AutoCAD Architecture.
Simon became a CAD operator at one of the first Autodesk main dealers in the UK in the mid 1980’s, and soon progressed to carrying out sales demonstrations, hosting training and providing support to companies in a wide range of industry sectors.
Since 1992, Simon has focused on training, continuing to specialise in AutoCAD and the AutoCAD Architecture toolset. He is is a long-standing Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), and has City and Guilds training qualifications.
Andy has worked in CAD for over 30 years in roles including Draughtsman, CAD System Manager, Project Manager and Design Engineer.
In recent years, Andy has focused on developing and delivering training courses. He is a long-established Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), and he focuses primarily on Autodesk applications including AutoCAD, Inventor, Fusion 360, 3ds Max and Sketchbook, as well as Dassault Systemes SolidWorks.
Andy continues to undertake project work to keep up-to-date with the latest technologies and practices. He specialises in modelling complex 3D designs from prototype to production, including the development of visuals and animations for a range of engineering projects.
Industries in which Andy has significant experience include aerospace, defence and automotive.
Wendy Sprakes is an Autodesk Certified Instructor and a qualified teacher (QTS).
Wendy began her working life as a CAD operator, using Medusa, MicroStation and AutoCAD.
Working through the ranks of trainee draughtsman, graduating as a professional Mechanical Engineer, she worked in the Mechanical Handling industry on site and in the drawing office for ten years. She became a Project Engineer then moved into the CAE Industry, working as an engineer in the Fatigue Analysis software industry for clients such as Ford Motor Company and Jaguar Land Rover.
She then went on to qualify as a teacher, and has been hosting AutoCAD courses since 2000. She also has specialist knowledge of Advance Steel.
Away from training, Wendy is an accomplished jazz musician. Her music enjoys regular airplay on both regional and national stations including BBC and JazzFM.
Rod has over 25 years’ experience working as a designer, visualisation expert and artist. His specialist areas include architecture, interior design and the production of photorealistic 3d virtual environments.
AutoCAD, 3ds Max and SketchUp have been the mainstay of Rod’s professional work for 20 years. He is also an expert in various related tools and technologies, including Photoshop, and he has expert knowledge of a wide range of renderers, including V-Ray, ART, Arnold and LightUp.
Rod has extensive experience training experience. He has worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster on their Computer Visualisation course, and he is a long-established Autodesk Certified Instructor.
Away from his professional work, Rod is an accomplished artist and musician, and a prolific writer of novels, novella, poetry and prose.
Martin McCann qualified as an Architect in 1986, and he holds a teaching certificate (further and adult education).
He is a long-established Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), a capacity in which he has taught thousands of professionals, including Architects, Structural Engineers and Mechanical Engineers, for over 20 years.
Martin has expert knowledge of Revit, NavisWorks, ReCap, AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture, amongst other Autodesk applications.
He has been commissioned by Autodesk on multiple occasions to host sessions for them at locations including New York, Chicago, Moscow, Milan and Munich. He has trained Autodesk’s staff and many other Autodesk Certified Instructors, and has operated as a visiting Lecturer at the University of Northumbria and Cambridge School of Art.
Martin is the author of the McCann’s BIM Guides series of published Revit training manuals.
Peter has over 25 years’ experience working with AutoCAD in a variety of roles that have included Draughtsman, Salesman, Consultant and Support. He has specialist knowledge of GIS systems.
These days, Peter concentrates on training. He is a long-standing Autodesk Certified Instructor, and Armada’s longest-serving AutoCAD trainer, having first hosted courses for us in 2000.
Feedback we receive from delegates who attend Peter’s courses is invariably excellent.
When explaining how to use AutoCAD, Peter places a great emphasis on explaining the additional benefits of faster and easier drafting techniques, drawing on his own drafting experiences.
Lee Brown is an Autodesk Certified Instructor with 25 years’ experience working as a Draughtsman and Electrical Design Engineer.
He has numerous City and Guilds qualifications in subjects including AutoCAD 3D Design, Advanced AutoCAD System Management and Electrical Engineering.
Lee splits his time between training, and working as a Consultant. He specialises in the implementation, configuration of AutoCAD Electrical to company’s specific requirements. Industries in which Lee has implemented AutoCAD Electrical include Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Defence, Aerospace, and Building Services.
Lee has developed a range of courses for AutoCAD Electrical, and written the accompanying training guides.
He remains hands-on, carrying out regular Electrical System design and Control Panel design projects. Other tasks and project’s he’s undertaken recently include the administration of CAD databases, creation of drawing office standards, review of existing operating practices and workflows, and the management of a team of eight draughtsman.
Philip’s background is in Civil Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors, and has worked as a Consultant in this industry for many years.
Philip is also a long-standing Autodesk Certified Instructor, with specialist knowledge of AutoCAD and related GIS applications such as Civil 3D, AutoCAD Map 3D and InfraWorks.
Philip’s approach to training is practical. He loves to utilise his knowledge and experience to show delegates how they can make best use of the software on their own projects.
Away from training, Philip’s interests are photography, and watching rugby and cricket. He also does voluntary work, and describes himself as an all-round lover of life.
The AutoCAD interface
- Features of the ribbon
- The Application menu
- The Quick Access toolbar
- The command line
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Creating basic drawings
Creating basic objects
- Working with lines
- Working with arcs
- Working with polylines
- Using grips
- Using object snaps
- Using object snap tracking
- Using polar tracking
Saving your work
- Other file formats, DXF, etc.
- Disaster recovery
Accurate object creation
- Working with units
- Dynamic input
- Using Inquiry commands
- Using measurement tools to find length, area, etc.
- Zooming techniques
- Panning techniques
- Selecting objects in the drawing
- Noun/verb selection
- Using Quick Select
- Moving objects
- Copying objects
- Rotating objects
- Mirroring objects
- Arraying objects
- Scaling objects
- Trimming and extending objects to defined boundaries
- Creating parallel and offset geometry
- Joining objects
- Filleting corners between two objects
- Chamfering corners between two objects
- Stretching objects
- Using layers
- Changing object properties
- Matching object properties
- Using the properties palette
- Using linetypes
Working with layouts
- Using page setups
- Using layouts
- Scaling drawing views
Annotating the drawing
- Creating multiline text
- Creating single line text
- Using text styles
- Editing text
- Creating dimensions
- Using dimension styles
- Editing dimensions
- Using multileaders
- Hatching objects
- Editing hatch objects
Working with reusable content
- Creating and inserting blocks and symbols
- Editing blocks and symbols
- Using tool palettes
- Working with groups
Layouts and paper space
- Understanding model space and paper space
- Creating layouts
- Creating and using viewports
- Setting viewport scales
Plotting your drawings
- Plotting drawings
- PDF output
- Multiple sheet drawings
- Using Plotstyles
- Creating drawing templates
- Using drawing templates
- AutoCAD toolsets
- AutoCAD web app
- AutoCAD mobile app
Live online training
Live online training lets you participate in a real AutoCAD course from your place of work or home.
We do everything possible to make your online training experience as close as possible to actually being in the classroom. You can:
- See and hear our trainer and other delegates participating in the AutoCAD training…
- Interact by speaking, using chat, or raising your ‘virtual hand’ if you need assistance.
- Share your screen with our trainer.
We endeavour to provide you with the best online training experience…
- Online AutoCAD Essentials courses are presented by Autodesk Certified Instructors, following the same syllabus as our classroom-based courses.
- You receive comprehensive training materials.
- Your training is hands-on. You carry out assisted exercises using AutoCAD.
- If you don’t have access to AutoCAD software, we’ll send you a link to fully-functional trial software that you can download and install.
- You’re entitled to 30 days’ email support from your trainer.
When you attend live online training, you’re participating in a real course, hosted by a real trainer, in real time.
All you need is an internet-connected computer – see Hardware recommendations for live online training. The setup is simple, but if there’s anything you’re not sure about we’re here to help.
For a limited time, we’re offering discounts for bookings on live online courses.
Discounts and bundles
To make your AutoCAD training as affordable as possible, we offer:
- A discounted AutoCAD training bundle.
- A range of training discounts on our scheduled (public) AutoCAD training courses.
- A price guarantee that you won’t get AutoCAD training for less.
AutoCAD training bundle
for £990 + VAT (classroom-based) or £745 + VAT (live online training). This means that you’re getting the AutoCAD 3D course free of charge.
The bundle price is applied automatically when you book these three courses.
If you book multiple course places, we can offer you:
- 10% discount if you book two places.
- 15% discount if you book three or four places.
- 20% discount if you book five or more places.
This can be for several people attending one course, one person attending several courses, or a combination.
These discounts are available for both classroom-based courses and remote training.
We offer a 10% discount on scheduled AutoCAD course places to:
- Students, teachers and lecturers.
- People who work for a registered charity.
- ISTC members.
These discounts are available for both classroom-based courses and remote training.
Please call us if you qualify for a discount. Evidence of your status that entitles you to a discount may be requested.
Terms and exclusions
Only one of the above discounts can be applied to any booking.
The above discounts are not available for training bundles or on-request course bookings (one-to-one training or a ‘closed course’ for your group).
When you book training with Armada, we want you to be certain that you’re not paying over-the-odds. So, if you book a place on any scheduled (public) course and then find the same course at a lower price elsewhere, we will match that price.
To qualify for the price match:
- The course you find must be comparable. By this we mean it must:
- Cover the same subject.
- Be the same duration or longer.
- Hold the same accreditations as our course, i.e. it must be provided by an Autodesk Authorised Training Centre (ATC).
- For classroom-based courses, be in the same region, i.e. within 50 miles of our centre.
- For remote training, be a live course, i.e. not pre-prepared e-learning content.
- The lower price must be advertised on the other company’s website.
To claim a price match, just call any time before attending your course and tell us where you saw the price.
When you attend AutoCAD training at Armada, you’re not assessed. Our courses have been developed to teach you skills you can use in the real world, not pass an exam. Separately, and in addition to our training, you have the option of taking a certification exam that leads to an industry-recognised credential in AutoCAD.
There are two levels of AutoCAD certification which are suitable for users at different stages in their careers: Autodesk Certified User and Autodesk Certified Professional.
Successful candidates receive:
- A personalised e-certificate (PDF) from Autodesk confirming their AutoCAD-certified status.
- An official Autodesk-Certified badge that you can use to market your skills, e.g. on your business cards, in your email signature, on your website, etc.
- The option of appearing in Autodesk’s publicly-accessible database of certified AutoCAD users.
Autodesk Certified User (ACU) exam in AutoCAD
Entry level exam covering the fundamental concepts and procedures in AutoCAD, as well as specific skills that are appropriate for ensuring a base level of proficiency in AutoCAD.
- Qualification: Autodesk Certified User in AutoCAD.
- Cost of exam: £100 + VAT per candidate.
- Length of exam: 50 minutes.
- Recommended preparation: Attend AutoCAD Essentials training, and have approximately 50 hours’ experience using the application.
- Further details: download exam guide.
Autodesk Certified Professional (ACP) exam in AutoCAD
Covers a broad range of skills and requires you to perform more complex tasks and design challenges in AutoCAD.
- Qualification: Autodesk Certified Professional in AutoCAD.
- Cost of exam: £150 + VAT per candidate.
- Length of exam: 2 hours.
- Recommended preparation: Attend AutoCAD Intermediate training, and have 400+ hours’ experience using the application.
- Further details: download exam guide.
If you book an ACU or ACP exam with us, a practice test is available. The test reflects the questions you’re likely to be asked in your exam; you can take this test online from home.
The test has two modes:
- Testing mode, which replicates your exam.
- Training mode, which provides step-by-step help on questions.
The practice test fee is £45 + VAT.
The practice test can be retaken up to 30 times in a one-year period.
When can I take my exam?
You can take your exam in one of our regular exam sessions.
2020 exam dates: 24 Jul, 25 Sep, 27 Nov.
Start time: ACU exams: 10am. ACP exams: 2pm.
You can take both an ACU exam and an ACP exam on the same day.
Exam sessions are hosted at our Saxon Business Park, Bromsgrove centre.
Further details about Autodesk certification can be found at:
We offer a range of services to support your CAD work.
If you have a peak workload, or require assistance with a specific project, our highly experienced CAD designers can carry out project work for you. We offer CAD design services on an hourly or daily rate, or we can provide a fixed-price quote for your project.
We offer a full range of CAD design services, from 2D drafting to conceptual 3D modelling and engineering design.
Our experts can get you up and running quickly, maximising your investment in AutoCAD. We can:
- Configure AutoCAD, customising the CAD workspace for your specific requirements.
- Create standards, templates, symbols, styles, etc., tailored to your CAD work.
- Advise on workflow to streamline lengthy and tedious tasks.
Support is available at our centres, or on-site at your venue.