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Deer Stalking Certificate – DSC2

Deer Stalking Certificate – 2

The Deer Stalking Certificate (both DSC1 and DSC2) is available from a number of assessment centres around the country, one of which is BASC.

The DSC2 qualification is not a course but a portfolio of evidence that the candidate will gather together and submit for examination. This evidence comprises three stalks which are witnessed by an Accredited Witness, written up and submitted to the portfolio. These are then assessed and verified and providing they meet the required standards the DSC2 certificate will be awarded. This process is administered by the assessment centre which adheres to a robust set of rules based on nationally recognised standards. Assessment centres are overseen by external verifiers who ensure that records are maintained and assessments are carried out fairly and thoroughly.

The DSC1 and DSC2 is overseen by the industry leading body, Deer Management Qualification (DMQ), with members from various representatives in the industry sitting on the board.

From October 2016, the portfolio has moved to an electronic format, or e-portfolio. Any existing green paper portfolios issued before this date are still valid until expiry but for new registrations only the e-portfolio is available.

Candidates wishing to undertake the DSC2 will register and receive an email from the Deer Assessment Centre with the login details and password for their online account. Along with this email will be guidance notes which candidates should read thoroughly before proceeding any further. An assessor will already have been allocated.

Before embarking on their DSC2 candidates should contact their allocated Assessor, who will assess the evidence against DMQ standard, and will offer advice to candidates. Assessors carry a professional standing in the area of deer management and also hold a National Assessor Qualification. This makes them ideally suited to compare the evidence submitted to the requirements of the award thereby ensuring that the standard is being met.

They will clarify any aspect of the evidence submitted, either with the candidate or with the witness. Assessors may nominate someone as a suitable accredited witness and will explain the requirements of the role. All assessors have to work to the standards set and the Internal Verifier will confirm that is happening.

Once a candidate has had initial contact with their assessor and understand the components and standards required, he can go stalking with an Accredited Witness. This is someone who would be present when a deer was killed and the carcass prepared, who has already been sponsored by an Assessment Centre as a suitably knowledgeable person and understand the standard required. They will know what an assessor’s role is and will already have DSC2 DMQ award. Once a candidate has registered, their e-portfolio account with have a list of all Accredited Witnesses in the resources area. It is imperative that the witness chosen in a DMQ Accredited Witness.

The cost of the DSC2 registration does not include the cost of the stalks. This is to be agreed and negotiated directly between candidate and Accredited Witness.

Internal Verifiers are appointed by Assessment Centres ensure that assessments are carried out fairly and thoroughly and that all assessors are working the same standard. Every stalk is reviewed by an Internal Verifier.

Frequently asked questions

Each of the assessment centres has an Assessor whose role is to help people build a portfolio of evidence. The purpose of this is to enable the candidate to prove they have a level of knowledge and practical skills sufficient to be awarded the DSC2 certificate. These are some of the most frequently asked questions and their responses. Please speak to your Assessor if you have any questions relating to what evidence you should collect and how.

Often there is no standard answer that can be given, so don’t take these as gospel! However hopefully some of your questions will be answered here.

‘I want to go on a DSC2 course’

There are a number of courses available from BASC, BDS and others that could help you with the background knowledge necessary to support you getting the DSC2 award. Examples are: helping you with your shooting skills or perhaps carcass inspection and preparation. However the Deer Stalking Certificate 2 is a vocational qualification, so there is no course to attend.

What this means is that you collect evidence of your knowledge and ability in various deer management tasks. Hence the need for a witness to observe you in action. You should only put yourself forward for assessment when you have reached the required level of knowledge and experience. This evidence must be 3 years or less to be considered as current evidence.

‘Who can be a witness? I need someone to see what I do when I go stalking’

You must have all three culls witnessed by an Approved Witness from the Approved Witness list or an Assessor from one of the Assessment Centres. Your Assessment Centre will be able to advise you further on this and a list of Accredited Witnesses can be found in the candidate resources section of the e-portfolio.

Becoming an Approved Witness

Anyone wishing to apply to become an Approved Witness for the Deer Stalking Certificate 2 (DSC2) should now apply directly to DMQ by using the forms found here

‘Who is my assessor?’

All assessors are likely to be full time deer managers. They look at your evidence and assess whether you have reached the standards laid down by the awarding body, DMQ. Your Assessors name and contact details will be detailed in your e-portfolio.

‘How long is all this going to take?’

The longest period is likely to be you collecting the evidence but you should bear in mind that after submitting the candidate narrative, the Accredited Witness will have to submit their questioning and then this will be checked by the assessor, internal verifier and in some cases an external verifier and awarding body. You have a maximum of three years from date of registration to complete your DSC2.

This process may seem long winded, but it is designed by DMQ to ensure that their rigorous standards are applied throughout the portfolio’s assessment. All assessment centres are obliged to adhere to DMQ’s requirements.

If you are registered with the BASC assessment centre, contact the Training and Education Department should you have any questions.

If you are registered with another assessment centre, you should contact them for further advice and support.

Please complete the DSC2 registration form and return with a copy of your DSC1 certificate to BASC Deer Assessment Centre, Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL or scan and email to


Following changes to food hygiene regulations in 2005, holders of older DSC1 certificates (coloured buff) were able to convert their certificate to include “trained hunter” status for large game. The facility to convert buff coloured DSC 1 certificates was withdrawn from 31st March 2009. No applications for conversion received after this date will be accepted. If you hold a DSC1 certificate without the food hygiene element you can upgrade by undertaking the Wild Game Meat Hygiene assessment through BASC or another approved centre.

All DSC1 certificates issued since 1st January 2006 (coloured blue) indicate that the holder is also designated a “trained hunter” (for large game only) under the food hygiene regulations; these certificates are not affected by the withdrawal of conversions.

For further information and course dates contact the Training and Education department on 01244 573018 or fill in the form below:


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