DMQ Approved Witness Newsletter October 2018

This newsletter contains important information which should be carefully read. It also details notice of significant planned changes which you are being made aware of in advance. Additionally, there is further information regarding General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which you are required to respond to. Your individual response is necessary to safeguard us all in respect of the use of Approved Witnesses (AW’s) and potential GDPR repercussions.

Changes in the Management of Approved Witnesses

Historically, AW’s working as volunteers on behalf of DMQ, have been sponsored and managed on a day to day basis by a sponsoring DMQ Assessment Centre. Given that overall management has in the past fallen to DMQ, it has been agreed by all Assessment Centres and the DMQ Board of Directors that as from 1 November 2018, Assessment Centres will cease all sponsorship and management of AW’s. This function will instead be taken on by DMQ. From this date, all new AW applications will be considered by DMQ directly who will also handle any calls for help or advice.

Previously, many of you will have had contact or communication from Mandy Short who in turn may have answered individual AW queries or channelled them to an appropriate person. From 1 November your point of contact will become the DMQ Working Group. In the event of you requiring assistance, initially all communication in respect of your witnessing role or change of personal details should be by email using deermanagementqualifications@gmail.com If you wish to discuss anything by telephone, please ensure you leave a contact telephone number in your email and you will be contacted as soon as possible.

Annual Subscription to Continue Acting as a DMQ Approved Witness

Applying the resources to manage AW’s which includes the processing of new witness applications, the maintenance and updating of the AW list and the production of newsletters to name but a few of DMQ functions is costly. DMQ does not intend to profit from any AW management but must try to cover its administration cost. The results from the AW survey undertaken in September 2017, revealed that 89% of AW’s either make a charge to a candidate for their witnessing services or would consider doing so. The DMQ Board of Directors have agreed that at some time during 2019, a small representative annual registration fee will be levied on all AW’s wishing to act as witnesses for DSC2 candidates.

The fee which has yet to be determined will be kept as low as possible and will only represent recovery of DMQ’s AW administration and management costs.

When the annual registration fee is implemented, there will also be an initial AW application fee introduced. This fee will be charged to people applying to become an AW and will be a ‘one off’ payment albeit at a higher rate than the annual registration fee.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

The May 2018 AW Newsletter introduced GDPR making you aware of how DMQ uses the data you supply to us. DMQ has a responsibility to ensure everybody’s data is protected and includes candidate’s data which is held by AW’s.

Attached with this Newsletter is an overview of what DMQ requires in respect of data security held by AW’s. In short;

  • Any data concerning a Candidate, Assessor, Verifier, Approved Witness or other person involved in DMQ must be held securely and not made available to be seen by any person other than the AW or persons within DMQ with a need to access or view such data.
  • Data includes; names, addresses, email or phone contact details and anything similar that can be directly attributable to an individual.
  • Additionally, data such as completed individual cull records and DMQ Assessor lists also fall with the scope of GDPR. Assessor contact lists will no longer be sent out to AW’s therefore it is important you obtain the name and email contact of a candidates Assessor from the candidate.
  • Any data as described above or otherwise, should be maintained only for as long as necessary after which it should be securely disposed of.

DMQ is required to demonstrate it has taken certain measures to inform and advise. On the second page of the attached DMQ GDPR guidance, there is provision for you to sign and date that you have read and understood the DMQ guidance and that you will comply with it. You may download the guidance document, type in your AW number, name, date and signature then save on your PC before emailing as an attachment back to the email address given on the form.

Alternatively, you can email the address given, stating your name, AW number and writing that you have read and understood the DMQ GDPR guidance and will comply with its requirements whilst acting in the role of a DMQ AW.

Returns will be monitored and if necessary reminders will be sent out. You should attend to this matter immediately as DMQ’s time span to complete is short.

You must submit your DMQ GDPR compliance commitment within 28 days of this notification but would urge you to respond by return if possible.

Please be aware these are not draconian measures undertaken by DMQ, they are Government legislative issues which DMQ is obligated to comply with.

Thermal Imaging Devices

There appears to have been some misunderstanding of the statements made in the last Newsletter concerning the use of thermal imaging devices. Various social media sites and individuals are stating that DMQ have banned or outlawed the use of such devices.

For clarity, other than devices attached to a rifle which DMQ does not allow because of the safety implications, hand held devices may be used to locate shot (presumed dead) or wounded deer.

If they are used to locate live deer as detailed in PC 1.5, then the candidate must demonstrate to the witness that they are also capable of completing the requirements of PC 1.5 without the use of a thermal imaging device.

Thank you all again for your continued help and support in your witnessing roles.

John Thornley OBE – Chairman of DMQ