Changes to Deer Management Qualifications (DMQ)

During 2019 Deer Management Qualifications (DMQ) embarked on a review of all qualifications and assessments with a view to ensuring the standards and best practice associated with modern deer management were reflected in the requirements for successful achievement of the awards.

The changes affect both the Deer Stalking Certificate (DSC) 1 & 2 qualifications and will come into effect on the 1st April, 2021.

In summary these are:

  • DMQ Trained Hunter qualification moves from DSC1 to DSC2 With increased concern now being focused on food safety and the risk of infection from diseased or contaminated meat it was felt that the bar should be raised to enable this element of the qualification to meet modern standards and scrutiny. All stalkers who have previously qualified to the DSC 1 level prior to the implementation date will retain their ‘trained hunter’ status. In addition DSC1 candidates booked for a course or assessment before the 1 April 2021 will not be affected by these changes and allowing them to take the assessment or course post 1st April, 2021.
  • The DSC1 Shooting Assessment changes in format and number of attempts. The most significant change within this assessment is the introduction of a close range humane dispatch shot.
  • The DSC2 requirement to undertake 3 witnessed stalks under examination is reduced to 1  This is on the proviso that all the necessary performance requirements are met within the 1 stalk. Greater emphasis and scrutiny is to be placed on the quality of witnessing and assessment together with carcass handling and inspection in line with food hygiene requirements. It will be essential for those stalkers wishing to qualify for the award to ensure they have sufficient experience, knowledge and skill prior to undertaking the assessment. Many Approved witnesses will provide a vital role here by providing the training and mentoring required by offering pre-assessment stalks in preparation for the assessment. Other changes within the DSC2 qualification include the approval of the use of hand held thermal imagers for locating deer prior to identification with the use of binoculars.

Further information

If you require assistance or have any questions regarding any of the forthcoming changes that may affect you, you should initially view the DMQ website for further guidance and information. If you have registered for a qualification you may contact your respective Assessment Centre. Alternatively you may contact DMQ direct via: deermanagementqualifications@gmail