Deer Stalking Qualification – 2

DSC2 is a practical based qualification which enables candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and competence in legally, safely and humanely culling deer and dealing with carcasses hygienically. The DSC1 is a prerequisite for DSC2.

The DSC 2 is assessed on the basis of evidence that the candidate collects. The key document for recording this evidence is the DSC2 electronic portfolio which you are given access to at registration. Once registered, candidates have three years to complete their evidence gathering. Any evidence that is more than 3 years old will not be considered.

DMQ strongly recommends that candidates obtain sufficient practical experience under the guidance of a competent person before registering for DSC2 or considers some of the preparatory training provided by some Assessment Centers for DSC2. Candidates are also advised to consult the Best Practice Guides  issued for England and Wales or the Best practice Guides for Scotland, depending on where you live or stalk.

DSC2 is a standalone qualification but is aligned with National Standards.

DSC2 passes as a proportion of the population in each area – map

To register for DSC2 you must first have obtained DSC1. You may register with any  Assessment Centre for DSC2, you do not have to register with the Centre you signed up with for DSC1. When you register you will be issued with access to your electronic portfolio. It is then your responsibility to complete it.

You have 3 years from the date of registering to complete your evidence gathering. If you take longer than that you will have to re-register and there will be a further fee to pay

The DSC2 qualification is not a course but a collection of appropriate evidence that the candidate will compile and submit for examination. This evidence, in the main, comprises of a single stalk which is witnessed by a DMQ Approved Witness (AW), written up and submitted via the allocated Assessor to the portfolio. This is then assessed and verified and providing it meets the required standard, a DSC2 certificate will be awarded. This process is administered by the Assessment Centre which adheres to a 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.

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 ePortfolio. With this email will be guidance notes which candidates should read thoroughly before proceeding any further. An Assessor will already have been allocated.

The Assessor will check and evaluate the evidence against the 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.

Once a candidate has had initial contact with their Assessor and understands the components and standards required, they can go stalking with an Approved Witness. This is someone who will be present when a deer is stalked and culled, transported and the carcass prepared. The AW is managed directly by DMQ and will be a suitably knowledgeable person who understands the standard required.

Once a candidate has registered, their ePortfolio account with have a list of all Approved Witnesses in the resources area. It is imperative that the witness chosen is a DMQ Approved Witness.

The cost of the DSC2 registration does not include the cost of any witnessed outings. This is to be agreed and negotiated directly between the candidate and Approved Witness.

Internal Quality Assurers are appointed by Assessment Centres. They ensure that assessments are carried out fairly and thoroughly and that all Assessors are working to the same standard. All evidence is reviewed by an Internal Verifier.

Frequently asked questions

Each of the Assessment Centres has a number of 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.

After an ePortfolio has been assessed, it is verified by an Internal Quality Assurer. Provided there are no problems, the Assessment Centre will then advise DMQ and we will issue a DSC2 certificate. The assessment and verification can take up to 14 weeks from when you complete all your evidence and may take longer if, for example, there is evidence missing. Your assessor will advise if there is additional evidence required.

Before you start to gather your evidence for DSC2 we would strongly advise you to contact your Assessor.

The key document for your ePortfolio is the Individual Cull Record which an Approved Witness completes on your behalf. You should however download a copy and study this document, so you are fully aware or what you are required to perform. On some occasions it will not be possible to complete all of the performance criteria of a stalk but those that can be completed should be recorded, the remainder can be completed on another occasion and witnessed by any DMQ Approved Witness. However, before the portfolio is finally submitted, all of the performance criteria must be completed.

Witnesses should make clear to you exactly when their assessment of your performance starts and finishes, they may need to do so several times during witnessing. Witnesses are provided with guidance on their role, which is to record what candidates do, to ask candidates questions when required and record the answers. Witnesses are not permitted to lead, help, steer candidates or to provide training. It is not for witnesses to tell candidates what equipment they must carry or how for example, they must gralloch a deer. If, however, the candidate is stalking on ground which only the witness is familiar with, the witness can brief the candidate on what the cull criteria is for the day, on where it might be worthwhile stalking, and if asked, to provide information on the topography of the ground.