The ‘Proficient Deer Stalker level 1 Course’ (PDS1) has been awarded nationally recognised accreditation by both the largest UK land-based awarding bodies LANTRA and UK Rural Skills.

PDS1 Deer Stalking Course

Recognising the need to meet increased demand for deer stalker training, whilst ensuring that high standards of deer management are maintained, we are delighted that County Deer Stalking has recently received nationally recognised accreditation of the hugely popular ‘Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate’ (PDS1) by both the two main, land-based awarding bodies UK Rural Skills and LANTRA, who are themselves recognised by Ofqual and accredited by the British Standards Institute. What’s more, in line with the changing times, the accreditation extends to the e-learning version of the PDS1 Certificate via the ‘Hunting Academy’ online platform.

For the world of deer stalking, this is a complete game-changer, no longer do you have to wait weeks or even months to attend a classroom-based course in the back of beyond. You can enrol today and complete the course at a time and place that suits you.

The excellent 'Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate Level 1' (PDS1), which has already been widely adopted in the south of England, is now to be rolled out via County Deer Stalking & the Hunting Academy, across the UK.

Through the ‘Hunting Academy’ an online e-learning platform, and through a series of Accredited Verifiers, set to be implemented around the UK, the Hunting Academy & County Deer Stalking is now able to deliver the PDS1 course on a national scale that delivers quality and convenience.

CEO and Founder of County Deer Stalking & Hunting Academy had this to say:

“If there is one thing that this pandemic has taught us, it is that waiting for a date to sit around in a stuffy classroom, has become a thing of the past, at County Deer Stalking & The Hunting Academy we are delighted to have used the impetus created by the coronavirus, to develop this innovative new delivery of an already highly respected and now nationally accredited Deer Stalking Course.

We have written to all Police forces in England & Wales and other leading bodies notifying them of the PDS1 Course’s accreditation and anticipate that there will be considerable enthusiasm and take-up in all areas, something that will continue to ensure high standards amongst those involved in deer stalking & management”.

So, what is the PDS1 all about and how does it work?

Essentially the PDS1 was designed for those that wish to develop their skills and become competent hunters and has been established to ensure high standards amongst stalkers of wild deer.

Through a series of modules and classes delivered via an e-learning platform – ‘The Hunting Academy’, candidates are guided through the PDS1 syllabus, before being required to pass a series of multiple-choice examinations.

Whilst during delivery of the PDS1 Certificate in the field, both the Knowledge and Skills element of the course can be assessed, via the online delivery, it is only possible to verify the candidate’s uptake of knowledge through the multiple-choice examination. It is not possible to verify the candidate’s ability to place a well-aimed shot or handle the rifle competently and safely.

Therefore, to ensure candidates who have completed the online PDS1 course are able to have an assessment of their practical skills carried out in an area near them, County Deer Stalking and the Hunting Academy are providing details to PDS1 candidates of suitable ‘Approved Verifiers’ (AV’s) in all areas of the UK, who have the required skills to be able to assess the marksmanship and safety of the PDS1 candidate.

If you are interested in taking the PDS1 you can do so easily and conveniently by Enrolling on the course here:

Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate ENROL

Due to increased demand for the course across all areas of the UK, we are also looking for Approved Verifiers (AV’s) in all areas. If you are interested in becoming an AV for the PDS1 the requirements of a PDS1 Approved Verifier are as follow:

It is expected that all PDS1 AV’s:

  1. Possess one of the following: A Deer Stalking or Deer Management Qualification PDS2 and/or DSC2. Be a certified Range Officer or possess a qualification that is deemed equivalent by County Deer Stalking (CDS).
  2. Complete the PDS1 AV Course via the Hunting Academy.
  3. Register their details for publishing on a list to be made available to PDS1 candidates.
  4. Possess a suitable deer calibre rifle equipped with quality optics and a sling, that the candidate can use for the assessment.
  5. Have legal use of land which is suitable and safe for the purposes of the assessment.
  6. Have current, suitable liability insurance to at least £5 million
  7. Be able to demonstrate relevant experience
  8. Respond to all enquiries from candidates in a timely and polite fashion.
  9. Understand that to remain an AV they must be responsible for their own continuous development and read any material or amendments forwarded to them by CDS
  10. Keep CDS up to date with changes to their contact details
  11. In the interests of integrity, not carry out the assessment of family or relatives
  12. Agree to administration fee of £15-00 per annum collected by Direct debit to remain on the list of approved verifiers
  13. Adhere to the highest standards of professionalism
  14. In the interests of fairness and balance the PDS1 Certificate requires continuity across all PDS1 Approved Verifiers (AV’s).

If you think you have what it takes to become an Approved Verifier and meet the requirements stipulated, you simply need to complete the Approved Verifier Course via the Hunting Academy and register your details. You can do so here:

PDS1 Approved Verifier Course ENROL





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