PDS1 Gathers Pace

In the UK the LANTRA Accredited, Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate Level 1 PDS1, is fast gathering pace as the UK’s go to Deer Stalking Qualification, with a new candidate passing the course every other day.

PDS1 Candidate

We speak to ‘Approved Verifier’ Paul Pritchard, who is based on the Welsh Boarders about his most recent PDS1 candidate:

“Last weekend I had the pleasure of verifying a lovely young lady (Chloe) who, during the drive to and from the range, spoke about how she shoots, cooks, and eats a variety of small game for herself. She beats for a local shoot, helps with the vermin control, and loves fishing”.

Paul adds:

“Isn’t it fantastic to see youngsters particularly ladies with such a passion for country life”.

Paul has been verifying PDS1 candidates regularly since enrolling as an Approved Verifier for the PDS1 over a year ago. We asked Paul how Chloe got on with her shooting & safety assessment?

“She’s definitely not a shoddy shot either, believe me, and passed with flying colours”.

Shooting Test

Above - Chloe demonstartes her shooting ability with an impressive 2 inch group

The PDS1 now has a string of Approved Verifiers across the UK, ranging from Scotland to East Sussex and in the case of Paul, the Welsh Boarders.

In short, PDS1 Approved Verifiers (AV’s) are professional deer stalkers, qualified range officers and/or have PDS2 or DSC2. Additionally, these individuals have completed an ‘Approved Verifier Course’ via the huntingacademy  and play an important part in introducing beginners to deer stalking.

How it works.

PDS1 Deer Stalking QualificationUnlike other deer management courses that have no external accreditation and require attendance at an assessment centre on specified dates, candidates who take the PDS1 complete a nationally recognised course, and are able to complete the theory element of the PDS1 syllabus conveniently online, at a time and place that suits them, via an e-learning platform, the ‘UK Shooting & Hunting Academy’,

Having completed the syllabus and having passed a series of tests, the candidate is then provided with a list of ‘Approved Verifiers’ local to them, who are able to sign off on the shooting and safety element of the course.

The role of the Approved Verifier is to engage with these candidates and verify their shooting and safety skills in the field.

If you think you have what it takes to become an ‘Approved Verifier’ in 'Deer Stalking Qualifications', then you can find out more here:

To become an Approved Verifier you will need to:

  • Possess one of the following: A Deer Stalking or Deer Management Qualification PDS2 and/or DSC2. Be a professional deer stalker, certified Range Officer or possess a qualification that is deemed equivalent by County Deer Stalking (CDS).
  • Complete the PDS1 AV Course via the Hunting Academy.
  • Register your details for publishing on a list to be made available to PDS1 candidates.
  • Possess a suitable deer calibre rifle equipped with quality optics and a sling, that the candidate can use for the assessment.
  • Have legal use of land which is suitable and safe for the purposes of the assessment.
  • Have current, suitable liability insurance to at least £5 million.
  • Be able to demonstrate relevant experience.
  • Respond to all enquiries from candidates in a timely and polite fashion.
  • Understand that to remain an AV you must be responsible for your own continuous development and read any material or amendments forwarded to you by CDS.
  • Keep CDS up to date with changes to your contact details.
  • In the interests of integrity, not carry out the assessment of family or relatives.
  • Adhere to the highest standards of professionalism.

If you’d like to take the PDS1 Deer Stalking Certificate you can enrol here: deer-stalking-course

Or to learn more about Deer Stalking Qualifications follow this link: deer-stalking-qualifications


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