Deer Management Qualifications Ltd

Setting the standard for wild deer management



WGMH qualifications
7 January 2016

    Happy New Year to all DSC candidates passed and present. A gentle reminder to all potential DSC 2 candidates that to register for DSC 2 you require to hold a WGMH qualification in large game this can be obtained via 3 routes:

    • Recent DSC 1qualification (obtained after 2006, Blue DSC 1 Certificate)
    • Lantra Large or Large and Small Game meat hygiene qualification
    • NGO Large or Large and Small Game meat hygiene qualification

Approved Witness Briefings
13 April 2015

    9 April 2015 - 19:00 - British Deer Society, Burgate Manor, Fordingbridge, SP6 1EF
    23 May 2015 - 19:00 - SWI Hall, Nurses Lane, Comrie, Perthshire PH6 2DZ
    2 June 2015 - 14:00 – BASC Marford Mill, Rossett LL12 0HL

To reserve your place at a particular briefing location, please contact Mandy Short at DMQ or phone 01244 573027.

Dissertation Questionnaire - 'Wildlife Management Through Deer Stalking: Participant Culture, Characteristics and Motivation'
16 October 2014
  • To introduce myself I'm an undergraduate geography student at Cambridge University conducting research for my final year dissertation.The focus of my dissertation is on wildlife management through deer stalking, in particular looking at the participants and their motivations for the activity. Given deer's impacts on the ecology and landscape of the UK the activity also impacts on this and stalkers could be viewed as wildlife managers.

  • Click here to complete the questionnaire
DSC 2 portfolio - recording questions and answers
16 September 2014
  • There are a number of ways of recording questions and answers:

Questions can be recorded by a witness writing them in at the appropriate place in a portfolio and recording a candidates answers given to the questions.
A witness may ask a candidate to write in the questions asked and answers given.
Some witnesses have labels pre-printed with relevant questions on them which they stick in a portfolio and ask the candidate to enter the answers.
A few witnesses type out all questions asked and answers given and staple a complete page onto the relevant page in a portfolio:- Remember, witness signatures to validate authenticity are required on each inserted sheet

AW briefings
03 April 2014
  • Thursday 1 May 1900
  • Game Conservancy and Wildlife Trust,
  • Burgate Manor, Fordingbridge, Hampshire SP6 1EF
  • Friday 30 May 1900
  • Blairnroar Community Hall, Comrie, Perthshire.
  • Directions below:
    GRID REFERENCE: (OS Sheet 57) NN 784179
      • From Comrie:

      From the A85 which runs from Crieff to St Fillans through Comrie;

    Take the B827 south out of the town centre square in Comrie towards BRACO;

    After 2 miles you pass the Auchengarrich Wildlife Park;

    1 mile on you reach a X roads with a red telephone box and 2 cottages;

    Turn LEFT there towards Muthill

    After 1 mile, you come to the Hall (a converted farmhouse)

    Park in the yard outside - please do not obstruct the cow byres.


    From The South:

    Heading north on A9 dual carriageway go 4 miles past the Dunblane turnings;

    Take the Greenloaning exit onto A822 (signed to Crieff/Braco);

    Go through Braco village and after 500m, turn LEFT onto the B827 to COMRIE;

    After 7 (seven!) miles, you come to a X roads with red telephone box and 2 cottages;

    Turn RIGHT there towards Muthill

    After 1 mile, you come to the Hall (a converted farmhouse) on the left

    Park in the yard outside - please do not obstruct the byres.

  • Tuesday 3 June 1400
  • BASC Marford Mill Rossett Wrexham LL12 0HL

Streamlining DSC2 Portfolios of Evidence - CLARIFICATION
24 July 2012

With reference to the DMQ post made 23/7/12 regarding an additional means of submitting DSC2 portfolio evidence.


For those familiar with the system there are essentially no changes, just an additional method for completing the portfolio forms.


These are the ways in which portfolio evidence can be submitted:


Handwritten evidence in portfolio –as before


Pre- printed sticky labels (e.g. for witness questions) -as before


Witness/Candidate questions/answers, Witness/ candidate note/narratives, can be typed then paper copies signed & dated then pasted into the portfolio -as before


Additional Means Of Submitting DSC2 Portfolio Evidence NEW 01/08/12.


· Witness Record of Questioning,

· Candidate Narrative,

· Witness Additional Notes


May now be created electronically then printed and submitted as paper inserts in the portfolio –NEW, this is in addition to the other methods above.


The proviso is for this method, only the DMQ supplied electronic Witness Record of Questioning, Candidate Narrative, Witness Additional Notes created electronically, printed, signed and then inserted into the portfolio will be accepted.

Streamlining DSC2 Portfolios of Evidence
23 July 2012

In recognition of requests to make DSC2 Portfolio form completion easier, DMQ has made editable pdf templates available for the Witness Record of Questioning, Candidate Narrative and Witness Additional Notes; they are available from the downloads section of the website.


Evidence compiled by Approved Witnesses (AWs) and Candidates using these templates will then have to be printed and inserted into the relevant places in the portfolio; all such inserts must be signed by the Witness and/or Candidate, as appropriate. The blank, non–editable, ICR pages already on the website can be used as before to produce paper inserts.


DMQ is not currently prepared to accept any of the portfolio sheets in electronic form, the portfolio must be presented in hard (paper) copy. Stick in labels will continue to be acceptable for AW contact details after element 4 of each ICR, and for contact details on the administration details page.


To maintain authenticity and control of submitted material, from 1 August 2012 DMQ will only accept paper inserts of portfolio forms which are produced using the DMQ templates; no alternatives, nor any electronic submissions will be accepted. The usual checks that the material submitted is authentic, current, sufficient and relevant will continue to be made.


All AW’s will be e-mailed advising them of the above.


For those with Adobe Reader, the new templates can be completed electronically and printed for insertion into the relevant page of a DSC2 portfolio. Using Adobe Reader, changes to the form cannot be saved and if witnesses wish to maintain a copy for future reference a second copy will need to be printed. If Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Creator is available, electronic copies can be saved to file but completed forms must not be shared for use by other Witnesses or Candidates.


Thanks to all who support and work within the DMQ system.

Culling deer out of season in Scotland after 1 April 2012 13 April 2012

From the 1st April 2012 the exemption that gave owners and occupiers the right to cull deer out of season to prevent damage within improved agricultural ground and enclosed woodland will be removed.


However, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have issued a general licence permitting owners and occupiers to cull male deer out of season for the purpose of preventing damage to improved agricultural land and enclosed woodland. This general licence will cover the period from 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013. The owner, owner’s employees, the occupier’s employees or any other person normally resident on the land can carry out control under any general licence or specific authorisation on enclosed woodland and improved agricultural land without the need to be on the SNH Fit and Competent Register. (This is very much what has happened in the past.)


The culling of female deer during the period of 1st April to 31st August will require a specific authorisation for the property to be issued by SNH. SNH will assess applications and may carry out site visits. They will also ensure that where authorisation is to be issued that appropriate mitigation of welfare issues is adopted.

Any female deer culled out of season (between 1st April and 31st August) will now be culled under authorisation from SNH and this would require all to be on the Fit and Competent Register.


The right for the occupier to cull deer to prevent damage in season on enclosed woodland and improved agricultural land remains.

New DSC1 question banks 5 March 2012
Following changes to Game, and Deer, Laws in England and Wales, question banks for DSC1 have been updated. PDF versions can be downloaded via the downloads section.
DMQ appoint new External Verifier for Scotland 14 August 2011
DMQ is pleased to announce the appointment of Rognvald Taylor as the new External Verifier (Scotland). The primary responsibility of this post is to quality assure the assessment processes for the award of the Deer Stalking Certificate at the 5 Scotland based DMQ Accredited Assessment Centres.

Mr Taylor is at present an External Verifier with SQA for Game Management and Agriculture, and has recently left the post of Assistant Principal at North Highland College (Thurso). He has extensive deer management experience, and has had a close relationship with DMQ over many years.
Firearms (Amendment) Regulations 2010 10 October 2010
The Firearms (Amendment) Regulations 2010 came into effect on the 28th July 2010. The effect of the regulations is to raise the age at which people in England, Wales and Scotland may purchase or hire firearms or ammunition from the current 17 years of age to 18. There are also changes to the exemptions for lending and borrowing firearms regarding adult supervision of under 18's. There are also changes to Northern Ireland legislation.

The regulations stem from the European Weapons Directive 1991 as amended in 2008. The UK are obliged to adopt changes within two years of any new Directive being passed. Full details may be found on the BASC website.

Muntjac releases 10 October 2010
Natural England have clarified the position on where Muntjac may be released, in the following statement:

" The original list of 12 counties came from a DoE policy document published in 1997, at the time that muntjac were added to Sch 9. This was simply a policy position, reflecting the ‘core’ distribution of muntjac at the time, where it was considered that limited releases would have no significant impact on further establishment or spread.

Since the formation of Natural England, and our taking over this area of licensing, we have updated this position, modifying the list of ‘core’ counties in line with the changes in muntjac distribution over the last decade or so.

The twelve core counties were: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Suffolk and Warwickshire. As a result of the expansion in range since 1997, the core counties have been increased to include Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Greater London.  As a result of changes to county boundaries they also now include the county of Rutland. So the total is now 16, though one of these additions is simply as a result of boundary changes.

This is simply a change in licensing policy. The legislation (Wildlife & Countryside Act) does not impose any restrictions on where licences can be issued, so there has been no change to the legislation. Incidentally, the requirement to release at site of capture or within 1km if that is not possible, is also simply policy, rather than something written into the legislation."

DCS merges with SNH 6 September 2010
On 1 August, the Deer Commission for Scotland (DCS) merged with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). Details of the merger and SNH's new role in managing Scotland's deer can be found on the SNH website.

Proposed changes to Scottish Deer Law 22 October 2009
A consultation paper was published recently by the scottish government on changes to deer law in Scotland, that will affect all who wish to stalk unaccompanied in Scotland.  The consultation paper can be found at

The DMQ response can be viewed or downloaded

Trained Hunter Upgrade 11 May 2009
Any DSC1 holder registered before 1 May 2006 who has not converted to Trained Hunter, may do so by sitting a Game Meat Hygiene assessment (by arrangement with any Assessment Centre) and paying the appropriate fee to the Assessment Centre.  This fee will include the re-assessment cost plus a  payment of £15 to DMQ for the re-issue of the certificate.

Latest Wild Game Guide published 2 October 2008
An updated version of the FSA wild game guide was published on 1 October 2008. Targeting hunters who supply game that has not been plucked or skinned and those selling small quantities of wild game meat, it gives information on hygiene regulations and ways to make sure meat is safe to eat.

The Agency produced the guide in partnership with the Meat Hygiene Policy Forum Working Group and the Wild Game Group, which is made up of stakeholders from the wild game meat industry.

The guide covers food safety advice, commonly-asked questions, approved game handling establishments and relevant training options. There is an easy-to-follow flowchart on hygiene regulations and checklists for hunters to follow.
New Witness Guide published 16 April 2008
A new Guide has been published for both Accredited and Credible Witnesses. It is available as a PDF file for downloading, or from DMQ. The Guide contains advice on witnessing procedures, an example of a completed Individual Cull Record, and examples of questions that might be asked during a witnessed stalk.  
Changes to DSC1 Visual Assessment 24 January 2008
Candidates are shown 20 images covering the 6 species of wild deer in the UK. Now the species and the sex have to be identified for each image, and both must be correct to gain a mark. To pass, candidates must obtain at least 16 marks out of the possible 20.  
Bluetongue now in UK 28 September 2007
The notifiable disease Bluetongue has been confirmed on farms in Suffolk. Information on Bluetongue, and the latest position, can be found at the following website pages:

The Deer Initiative

Changes to Deer laws and to Game laws 10 August 2007
An Order which comes into force on 1 October 2007 will amend the Deer Act, 1991 in the following ways:

1. Allow the use of 0.22 centre fire rifles for shooting Muntjac & Chinese Water Deer;
2. Allow any reasonable means of humanely dispatching deer that are suffering due to illness or disease;
3. Allow dependent deer to be taken or killed if they have been, or are about to be, deprived of their mother, at any time of the year;
4. Enable licences to be issued to kill or take deer during the close season where there is a serious risk that the deer will cause deterioration of the natural heritage or there is a serious risk to public health and safety, provided there is no other satisfactory alternative;
5. Enable licences to be issued to kill or take deer at night for the reasons outlined in 4 above and to prevent serious damage to property provided there is no other satisfactory alternative.
6. Shorten the close season for female red, roe, sika and fallow deer by moving the commencement date to 1st April.
7. Introduce a close season for Chinese Water Deer and hybrid species from 1st April to 31st October inclusive. To maintain protection for female Chinese Water Deer the close season will also apply to males as it is difficult to distinguish between the two sexes.
8. Amend the meaning of mechanically propelled vehicle in the Deer Act to permit discharging of firearms or projecting missiles from a mechanically propelled vehicle that is stationary and the engine is not running.

The licensing authorities will be Natural England and The Welsh Assembly Government in England and Wales respectively.

An Order which came into force on 1 August 2007 removes requirements in England and Wales for venison to be sold only to game dealers and allows venison which was legally obtained to be sold in the Close Season. There will be no requirement to hold a Game licence in England or Wales.

These changes will be reflected in assessments as the Orders come in to force
Deer Commission accept DSC2 for Fit and Competent
The Deer Commission for Scotland has accepted the DSC2 as evidence of competence in culling deer for inclusion on the Fit & Competent Register. The current proviso, however, is that only those awarded in the last 5 years are acceptable, as there is a DCS requirement for a 5 year review. DMQ and the DCS are discussing how to take this forward in the future.  

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, for any commercial purpose without the prior written permission of Deer Management Qualifications.