Gamekeepers, estate managers and shoot managers looking to brush up on their skills can now apply for places on a new game management course which has been developed through a collaboration between the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and BASIS.

The BASIS Certificate in Game Management is designed to encourage best practice across the sector, while providing qualified individuals with a professional accreditation that demonstrates assurance of high standards of practice to employers, customers and the general public.

Coronavirus delayed the launch of the course, which held just one part of a three-day session in March before the restrictions came into force.

There will be four opportunities to attend the course in 2021, all of which will be held at the GWCT Allerton Project, in Leicestershire.

Roger Draycott, director of advisory and education at the GWCT, explains why there is no better time to refresh your training:

“There has been a lot of discussion about the impact of released game in recent months.

“We know that when it is done well, game management can have a positive impact on the environment, and we want as many people involved in shooting to show they’re doing the right thing.

Lots of effort is put into those gamekeepers starting out in their careers, but this is the first course aimed at more experienced individuals.

“This qualification is tailored for all levels of gamekeeper, as well as estate managers, landowners, shoot managers and shoot captains – in fact it is aimed at everyone who has responsibility for running a shoot.”

What is included in the game management course?

The three-day training course will include various modules in both practical and lecture-based sessions, covering; predation control; gamebird releasing; shoot and land management; game crops; and industry regulation.

To complete the certificate, candidates are required to take a multiple choice and short answer exam paper at the end of the training, or the modules can be completed within a 12-month period (over three separate one-day sessions) for candidates that are unable to join for three consecutive days.

Greg Hopkinson, head of business development and marketing at BASIS said:

“At BASIS we aim to improve standards in all areas of land management, with a significant focus on helping to protect the environment for a sustainable future.

Game shooting takes place across 14 million hectares of British countryside and to ensure that game management has a positive impact on biodiversity and the wider environment it is important that game managers follow best industry practice and meet the required standards of environmental responsibility.

“BASIS Certificate in Game Management provides individuals with the knowledge and skills required so that the shoots that they manage are successful, sustainable and have a positive impact on the local landscape and wider environment.”

The course is being run four times throughout 2021 and places are strictly limited. For more information on the course, click here.