Assessment & support


The aim of this guide is to

  • provide guidance on key areas of assessment against BP, covering practical deer management activities
  • outline a process of evidence gathering to support deer managers in identifying learning and skills needs
  • provide guidance in identifying:
    • procedures/equipment
    • regulations
    • training environments
    • training opportunities/certification
    • training providers
      funding sources
  • assess the ability of staff to follow BP guidance.


The ability of a landholding/individual to follow BP guidance would depend on levels of knowledge and training, and identification of methods to fill any skills gaps.

Assessment would be undertaken using evidence such as:

  • relevant training
  • relevant training certification
  • appropriate equipment
  • procedures
  • staff guidance and policies
  • codes of conduct.

It is important to emphasise that the assessment is an information gathering exercise and does not seek to test the competence of individuals.

Roles and responsibilities

Owner/Responsible Person/Deer Manager

  • To carry out assessment of Deer Management Activities on owned and managed land
  • To report findings of assessment to owner/ senior management/responsible person
  • To identify gaps where relevant WDBP guidance is not being met
  • To recommend actions for improvement

Land Manager/Deer Manager

  • To provide the relevant information and identify areas for action
  • To facilitate an on-site practical assessment where appropriate
  • To implement recommended actions as approved by Owner/Responsible Person*

Key Areas of Assessment with Supporting Evidence and Relevant Best Practice Guidance

Key Areas Evidence Relevant WDBPG Guidance
Public Safety DMQ (or equivalent)
Public information
Firearms safety
Public access
Public access signage
Food Safety Compliance with Meat Hygiene Regulations.
‘Trained Hunter’ certification.
Carcass tagging & Traceability Procedures.
Appropriate equipment availability.
Carcass inspection (Notifiable diseases and Deer health)
Supply of venison
Basic hygiene principles
Shot placement
Gralloching & Extraction
Larder hygiene & waste disposal
Welfare (Including Dispatch of Wounded Animals) Wounded animal procedures.
FCS Break-in Guidance
Firearms shooting test.
Codes of Practice.
Welfare: definition and assessment.
Welfare: culling.
Use of helicopters: safeguarding welfare.
Shot placement.
Humane Dispatch.
Reaction to shot & follow up.
Use of dogs.
Training & Continuing Professional Development Formal education (HNC, Nat Cert)
DMQ certificates (or equivalent).
SNH Fit & Competent Register
WDBP Guidance: subscription and events.
Relevant short courses.
Health & Safety (Including PPE) Equipment checklist.
First aid training.
Radio procedures.
Risk assessment.
Health & safety.
Lone working.
Lyme disease.
High seats.
Firearms FACs.
Rifle Check Certificates.
Firearms safety.
Maintenance and zeroing.
Rifles and ammunition.
Security, transport & storage.
Carcass Handling & Extraction Certificates (Drivers licence, argo, quad, winches, manual handling).
Equipment checklist
Mechanical & manual extraction.
Pony extraction.
Handling exceptional numbers of carcasses.
Larders and Venison Equipment checklist.
Venison Dealers Licence.
Local Authority Documentation
Larder records
Larder hygiene & waste.
Supply of venison.
Larder design.
Deer Management Planning Deer Management Plan.
Deer count data.
Cull records.
Deer Management Plans.
Planning for biodiversity.
Setting cull targets.
Population assessment: open range counting.
Population assessment: dung counting.
Cull records.
Monitoring Deer Management Plan.
HIA data.
Habitat Impact Assessment: principles.
Habitat Impact Assessment: principles in practice.
HIA: analysis.
Woodland Damage: recognition of cause.
Socio-Economics Stalking leases/contracts Working with clients.
Letting stalking.
Collaboration Supporting DMG Deer Management Groups.
Team culling.
Handling exceptional numbers of carcasses.