Game shooting takes place across 14 million hectares of the British countryside and contributes around £2.5 billion to the rural economy. It is a growing sector in the rural economy and is increasing in popularity year on year. As well as providing significant economic and social benefits to rural communities game management can also provide significant environmental benefits too.
Due to the popularity of game shooting, more people are participating, the area of land under game management is increasing, more birds are released and intensification of management in some areas is increasing. In order that there is a net biodiversity gain arising from game management activities, it is important that game management follows industry codes of practice and standards.
There is currently no formal qualification for professional game managers. This course is aimed at all individuals who have responsibility for managing a shoot, including head keepers, singlehanded keepers, estate managers, land agents, landowners, shoot managers and shoot captains. It is a three-day course with the option to complete all modules over three consecutive days, 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.
Intended Learning Outcomes
1) Explain the rationale, key approaches and legal context for predation control to protect released and wild game and other vulnerable wildlife.
2) Demonstrate a working knowledge of creating and managing habitats for successful game and wildlife management.
3) Explain the main principles of how to run a successful shoot whilst delivering an environmental net gain.
4) Apply codes of practice and best practice guidelines relevant to low ground game shooting.
- Predation control: Aim and purpose, scientific justification, methods, (including practical session). Wildlife legislation and best practice.
- Farmland habitat management for game and wildlife: habitat requirements, Establishment and management. Introduction to agri-environment schemes and options.
- Woodland management for game and wildlife: woodland planting, ecology of gamebirds in woodlands. Management for holding, shelter, nesting and flushing.
- Game crops: Purpose and position, crops selection and husbandry. Weed and pest control..
- Releasing game: Sustainable releasing guidelines, release pens and releasing strategies. Maintaining health in gamebirds. Codes of practice for rearing and releasing gamebirds. Feeding strategies.
- Game shoot management: shoot economics, shoot day management including game handling and storage.
- Self-regulation within the shooting sector: Code of Good Shooting Practice, British Game Alliance standards.
Learning and Teaching Strategy
Approved Training Providers will support candidates for BASIS Certificate in Game Management by providing a pre-prepared study pack and a list of essential reading. These will cover all elements of the module and include a study guide.
This is supplemented by tuition which has been developed to address the requirements of the module. Tuition will be in the form of small group delivery and will include practical sessions and in-field study on a best-practice demonstration shoot.
Pattern of study including links to other module delivery
Students will be provided with a link to pre-course reading in advance of the taught elements of the course and will be required to complete this so they are familiar with the key aspects of the syllabus. In addition to pre-course reading, students will also be provided with a set of fundamental key questions that are specific to the module.
The key questions will be directly related to the module outcomes and will require students to draw and reflect upon their existing professional and field experience, and contextualise this within their impending course of study. Students will be required to provide a response to the key questions prior to the start of the taught course and group discussion of answer themes with module tutors will take place during the course delivery.
The taught element of the course will normally be delivered over a three-day short course followed by a two-hour examination. However, it is possible to attend different elements of the course within a period of 12 months, for candidates that are not able to attend for three days in a row.
The candidates have to pass three time-constrained assessment elements to meet the module outcomes, pass mark 70%, marked by BASIS:
- 25 multiple choice questions – 2 marks per question, maximum possible 50.
- Two compulsory short answer questions – 10 marks each, maximum possible 20.
- Three out of six (3/6) short answer question – 10 marks each, maximum possible.
Marks from each component of assessment are calculated to provide a single mark, recorded as either pass or fail and candidates will be required to pass all elements in order to successfully pass the module.
Formative assessment strategy
Formative assessments are the responsibility of individual Approved Training Providers, however, the expectation is that candidates will be provided exercises and practice questions, with feedback provided in the same session.
The course is £468 including VAT plus £217 for the BASIS exam fee (not subject to VAT).