Deer Stalking Qualifications

UK Deer Stalking Qualifications (DSQ) exists to ensure that high standards of effective and humane deer management are maintained amongst professional and recreational deer stalkers.

The Deer Stalking Qualification Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 is delivered by UK Rural Skills and LANTRA approved training provider County Deer Stalking through the UK Shooting & Hunting Academy.

The course is available throughout the UK and the syllabus has been externally approved by the UK’s two leading land-based awarding bodies UKRS & LANTRA. LANTRA is regulated by the British Standards Institute and Ofqual.

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The Proficient Deer Stalker Course widely referred to as the PDS1 is available to those who require a UK deer stalking qualification and is perfect for those applicants that have been advised by the police to complete a course prior to the granting of a firearms certificate to shoot deer.

The theory element is delivered via an online, e-learning platform - the UK Shooting & Hunting Academy which imparts information through a series of modules and classes. Uptake of the course is assessed via a series of multiple-choice examinations.

The practical element of the course, which requires that candidates be able to demonstrate that they can handle a rifle safely and shoot consistently and accurately, is then carried out via series of ‘PDS1 Approved Verifiers’ around the UK.

If you'd like to apply to become an 'Approved Verifier (AV) for the PDS1 follow this link: pds1-approved-verifier-course

DSQ PDS1 syllabus is as follows:


Module 1: Why we shoot deer. The need for deer management in the UK
Module 2: Firearms safety & rifle components
Module 3: Where to place your bullet & variants of shot placement
Module 4: Zeroing and point-blank range
Module 5: Marksmanship
Module 6: After the shot
Module 7: Carcass extraction, handling & inspection
Module 8: Deer identification & ecology
Module 9: UK Legislation
Module 10: Buying your equipment and getting out deer stalking
Final Exam

PDS1 Practical Assessment

Element 1: Shooting – During a practical assessment the candidate can demonstrate that they can place a series of well-aimed shots.
Element 2: Safety – During a practical assessment the candidate can demonstrate that they can handle and shoot a rifle safely.

Large Game Meat Hygiene Course Syllabus

Module 1: Hygiene rules and proper techniques for the handling, evisceration, extraction, and transportation of wild game animals after killing.
Module 2: Identifying Normal & Abnormal anatomy, physiology, and behaviour of wild game
Module 3: Pathological changes in wild game due to disease, environmental contamination, and other factors
Module 4: Legislation and administrative provisions on animal and public health, and hygiene conditions governing the placing of wild game on the market
Final Exam

If you’d like to enrol on the PDS1, simply follow this link to the UK Shooting & Hunting Academy

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If you would like to learn more about UK Deer Stalking Qualifications, then contact: 020 3981 0159 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Us

Call us on 020 3981 0159 or drop us a line here with any enquiries or to provisonally book your outing or training course.

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