Just got a letter with the forthcoming changes to DSC 2.
Before 01/06/2010, all level 2 winesses, including former AW's, must become 'Approved Witnesses'.
From 01/06/2010 the PC's in DSC 2 portfolios must be witnessed only by an 'Approved Witness'. Use of 'Credible Witnesses' will no longer be allowed for candidates registering from that date.
The new 'Approved Witnesses' must attend an initial briefing by a DMQ briefing team and sign to say they understand their part in the assessment process. Subsequent briefings will be held on a regular basis and will be a pre-requisite for continuing as a witness.
The new 'AW's' will become the responsibility of the Assessment Centre rather than individual assessors.
I personnally believe this is a big step in the right direction but I'm sure some will disagree. One of the perceived problems before was that not all witnesses, particularly 'Credible' ones had a full understanding of the process therefore giving it less credibility in effect. This new process should therefore 'standardise' the process to a greater degree. I'm sure the initial effect will be a great reduction in the length of the AW list! However, hopefully it should encourage those previously acting as 'CW's' to take the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skill levels thus benefiting deer management overall.
No doubt this post will form the catalyst for another heated debate!