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Thread: 'Best' DSC1?

  1. #1

    'Best' DSC1?


    A search threw up 382 threads relating to this, and with the best will in the world I don't have time to read them, so please bear with me....

    It has come time to book my DSC1. I appreciate there are a few providers on here so cannot expect too much impartial advice on the 'best' and from what I have read on threads there are as much positive as negative on each provider. I am not wishing to start a slanging match of which is better than the other, just what to consider.

    So, what is it I need to consider to choose my training provider?

    Length? I see some are 2 days, some 3 and some 4. How can there be so much difference in length?

    Days? Most seem to be a weekend with a Fri or Mon, or Sat, Sun, Sat - the latter won't work for me as I have few spare weekends but I might be able to get a Fri off work to do one of those. Does anyone do a full midweek course?

    Material? Some seem to come in a CD, some a book and some online. I have a mac so the BDS stuff won't work for me or have they solved that yet?

    Reputation? I am doing this as a precursor to hopefully joining a specialist stalking scheme (Defence Deer Management) and am awaiting word back as to which course providers they will 'accept' - I have found an old document that states (this must be a BDS or British Association for Shooting and Conservation(BASC) affiliated course) - so not sure what they will accept.

    Is there anything else to consider, again I am not wishing to start a slanging match of which is better than the other, just what to consider.

  2. #2
    Firstly, I am a BDS and BASC member and I didn't do my DSC I with either, I did it with North Highland College. My recommendation is to go with one of the following:

    British Deer Society Training Course Dates
    Deer Stalking Certificate DSC 1 | BASC
    Jelen Deer - Training

    A phone call to each is provider is worthwhile and each may be running courses that aren't necessarily posted on the Internet.



  3. #3
    All I can say is that when I did my DSC1 with Jelen there where two guys on the course in the military looking to stalk on MOD land post the course. Good course with good support pre and on the days. Very professional team to do DSC with.

  4. #4
    Karlbird - we are the finest DSC1 providers in the universe and your only sensible option.... We spent four days brainstorming about a new high profile marketing effort but all John could come up with was the strapline 'tell Sid'....

    Your post does usefully highlight some of the issues that many face. Given your location, there are numerous closer providers than us, so I'm not attempting to make a 'sale'!

    In reverse order somewhat - I can't speak formally for the DDM, but we've had dealings previously and several DSC1 and 2 clients have joined. The DSC1 & DSC2 qualifications are universal - no matter what some of the marketing spin and empire building seeks to imply, every candidate takes the same qualification. I am aware that certain members of the DDM structure prefer things 'in house'. They may have now swung that into something formal - but it was merely their preference. Crusading aside, if you are looking to join you aren't going to want to rock boats at the outset, so do go with their advice.

    Which kind of leads to the second element - there's a natural focus on the provider and that isn't helped by some of those being quite aggressive in their marketing approach - often by intimation rubbishing others in the process. Ultimately its just plain silly, possibly disingenuous and worst of all, unhelpful for the potential student. No matter who your training provider is or how you actually get to the stage of the DSC1 Assessment, that actual Assessment WILL be overseen by an Assessor from one of the relevant organisations. That Assessor is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the assessment. Assessors have to work to established rules and are ultimately answerable if things are not done correctly.

    Pass marks have been thrown about in the past - they are universally high. Any assessment routinely returning out of normal results will get scrutinised. Genuinely bad providers are soon identified. The training provider may or may not be allied to an Organisation - but the Assessor they use will be. Ultimately bad providers will be unable to obtain an Assessor to conduct the actual test.

    So, do we have a system of cloned training providers? Thankfully not! Everyone is a bit different and that's a good thing because it gives the ultimate consumer control - choice.

    So my suggestion is to worry less about what the training provider is like and focus on what you want and need. You have already put down some criteria in your post - that will narrow the market choice considerably.

    First choose if you need training at all. If you are used to a learning environment and are used to self study, then keep in mind you can pick an Assessment only or self study material & Assessment option. The BDS do it, Jelen do it - I think and - sorry for blatant self promotion - we do it; there are likely others. If it suits, then it cuts down your strict time commitment to the one day of the Assessment.

    It isnt for everyone and you risk losing certain things - often imponderables such as the fun of working in a group of like minded people, networking, seeing things with a different perspective, Jon Snowden's food etc etc

    If you feel a training course would help then the choice is there. No course less than a full week stands any chance of giving you a thorough knowledge of the DSC1 syllabus IF IT IS THE ONLY STUDY YOU DO. There are a variety of offers out there because that is what the market seeks. We do a two day course - which some in the trade feel is too short to achieve anything. Yet it doesn't stand alone - those days are the culmination of several weeks of supported home study. That suits many people - but not all. Does such a short course make a difference? In most cases yes - from our experience. Though I'd be bound to say that I hear 'them' cry! Most of our customers seem to agree - but its for them to voice.

    So assess what you need and want in terms of those options.

    In terms of timing, there's choice again. We and several other providers will run a course so long as we have someone to talk to! So the course goes ahead even if only one guy can make it. Others have unavoidable issues to balance and may have to cancel courses if there are insufficient numbers - so long as its made clear at the outset that's no real issue - the choice is there.

    Timing - following from the above, some providers have to work to extended schedules, others do not - hence several providers - off the top of my head, I think Greenlee, Paul Fechan, Jelen and us ( there I go again! ) do offer flexible dates and can arrange specific sessions in the right circumstances - including travel to a venue to suit you.

    Media - my weak area as not really all that techy. No idea what BDS Ultimate Data etc runs on, ditto web-based facilities like - which we use; I'm assuming it will run as a. I never thought of the PCv Mac issue before and b. no customer has ever raised it as a query.

    So short answers - 'Best' really comes down to what suits you personally. The list of things to consider over those above can be a short or long list - depends on you. The key things are as I've raised before on posts - always try to talk with any provider. If there's no chemistry in a 10 minute telephone conversation, it don't bode well for a full day together! Are things like the shooting test an issue - some providers run the test in groups, others one to one.

    Hope that helps.
    Stalking and Courses
    BASC Approved Trainer & Assessor. Cairngorm National Park Authority Approved Supplier. Supported by Sauer Arms
    See you at Kelso, Scone & Moy 2016

  5. #5
    Defence Deer Management is also the Services branch of the BDS! Not saying that would be the best route to take - just an observation!

  6. #6
    JCS - thanks, they were the 3 I had thought of, I like the choice of venues with the BDS and BASC but have not ruled out travelling if it is near family or somewhere I can crash cheap.

    Cris - Thats useful, thanks.

    Moray Outfitting - a most helpful and informative post, for that I thank you greatly. If only I was still at Kinloss, although that was many years ago! You have given me lots to think about and have answered some of my questions/fears. Self study is not an issue, I have just completed a self study degree and that went fine, but you do never know if you are leading yourself up a garden path - something which can be avoided on a course. Hopefully I will be ok on the shoot, I am yet to fail any work shooting tests.

    Out of interest could you give me your dates and locations please?

  7. #7
    I did mine with Jelen and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Mike and his team, they were excellent and there was a serving officer on my course completing it for the same reasons to shoot on MOD land

  8. #8
    No problem recommending Jelen, did the course and exam with them last year.

    The most important thing is your preparation before the course, you can then turn up with a few questions and enjoy the course and exam.
    It really showed on the lads that hadn't prepared.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by NoIDeer View Post

    The most important thing is your preparation before the course, you can then turn up with a few questions and enjoy the course and exam.
    It really showed on the lads that hadn't prepared.
    I agree.

    I did the now defunct BDS online course and bought the BDS manual. It took around 300 hours studying preparing for the 2 days assessment with them.

    Whoever you do your DSC1 with don't leave it until you do the course to learn the relevant information.

    Good luck.

    atb Tim

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by NoIDeer View Post
    No problem recommending Jelen, did the course and exam with them last year.

    The most important thing is your preparation before the course, you can then turn up with a few questions and enjoy the course and exam.
    It really showed on the lads that hadn't prepared.
    Yes, you get a good homeworking pack that includes plenty of on line support but, you do need to use it when preparing for their 2 day course as it is assumed you are well grounded from the minute the lectures start

    The army saying of Proper planning etc is very true if you want the best chance of passing with Jelen

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