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Thread: DSC2 - some constructive suggestions

  1. #1

    DSC2 - some constructive suggestions

    So, the DSC2 finally arrived in the post. Some struggle it has been, in particular due to many cancelled Stalks due to averse weather conditions in 2012. This evening I am stalking with a friend (Who has the DSC1 but just doesn't seem to come round to the DSC2) and just to rub it in I will ask him if I should wear the badge on my had, or on my jacket, and if he can please pin it on for me

    In my feedback to BASC I have made the following points and suggestions which I decided to post on this open forum as, I have no doubt, they will lead to some interesting and passionate comments.

    General observation and suggestion to Basc/DMQ for future improvements on how the scheme is managed and assessed:

    When contacting possible AW’s I had the impression that in general AW’s do NOT want to take candidates on to land on which the AW has permission – quite a few claimed that there was ‘nothing about’ on their land ‘at the moment’. This could cause difficulties for candidates who do not have their own land to shoot on.

    I suggest you should make efforts to move to a system where every AW charges the same amount for a Stalk – there are some quite large differences, ranging from ‘Petrol money only and you can keep the carcass’ to full professional fees+ cull fees + trophy fees + carcass fees.

    In my view, an even better system would be where the initial fee for registering for the DSC2 actually INCLUDES the AW fees for a set amount of AW Stalks. The AW’s would than have to claim their (fixed payments) back from the assessment center. My reasoning is that if a candidate appoints a professional hunter/guide their relationship is one of client/provider, this makes it quite difficult for the AW to fail a candidate, and could potentially lead to a situation where candidates’ ICR’s are signed off despite the criteria not having been met fully. By paying all AW’s equally, and the payment coming from the assessment center, you would create a more level playing field.
    For the same reason as above I believe the DSC2 would carry more weight if every candidate has to use at least two, or preferably three different AW’s.

    I recommend the assessment centers are more open and forward about the AVERAGE amount of Stalks the AVERAGE candidate requires to complete the three ICR’s. Speaking to several AW’s I understand the AVERAGE candidate requires 15 Stalks to complete the three ICR’s. So assuming a fee of £50 per Stalk the layout is already £110 (Assessment centre) + £750 (AW fees), so not much change from £1,000. Do enthusiastic new candidates actually realise this? I certainly didn't. How many never complete their Portfolio out of pure frustration? On the assumption that some booked Stalks are also cancelled due to averse weather conditions, it must be made clearer to prospective candidate what a long and frustrating and expensive process obtaining the DSC2 can be.

    The waiting time from submission of the Portfolio to awarding the Certificate is unacceptable long, in my case 12 weeks+. How can BASC publicly criticise the Police for taking 3-4 months to process a SGC or FAC application, but than be as slow and tardy themselves with processing a DSC2 portfolio, which (I guess) requires just 3 different people to spent just say an hour each on admin and checking through?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Hamburger View Post
    So, the DSC2 finally arrived in the post. Some struggle it has been, in particular due to many cancelled Stalks due to averse weather conditions in 2012. This evening I am stalking with a friend (Who has the DSC1 but just doesn't seem to come round to the DSC2) and just to rub it in I will ask him if I should wear the badge on my had, or on my jacket, and if he can please pin it on for me

    In my feedback to BASC I have made the following points and suggestions which I decided to post on this open forum as, I have no doubt, they will lead to some interesting and passionate comments.

    General observation and suggestion to Basc/DMQ for future improvements on how the scheme is managed and assessed:

    When contacting possible AW’s I had the impression that in general AW’s do NOT want to take candidates on to land on which the AW has permission – quite a few claimed that there was ‘nothing about’ on their land ‘at the moment’. This could cause difficulties for candidates who do not have their own land to shoot on.

    I suggest you should make efforts to move to a system where every AW charges the same amount for a Stalk – there are some quite large differences, ranging from ‘Petrol money only and you can keep the carcass’ to full professional fees+ cull fees + trophy fees + carcass fees.

    In my view, an even better system would be where the initial fee for registering for the DSC2 actually INCLUDES the AW fees for a set amount of AW Stalks. The AW’s would than have to claim their (fixed payments) back from the assessment center. My reasoning is that if a candidate appoints a professional hunter/guide their relationship is one of client/provider, this makes it quite difficult for the AW to fail a candidate, and could potentially lead to a situation where candidates’ ICR’s are signed off despite the criteria not having been met fully. By paying all AW’s equally, and the payment coming from the assessment center, you would create a more level playing field.
    For the same reason as above I believe the DSC2 would carry more weight if every candidate has to use at least two, or preferably three different AW’s.

    I recommend the assessment centers are more open and forward about the AVERAGE amount of Stalks the AVERAGE candidate requires to complete the three ICR’s. Speaking to several AW’s I understand the AVERAGE candidate requires 15 Stalks to complete the three ICR’s. So assuming a fee of £50 per Stalk the layout is already £110 (Assessment centre) + £750 (AW fees), so not much change from £1,000. Do enthusiastic new candidates actually realise this? I certainly didn't. How many never complete their Portfolio out of pure frustration? On the assumption that some booked Stalks are also cancelled due to averse weather conditions, it must be made clearer to prospective candidate what a long and frustrating and expensive process obtaining the DSC2 can be.

    The waiting time from submission of the Portfolio to awarding the Certificate is unacceptable long, in my case 12 weeks+. How can BASC publicly criticise the Police for taking 3-4 months to process a SGC or FAC application, but than be as slow and tardy themselves with processing a DSC2 portfolio, which (I guess) requires just 3 different people to spent just say an hour each on admin and checking through?
    Congratulations Eric.. D

    SC2 is bloated enough without having to go to 2 or 3 different AWs!!! but the other points are valid... particularly the frustrating, expensive and time consuming aspects... there has to be a simpler way!!! My suggestions would include being able to do the gralloch and carcase handling parts of the icrs either in a farm/park/larder setting, for some parts possibly even with a carcase provided... that way, there would be no 'frustration' or 'wasted time' or 'unnecessary expense.' The other parts of the icrs could be signed off in the field as they are now but as .. there is no need to actually connect with a deer, again, 3 outings showing best practice would result in 3 signed off icrs...

    The current system is akin to using training and competence techniques required to fly commercial 747s for someone wanting to gain a recreational PPL to fly cesnas!
    Last edited by Vipa; 18-05-2013 at 18:41.

  3. #3
    Eric congratulations i know where you are coming from i had a few cancellations myself as the weather has been awfull and my second to last outing with paul of barony came to my ground we had a difficult stalk due to the cold wind and sat out on restock froze our asses off . I have just completed mine now and paperwork is going off on mon it is a great feeling getting it completed i have enjoyed the whole experience ,just the wait for the call now ,atb wayne.

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  4. #4
    My main feedback would be why standardise what people charge? Some AW's do it as a part of their business so if you want to stalk their deer then you have to pay a cull fee outing fee, or whatever else they ask for. If you have your own ground then it is clearly going to be cheaper as an aw cannot charge you cull fees and trophy fees.

    If you do not have your ground, then yes you are going to have to pay fees at varying rates to shoot other peoples deer. If you have your own ground then you need to get an AW who will come to you and pay his expenses or one off charge etc. As the AW's are not paid by the assessment centre whatsoever, then why start complicating things?

    Yes it can cost £1000 if you do not have your own ground, but equally, if you do not have your own ground would you not have spent that much anyway in three years doing the very hobby you are looking to become more qualified in? I am lucky to be doing DSC2 but have my own ground. I think everyone knows the stats for stalking, i.e. 1 in 3 stalks roughly are successful depending on the ground, so to get 3 stalks in will be 9 stalks at whatever per stalk so if you go in to dsc2 so naively then you are only kidding yourself.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by stalker.308 View Post
    My main feedback would be why standardise what people charge?
    Is your idea of a fair price per hour the same as mine? I think between myself and my closest 2 friends who are also AW's we carry 70+ years of stalking experience.

    One of these AW's would rather witness on the candidates ground because in the past an unhappy candidate has turned rounds to say there's no deer on his ground!

    The other would only witness on his ground for the standard outing fee with shot fees and £30 for the paperwork time which by the way will take a good two hours to fill in following a successful outing if all goes well.

    You can't standardise the individual AW, many of these guys are pro's and being a witness for a day can be expensive comparably but then equally many are happy to witness for fuel money and something to eat because they have other employment to pay the bills. The idea of set standards across the board is nice but unworkable because every AW has different circumstances, outgoings to cover and responsibilities in real life to cover.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by paul at barony View Post
    Is your idea of a fair price per hour the same as mine? I think between myself and my closest 2 friends who are also AW's we carry 70+ years of stalking experience.

    One of these AW's would rather witness on the candidates ground because in the past an unhappy candidate has turned rounds to say there's no deer on his ground!

    The other would only witness on his ground for the standard outing fee with shot fees and £30 for the paperwork time which by the way will take a good two hours to fill in following a successful outing if all goes well.

    You can't standardise the individual AW, many of these guys are pro's and being a witness for a day can be expensive comparably but then equally many are happy to witness for fuel money and something to eat because they have other employment to pay the bills. The idea of set standards across the board is nice but unworkable because every AW has different circumstances, outgoings to cover and responsibilities in real life to cover.
    Ther is no way you could standardise and pay anyone a fair return in pure financial terms i would ask given the level of skill most AW's have lets say the equivelant in the commercial world would be paid £30per hour min X 5 hours per ICR £150 for each sucessfull stalk and icr assuming you do well and have one good outing in three thats 9stalks for dsc2 the absolute min to get dsc2 on a standardised rate would have to be £1350.00
    I think you pros who do dsc witnessing using your own ground give a great service for not a great financial return

  7. #7
    Erik - some good points but I'd just suggest getting out more ...

  8. #8
    If DSC is attempting to prove stalking ability and carcass handling proficciency; it may be feasible to break this into separate modules. Perhaps insist on only one end to end stalk and gralloch but allow the other stalks and butchery bits to be performed solus.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Vipa View Post
    My suggestions would include being able to do the gralloch and carcase handling parts of the icrs either in a farm/park/larder setting, for some parts possibly even with a carcase provided... that way, there would be no 'frustration' or 'wasted time' or 'unnecessary expense.' The other parts of the icrs could be signed off in the field as they are now but as .. there is no need to actually connect with a deer, again, 3 outings showing best practice would result in 3 signed off icrs...
    I don't understand how doing 3 deer in a park or farm is going to speed things up or make it any cheaper? That only fulfills elements 3 and 4.
    You will still have to then go and stalk and cull 3 more deer which will then have to have elements 3 & 4 completed on them?? Where is the saving?

    How can the initial fee include a set amount of stalks when you don't know how many it will take?

    It sounds to me like some people are having their pants pulled down on the amount of stalks required!! (Or maybe the canididates weren't actually up to the requied standard which is often the case!) I rarely take more than5 or 6 outings to get all 3 done and on two occasions now have managed all 3 ICR's in one visit to the ground. I suspect a lot of it is down to pure geography and population density of deer in your area, but it may be financially worth considering travelling to a more target rich area than flogging a dead horse elsewhere?

    You should also remember that being an AW is voluntary and many like myself do it to give something back rather than for financial gain. I have never charged anything more than basic costs (or maybe a pint in the pub over paperwork). If I was forced to charge for it, then I probably wouldn't do it!
    MS

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Toxster View Post
    If DSC is attempting to prove stalking ability and carcass handling proficciency; it may be feasible to break this into separate modules. Perhaps insist on only one end to end stalk and gralloch but allow the other stalks and butchery bits to be performed solus.
    It is!! 3 seperate ICR's made up of numerous individual PC's! You can do every single PC on a different stalk if you like. It is set at this level so as to provide sufficient evidence that learning has occurred.
    Some of you appear to want everything for nothing which would de-value the qualification. How could you now just reduce it to one stalk when all before you have had to achieve 3? It is currently a recognised industry standard of competence which many have achieved and can be proud of. Why should it be altered now just to make it easier or cheaper for you?
    MS

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