Over 500 new deer managers through SGA Centre

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association has trained over 500 new deer managers at its Assessment Centre
Assessment Centre Head Alan Tweedie (standing), overseeing a recent course

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association Assessment centre has surpassed a significant milestone, with over 500 new deer managers graduating through its Deer Management Qualification (DMQ) programme.

With the sustainable management of deer being a Scottish Government objective on the Net Zero journey, SGA-approved trainers (led by SGA Committee rep and Borders College Gamekeeping and Wildlife Management lecturer, Alan Tweedie) are stepping up to the challenge.

As of this week, 468 Deer Stalking Certificate 1 (DSC1) candidates had passed the course with a further 76 passing the DSC2 course.

Without passing DSC1 with Wild Game Meat Hygiene, candidates cannot proceed to DSC2, which demonstrates a candidate’s ability to manage deer humanely and safely, whilst dealing with venison for the food chain.

The SGA has been pivotal in developing Deer Management Best Practice in Scotland and contains more professional deer managers within its membership than any other Scottish body.

Red deer stag, Scottish Highlands.

Head of the operation, Alan, has been ably assisted by the SGA office staff Carol Anderson and Sue Timms, who have handled all administration and correspondence.

Since inauguration in September 2021, candidates from all over the UK have taken the internationally recognised courses, from recreational stalkers to employees from government agencies.

“Had it not been for Covid 19, we would probably even be further ahead by now,” said Alan, “however, it has been a real success. We are basically the industry training the industry and the demand for the courses shows no sign of letting up. We have a great team, with the office staff and trainers, and we work like a family.”

As well as heading up the Assessment Centre, Alan also runs Wildlife Management Courses for the SGA and details of all SGA training courses available can be found on our website under ‘Jobs, Courses and Laws’.

Candidates trying for their deer management qualification at the Scottish Gamekeepers Association's Assessment Centre.

DSC1 trainers are: Alan Tweedie, Gary Dickson, Brian Lyall, Jim Goodlad, David Olds, David Quarrell, Stewart Blair, David Shaw, Jonathan Mellars and Paul Adkins.

DSC1 and 2 trainers are: James Scott, Andrew Treadaway (now retired), John Allan and Jamie Stewart.

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