Members of the Countryside Alliance are invited on a course to gain a key qualification ahead of a landmark deadline. The use of professional rodenticides to control rats becomes subject to stricter regulations early next year as part of the industry’s new stewardship regime. Gamekeepers wishing to continue using the products after the deadline will need relevant credentials and one-day courses that lead to official certification, awarded by BASIS Registration Ltd, have attracted a surge of interest. 

The first, at Englefield Estate in Berkshire on Monday, August 24, is already fully booked and places at several others are now limited.

Details of more courses all over the UK will be announced soon and Rob Simpson, Managing Director of BASIS Registration Ltd, is expecting them to be just as popular.
He said: “The forthcoming change in legislation means gamekeepers who want to go on buying and using professional rodenticides must have proof of competence.

“Anyone without an appropriate certificate after the deadline will be restricted to using amateur products or will have to rely on traps, shooting and terriers, unless they have an alternative qualification for using Aluminium Phosphide.

“So it’s no surprise that the initial string of courses have proved to be hugely popular – and I expect similar interest when more dates are revealed later this year.”
The one-day ‘Rat Control for Gamekeepers’ course, created alongside the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, has been approved by the Health and Safety Executive and is overseen by BASIS Registration Ltd.

They’re being run by the National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO), the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association and are also jointly owned by the Countryside Alliance.

Tim Weston, development officer for the NGO, believes the positive reaction of gamekeepers to the change in product authorisation is great news for the industry. He said: “Eight of 12 places on the first course were booked on the day it was announced. It’s now fully subscribed and I know it’s the same for several of the others.

“Gamekeepers recognise the new stewardship regime is a positive step – they’re doing a good job, but want to make sure they do it even better in future within the framework of the new rules.

“The huge strength of interest in the initial courses shows how seriously they’re taking the need for proof of competence.”

Other dates announced so far are…

  • September 1: Stowell Park, Yarnworth, Gloucestershire (NGO).
  • September 14: Sandringham, Norfolk (NGO/GWCT).
  • September 15: Fordingbridge, Hampshire (GWCT).
  • September 15: Hillborough, Norfolk (NGO/GWCT).
  • September 21: Longformacus, Berwickshire (GWCT/SGA).
  • October 12: Loddington, Leicestershire (GWCT).
  • November 6: Loddington, Leicestershire (GWCT).

Members of the Countryside Alliance are entitled to a special price of £150 plus VAT – a discount of £50 on the cost for non-members – whichever course they attend.

Courses will be run by BASC, GWCT, the NGO and SGA. Members of any one of those organisations, and the CA, will be entitled to a special members’ cost price of £150 plus VAT, regardless of which organisation is delivering the actual course they attend. Non members will be charged £200 plus VAT wherever they attend. Both fees will cover the training itself, course literature, the exam at the end and, if successful, the issue of a certificate for the purchase and use of professional rodenticides.

Email [email protected] or call Lynda Ferguson on 01425 651013 to secure your place. Please specify which type of exam you would like to take when you book – on paper immediately after the training finishes or later online.