Fit and competent status

Most people wishing to control deer under a specific authorisation must first be registered as ‘fit and competent’.

You must be registered as fit and competent if you wish to control deer:

  • out of season under a specific 5(6) authorisation
  • under a night shooting 18(2) authorisation

Owners or occupiers wishing to control deer under the general authorisation to prevent damage to improved agricultural land or enclosed woodland don’t need to be registered.

This only applies to the occupier and, if authorised by the occupier:

  • the owner
  • an employee of the owner
  • an employee of the occupier
  • any other person normally resident on the land in question

How to register

To register as fit and competent, you must first prove that you meet the necessary criteria set out by NatureScot.

You can do this by providing evidence you’ve completed either:

  • Deer Stalking Certificate Level 2 (DSC2)
  • Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1 (DSC1), plus two referees (one of whom must be DSC1 certified) who can provide evidence that you meet required standards

We know that it may not always be possible to provide two referees. Contact us for advice if this applies to you.

Then fill in the relevant form(s) below and email to Please note all of our deer forms have been updated and we will no longer accept any out of date forms.

Download the Fit and Competent Controllers Application

Download the Fit and Competent Controllers Renewal Form

Download the Fit and Competent Referee Form


National Operations Unit
Telephone: 01463 725 364

Last updated: