Fit and competent status

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

You must register as fit and competent if you wish to:

  • control deer during the close season
  • control deer at night (from one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise)

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 applies to the owner or occupier, and, if authorised by them:

  • an employee of the owner
  • an employee of the occupier
  • any other resident on the land


To join the fit and competent register, you must have either:

  • Deer Stalking Certificate 2 (DSC2) or equivalent
  • Deer Stalking Certificate 1 (DSC1), or equivalent, plus one referee to provide evidence that you meet the required standards

Register online

To join the fit and competent register, or renew your status, you can now apply online

The new digital form is part of a wider project to modernise NatureScot’s deer management services.

Applying online is quicker and easier. It also speeds up the time it takes for staff to process registrations.

You can use the service to:

  • apply to join the fit and competent register
  • renew your fit and competent status
  • update any personal details held by NatureScot

Share your thoughts

The online application form has been developed in collaboration with partnership organisations and existing fit and competent controllers. We welcome all feedback, concerns and suggestions and will use these to improve the service.

Submit your feedback.

If you prefer to apply offline 

It is quicker to use our online application service.

However, alternative offline forms remain available for people who prefer to apply by email or post.

View offline forms and guidance.


Licensing team
Telephone: 01463 725 364
Email: [email protected]


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