Recognised Training - Beginning Falconry Award
Since 2007 the law has changed in that it is now illegal to sell a bird to anyone who has not had sufficient training or lacks adequate facilities to keep and fly one. The Hawk Board, which is the sport's representative body, in anticipation of this legislation has introduced a nationally recognised qualification. This has been structured by a government authorised training agency which specialises in rural activities and skills. This organisation is called Lantra.
Lantra's "Beginning Falconry" course is designed specifically for those in your position and offers very good preparation. Much of the content of the course is about acquiring the theoretical knowledge to be able to house, feed and care for a bird of prey. There is also a practical element covering the various stages up to, but not including, the point where you would fly your bird free.
This course is available through approved falconry centres, of which Hawkwise is one. Falconer Rebecca Friar is qualified as an Assessor and colleague Steve Wright has responsibility for the monitoring the standard of assessment at falconry centres throughout the South Western quarter of the UK.
We have found the best way to achieve the Beginning Falconry award is to do it on a correspondence course basis, followed by practical tuition for the practical elements. Our experience is that the depth and amount of knowledge to be learned is too great for you to absorb it properly in one "lump". Also it reduces your costs as you do not need to be away for such a long period of time.
The course is based around a workbook that covers 10 different areas of knowledge or practical skill. By covering them individually you are not over-faced with too much information at any one time. As you submit each section Rebecca gives you feedback on those points which require greater depth or are improperly understood. You are then required to return a follow-up containing the amendments and additions to your previous submission. Once you have achieved the required level of competence in this section Rebecca sends the next and the whole process is repeated.
On the completion of the theoretical part of the course you will have a quite extensive body of knowledge to use for future reference. We then advise that you spend a day with us to cover the practical areas. This is followed by an assessment of your practical skills. At this point we are able to recommend you as a successful candidate.
Obviously the duration of the course depends on your own rate of learning and the time you have available. At the outset we provide a reference book, and with each section point you towards the relevant chapter and paragraphs as well as other sources you should explore. I have to say that I have been very impressed with the standard achieved by this method. There is no pass/fail situation. You simply persevere until each section has demonstrated that you have achieved the required level of competence. Most people manage this without any difficulty because of the thoroughness of the system and the support we are able to give.