The Bat Licence Training Course is aimed at professional ecologists already undertaking some elements of bat surveys who have been unable to obtain training through local bat groups.
Depending on where you are based, the types of licence which can be obtained through the BLTC are:
- Natural England – in the light of the new Class Licensing system, we can confirm that the BLTC will provide training towards a Natural England Level 2 Class Licence
- Natural Resources for Wales Roost Visitor Licence, with/without handling endorsement
- Northern Ireland Office Bat Survey Licence, with/without handling endorsement
- Scottish Natural Heritage Bat Survey Licence, with/without handling endorsement. Scottish based applicants may also wish to speak to our friend and colleague in Scotland – Neil Middleton of Bat Ability, who also offers excellent training BatAbility.co.uk
Please note that training is primarily towards a disturbance only licence. Whilst bat handling opportunities will be offered to all rabies-inoculated participants, it will not be possible to catch sufficient numbers of bats of different species to provide the necessary experience for a handling licence. However, any experience gained in this area during training may be counted towards this element of the licence , and we may be able to offer additional training for bat handling licences in future.
Important: Applicants must be aware that we DO NOT consider this training, or the licence issued following it, as adequate qualification to become a ‘bat consultant’. The course optimally positions most people that that successfully complete it at the ‘assistant bat ecologist’ level – able to work unsupervised, but still likely to requires considerable support with reporting, interpretation, mitigation and licensing. We discourage people without considerable ecological consultancy experience from using this course as a route to set up as a sole trader bat ecologist.
Outline of the BLTC training programme
- Pre-course experience - all participants will be required to have a minimum of 50 hours bat contact time, to include visits to at least 5 known roost sites
- Attendance at two residential courses (4 days each) which consists of classroom based learning and practical fieldwork
- Compilation of a training diary - it is expected that candidates will have acquired a minimum of 100 hours experience prior to attendance at the second residential course.
Through focussed training, an informal assessment and the submission of a training diary (including external experience), the tutors will assess each candidate’s suitability for becoming a licence holder.
Although every effort will be made to sign each candidate off for a licence, this cannot be guaranteed. The licence reference is provided at the discretion of the tutors, who will carefully assess each candidate’s suitability. In the unlikely event of a licence not being awarded, a full report will be issued to the candidate explaining why the award was not made.
“A tremendous course with a hugely comprehensive curriculum. Sandie and Richard, both outstanding bat trainers built on my confidence with theoretical and practical understanding of bats, survey, mitigation and the application of legislation. Field visits ranging from underground hibernation sites, barns, castles, bridges and trees to known purpose built roosts ensured the course covered every eventuality and developed knowledge of all areas of professional bat work at different stages of a bats life cycle. I would wholeheartedly recommend this course to any prospective bat workers.” Ben – senior ecologist at a national consultancy.