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Bat Licence Training

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Our training is delivered predominantly online, allowing you to study the theory over the winter. During the survey season, you will put theory into practice with 5 days of fieldwork. Our standard training programme costs £3200.

How does it work?

Over the winter we study the theory online. You will then put the theory into practice with 5 field-days between May and August. Throughout, we will assess you by asking you to complete a series of assessments.

Trainees with mugs

Which licence?

Our training and mentoring prepare trainees to hold a bat survey licence in England or Wales. 

As standard, we train and assess all delegates for a Natural England class 2 licence (CL18) (or equivalent Natural Resource Wales licence). This includes bat handling, using a hand-net & endoscope.

For more information see the or Natural Resources Wales websites.

Lee found a bat during the bat licence training course

What will I learn?

Our training is based on the Bat Conservation Trust’s ‘Professional Training Standards’. There are twelve units:

  • Legislation, licensing and planning
  • Considerations for bat surveys
  • Ecological considerations for bat surveys
  • Preliminary Ecological Appraisal for bats
  • Bat roost inspection surveys – buildings built structures and underground sites
  • Bat roost inspection surveys – trees
  • Emergence/re-entry surveys – structures and trees
  • Bat activity and back tracking surveys 
  • Advanced licence bat surveys 
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Writing bat reports
  • Bat roost mitigation 

Trainees bat catching

How is it assessed?

Each online session is accompanied by an assessment. These are to check understanding and re-enforce learning. There are a variety of assessment methods, including; written questions, reading, self-guided study exercises and report writing.   

To prepare you for the final assessment, you will complete two mock assessments; a Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA) & a Ground Level Tree Assessment (GLTA). 

The final assessment requires you to prepare a bat survey report of a PRA and GLTA. 

Practical skills (handling, using a hand-net & endoscope) are assessed throughout the programme.

Trainees assessing a tree

Final review

Once submitted, you can sit back and relax. It’s then over to us to mark your report. Once this is complete, we will meet with you again to inform you of the result and provide feedback. There are three potential outcomes of this assessment:

  1. Approval –You have passed the assessment and we will provide two references. Most trainees end up in this category.
  2. Approval pending some minor alterations – If you do not pass but are close to standard, we will provide constructive feedback. This will include identifying areas for improvement. Once you have rectified these, we will provide you with two references.
  3. Not successful – If there is a significant problem with your report, you will need to sit a re-assessment. We will provide constructive feedback and identify areas for improvement. Very few trainees end up in this category. 

Work experience 

As well as completing the training and assessments, you will need to obtain the following work experience: 

100 bat contact hours –  range of different survey types where you have encountered bats e.g. emergence, night-time bat walkovers (transects), bat boxes, back-tracking, swarming surveys, catching, radio-tracking, etc. 

10 Preliminary Roost Assessments – shadowed a licensed bat ecologist and found ten bat roosts in buildings, bridges or other above-ground structures. Whilst experience of tree roosts is valuable, it doesn’t count towards this total.  

2 hibernation visits – experience of underground hibernation sites e.g. caves, mines/quarries, tunnels, cellars, ice houses, etc. Bats hibernating in buildings or bat boxes do not count towards this total.

You will need 50% of this experience before you can join the programme; i.e. 50 hours, 5 Preliminary Roost Assessments and 1 hibernation visit. The remaining 50% must be in place by the end of August. You will need to submit your bat-log to evidence your experience. 

Group looking at bat poo ona the bat licence training course

What does it cost?

Early-bird rate £3200 (bookings made before 31st August).

Standard rate £3500 (bookings made after 31st August).

Bookings open in April each year.

Mist nets

When do I pay?

A £200 deposit is required on booking. The remaining £3000 is paid in four equal instalments of £750 (October, January, May & September).

What next?

If you want to know more, please contact us to arrange an introductory call. These calls take place on Zoom and last 45 minutes.

Course bookings open in April each year. Once you’ve had an introductory call, you will receive information about how to book a place. Places are limited; only 12 per year.

Trainee with endoscope


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