Certificate in Ecological Consultancy


Find Our How Our Certificate Course Could Change Your Life…

Our 2019 Course is Closed for bookings!

Many thanks for your interest in our Certificate course. If you are interested in joining us in 2020, please email ecologytraininguk@gmail.com and we will add you to our list. We can then let you know when bookings are open at the end of the year.

Our Certificate in Ecological Consultancy is a real, practical alternative to a Master’s degree!

This course is truly unique and gives you the opportunity to launch your ecological consultancy career with a suite of knowledge, skills and experience.

This course aims to provide a complete training for those wishing to work within an ecological consultancy and includes a series of compulsory and optional field-skills courses and self-study tutorials, combined with an element of career planning. There is also the option of a 4 week work training placement in one of Acorn Ecology’s busy offices!

Find out more about our Certificate Course >

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I’m over the moon and I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all. There’s no way I would have been in this position (just offered first ecology job) had it not been for the Certificate course. This time last year I was working in a call centre, in a job I hated, and would look at the course web page between calls dreaming of what could be. Now, just a few months later and I’m about to start a job I absolutely love. Thank you so much!! 🙂

Course Details.

Time commitment: The course is designed to fit around working full time and it is anticipated that it will take around 8 months to complete. Click here to find out about time commitments.

Course content: We have provided a detailed course outline below as well as a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help answer your queries.

Where: The intensive week and some of the additional short courses will be held at our training centre near Exeter, Devon.  In case you need to stay overnight, we have provided a list of local accommodation.

Please note that some of the optional courses will be held in different locations including Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey and the Bristol area.

When: Next one starts April 2020 with a core week and additional short courses are undertaken throughout the year, depending on which you choose.

Price: The 2020 standard course price is £1900  Click here for full details of the prices and easy payment options.

How to book: To book on to this course, please complete our booking form and submit it to us along with your CV and payment for the course. If you are paying via our easy payment options you will also need to complete a standing order mandate and guarantor form.

All forms can be found at the top of this page.

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Ecological Consultancy Course Outline

Part 1 

A five day intensive course based in Devon which covers core subjects and vital skills for anyone wanting to work as an ecological consultant:

  • Phase 1 habitat surveys
  • Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA)
  • Survey techniques for protected species
  • Protected sites and wildlife law (tutorial)
  • Plant ID workshop (tutorial)

During this initial course you will also have sessions on health and safety, CIEEM membership, career planning, goal-setting, guidance on background reading, getting experience and working on your CV. Throughout the week there will be plenty of opportunities to chat to the tutors and to ask lots of questions.

Part 2 – Additional Field Courses 

As well as the core courses covered in part one, students can choose three other courses (1 or 2 days each) according to their existing skill levels and specific interests. Options include:

  • Badgers and development
  • Bat ecology and surveying*
  • Bat sound analysis using Analook
  • Bat Survey Data: Analysis and Presentation**
  • Bats: Surveying trees for bats***
  • Beginners botany* >>
  • Bird survey techniques
  • Dormouse ecology and surveying~
  • Grass ID
  • Great crested newt ecology and surveying
  • Otter ecology and surveying +
  • Reptile ecology and surveying
  • Tree ID

* Two-day courses; **Only as a follow on from bat sound analysis or you are confident using Analook; You will need to have existing knowledge of bat ecology if you choose this course; >> Compulsory if your botany knowledge is weak; ~ Similar material is covered in the core week, however additional detail is provided along with a nest box check. This course will be useful if you are working towards your dormouse licence; + Similar material is covered in the core week, however additional detail is provided.

Please note that some of the optional courses will be held in different locations including Devon, Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey and the Bristol area.

To find out more about the content of these courses, please see our Introductory Level Short Courses.

Part 3 – Self-Study Tutorials And On-Line Courses

To add to the knowledge gained from the field courses and core week tutorials, there will also be four self-study tutorials which will cover the following topics:

  • Mammal ID
  • Amphibian and reptile ID
  • Bird ID
  • Hedgerows – legislation

You will also complete our on-line Invasive Species course. This is an introductory level course about commonly occurring invasive species. The course comprises 9 modules accessed online and at the end of the course you will complete a short quiz to show that you will have completed and understood the course.

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Part 4 – Assignments And Other Benefits 

Other aspects of the course include:

  • CV/experience check if requested.
  • Email/telephone support for ~8 months whilst on the course, starting from the first day of your core week.
  • Marked assignments- Preliminary Ecological Appraisal report including desk study and phase 1 map, protected species factsheet (ID, survey, law), planning phase 2 surveys for a proposed development, and an exam style assessment about ID, legislation and survey techniques.
  • Being on the course will give you the opportunity to get to know other like-minded people and to start build a network of ecological contacts.
  • Each student will receive a copy of Sue Searle’s book ‘How to become an ecological consultant’.
  • You will be provided with email addresses of other delegates (with prior agreement) so you can keep in touch with other students and the Acorn Ecology team.
  • We are usually happy to provide references for CIEEM membership.

Part 5 – Exam And Graduation

  • Returning to Devon for one last day, you will take a multiple choice/short answer exam style assessment about ID, legislation and survey techniques.
  • There will be a session to revisit and revise career planning and goal setting as these will have changed since the initial core week
  • We will end the course with a lunch party and graduation ceremony. We will celebrate the highlights of the course and you will receive your certificates.

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