Certificate in Ecological Consultancy

Find OuT How Our Certificate Course Could Change Your Life…

Taking bookings for 2022 from November!

If you are interested in joining us in 2022, please email ecologytraininguk@gmail.com and we will put you on a list and be in touch in November to get the ball rolling. Please state if you have a relevant degree and/or experience – if you are not sure let us know by email as we may need to find another path for you.  All the details of the course are here on the website.

We will be having 3 intakes in March and April 2022

Please do get in touch if you are keen to join us in 2022.

This course can be studied over 8 – 24 months via online and taught courses. 

This is a life-changing course for people wanting to get into Ecological Consultancy. It is a real alternative to a Masters and MUCH cheaper! We are hoping to teach it face to face at the moment but there will be other options should government restrictions still be in place.

What this year’s students say about their course where we had to deliver the course as videos and webinars with a two-day field course later in the year due to Covid restrictions:

“I would definitely recommend this course. It covered all the skills and background knowledge needed to get started in ecological consultancy. Despite being unable to attend the core week on site in Devon, the videos and documents provided allowed us to get started with practical work, including Phase 1 Habitat Mapping and species identification in our local areas, and also using online ecology resources.

Sue was available to elaborate on the course content, recommend reference material and equipment, and answer questions during the webinars.  A daily quiz helped consolidate our learning.”

Stuart S

“The videos you made gave a great insight into the topics and it was really helpful to be able to pause the video to write everything down or go back a few minutes if I didn’t quite understand the first time.

The live meetings on Zoom were really great to meet everyone, share experiences and hear answers to questions cropping up from watching the videos. The structure of the course was maintained well and it’s a logical progression through the week. Obviously it is a lot better to be all together in a classroom and being able to conduct the field work but as an alternative I feel it worked well and I learnt a lot.”

Nick C

“I applied for ETUK’s 2020 Certificate in Ecological Consultancy course as a motivational boost to get me working outdoors! I would not be in my current fortunate position (running my own ecology business) had it not been for this course. I learned so much during the initial core week which gave me the assurance I needed to reach out to local companies as a sub-contractor and gain hours of experience required to work towards my personal licences for bats, dormice and GCN. I then went on to book almost every other protected species course because I was knew the content would be useful and inspiring.

Sue made sure that no matter how many lockdowns and Zoom lessons we had the course was a huge success. I would not hesitate to recommend any of her courses, especially Certificate, to anyone interested in a career in ecology.”

Emily S

Our Certificate in Ecological Consultancy is a real, practical alternative to a Master’s degree giving you real skills, knowledge and experience!

This course is truly unique and gives you the opportunity to launch your ecological consultancy career with a suite of knowledge, skills and experience as well as confidence to apply for jobs. 2021 will be it’s 12th year and nearly 400 people have taken it successfully!

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, self-study tutorials, assignments to practice your skills and an element of career planning.

Read on to find out more…

Acorn Ecology certificate course sinead

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 month minimum or you can take up to 24 months to complete if you have other commitments. There is a 5-day Core Week which is held online via daily webinars and practical exercises. Later in the year you will also complete a 2-day field course consolidating your learning on the Core Week. You will then need to complete 3 optional one or two-day courses either online or taught, plus assignments and home study courses.

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: Please note that some of the optional courses will be held in different locations including Devon, Somerset, Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey and the Bristol area – directions and accommodation list will be provided on booking. The exam and graduation are in November in Hampshire.

When: The next Core Week course is in March or April 2022 (3 intakes). The  5 days being conducted online via webinars, videos and discussions.

Additional short courses are undertaken throughout the year, depending on which you choose. The course ends with the Exam in November or you can carry forward to a second year if you need more time.

Price: The 2022 course price is £2000 ex VAT (£2400 incl VAT)  Click here for full details of the prices and easy payment options.

How to book: Once bookings are launched in November we will send you the relevant booking forms and payment details but you will need to be on the waiting list. Please email ecologytrainingUK@gmail.com and request to be put on the waiting list for 2022.  If you are paying via our easy payment options you will need to pay an initial deposit of £350 and you also need to complete a Standing Order Mandate and Guarantor Form.

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Ecological Consultancy Course Outline

Part 1 

A five day intensive course via webinars and other activities which covers core subjects and vital skills for anyone wanting to work as an ecological consultant:

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

Throughout the week there will be plenty of opportunities to chat to the tutor and to ask lots of questions.

There will also be online tutorials and monthly catch-up meetings on webinar so you can meet up with your fellow students and discuss topics of interest. We will have sessions on how to get your protected species licences, CIEEM membership, career planning, goal-setting, guidance on background reading, getting experience, working on your CV as well as Biodiversity Net Gain.

Part 2 – 2-day field course

Some time during the summer or autumn you will attend a two-day field course to consolidate all your Core Week learning. Here we will practice Phase 1 habitat mapping, plant ID, animal tracks and signs, surveying techniques and much more! It is a great opportunity to work in a stunning location and meet your fellow students. Usually held near Bristol or in Exeter.

Part 3 – Additional Field or online 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*
  • Bats: Surveying trees for bats**
  • Beaver ecology and surveying
  • Beginners botany* >>
  • Bird ID
  • Bird survey techniques
  • Dormouse ecology and surveying~
  • Getting to Know the Planning System
  • Grass ID
  • Great crested newt ecology and surveying+
  • Great crested newts and developments
  • Otter ecology and surveying +
  • Reptile ecology and surveying+
  • Tree ID
  • Water vole ecology and surveying+

* Two-day courses; **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 and other survey sites are provided.

Most of these courses are also available online.

For each of these courses you will receive a Certificate.

Due to Government restrictions we may need to cancel some of these taught courses, however, most of these optional courses are now available to do online or can be deferred until 2023 – see our Online Courses.

Please note that some of the optional courses will be held in different locations including Devon, Somerset, 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 4 – 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. You will receive a separate Certificate for this course.

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Part 5 – Assignments And Other Benefits 

Other aspects of the course include:

  • CV/experience check if requested.
  • Email/telephone support for whilst on the course, starting from the first day of your Core Week up to 2 years and beyond.
  • Marked assignments – protected species factsheet (ID, survey, law); Preliminary Ecological Appraisal report including desk study and phase 1 map; 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 to build a network of ecological contacts. You will be part of a WhatsApp group as well so you can keep in touch with your fellow students as much or as little as you want to.
  • 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 Ecology Training UK team during the course and afterwards.
  • We are usually happy to provide references for CIEEM membership and job applications after Core Week.
  • Monthly webinars will be held covering a range of topics such as career planning, gaining your licences, Biodiversity Net Gain, how to prepare your CV and more.

Part 6 – Exam And Graduation

  • Held online on a set day in November 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 graduation ceremony. We will celebrate the highlights of the course and you will receive your Certificate in Ecological Consultancy.

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