Training

We offer a range of training courses including bat licence training, bat sound analysis and radio-tracking.

Bat Licence Training Courses

We offer high quality, structured training focused on addressing individual participant’s needs and ensuring thorough coverage of the skills required for each Natural England Bat Survey Class Licence level.

We set up our Bat Licence Training Courses in response to demand for intensive, structured courses, targeted at each licence level. Fifty trainees attended our Bat Licence Training Courses in 2017 and we received outstanding feedback!

We believe in a hands-on approach, giving you the opportunity to learn skills in field-based practical sessions, as well as ensuring a comprehensive grounding in the theory through classroom-based modules.

We keep group sizes small!

The venue: courses are based at our training centre in Norwich, with field excursions in Norfolk.

We offer the following courses:

Please select a course above to see details

Bat Licence Training Courses – Beginner (Level 1)

Upcoming course dates:

  • 9th & 10th May 2018 (fully booked)
  • 26th & 27th June 2018 (fully booked)
  • 12th & 13th September 2018 (fully booked)
  • Please contact us if you would like to be added to the course waiting list. We use the list to contact people if spaces on existing course dates become available and to provide notification of new course dates.

Our two-day Level 1 course consists of six classroom-based modules and three practical sessions (including one evening session) and concludes with a written assessment (total contact time around 14 hours).

Who is the course aimed at?

Ecological consultants, researchers, students, bat group members and enthusiasts wanting to work towards their Level 1 Bat Survey Class Licence.

Pre-course recommendations:

No previous experience required.

Familiarity with the UK bat species and the law relating to bats would be beneficial.

About this course:

The course will focus on the skills required for a Level 1 Bat Survey Class Licence including:

  • surveying structures for bats using artificial light (visual inspections/PRAs)
  • assessing roost potential of trees
  • emergence & re-entry surveys
  • visual identification of bats

This course is ideal for those new to the world of bats and looking to gain new skills, as well those who already have a good basic knowledge of bats and are working towards their Level 1 licence. The course focusses on the Level 1 ‘licensable activities’ (and the skills and knowledge needed to support these) i.e. observation of bats including the use of artificial light (torches). Therefore non-licensable activities such as acoustic surveys and analysis of sound recordings are not covered in this course.

It is envisaged that those participants attending the course with some prior bat experience (including carrying out emergence/re-entry surveys and building inspections, using bat detectors and basic bat identification skills/knowledge) will, on completion of the course, have gained sufficient knowledge and skills to be eligible for a Level 1 Class Licence. However, please note that provision of a licence reference is at the discretion of the course tutors and a reference will only be provided if the tutors are fully satisfied that the participant has met the required standard (can safely and effectively operate under the Level 1 licence) and has passed our written assessment. Those participants with only minimal or no prior knowledge or experience with bats will require additional experience before applying for their Level 1 licence.

Bat Licence Training Courses – Intermediate (Level 2)

Upcoming course dates:

  • 1st - 3rd August 2018 (fully booked)
  • 21st - 23rd August 2018 (fully booked)
  • Please contact us if you would like to be added to the course waiting list. We use the list to contact people if spaces on existing course dates become available and to provide notification of new course dates.

Our Level 2 course takes place over three days, commencing in the afternoon on the first day and finishing at lunchtime on the third day. The Level 2 course consists of four classroom-based modules and five practical sessions (including two late evening sessions hand-netting, handling and processing bats) and concludes with a written assessment (total contact time around 20 hours).

Who is the course aimed at?

Ecological consultants, researchers, students, bat group members and enthusiasts wanting to work towards their Level 2 Bat Survey Class Licence.

Pre-course recommendations:

Preferably participants will already hold a Level 1 Bat Survey Class Licence and have experience of a range of bat survey types as well as visual identification of common bat species.

Participants must be rabies vaccinated and bring suitable gloves as this course involves handling bats.

About this course:

The course will focus on the skills required for a Level 2 Bat Survey Class Licence including:

  • catching bats with a hand-net
  • handling and processing bats
  • identification of bats in the hand
  • checking bat boxes
  • using an endoscope for bat surveys

This course is intended either to kick-start your training towards the Level 2 licence, as a ‘boost’ to your existing experience or, potentially, to complete your training for the Level 2 licence. To meet the standard needed for a Level 2 licence, participants will need to have a significant amount of additional experience i.e. the course alone cannot provide all the experience you will need for your Level 2 licence. Please note that provision of a licence reference is at the discretion of the course tutors and a reference will only be provided if the tutors are fully satisfied that the participant has met the required standard, has passed the course written and practical assessments and has submitted a satisfactory training log (detailing additional experience gained with other experienced bat workers).

Bat Licence Training Courses – Advanced (Level 3 and Level 4)

This course is run on-demand. Please contact us to enquire or register your interest.

Our Level 3/4 course takes place over three days, commencing in the afternoon on the first day and finishing early afternoon on the third day. The Level 3/4 course consists of two classroom-based modules and five practical sessions (including two night-time sessions: harp-trapping, mist-netting and handling and processing bats) and concludes with a written assessment (total contact time around 26 hours).

Who is the course aimed at?

Ecological consultants, researchers, students, bat group members and enthusiasts wanting to work towards their Level 4 and/or Level 3 Bat Survey Class Licence(s).

Pre-course recommendations:

  • Preferably participants will already hold a Level 2 Bat Survey Class Licence. Participants must be competent at handling and processing bats and should be able to identify common species.
  • Participants must be rabies vaccinated and bring suitable gloves as this course involves handling bats.

About this course:

The course will focus on the skills required for Level 3 and Level 4 licences including:

  • catching bats using mist-nets
  • catching bats using harp-traps
  • using an acoustic lure
  • identification of bats in the hand

To meet the required standard for a Level 3 and/or Level 4 licence, participants will need to have substantial additional experience (especially for Level 3 – safe and proficient extraction of bats from mist-nets requires a lot of practice). This course is intended either to kick-start your training towards the Level 4 and/or Level 3 licence(s), as a ‘boost’ to your existing experience or potentially to complete your training towards either/both licence levels. Please note that provision of a licence reference is at the discretion of the course tutors and a reference will only be provided if the tutors are fully satisfied that the participant has met the required standard, has passed the course written and practical assessments and has submitted a satisfactory training log (detailing additional experience gained with other experienced bat workers).

Please contact us for more information or to register your interest: email

About the courses' Lead Tutor

About the licence levels