Operative Award in bird control using birds of prey – L2

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In many countries the use of trained birds of prey to act as deterrents to avian pests (abatement) is increasingly seen as a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and natural solution that causes little harm to the target species.

It is a non-lethal method that many people find preferable to the trapping and destruction of birds that otherwise would have a severe impact on public health, and significant financial impacts on agriculture and other economic activities.

Furthermore, the use of trained birds of prey in reducing airstrikes, safeguarding passengers and reducing the significant costs of engine repair are well-established and documented.

However, this highly skilled and specialised approach to the abatement of avian pests has not, to date, been supported by a codified body of skills and knowledge required to carry out these activities safely, effectively and professionally.

This has now been addressed and this course is based on the International and Occupational Standards for bird control (abatement) which are  maintained by Raptor Awards Community Interest Company.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for existing employees  / technicians  or operatives  using birds of prey for bird control who are under the direct supervision of others.  You will not be responsible for the legal, reporting or administrative parts of the work.  It is also suitable for individuals wishing to join the industry in this capacity.

Note: If you are already working in the sector and are responsible for your own legal, reporting and administrative tasks, then you should work towards our Level 3 Award instead.

You will be at least 18 years of age and you will probably already have experience of working with birds of prey in another capacity.  You may already be working in the abatement industry.

What does the course cover?

This course focuses on:

  1. the background knowledge and understanding you will need to bring to the role, and
  2. the particular practical skills required to safely and competently fly birds of prey for bird control purposes.

Topics include:

  • The legal aspects of bird control in the UK
    • Licensing of bird control activities
    • Reports and returns required by law
    • Alternative abatement methods not requiring licensing
    • Insurance requirements for bird control activities
  • Objectives of abatement activities
    • Non-lethal deterrence
    • Choice of abatement methods
    • Record keeping
  • Avian pests and their natural history
    • Definition of avian pest
    • The harm caused  by avian pests
    • Common pest species encountered in the territory
    • The natural history of common pests and the impact on abatement operations
    • Less common pests in the territory and how to deal with them
  • Welfare of species during abatement
  • Welfare law and its implications for abatement
    • Choice of raptor species for the operation
    • Hazards and the mitigation of risk
    • Minimise harm to target and non-target species
    • Care of raptors during abatement operations
    • First aid techniques
    • Advanced telemetry

How do I pass the course?

To successfully complete the course and achieve certification you must:

  1. Complete all knowledge elements of the course and demonstrate to your assessor that you have the required level of understanding to be able to apply your knowledge in abatement operations
  2. Complete the online tests in Lessons ten and eleven.
  3. Demonstrate your practical skills in the field, including initial survey, preparation of RAMS documents, flying skills and other practical aspects of the role.
  4. Demonstrate your basic raptor husbandry knowledge and skills (see pre-requisites below)

What if I don’t pass all parts?

There is no time limit on completion of the course and the associated assessment.  If you do not pass any part of the course including the practical skills assessment you will receive feedback to help you understand where you need to do more work.

You can ask for a further assessment at any time. (Please note that this may incur re-test fees).

Are there any course pre-requisites?

You can start this course immediately, however, you are required to prove your basic competence in keeping and training birds of prey before we can issue a certificate for this course.

If you already hold the Raptor Awards modules C1 to C9 (Keeping birds of prey and Training birds of prey) then no further evidence will be required.

If you do not already hold these modules you can discuss with your instructor / assessor how best to demonstrate your basic competence in these areas.

Professional Recognition:

Candidates enrolled for this Award are eligible to apply for membership of the International Register of Bird of Prey Professionals.

Associate members have two years to work towards recognition as Full Members

Membership confers significant benefits that enable members to stand out from the crowd.

Find out more about the IRBPP here : 


  1. Please note that the ‘Beginning Falconry’ course administered by Lantra does not meet the International and Occupational Standards for Bird of Prey welfare and will not, on its own, satisfy the pre-requisite requirement.  Your instructor/assessor can advise on any steps you may need to take to satisfy this requirement
  2. The course assumes that you will carry out activities within England, and references and course information reflect this.  Where the law differs in the other nations of the United Kingdom your instructor will highlight the need for you to work with different licensing bodies or within a slightly different legal framework.
  3. This course is available in other countries beside the UK.  Please contact Raptor Awards for more detailed information on availability


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