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National Police Wildlife Crime Officers Training Course

National Police Wildlife Crime Officers Training Course:seo-training


Module One – Foundation

The once five day PWCO course is now delivered in a priority-based, condensed format delivered over Teams for three days called Module One. The national priority areas are covered which includes Badgers, Bats, CITES, Birds Of Prey, Hare Coursing and Poaching. Inputs are also delivered on Health and Safety and the Hunting Act.

Maximum – 2 places per force.

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ: Anyone booking for Module 1 will have their email address registered with NWCU Digital Training Academy, hosted by Mowbray Partners. You will be expected to have completed the CITES Digital training package before you attend Module 1. We are currently rolling this out in batches and will update when fully open to all.

Dates for 2024 are:

14/05/2024 to 16/05/2024 – FULL

03/09/2024 to 05/09/2024 – FULL

12/11/2024 to 14/11/2024 – very limited spaces available


Please note the NWCU Digital Training Academy are currently creating a series of digital learning packages for the priority areas (plus Invasive Non-Native Species). You will be able to access each topic and complete ‘as you go’ at your own pace. Therefore there are no more Module 1 dates planned for 2025 as the digital programmes will be available.


Module Two – PWCO Class Licence

Licence to carry out wildlife crime investigation (CL30) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)  Please read before you attend this course.

Each will run 0900-10:30am – hosted by NWCU & Natural England.

Dates for 2024 are:

30th May – FULL

There will be no further dates for this Module in 2024.


Module Three – Animal Welfare Act Police powers

This will be training over Teams in the Animal Welfare Act and police powers 0900-12:45, lunch then 13:30 – 15:30 training with the RSPCA Special Operations Unit covering a range of organised wildlife & domestic animal crime.

Dates for 2024 are:

22nd May – FULL

There will be no further dates for this Module in 2024.


To request a place on any of the above modules (modules 1 to 3), or if you have a query regarding police training please contact NWCU (for police email only).

Please be aware that when you book a course with NWCU you will automatically be added to the NWCU DISC knowledge hub.


Module 4 – Wildlife Forensics Practical

Currently on hold and no dates for 2024.

Module 5 – CITES course (2x days)

NWCU, Border Force & JNCC are looking at options and when this is decided information will appear here/on DISC. Please do not email NWCU to book places at this time.




Q: Do officers whom have previously done the 5 day PWCO or an in house version of it in force, need to complete all the essential Modules 1-3 ?

A: No. The ‘new’ style PWCO course is entirely voluntary for those that feel they need it or wish to complete them to gain an NWCU certificate. It does not in any way impact whether you can take on WCO investigations if you have previous training or are an experienced WCO. Purely a matter of choice. However for all new PWCOs, we would ask that they book with NWCU for the essential modules 1-3 and gain their certification with NWCU. Again none of this is mandatory training so down to the individual and their line manager/Force lead/Coordinator. 

Q: Do officers have to do Module 1 to be able to take Module 2 or 3?

A: No. You can choose those Modules most relevant to you however for the new PWCOs we strongly recommend they complete Modules 1-3. Taking all of the first three Modules will gain PWCO certification from NWCU. 

Q: We want to train more than 2 officers, can we ask for a spare place if there is one?

A: Sorry NWCU cannot facilitate 3rd reserve lists. In the unlikely event that a course is undersubscribed nearing its date, we will make an announcement inviting more than 2 places per force.

Q: My force needs an input or overview day on wildlife crime – how can I book this?

A: There may be circumstances where an NWCU ISO is able to attend a force training day to cover how NWCU can assist investigations and provide support. If you require such an input, please email NWCU so we can consider the suitability of your request.

In addition, Craig Fellowes continues to run a small number of bespoke courses so please contact him direct on these matters craig@wildlifetraining.co.uk to see if it is feasible. The full national PWCO course is now run by NWCU so should you have a question on the PWCO modules please direct queries to NWCU (for police email only).

Q: What are the other advanced modules and when can I book myself on these?

A: These are on hold at present with the creation of digital packages for 2024-2025.