DSFBs have statutory powers to appoint water bailiffs to enforce salmon fisheries legislation in Scotland. Bailiff’s powers include arrest, entry, seizure and search and are similar to the powers of constables.

It is therefore essential that prospective bailiffs fully understand the extent of their powers and the circumstances under which they may be used. For this reason, ASFB and the Institute of Fishery Management (Scottish Branch) have developed and actively promote a training module designed for bailiffs in Scotland to ensure appropriate accredited training is provided before prospective bailiffs are formally appointed and can operate in the field. The key requirement is that candidates must complete and pass a written assessment prior to being appointed. It is formal ASFB policy that all bailiffs warranted by individual Boards must successfully complete the course before being appointed as a bailiff. Scottish Ministers have powers to appoint bailiffs in places where there is no DSFB, and Scottish Government have a similar requirement and endorse the course for their appointment process.

The course is distance learning and very simple in structure – candidates are provided with a hard copy of the IFM Bailiff Training Manual and are tested on their knowledge of Scottish salmon fisheries legislation and good operational practice. A formal examination is convened in spring, and sometimes also late in the same year, if there is sufficient demand. The spring examination is usually timed to coincide with the annual Bailiffs Conference, organised by ASFB and IFM. Regional examinations can be arranged where there is sufficient local demand for those that cannot attend the seminar.

The cost of the course is £75 per candidate, and payment should be made payable to ‘IFM’.

The course fee includes:

  • course materials
  • examination fee
  • a year’s Associate membership of IFM
  • award certificate
  •  IFM Bailiff enamel badge

An enrolment form may be downloaded here.

Edward Rush is the IFM Bailiff Training Co-ordinator – please contact if you have any questions.

The Scottish bailiff training course also counts as a unit towards the wider national IFM certificate course, should candidates wish to develop their knowledge and experience further. The IFM certificate and diploma courses are managed by national IFM, see here for more details.

The candidate who achieves the highest pass mark in the annual examination is awarded the Roger Barnes Memorial Trophy. This award recognises the contribution to training development made by the late Roger Barnes, who worked with the Lochaber District Board. The award is usually made at the  Annual Bailiff’s Seminar.

The training programme has been a resounding success and several hundred bailiffs have now successfully completed the course, and it is now recognised as the entry level training requirement for fisheries enforcement activity in Scotland.

Training resources and tools:

Below is information on the number of bailiffs who have successfully completed the training course since 2003

2003 April 79
2003 September 7
2004 28
2005 37
2006 15
2007 March 25
2007 May 3
2008 29
2009 22
2010 36
2011 March 25
2011 December 17
2012 March 12
2012 December 12
2013 March  13
 2013 July 10
 2014 March 30
 2015 March 20
2015 December 15
2016 March 11
Total 446


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