1.5 The licensing system It is important to ensure that you have the licence you need and that you fulfil its conditions. A casual approach to the question of licences may not only jeopardise your own ability to work with bats, but may undermine all our efforts to persuade people who feel seriously inconvenienced by the law to abide by it. The SNCOs are responsible for issuing licences to enable otherwise prohibited activities to be carried out for scientific, educational or conservation purposes. For most protected species, licence applicants have traditionally been asked to provide references (to establish bona fides) and to justify fully the need to carryout the requested activity. However, for bat work a special training scheme has been setup, which provides training and obviates the need for two references (see Section Special licences can be issued to cover particular circumstances, nonstandard techniques, particular liaison requirements and soon, but one standard licence covers the majority of licensees, who are mainly involved in bat-roost visiting.
Licences are not considered necessary for examining single bat boxes because they are unlikely to contain bats. Only if a bat is found in a bat box and further examinations are proposed should a licence be obtained. Similarly, visits to lofts or caves and mines are not licensable unless it is known that bats are likely to be present. Although the way in which licences are assessed and processed differs between the SNCOs, the following sections describe the licences most commonly issued, together with an indication of the level of knowledge or experience required. Further details will be found in Appendix 7.