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Get evaluated

How do I get evaluated as a tracker?

There is only one widely recognized system of evaluation in Southern Africa – that’s the Cybertracker one – and you need to do a practical with an evaluator to get a grading. Your qualification will also be recognized by FGASA (Field Guide’s Association of Southern Africa).

What does the practical entail?

The standard practical comes in two parts: the first is track identification. You will be asked to identify a track or part thereof and marked according to the difficulty of each track. Then your evaluator will find the spoor of an animal that is reasonable to track (based partly on your track identification skills) and you’ll be asked to follow the trail and preferably find the animal. You won’t fail if you don’t find it but you will be marked according to various criteria along the way. For more details on how the evaluation is conducted, check out cybertracker.co.za

What does this enable me to do?

Like any qualification, the certificate you get at the end of your practical is just an indication of one of your skills. This in combination with your other skills and personality traits might just help you to get a job as a tracker. Or, if you employ trackers, the practical is a great way to motivate and encourage your trackers to further their knowledge and ability. Either way, everyone who participates in the practical learns a tremendous amount from it.

How can I prepare for this?

You can be asked to identify just about any track – bird, insect, mammal, anything, so get squinting close to the ground and try to learn all the tracks that you can. A good field guide and discussions with other trackers will speed up this process. It’ll obviously help if you can get to learn the tracks in the area you plan to be evaluated in. As for the following part of the practical, just keep on practicing on animals you feel you are capable of finding and don’t give up if the trail seems to disappear. Again, it’ll help if you can go out with a more experienced tracker but make sure he lets you do most of the work!

What if there are no evaluators in my area?

Many of the evaluators are willing to travel and there’s little doubt, getting evaluated on your home ground will be advantageous to you. Obviously the evaluators will charge extra for traveling, but if you are able to get a group together, it might bring down the price.