Subsidised Training Courses

Providing members with access to high quality training opportunities at subsidised rates

Explore our Latest Training Opportunities

One of the best reasons for joining IFA Countryside is access to subsidised training. Farm Business Skillnet is the training division of IFA, providing training and upskilling to our members.  Through Skillnet funding, we can provide various courses subsidised by as much as 40%.

We know that our our countryside community have very specific training and certification requirements and we make sure that we facilitate only the highest standard courses.


Firearm Proficiency: Safe Handling and Usage Course – New for 2024!

Empower Your Skills, Embrace Safety

Welcome to a new era of firearm safety and proficiency. IFA Countryside in association with Harbour House Sports Club, is proud to present our exclusive Firearm Proficiency Course – the most comprehensive of its kind in Ireland.

Our specialised course is meticulously designed with you in mind – whether you’re applying for a new firearm license, looking to enhance existing skills, or a professional involved in firearm regulation seeking hands-on experience.

Why Choose Our Course?

  • Expertly Crafted Curriculum: Learn the essentials and beyond as we cover Rifles, Pistols, and Shotguns in one all-encompassing course.
  • Hands-On Experience: Immerse yourself in practical proficiency with guidance from seasoned instructors renowned for their expertise.
  • Continuous Learning: Designed for existing license holders to refine and strengthen their foundation, fostering a culture of lifelong competency.
  • Informed Legislation Insight: Ideal for professionals engaged in firearm legislation. Gain in-depth knowledge to make informed decisions in regulation and policy.
  • Community & Safety: Join an ever-growing community of safety-conscious, responsible firearm users committed to personal and community well-being.
  • Certification of Completion: Successfully complete our course and receive a certification of completion.

Your Pathway to Mastery

Our course isn’t just about learning to shoot; it’s about mastering the discipline of firearm handling with a focus on safety and responsibility. Subsidised by Farm Business Skillnets, we offer this unparalleled training at an exceptional value.

Embark on your journey towards becoming a confident, competent firearm user. Boost your knowledge, skills, and understanding where it matters most.

Join us at Harbour House Sports Club, Lougharbour, Athy, Co Kildare, for an experience that goes beyond the basics. For details, costs, and course schedules, complete the form below.

Take Aim at Excellence. Secure your spot in our next Firearm Proficiency Course today.

Firearm Proficiency Course Enquiry Form

If you are interested in this course, please complete the expression of interest form.

Are you an existing IFA Countryside member?(Required)

Deer Hunting Training Course (HCAP)

Approved deer hunter training courses are run throughout the year facilitated by and in partnership with Deer Alliance HCAP and subsidsided by IFA Farm Business Skillnet

Certification has been mandatory for all first-time applicants for a Deer Hunting Licence since 2022 and has been obligatory for all persons hunting on Coillte forest property since 2005. In addition, the recent Irish Deer Management Strategy Group report published in December 2023, recommends phased certification for all hunters (including licensed hunters not hunting on Coillte forest property and/or holding a Deer Hunting Licence prior to 2022) over the next 3 to 5 years. HCAP is the only training programme in Ireland developed in partnership with Coillte Teoranta, National Parks & Wildlife Service, An Garda Síochána and all principal deer organisations. HCAP completed its twentieth year of operation in 2023 and to date approximately 3700 licensed deer hunters have participated in the programme. For further information see

Members can avail of discounted cost of only €120, to include Training Workshop, Stalker Training Manual, MCQ & Range Test.

Training Workshops and MCQs are held at the Woodford Dolmen Hotel Kilkenny Road, Carlow and Range Tests are held at the Midland Range, Blueball, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

Members are notified of upcoming courses through our monthly E-newsletter.  If you are not a member, complete the form below to be notified of the next course.

New and intending members of IFA Countryside should call 0818 924 982 or 01 426 0368 for membership information, which includes insurance cover  compliant with requirements for the HCAP Range Test.


HCAP Candidates who do not have access to their own deer-legal rifle have two options open to them. If they have a friend who has a deer-legal rifle and is prepared to let the candidate use that rifle for the Range Test, that is permitted, provided that the friend holds a valid Firearm Certificate for the firearm in question, holds valid shooting insurance and is present with the Candidate on the Range at all times. Alternatively, the candidate can avail of a Club Rifle in calibre .243, available from the Midland Range. Booking must be made at least two weeks in advance and is subject to Garda vetting. The current cost of rifle hire is €60.00, to include ammunition sufficient for the standard Range Test. Candidates with no previous experience of full-bore rifle shooting may be required to undertake basic tuition and competency testing on a one-to-one basis at the Midland Range (to include the Range Test Course of Fire but not as part of the Range Test), the current cost of which is €150.00 (one person, one day tuition and test preparation). Hire of a Club rifle and/or arrangements for tuition and test preparation, including all costs, are entirely a matter between Midland Range management and personnel, are outside the ordinary HCAP process and Deer Alliance HCAP has no responsibility or obligation in this regard. For further information about use of a Club firearm for the HCAP Range Test, contact John Paul Craven (Range Operator), 086 823 2641 or Tony Saunders, 087 097 7589.

HCAP Enquiry Form

Are you an existing IFA Countryside member?(Required)

Safe Handling of Wild Game Meat Course


This Course when successfully completed will allow the trained hunter to certify game carcasses fit to enter Approved Game Handling Establishments as required by Regulation (EC) 853/2004.

This course is run throughout the year.  It is organised by the NARGC ; a LANTRA accredited body and is funded with the support of Farm Business Skillnet. The Course is also approved by The Food Safety Authority of Ireland.  The cost of the course (€175) includes a manual which will be posted to you, Tea/Coffee and dinner.  Members are notified of upcoming courses through our monthly E-newsletter.

The next course will take place on Saturday 27th April 2024. Members can book here.

Safe Handling of Wild Game Meat Enquiry Form

Are you an existing IFA Countryside member?(Required)