Arborists gain qualifications to practice arboriculture in a variety of ways and some arborists are more qualified than others. Experience working safely and effectively in and around trees is essential. Arborists tend to specialise in one or more disciplines of arboriculture, such as diagnosis and treatment, climbing and pruning, cabling, utility arboriculture, or consultation and report writing. All these disciplines are related and some arborists are very well experienced in all areas of tree work, but not all arborists have the training or experience to properly practice every discipline.
There are a number of educational providers that offer courses from introductory Level 2 up to diploma Level 6. Many providers offer courses that fit your circumstances from on the job apprenticeships to full-time courses on campus. A Level 4 Advanced National Certificate is often the minimum qualification required by employees. The following training organisations offer most or all of these qualifications.
There are six ISA certification credentials, each of which is earned by passing a different exam. More information can be found on the ISA website.
ISA Certified Arborist
To earn an ISA Certified Arborist credential, you must be trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture. This certification covers a large number of topics giving the candidates flexibility in the arboricultural profession.
ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist
An ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist has a minimum of 2000 hours experience over two years in electric utility vegetation management or has served as a consultant to a utility, with a minimum of 4,000 hours over a maximum 10-year period. The candidate must work in utility vegetation management.
ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist
ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist credential holders are current ISA Certified Arborists who have chosen municipal arboriculture or urban forestry as a career path. They have obtained a minimum of three additional years of work experience managing the establishment and maintenance of urban trees.
ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist
To be an ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist, candidates must have the skill and endurance to climb trees, demonstrate a high regard for safety, and be able to get the job done off the ground.
Certified Tree Worker/Aerial Lift Specialist
The ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist certification requires candidates to demonstrate their ability to perform as a competent aerial lift operator.
ISA Board Certified Master Arborist
The ISA Board Certified Master Arborist credential is the highest level of certification offered by ISA. This credential recognises ISA Certified Arborists who have reached the pinnacle their profession.
NZ Arb, in association with the ISA, presents the TRAQ (Tree Risk Assessment Qualification) training course.
This is the new ISA program that was originally called TRACE and that ISA has now taken under the credentialling umbrella and modified to follow the methodologies outlined in the ISA Best Management Practice for Tree Risk Assessment.
NZ Arb expects to run its 3-day TRAQ course at least once a year for the near future in different centres around NZ.
All trainees must have either
A minimum of Level 4 Arb Qualification or
Be an ISA Certified Arborist
ISA Member: $850 NZD plus GST
Non-ISA Member: $930 NZD plus GST
Exam Retake only: $250 NZD plus GST
*Course registration fee includes workshop, the Tree Risk Assessment manual and TRAQ workbook, along with lunch and tea breaks during the two and a half-day training.
TRAQ Recertification Course
Those who took the full Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) course when it was first launched in 2013 will be reaching their five-year expiration dates within the next year. All TRAQ holders who took the full TRAQ course will be required to pass the TRAQ Re-certification Course to maintain their credentials for another five years.
The Tree Risk Assessment Re-certification Course is a one-day refresher, with five hours of instruction, and three hours of taking the exam.
Course Eligibility: To be able to register for the TRAQ Re-certification Course you must hold a TRAQ credential. You may complete the TRAQ Re-certification Course as early as one year prior to your qualification expiration date. Participants are asked to bring their TRAQ Risk Assessment manual and clipboard to training.
ISA members $480 plus GST
ISA non-members $550 plus GST