Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ISA HK/China --- Independent Arborist vs. In-house Arborist

*** Our weekly Station Mail is for the information of Station Members only, but Station Mail has given up copyright & can be freely circulated. For administrative reasons, comments from outsiders are usually not entertained & may be circulated within our system locally & overseas. Please note Station Mail is sometimes given in Blog at http://isahkchina.blogspot.com , although images are usually not attached due to size. ***

Dear xxx,

Thank you for your phone call.

We are repeating our reply to you in an open Station Mail because your enquiry may serve as a good example for other Certified Arborists (CA) in our Station. On the other hand, we do carefully protect your identity with possible memory loss of the Station Manager during your phone conversation. It is also true that we can not tell who you genuinely are over a phone call anyway. Any person can always claim he is somebody over the phone.

Your enquiry reflects the Conflict of Interest in your work for your employer who would put you into a situation against your professional knowledge of a CA to act on company's behalf. This is always true anywhere in the world if the CA is working for somebody & the employer may not always understand why Arborist would make decision against common commercial interest. In an event as such, our advice to you would be not to put down your CA Certification Number in any formal reply to anybody, so that you would not be using your professional status to represent yourself in a response.

Please note that in any Arborist Report with a signature & CA Certification Number on it in our territory, it would be deemed to be legally binding & may have lawful consequence if anything would go foul afterwards. Both the victim(s) & ISA HK/China may be required to induce investigation when pursued, & disciplinary action may follow if findings would substantiate such necessity. Therefore, please use your credential with care.

In this open reply to you, ISA HK/China would also urge Contract Administrators to consider the employment of an Independent Arborist to act impartially in place of an In-house Arborist to avoid any Conflict of Interest of the latter, since the In-house Arborist would be under pressure to work for the employer's commercial interest. Forcing the In-house Arborist to go against his/her professionalism is not fair, & can lead him/her into mishaps.

Thank you for your enquiry & ISA HK/China hopes by openly addressing your concern, can also inform the Contract Administrators to take necessary actions to protect & develop this new profession for the benefit of our community.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

The ISA Mission - Through research, technology, and education, promote the professional practice of arboriculture and foster a greater public awareness of the benefits of trees. (www.isa-arbor.com)

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