Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ISA HK/China --- IPA concept approval

*** 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 , although images are usually not attached due to size. ***

Dear Station Members,

ISA HK/China wishes to thank all those who have sent in feedback on the Independent Practicing Arborist (IPA) concept mentioned below. Some have even copied their feedback all the way to ISA HQ to make sure that their views are noticed. We wish to thank them all indeed.

By now, this Station can safely say that the IPA concept is receiving an overwhelming support from our Station Members. Among all feedback received, all have given approval for the IPA concept with the exception of one. It is likely that the IPA system will go ahead in the near future in our territory.

It is important to understand that the IPA system is not designed only for HK, but also for the greater part of our territory which includes Macau, Taiwan & China. The IPA concept incorporates knowledge, practical skills, working experience, international networking & communication ability. It is known that China operates a very different landscape system to HK & they may claim that they have hundreds of thousands of Tree Experts in their Govt & Universities. However, it would be difficult for them to say the same that they also have an equivalent of IPA when they meet us. IPA would give ISA HK/China an edge to penetrate into China & be respected when promote ISA arboriculture there. This was proven in our initial contacts with the Chinese officials so far.

It is also worth noticing that In the IPA requirement, the Certified Tree Worker (CTW) credential is not just all about tree climbing like some of our Station Members have acknowledged. As listed in the CTW exam requirement in ISA, the written part of the CTW exam tests for pruning, removal, cabling and safety. Chainsaw uses is also part of the knowledge requirement in the CTW credential. The practical part of the CTW exam also tests for Tree Inspection & Risk Assessment in front of a real tree before the climb. The CTW credential tests for basic knowledge & skills of Tree Work in a realistic environment, which is something an IPA is deemed to possess.

Even among a general approval for the IPA system in HK, this Station has the following consideration & comments before implementing the IPA system:

1. The IPA system is aimed for those CA who wishes to go into self-practice only. Those who do not, need not bother with IPA.

2. The IPA system will wait for until at least 50 no. of our CA has re-certified. This is expected to be within a year or two when more of our current CA have expired the 3 year validity. We also need to give all those who are interested time to take their CTW & attend ISA International Conferences for internatinal networking.

3. The IPA system will take the form of voluntary registration in ISA HK/China. Those who meets the requirements will join a short list of IPA which will be distributed to anybody interested to contact an IPA. This list will be updated from time to time to maintain freshness.

4. The IPA system will go through a Station vote before implementation later.

5. Anyone can call himself/herself an IPA at present, although ISA HK/China would provide recommendation of requirements to anyone enquiring, & the IPA will face his/her own consequence alone once contracted.

We expect our future IPA to stand strong & respected in our territory of HK, Macau, Taiwan & China. HK has always been our testing ground for developing ISA Arboriculture with her western civilization & legal system so far. However, HK is only known to be a dot in Greater China & our vision is not limited to just HK alone. At present, China has over 900 cities with size & population comparable to HK. China also has countless billions of trees. ISA HK/China has set our eyes for Greater China & have already met initial successes in our contacts up there. The Chinese have so far loved us like missing relatives in every meeting & have promised to put up seminars, tree climbing demonstration & even a parade with our climbers in full gears to flash around the audience in their Flower Shows. The initial welcome there have been most encouraging. We must carry on the steam.

With now China starting up much more enthusiastic than HK a few years ago, would ISA HK/China not pay attention to this much bigger & greener market, where Arborists are warmly welcomed?

Thank you all again for your good support & ISA HK/China will bring you new heights in China very soon.

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. (


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