Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ISA HK/China --- Incoming Mail (Arboricultural Degree)

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Dear xxx,

Thank you for your enquiry below. We broadcast our reply in an open Station Mail while covering your identity, but we are sure that you can pick it up to be your own by recognizing your own message below.

Being the official representative to promote ISA in our territory of HK, Macau, Taiwan & China, we follow the ISA practice not to recognize any arboricultural credential but only that of ISA & of ISA HK/China. Therefore, it is your freedom to pursuit any arboricultural credential in the market but ISA HK/China would only endorse upon the Certified Arborist (CA), Certified Tree Worker (CTW) & Independent Practicing Arborist (IPA) (, or any other local credential of our own in our territory in future.

Please also note that it is a Pre-Qualification Requirement for a degree holder in Arboriculture to have a minimum of 1 year full time Tree Work experience if this candidate wishes to apply for the CA exam. In other word, obtaining a degree in Arboriculture does not qualify you to become a Certified Arborist (CA), & the CA credential is taken as a post graduate qualification.

There are basically 6 requirements to register as an IPA in our territory:

1. Holding the CA credential for more than 3 years; &

2. Simultaneously holding the CTW credential for more than 3 years; &

3. Attending an ISA International Conference at least once; &

4. Holding an 'O' Level in Common Laws or equivalent; &

5. Holding an 'A' Level in English Language or equivalent; &

6. Demonstrating competency in Chainsaw Operation & Basic Rigging on tree.

Obtaining an Arboricultural degree does not satisfy any of the 6 requirements above & therefore does not exempt you from any of the above to be registered into our IPA system.

What our territory would need most urgently now are really Field Arborists & not Office Arborists to conduct Tree Survey (in an approved Arboricultural manner), Structural Pruning (with Tree Climbing & Rigging), Tree Inspection & Assessment, & Arboricultural Consultation (to site management & works teams). ISA HK/China have briefly browsed into several of the Arboricultural Degree Distant Learning Program on-line & found that they are mostly literature & research based only. After all, very few distant learning programs in greenery training can offer field work due to the lack of approved tutors locally & training ground. This will be like training up a bunch of Medical Practitioners over a computer only without clinical practice. We do not recognize this can meet our requirements to become an IPA.

ISA HK/China is currently working hard with ISA NZ to bring over the National Certificate in Arboriculture (Level 4) which is much field based to train up Practicing Arborists in our territory. Do remember that ISA HK/China is not for just HK alone but do serve other parts of our territory of Macau, Taiwan & the massive China. Our vision does not stop at HK only & we look way far beyond. HK alone does not limit our advancement, & we have to care for the need & development in other parts of our territory. Our IPA system & the introduction of the National Certificate in Arboriculture (Level 4) are meant for just that.

Please do keep you eye open for our announcement for the National Certificate in Arboriculture (Level 4) in the near future, if you are interested to enter field practice rather than just focusing on office work & research alone.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

"If a tree is not designed, installed, maintained & inspected properly, it is likely to become a liability rather than an asset."

"Trees are good for the community. Trees need care like human beings. Arborists are the Tree Care Professionals."

----- Original Message -----
From: xxx
Sent: Wednesday, October 0x, 2009 x:x8 PM
Subject: Enquiry on Arboricultural Degree

Hi Sammy,

My friends are now talking about some distant learning for a degree in Arboriculture. Do you have any knowledge in this & does your Station approve? If I get this degree at the end, can you exempt me for my lack of working experience to register as IPA in your Station?

Many thanks & have a good day.


Station Member