Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ISA HK/China --- Visit of ISA Directors on May 1 - 3, 2008

*** 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 Station Members,

The visit by ISA Certification Director Mr. Derek Vannice, ISA Membership Director Mr. Eric Duchinsky & ISA Certification Board Member Mr. David Glenn from May 1 - 3, 2008 to ISA HK/China has been like whirlwind. During their 3 days of stay, a meeting with CA family Members, a CA exam, a CTW Evaluator Training, a CTW exam & an Informal Dinner held in their honour have taken place. Anyone can imagine how busy their schedules were in HK for the benefit of ISA development in our region.

Summarizing their visit, there are two major points of discussion that ISA HK/China would like to put forward to our Station Members for public participation:

1. Setting up a Board of Directors in ISA HK/China

As all Station Members have known for years, ISA HK/China did not have much of a staff structure & the Station Manager has been Jack of All Trades in the Station. This may work when our Station is small, but as we expand (+620 Station Members by now & growing), we need to consider better organization.

Discussion has taken place among CA Family Members with ISA Directors on how to formalize a proper structure in ISA HK/China, e.g. with President, Board Members, Committees, etc. so that workload can be shared & positive progress can be made. A time span of 1 year was proposed to set up this structure. However, no conclusion has been reached on how to bring in Board Members, such as by election with an Annual General Meeting or by nomination from Station Manager to be approved by public voting. Each has its own merits & careful consideration will take place within the next 12 months to agree on a strategy.

It is paramount in our future structure that SIA HK/China can maintain its present course of promoting tree care by research & education only, & not turned into an Activist Group or an attachment to any political or religious party. It has been agreed with ISA Directors that Station Membership like it is now, will not be publicly disclosed no matter how the future structure will become, to be in line with the open promise to anyone joining ISA HK/China that Station Membership will be guarded by the Station Manager alone. Successive Station Manager will hold Station Membership & this person must continue to safeguard Station Membership as an oath. On the other hand, anyone communicating with future staff of ISA HK/China will naturally link up with that particular channel in a natural way & be known.

Even in the meeting with ISA Directors on May 1, Station Membership was not disclosed by names, but only by categories. No one's personal information has so far been leaked.

Therefore, ISA HK/China now is keen to look for suitable candidates to fill our future posts, no matter how they may turn out to be. We are looking for personnel who can keenly participate into our activities & development, & not someone collecting title & sit back. This has been the ISA tradition. ISA HK/China will follow the 84 years of ISA history in forming our future structure, & will refer to the laws & constitution of ISA for our own development.

2. Future ISA Exams

People in our territory appear to love exams & credentials, partly out of tradition & partly out of habit. ISA HK/China will do our best to accommodate that.

We are now looking at ways to increase our CA exam from 2 regular one to perhaps 3 this year. For CTW exam, we are hoping to increase from the present 2 to 4 in a year, & increase the number of intake every time. In doing this, we shall need more Proctors & Evaluators. As certification runs independently from Station administration, the Chief Proctor in our territory is setting a very high standard to recruit our Proctors & Evaluators. We shall need someone actively participating in our activities as a priority, rather than someone with merely academic qualification or social influence. Our Proctors & Evaluators must also demonstrate a higher standard of Integrity & good Moral to maintain exam security & independence at all times. The Chief Proctor will be responsible to select these good men & women in our territory, before passing them over to ISA HQ for final approval.

ISA Directors have been generally satisfied with the development of ISA HK/China in the past 3 years. ISA HK/China is also constantly evolving & advancing to gradual recognition in our Govt & public sectors. In our development, ISA HK/China wishes to remember the words of our HK Senior Mr. Li Ka Shing that we should " maintain stability in our development, & maintain development in our stability". This appears to be the correct path to go.

Wise men have gone through our track & can advise. Then should we not listen?

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. (http://www.isa-arbor.com/)