Friday, September 17, 2010

ISA HK/China --- HK Tree News (Good English to Write Arborist Report)

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Dear Station Members,

Below is a set of local news reporting on the English level of the local graduates from the eight Universities in HK.

IELTS, as known to the Station Manager (SM), is a Test in English as an entry requirement for overseas students in the UK. Prestigious universities would generally require a grade 7 for entering science & law subjects. During the days of the Station Manager in the 1970s, a pass in 'O' level English was the basic requirement.

Media in HK has mentioned in the past that the English standard in HK has declined after 1997. This can be understood. This is also felt in our correspondence with Station Members & public everyday. International English with good sentence structure & correct grammar is rarely seen. Unfortunately, this phenomenon appears to spread to the Arborist Reports in our territory at the same time.

Good English is essential in producing a quality report to reflect professionalism. It is also more convincing. Readers generally respect a report free of grammatical & spelling mistakes. Sentences should be joined properly. Logics should flow in an understandable manner. The writing should be consistent, not jagged & halting to make reading difficult. Such are the basics in essay-writing in any scientific discipline.

In our coming Qualified Arborist (QA) credential, we shall demand Basic Report-Writing skill to be a requirement. This is to ensure our QA can write basic scientific report with universal acceptance. Essential elements in report-writing format are being discussed by our Registration & Discipline Committee at present. Technical Reviewers in the Committee will consist of ISA Proctors with overseas degree, as well as an IPA ( for professional credibility. Please note that we only ask for basic report-writing skills for the QA, & not Technical Writing. We shall leave that to our future Arboricultural Consultant (AC) credential.

Good report should read like what the Technical Writers would say, "Pour the words from my pinnate pencil with such feverish fluidity." To do this, the Arborist must be trained in communication skills. Chinglish (Chinese-English) in our territory may not be an option for that.

ISA HK/China would try to conduct seminars in English Language Usage & Report-Writing Skills in due course to help our locals to write reports. We shall enlist selected Station correspondences of local writing, to compare with international English as an education. This will be an interesting session every time.

May our Arborists ride on words, & not under, in our territory.

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."


【本報訊】大學教育資助委員會昨公布,八間資助院校共一萬二千多名應屆學士學位畢業生參加○九至一○年度的統一英語水平評核計劃下的國際英語水平測試(IELTS),平均分為六點七二分,較去年微升。香港大學畢業生的成績繼續名列榜首,平均分為七點零七分,其次為中文大學及科技大學。'large2', '00175');



在四個測試項目中,畢業生在「閱讀」及「聆聽」兩方面成績較佳,平均分為七點三五及七點二七分,「書寫」及「會話」較差,平均分僅五點九六及六點○ 四分。

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ISA HK/China --- Requirements for taking ISA exams

Dear Station Members & Public,

Please kindly note the pre-qualification requirements for taking the Certified Arborist or Certified Tree Worker exam.

Currently, ISA HQ is getting many applications which do not qualify for entry. For anyone not meeting the standard, the following message will be issued:

"Unfortunately, at this time we are sending you back your Certified Arborist Application as you do not meet the experience requirement and do not qualify to take the exam. With the information that you provided on your application and verification of work history, that information does not qualify you to become a certified arborist. To qualify, the ISA Certification Board requires candidates to have a minimum of three years of full-time (40 hours per week) experience in arboriculture. Acceptable experience includes the practical use of knowledge involved in pruning, fertilization, installation and establishment, diagnosis and treatment of tree problems, cabling and bracing and climbing.

If you have any questions regarding this important matter please contact a member of the ISA Certification Department by email at or you can contact Sammy Au by email at . "

Please note supplying faked information will lead to dis-qualification even after obtaining the ISA Credentials in future. ISA Cert Dept welcomes anyone supplying information in this aspect. All information will be treated with strictest confidence.

Please take note of this message for anyone applying & pass it along to someone who is not sure.

Thank you very much indeed.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager