Monday, March 21, 2011

ISA HK/China --- First BCMA in Asia (亚洲首位 "资深树艺师")

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Dear Station Members, Media Friends & Public,

ISA HK/China is very pleased to inform you that the President / Station Manager (SM) Mr. Sammy Au has just passed to become the first Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA) of ISA in Asia. He is now the only Chinese in the world to possess both the Registered Consulting Arborist (RCA#497, & BCMA credentials currently. Both credentials are "International", not "National", "City" level or that of a local University. They have high respect & credibility around the world.

The BCMA is a giant leap from the Certified Arborist (CA), or the Municipal Arborist (MA) credential. The entry requirement itself is strict enough. The candidate is required 8 points from the years of experience as CA, or from possessing other credentials. Please refer to & look under "Certification" for further details.

Unlike the CA & MA, there is no "Study Guide" for BCMA. The recommended study materials consist of 90+ books, journals & websites. The SM found out that approximately 1-2 questions would come out from each book, website or journal. That means the candidate has to study all to try to pass. Failing below the 75% passing mark would mean a full re-take of the BCMA exam & not "Domains". Coupling that the candidate does not know whether he has scored correctly for the same question any time, he must maintain a very sound mind to insist on the right choice. It is amidst this suspicion & confusion, that the candidate has to make up his mind to find the correct answer. This may be why among the 25,000+ CA in ISA, only 340 no. of BCMA have made it to BCMA up to date. BCMA is indeed the "Creme de la Creme" of ISA Arborists.

Whereas in HK the Arboriculture appears to lob-side to Tree Risk Assessment only due to political reasons, the BCMA asks for a balanced testing of all 19 domains in Arboriculture from Tree Biology, IPM to Tree Laws. Several topics like Plant Appraisal & Inventory Management are new to candidates in our territory. Most of our CA's have been busy scrambling for Risk Assessment only to receive work & income. In this manner, they would find it very difficult in taking the BCMA exam, even if they are allowed. Proper Arboriculture is not just all about Tree Risk Assessment. Besides, you have to possess a wide scope of knowledge in Arboriculture under practice, before you should really go in for Tree Risk Assessment. Taking a crash course & collect some easy title won't do, because Mother Nature Makes the Rules.

The BCMA test consists of 165 computer questions in 4 hours, in which only 150 questions are graded. The SM used up pretty well all the given time because of the complexity of the questions. All questions are scenario based, apparently taken out from working situation to collect a response from the candidate. Only the best & most appropriate answer is accepted. The wordings in the questions can be tricky & misleading, similar to a genuine working environment. It's up to the candidate to identify the cause, & decide upon what best to do. After answering about 100 questions under heavy brain storm, fatigue would set in. The candidate would then need to persist with determination to the end. Giving it up to the element of chancing can be an easy option. It is not known that a BCMA has passed his exam by luck.

As both the RCA & BCMA are world-recognized titles in the Arborist Profession, some may ask the SM that which one is higher. The SM would say that it is wrong to compare them. In his opinion, the BCMA is testing for knowledge & experience, whereas the RCA appears to focus more on communication & forensics. The two would compliment each other in giving a good job, not competing. It is always best to have both. A competent Arboricultural Consultant would need to identify the issue, formulate a solution & then communicate effectively to his client for his recommendation. Missing out on any step would be like racing with just one leg.

The respect & competency of an organization would depend on the quality & ability of its leading members. Now ISA HK/China has already elevated itself to join the "World Club" in Arborist Profession. We have become an authority in knowledge & credibility in our territory of HK, Macau, Taiwan & China. This will give us a great edge to enter China to face their many "Professors", "PhDs" & "National" titles. We are now more confident than ever to take ISA there.

ISA HK/China would like to see more BCMA & RCA emerge in our territory, after the SM has become the first guinea pig to test things out. We have proven that we are just able as anyone else around the world to achieve the highest titles. Our locals should also be confident on themselves.

Shall we count from now when the next BCMA or RCA will appear after the SM?

best regards,

Sammy Au

President / Station Manager
Registered Consulting Arborist no. RCA#497 (
ISA Board Certified Master Arborist / Certified Tree Worker no. HK-0174BT (
Independent Practicing Arborist no. IPA-010908 (

"Providing treatment without in-depth diagnosis & research support is professional misconduct. "

"Casual tree assessor delivers wanton tree assessment. Mother Nature makes the rules."


本分会非常高兴告诉各位,本分会会长欧永森先生,已刚考获国际树木学会里的最高荣誉 --- "资深树艺师" (BCMA) 牌照,成为亚洲和澳洲地区内的第一人;他也是目前世界上唯一一位同时拥有 "顾问树艺师" (RCA, 和 "资深树艺师" (BCMA) 牌照 的中国人,令本分会步进国际殿堂。

有关考取 BCMA牌照 的条件和方法,请参照 .

BCMA 和 RCA 同时是 "国际" 级牌照,并非 "国立"、"省" 或 "市" 级别的牌照,具有崇高的公信力。所有的 "资深树艺师" 都是经过千锤百练,通过国际考试才毕业出来,当中完全没有腐败或侥幸的成份,他的能力是完全值得尊敬和信任。

现本分会已经升格到国际水平,有能力与海外专家平分秋色,也用行为令国人作出自豪,相信并非  '外来的和尚才会念经' ,为本地区一洗过往颓气。



国际树木学会 中国地区分会 会长

顾问树艺师号 RCA#497 (
资深树艺师 / 注册攀树师号 HK-0174BT (
独立执业树艺师号 IPA-010908 (