RFS Certificate in Arboriculture
For more than 40 years the Royal Forestry Society’s Certificate in Arboriculture has set the standard for craftsman-level arborists. The RFS Certificate is widely recognised throughout the arboricultural industry as proof that the holder has both a good theoretical knowledge of arboriculture and is proficient in the practical skills needed to succeed.
The theoretical and the practical components of the Certificate are studied separately and a number of local and land-based colleges provide training.
To gain the full RFS Certificate you need the following:
- (a) The ABC Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture, to prove that your theoretical background is sound;
- (b) A suite of competence tests selected from the list below. Some are compulsory to meet health and safety requirements.
(a) ABC Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture
This theory course is awarded through ABC Awards.
The theoretical components of the Certificate are covered in the ABC Level 2 ABC Certificate of Arboriculture. The subjects you cover as part of this qualification are listed as 'units', below.
Learners must achieve all of the mandatory units and one of the optional units to complete their certificate.
- The interaction of soil environments and woody plants
- Woody plant physiology
- The supply, planting and aftercare of woody plants
- Principles of tree surgery operations
- Tree inspections and statute and common law applied to trees
- The principles of aerial tree surgery and ground-based arboricultural operations
- Principles of woodlands, forestry and ecology
- The principles of managing special trees
- Principles of tree surgery equipment use and maintenance
You can complete the ABC Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture at any of the approved centres listed below:
|Centre||Town/city||Post code||Contact no.|
|Bridgwater College||Bridgwater||TA6 4PZ||01278 455464|
|Coleg Cambria||Deeside||CH5 4BR||01244 831531|
|Guildford College||Guildford||GU3 3PE||01483 884000|
|Hadlow College||Hadlow||TN11 0AL||0500 551434|
|Moulton College||Northampton||NN3 7RR||01604 491131|
|Myerscough College||Preston||PR3 0RY||01995 642222|
|Plumpton College||Near Lewes||BN7 3AE||01273 890454|
(b) Practical competence tests
The practical competence tests are provided by NPTC and LANTRA. Full details of the tests are available to download (scroll to end of this page).
Please note that Lantra Awards do not currently offer the full range of courses required. Please check the course codes carefully before undertaking your training and ensure the course you are completing is a Certificate of Competence. Details of the approved training centres where you can undertake Certificates of Competence can be found at the following links http://www.nptc.org.uk/centredefault.aspx and http://www.lantra-awards.co.uk/Course-Search.aspx
Once you have passed the ABC Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture and all required Certificates of Competence components, please send photocopies of the certificates to the Education Manager at:Royal Forestry Society, The Hay Barns, Home Farm Drive, Upton Estate, Banbury OX15 6HU.
The RFS will verify all paperwork and issue the full RFS Certificate in Arboriculture. There is no charge for applicants.
The RFS will then publish the names and home towns (but not the full address or any other details) of successful holders of the RFS Cert Arb in the spring issue of the Quarterly Journal of Forestry and promote candidates in press releases to the arboricultural and forestry media.
Holders of the Certificate may also use the abbreviation Cert Arb RFS after their name.
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