Arboriculture is a relatively new field in modern science. Some overseas organisations have promulgated training and qualification framework for reference.
At present, local training on arboriculture at degree, professional diploma and certificate levels are offered by various institutions in Hong Kong. Some examples of local Certificate or Diploma courses in arboriculture, tree management, tree risk assessment, landscape management or equivalent, up to or above the standard of Level 3 in the Hong Kong Qualifications Framework and meet the minimum requirements in academic qualification for Inspection Officers in the Guidelines for Tree Risk Assessment and Management Arrangement are given below for reference.
|Institution / Association / Organisation||Course||QF Level|
|Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi)||Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Horticulture, Arboriculture and Landscape Management||5|
|Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Horticulture and Landscape Management||5|
|Professional Diploma in Horticulture, Arboriculture and Landscape Management||4|
|Professional Diploma in Horticulture and Landscape Management||4|
|The College of International Education (CIE) of Hong Kong Baptist University||Associate of Science (Tree Management)||4|
|HKU School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKU SPACE)||Advanced Diploma in Tree Management and Conservation||4|
|Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, Vocational Training Council (VTC)||Professional Certificate in Arboriculture and Tree Work Supervision||4|
|Higher Diploma in Conservation and Tree Management||4|
|Certificate in Basic Arboriculture and Tree Work Practices||3|
|Certificate in Basic Tree Risk Assessment||3|
|Li Ka Shing Institute of Professional and Continuing Education, the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK LiPACE, now known as Li Ka Shing School of Professional and Continuing Education, Hong Kong Metropolitan University)||Certificate in Professional Tree Management||3|
|School of Continuing and Professional Studies (CUSCS), The Chinese University of Hong Kong||Certificate in Horticulture Management||3|
|Diploma in Arboriculture||3|
|Employees Retraining Board (ERB)||Certificate in Tree Preservation and Risk Assessment||3|
|Certificate in Basic Arboriculture||3|
|Institution / Association / Organisation||Training Programme|
|International Society of Arboriculture, U.S.A.||Tree Risk Assessment Qualification|
|Lantra Awards, U.K.||Professional Tree Inspection|
|Hong Kong Metropolitan University Li Ka Shing School of Professional and Continuing Education, Hong Kong||Certificate of Training in Professional Tree Inspection and Risk Assessment|
|Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi)||Tree Risk Assessment Course with Assessment|
To enhance the professionalism and standardisation of arboricultural industry in Hong Kong, and to step up the skill level of frontline staff and provide them with professional recognition, a new requirement in pruning was introduced to government maintenance contracts to be invited from April 2015 onwards and all other works contracts to be invited from April 2016 onwards.
Under the new requirement, all workers undertaking tree pruning works involving the use of chainsaw for those contracts specified above must have passed the "Vocational Assessment in Safety Use and Maintenance of Chainsaw Operation and Basic Tree Pruning for the Arboriculture Industry" organised by the Vocational Training Council (VTC) or, possess equivalent qualification from a recognised local or overseas training institute or professional body.
Currently, equivalent qualifications being vetted locally and recognised as fulfilling the new requirement include the following:
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) was founded in 1924 to promote the professional practice of arboriculture and fosters a greater worldwide awareness of the benefits of trees. ISA currently has six types of memberships in arboriculture, namely ISA Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist, ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist and ISA Board Certified Master Arborist. For details of ISA, please visit the website at: http://www.isa-arbor.com/
The Arboricultural Association was founded in 1964 and is the largest body in the United Kingdom (UK) for the amenity tree care professional. Ranging from student to fellow, there are six levels of membership grades, linked to the UK National Qualifications Framework levels. Currently, there are approximately 2,000 Arboricultural Association members. For details of the Arboricultural Association, please visit the website at: http://www.trees.org.uk/
The European Arboricultural Council (EAC) is a forum for European arboricultural organisations with the same object of elevating the status and advancing the profession by liaising on matters ranging from research and education to successful tree establishment and improvement of working practices. EAC has two forms of membership, namely the European Tree Worker and European Tree Technician. For details of EAC, please visit the website at: http://www.eac-arboriculture.com/en/
The Arboriculture Australia (AA) is a not-for-profit professional organisation dedicated to raising the standard of tree care and maintenance in Australia. AA currently has nine types of membership, ranging from student to Registered Practicing & Consulting Arborist. For details of AA, please visit the website at: http://arboriculture.org.au/
The above list is for reference only and is not exhaustive of local and/or overseas professional institutions on tree management work. Reference can also be made to other professional qualifications offered by professional institutions through a well-established accreditation and appropriate assessment system.