In the UK there are currently two voluntary schemes accrediting the competance and business practices of tree care companies. A third scheme assesses individual tree surgeons and arborists. The three schemes are all different and it is worth taking a few minutes to familiarise yourself with how each scheme works.
The schemes are voluntary and there are competent arborists who choose not to participate in any of them. Our Choose an Arborist page has further advice on how to assess the suitability of a tree work contractor. You can search for local accredited tree care companies using our post code search.
Arboricultural Association Approved Contractors
The Arboricultural Association maintain a list of Approved Contractors that have been through a rigorous vetting programme run by the Association. Contractors are regularly assessed for their health and safety procedures, office and business practices and the quality of their tree work.
The Arboricultural Association expects very high standards which restrict the number of successful applicants. Because of the irrevocable nature of all operations concerning tree care these standards are carefully maintained by ongoing inspection of the contractors.
Trustmark Registered Tree Care Companies
Trustmark is a new scheme supported by Government, the building industry and consumer groups to help you find reliable and trustworthy tradespeople. Trustmark registered companies will have had their technical skills, trading record and financial position checked by an Approved Scheme Operator and have signed up to a code of practise covering areas such as insurance, health and safety and customer care.
ISA Certified Arborists
The International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist programme seeks to assess the technical knowledge of individual arborists. Certified Arborists have passed an exam covering all aspects of tree care and are expected to maintain their knowledge up to date through continuous professional development.
Unlike the other schemes, which accredit companies, the ISA Certified Arborist scheme certifies individuals. The tree-care.info database is company based and includes companies if at least one of the principals or managers is a Certified Arborist. Although Certified Arborists are competent tree specialists, the status says nothing about a company's business practices.