Become an ARB Approved Contractor

Accredited Scheme:



TrustMark is open to all Arb Approved Contractors and costs only £40.00 +VAT.

Please contact Polly Stone for further details on


More than 40 years ago the Arboricultural Association established its Approved Contractor scheme to set the standards for tree surgery work. The Arboricultural industry is not regulated by government but has a high accident potential and a responsibility to care for the nation’s rich tree heritage.

In 2012 the AA scheme attained ISO 9001 (UKAS) accreditation in recognition of its quality management systems and is now a registered member of SSIP (The Safety Schemes in Procurement forum - the umbrella organisation for recognised health & safety schemes in the UK.) This brings further acceptance and credibility to the scheme and its members who uphold the national standard for arboricultural contracting businesses.

The ARB Approved Contractor scheme offers a recognised benchmark for arboricultural contracting throughout the UK and Ireland and is increasingly demanded by Local Authorities and other large commercial organisations. ARB Approved Contractor is also of considerable benefit in the domestic sector as a quality mark assuring the client of good quality tree care undertaken safely and efficiently. To find out more please view the scheme booklet and/or download an application form below and/or give us a call today.

Apply Online  

Download the Information Pack  Last Modified: 17 May 2016

Download the Application Form  Last Modified: 27 July 2016

Download the 2017 Fees  Last Modified: 13 February 2017

Download the ArbAC standards in full:

Less than 5 employees

More than 5 employees

Here to help

The AA is here to help:

  • Technical standards, see below (please note you will need to work out your business size to determine whether you need the standard for i) ‘up to 5 people,’ or ii) ‘more than 5 people.’) You can also use our new WTE tool to calculate the full-time equivalent of your part time employees.
  • Our web resource technical guidance where you can find the relevant generic HSE guidance and also the AA’s arb-specific guidance.

What is an ARB Approved Contractor?

An ARB Approved Contractor (ArbAC) is a business that has been assessed by the AA, has met and continues to uphold the AA’s Standards (both the ArbAC Standard relevant to the size of the business and the AA’s Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct) and has paid the appropriate annual scheme management fee.

The new mark
ARB Approved Contractor Logo

Recognising an ARB Approved Contractor

If you join the Scheme you will be issued with a number and the ability to show the ARB Approved Contractor Shield. Indeed, until December 2015 you may have seen the older logo used by Tree Surgeons who have been assessed and approved.

The old mark
ARB Approved Contractor Logo
TrustMark™ Accreditation


TrustMark™ is open to all Arb Approved Contractors and costs only £40.00 + VAT per year. Please contact Polly Stone for further details on


The Benefits of ARB Approval

The benefits to YOU are:

  • the use of the industry recognised ArbAC logo
  • peace of mind, knowing you have achieved the industry standard
  • member discount on AA training (even if not an AA member)
  • access to financial discounts, including some insurances
  • a listing in the AA’s online directory
  • being able to charge a professional fee for a professional service
  • access to select contracts aimed at ArbACs
  • Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) points in some contracts
  • a level playing field – compete with your contemporaries, not with the cowboys
  • a focus for continuous improvement and investment
  • access to TrustMark™ (Government Endorsed Scheme)

The benefits to TREES are:

Trees are living, dynamic organisms that need appropriate management and care to ensure their safety, longevity and continued contribution to the landscape.

The benefits to tree OWNERS are:

Quality assured tree care services from contractors assessed and approved by the nation’s largest representative arboricultural body bring security to tree owners and managers in an industry renowned for more than its fair share of unscrupulous contractors. Tree owners can rely on ArbACs for appropriate advice and services.

Technical Standards Summary

A full schedule of the technical standards can be found in the documents below. Refer to notes on business size to see which Standard applies to you.


Download technical standards in full

Up to 5

Click to download the Businesses less than 5 Word document

More than 5

Click to download the Businesses more than 5 Word document

An achievable standard

The ArbAC scheme sets a standard that is achievable by all good tree work contractors.

ArbAC Appeals Procedure

Should your application to become an ARB Approved Contractor result in a fail at Assessment or is refused and you feel that you wish to appeal, the Arboricultural Association has set out an appeal procedure. If you wish to appeal a decision, then please download the document below and read it carefully.

Download the Appeal Procedure Document Last Modified: 10 October 2013

Accredited Scheme:



Small businesses can access the ARB Approved Contractor Scheme, including CHAS, for less than £600*

* To cover the initial assessment of a small business, i.e. ‘up to 5 people’, including the H&S audit for CHAS but which incurs an additional £60 CHAS licence fee (all prices quoted exclude VAT).


TrustMark is open to all Arb Approved Contractors and costs only £40.00 +VAT.

Please contact Polly Stone for further details on