Continual Educational Units

Continual Educational Units (CEUs) explained

CPD or Continuous Professional Development is the term that the AA apply to the ongoing training and development an individual undertakes during their working life.

The ISA use Continuing Education Units (CEUs) as part of their certification schemes and these are required to maintain the credentialing.

Every three years:

  • Certified Arborist: 30 CEUs
  • Certified Arborist Utility Specialist: 6 Utility CEUs + 30 Arborist CEUs = 36 total
  • Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist: 12 Municipal CEUs + 30 Arborist CEUs = 42 total
  • Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA): 60 CEUs; 20 each in Science, Practice, and Management

The key difference between CPD and CEUs is that normally CEUs have a formal educational component to each hour claimed. So the intent of the CEU being claimed must be educational, such as a training course or online tutorial and must be relevant to arboriculture. For instance, the introduction, domestics and final summing up associated with a training course should not be claimed, nor should an assessment.

As a very broad rule of thumb, a one-day course in the U.K. could give 6 CPD hours which equates to 5 CEUs. This is dependent on many variables such as course content and structure.

See below for a list of commonly run courses in the UK and their CEU values. If you have a course running and you would like to add it to the list or would like a course pre approving for CEUs click here

CEU Courses
Course Title Certified Arborists Municipal Arborist BCMA Science BCMA Practice BCMA Management Awarded by
Arboricultural Business Management Basics 14 11 0 0 14 Arboricultural Association
Climate Change: Building Resilience in the Arboricultural Sector 5.5 0 4 0 1.5 Arboricultural Association
Arboricultural Consultancy 12.75 6 0 0 12.75 Arboricultural Association
Arboricultural Knowledge 5 0 2 1 2 Arboricultural Association
ArbAC Prep Workshop 4 0 0 1 3 Arboricultural Association
Assessment of Tree Forks 5 0 2.5 1 1.5 Arboricultural Association
BS 3998: 2010 Tree Work - Recommendations 5 5 0 4 1 Arboricultural Association
BS 5837 Tree Surveying and Categorisation 5 5 0 0 5 Arboricultural Association
BS 5837 – Advanced: Tree Assessment for Planning Applications 6 0 0 0 6 Arboricultural Association
BS 5837 – Advanced: Managing Trees on Construction Sites 6 0 0 0 6 Arboricultural Association
Getting to Grips with Subsidence 5 5 2 0 3 Arboricultural Association
Introduction to Soils 5 0 4 1 0 Arboricultural Association
Professional Tree Inspection Refresher 5 5 1 1 3 Arboricultural Association
Risk Assessment for Commercial Arboriculture 5 0 0 1 4 Arboricultural Association
Rigging Awareness Workshop 4.5 0 0 2.5 2 Arboricultural Association
Stationary Rope Technique Workshop 4.5 0 0 2.5 2 Arboricultural Association
Subsidence Investigation Workshop 5 0 0 2 3 Arboricultural Association
Tree Pests, Diseases and Fungi 5 0 2 1.5 1.5 Arboricultural Association
Tree Risk – Whats the likelihood of failure 6 6 0 0 6 Arboricultural Association
Valuing and Managing Veteran Trees 5 0 1 2 2 Instructors that have attended the 3 Day VETree course including the Arboricultural Association
Basic Tree Survey & Inspection 5.5 0 1 0 4.5 Any LANTRA instructor/training provider including the Arboricultural Association
Professional Tree Inspection 16 0 4.75 0 11.25 Any LANTRA instructor/training provider including the Arboricultural Association
Access a tree using a rope and harness 20 0 0 20 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Access a tree using a rope and harness and aerial tree rescue operations 25 0 0 25 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Aerial tree rescue operations 10 0 0 10 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Aerial tree pruning 15 0 0 15 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Arboricultural pruning operations 5 0 0 5 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Aerial cutting of trees with a chainsaw using free fall techniques 15 0 0 15 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Bats and arboriculture 5.25 0 0 0 5.25 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting 10 0 0 10 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Chainsaw maintenance 5 0 0 5 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Cross-cut timber using a chainsaw 5 0 0 5 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Dealing with individual windblown trees 8 0 0 8 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Hand-held hedge trimmer 5 0 0 5 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Felling and processing trees up to 380mm 15 0 0 15 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Felling and processing trees over 380mm 15 0 0 15 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Stump grinders 6.25 0 0 6.25 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Thorough examination of arboricultural lifting equipment 15 0 0 15 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Use of a chainsaw from a mobile elevated work platform 3.25 0 0 3.25 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Use of a chainsaw from a rope and harness 10 0 0 10 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Using Powered pole pruners 5 0 0 5 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
Woodchippers 6.25 0 0 6.25 0 LANTRA instructor/training provider
ROLO Operatives Health, Safety, and Environmental Course 4.5 4.5 0 0 4.5 BALI instructor/ training provider

Arboricultural Association awarded courses will have CEU codes placed on the certificates of attendance. You can then use these to upload on to your ISA CEU page. Other methods may be used for different AA events such as branch events or the AA’s Annual Amenity Conference.

To claim your CEUs for the above coded courses awarded by organisations other than the Arboricultural Association just send a copy of your certificate of attendance (for some of the courses a certificate of training and assessment can be submitted) to ISA International with a brief covering letter (or email). ISA International can then assign the CEUs to your ISA account. The date of your training will be as shown on your certificate and will need to be within your current certification period.

To be clear the AA is not administering the CEU process, just assisting the ISA, so it is the ISA member’s responsibility to make sure their CEU records are up to date with ISA International.

It must be stressed that credit for each specific course can only be added to one's account once during a given certification period. Do remember that CEUs only apply to education, so assessments/qualifications such as NPTC City & Guilds ‘Licence to Practice’ assessments do not count.

The majority of CEU’s claimed are for workshop or course attendance. However, some other eligible examples of CEUs include:

  • A First Aid or CPR course or renewal is worth 4 CEUs per credentialing period.
  • An appropriate article written for a magazine or newspaper is worth 3 CEUs.
  • Climbers and judges can be awarded up to 3 CEUs, at ITCC and Chapter TCC events.
  • Company/ Association training programmes that include home study exams could receive 1 CEU per 20 questions.
  • Each credit hour of college course work is worth 10 CEUs.
  • CEU quizzes with a pass rate of 80%, associated with books with study guides, magazine articles, chapter newsletters and online quizzes will receive 1 CEU per 20 questions.
  • Certification exam training workshops attendees and instructors are eligible for CEUs at 1 CEU per hour of session, with a maximum 10 CEUs for a programme.
  • Presenters, instructors and leaders at workshops, conferences, seminars or other related training or education programmes shall receive the equivalent number of CEUs awarded to the attendees if they attend the entire programme.

To claim these CEUs you need to correspond with ISA International. ISA’s online recording system is very useful for this.

The ISA have a useful website page for those of you that would like to know a little more information on CEUs

CEUs Pre & Post Approval 

The ISA split their verification process for CEUs into “pre” and “post” the training date, referred to as pre- and post-approval. If you would like a course pre-approved with CEUs assigned, the AA can help;

  • For an individual that would like a CEU code assigning to a course they are about to attend;
  • For a training (or similar) organisation that is preparing to run a course.

However, we shall charge an admin fee of £28+VAT per individual course code, with a maximum of £80 +VAT for several course codes over one single workshop.

This is a relatively straight forward process if the right information is submitted:

  1. A completed pre-approval form. Click here to download.
  2. A detailed outline or agenda that shows:
    • What topics will be covered during the event (usually the course aims and objectives)
    • How much time will be spent on each topic (usually on a program for the day)
    • All anticipated breaks including lunch must be shown (usually on a program for the day)
    • The name of the trainer for each topic is shown
    • The date, location, and class host contact name and email is shown
    • Names and ISA certification/membership number (if applicable)
    • Maximum number of delegates

Send in your completed forms with payment by cheque to Arboricultural Association, The Malthouse, Stroud Green, Standish, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, GL10 3DL.

All post-approval must be run through ISA International, not the AA.

The ISA have a useful website page for those of you that would like a little more information on CEUs.