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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

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AA and ISA Talks Update

Last Updated:  24/05/2016

In our communication 25th November we advised members that the AA is in discussion with the ISA. These discussions and the underpinning investigative work are still in progress and we plan to put a proposal to the AA Board of Trustees in early 2016.

As you will appreciate the ISA UK&I Chapter was disbanded earlier this year leaving a vacuum for those former members of the Chapter and a lack of any formal link for the ISA with the UK. Given the prominence of arboriculture within the UK the lack of any AA representation on the global platform the ISA provides seems remiss.

The detail is however key and no decision has as yet been made. All the facts are being determined to enable the Board make a fully informed decision.

However as previously communicated we wish to keep you up to date and hopefully allay any fears. Some key points therefore to note:


The AA is not considering becoming an ISA Chapter but looking at the benefits of being an Associate Organisation (AO) e.g. access to:


Global research and expertise for Conference, articles, journals etc.


A global network


The ISA Certified Arborist and associated schemes


The World Tree Climbing Competition


A wider range of publications which can be sold on our website


Training in particular e-based training programmes


Opportunities for us to cross-sell training and publications and AA membership to ISA members


ISA Chapters and Associate Organisations in Europe and elsewhere with whom we could share information and practices



The ISA would not be taking over the AA and nor would the AA be taking over the ISA


There would be no merger


As an AO we would have an increased reach globally and the opportunity to work collaboratively to represent arboriculture worldwide


The AA as an Associate Organisation would administer ISA UK&I membership through our website


ISA UK&I members would not be members of the AA unless they wished to become such and joined


AA members would not be members of the ISA unless they wished to become such and joined


As an Associate Organisation the AA could, should the Board determine, offer ISA Certification to UK&I arboriculturalists. Note for UK&I arboriculturalists who need to recertify in 2015/2016 please contact the ISA.


Our overseas members are important and plans are in place to build pages on the new website in 2016 geared to the needs of our ever increasing and valued membership in for example, Hong Kong. As an Associate Organisation of the ISA this would not change


If the AA became an AO this would not affect any membership category within the AA including RCs or ACs

One last but key point. In an increasingly connected world, the opportunity to be part of a global voice on Arboriculture is critical and adds weight to the representations we can make in the UK.

Be assured though that whatever decision is made our values and unique culture are sacrosanct. The AA is now 51 years old and growing in prominence and stature. As we seek to make the Voice of Arboriculture heard and achieve our organisational goals, all strategic opportunities will be evaluated carefully and with rigour by the Board and our members kept informed. As soon as we have more information we will send out another communication.


Karen Martin
CEO, The Arboricultural Association