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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Lantra launches new utility arb qualifications

Last Updated:  07/09/2017
Lantra and the Arboricultural Association

Lantra has announced that by working closely with the Arboricultural Association’s Utility Arboriculture group (UAG), a suite of new qualifications has been created and launched.

The qualifications have been developed to meet the needs of the utility arboriculture industry and to ensure safe working practices across all sites.

Utility arboriculture represents around £150million of work in the UK every year. (Photograph courtesy of Martin Lennon)

Utility arboriculture represents around £150million of work in the UK every year. The work is regularly carried out adjacent to electricity supplies, railway lines, waterways and telecommunications networks.

It is imperative that the standards of both tree work and safety within the industry are extremely high and consistent across the UK and this has been central to the development of these qualifications.

The utility arboriculture industry required regulated qualifications to reflect the updates which have occurred within the industry since the original technical awards were released more than seven years ago. Lantra Awards’ new qualifications suite not only successfully addresses the requirements for today’s utility arboriculture work, it also provides a clear progression route through the industry.

A Level 2 Award in Utility Arboriculture (Basic Electrical Knowledge) and a Level 3 Award in Utility Arboriculture (Arboricultural Activities) are on offer to operatives. After submission to Ofqual, both qualifications are now regulated.

The Level 2 Award is the basic minimum qualification to enable operatives to get on to a utility arboriculture work site. The Level 2 Award is a prerequisite for the Level 3 Award, which will provide operatives with pathways to carry out rope-assisted felling, aerial pruning and working from a mobile elevated working platform (MEWP). Operatives with UA1 will also be able to take the Level 3 qualification.

A standard-setting event for approved Lantra instructors and assessors, as well as for key utility clients and experts, was held in July. External verifier and UAG member Martin Lennon commented:

‘The standard-setting event was extremely useful as it provided an opportunity for approved Lantra instructors/assessors to discuss standards with some key utility clients. This has helped to ensure the updated UA training meets current and future industry needs. The utility clients included: Electricity North West, Western Power Distribution and Network Rail.

‘I think the new training delivered by commercially aware instructors will be a very effective way of improving utility arboricultural practices, and will help ensure operations are undertaken in a safe and efficient manner.’

(Photograph courtesy of Martin Lennon)

Lantra intends to expand its utility arboriculture suite with a Level 3 surveying qualification. This will also include pathways to allow other utility areas to be included.

Lantra recognises that the requirement for re-certification is still in place and as such, there is a simple process in place that ensures you gain the full benefit of re-certification as well as gaining a regulated qualification.

To find out more about this or Lantra Awards’ new utility arboriculture provision, or to enrol on a course, contact stuart.phillips@lantra.co.uk.

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