Utility Arboriculture Group

Utilities covers Waterways
Utilities covers Highways
Utilities covers Railways
Utilities covers Electricity
Utilities covers Telecommunications

Utility arboriculture represents an estimated £150 million of arboricultural work in the UK each year adjacent to electricity supplies, plus work adjacent to rail, waterways and telecommunications networks.

It is important that the standards of both tree work and safety within the industry are consistent nationwide and this is the principal objective of the AA Utility Arboriculture Group (UAG).

An Introduction to the UAG

TRIR stands for "Total Recordable Incident Rate." As recorded by reporting UAG members.

Period: September 2018 to September 2019

TRIR stands for "Total Recordable Incident Rate." As recorded by reporting UAG members.GeneralLinkAdvancedBehavior URL: /getattachment/UAG/TRIR-graph-Feb20.jpg.aspx   Alternate text: TRIR stands for "Total Recordable Incident Rate." As recorded by reporting UAG members.

The UAG’s Terms of Reference focus on the unification of standards for tree work and safety within the utility industry. The UAG recognises that this will only be achieved and maintained by fostering positive links between all stakeholders: tree work contractors and managers, electricity suppliers (Distribution Network Operators (DNOs)), other clients (rail, water, telecom), the Department of Trade and Industry as regulator, the Health and Safety Executive, training organisations (especially Lantra Awards), awarding bodies (especially City & Guilds NPTC) and so on.

The UAG seeks to serve the industry by identifying and influencing key decisions and disseminating information to its members.

The UAG has played a part on the consultative process leading up to the publication of G55/2, the formulation and drafting of the revised NPTC UA units as well as seeking a mandate to take forward the industry’s requirement for the integration of qualifications and authorisations. This resulted in a stakeholders meeting where a clear and ambitious proposal was agreed:


The Utility Arboriculture Industry seeks to commission an awarding body to deliver vocational qualifications, which in addition to meeting the requirements of proving competence, establish a safer, career based medium through which Employer & Employee are able to develop and manage their work activities.


In order to target real issues that affect safety the UAG collates the Utility industry’s Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) – a pan-industry workplace safety indicator, and periodically publishes safety updates in the AA’s quarterly publication The ARB Magazine.

DNOs have a legal duty to ensure network resilience and the UAG seeks to define resilience in its attempt to unify standards. The UAG’s definition of resilience is intended to be a living document and will be revised as input is received from all stakeholders.  To see the latest version click here.

To find out who your network operator is for gas or electricity view the Energy Networks Association website.

You can join!

UAG membership exists at three levels and there are various responsibilities and benefits associated with each level:

Membership level Responsibilities Benefits

Virtual member 
To join for FREE:
email uag@trees.org.uk



  • Minutes of Core Group meetings and other relevant news items sent periodically by email.


Full member 
Free for AA members.


  • Must comply with AA Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct.



  • Minutes and news as above
  • Consulted on significant issues
  • Can stand for Core Group.


Core Group member 
To join you must nominate yourself at AA election time and be elected by Full Members

As above plus

  • Must be available for most quarterly meetings
  • Must steer the work of the Core Group
  • Must progress initiatives between meetings.

As above plus

  • Can vote on resolutions.


The UAG publishes regular features in The ARB Magazine – the AA’s quarterly membership publication. To receive these features join the AA.