Arboricultural Association contractor scheme recognised by government

The Arboricultural Association's Approved Contractor scheme has been recognised by a government health and safety standard.

The Arboricultural Association (AA) Approved Contractor (AC) scheme has achieved recognition from the government Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS).

The new recognition means the AA can now award both its own AC and CHAS accreditation at the same time.

AA technical officer and AC scheme manager Paul Smith said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for contractors as it will mean that those who achieve AC status will automatically achieve CHAS registration too, without undertaking a second assessment. They will therefore avoid much duplication of health and safety procedures, as happens currently, and they won't, of course, incur additional fees in the process.

"CHAS recognition will also undoubtedly heighten the profile and credibility of the AC scheme in the eyes of prospective clients. It's a major step forward for the industry."

Urban Forestry of Bury St Edmunds is the first firm to achieve dual CHAS and AAAC accreditation.

The requirements of the CHAS scheme are based on assessment contained within the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 Approved Code of Practice.

CHAS business development manager Matthew Southgate said: "We recognise the fact that health and safety compliance is central to the AAAC scheme, and that the standards assessed are consistent with CHAS. Hence we are very happy to welcome the AA on board and to allow dual accreditation involving CHAS registration. This is in line with other industry-based accreditation schemes which we recognise and which contribute to the ever-increasing numbers of contractors we have registered on the CHAS database."


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