Institute creates chartered status for arboriculturists

Chartered status to reflect the specialisation of arboriculturists can be granted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) following changes to its bylaws.

Chartered Arboriculturist is now a title that can be awarded by the ICF to qualified professionals meeting its standards.

ICF executive director Shireen Chambers said the move had been welcomed by members. She explained: "Forestry is a very broad subject and has a lot of specialisms, of which arboriculture is one.

"There is a growing band of specialists who are arboriculturists and we thought this was a simple way to introduce greater recognition of that."

The changes were ratified at the end of June by Privy Council, the body which plays a part in regulating the organisations incorporated by Royal Charter, following the ICF's annual general meeting in April.

Chambers said that about 20 per cent of the ICF's 1,100 members called themselves arboriculturists. "More people are now looking at individual trees rather than woodland, particularly in the South," she added.

The first ICF member to be awarded the status is KJF Tree Care's arboricultural consultant Karl John Forkasiewicz.

Forkasiewicz said: "It is a big advantage and a major change in arboriculture because straight away clients realise you are of a professional standing."

The Arboricultural Association (AA) has been involved with supporting the development of the Chartered Arboriculturist status and director Nick Eden said members, who could also be recognised as a registered AA consultant, would benefit.

He said: "It is a more meaningful title for people working principally with urban trees.

"For someone managing a stock of trees in central London, calling themselves a Chartered Forester is not so appropriate.

"We were very happy to support the ICF's application to Privy Council and have worked with it to devise criteria to assess people for that title."

The ICF is incorporated by Royal Charter as the only professional body in the UK to award chartered status to people working in forestry and arboriculture. After passing the ICF's professional exams, members can be designated MICFor or FICFor, as a Fellow.

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