In January, ISA launched the new Aerial Lift Specialist certification for Certified Tree Workers. Those individuals seeking the Certified Tree Worker credential now have the option to specialize in climbing and/or aerial lift operations. The specialist exams are designed to simulate actual working conditions with an emphasis on safety.
To receive the Aerial Lift Specialist credential, candidates must complete the Tree Worker Certification knowledge test and a skills test for aerial lift. Individuals interested in aerial lift who already hold the Tree Worker/Climber Specialist certification need only to take the skills portion of the exam to earn the Aerial Lift Specialist certification. During the skills test, a trained evaluator tests the candidate on the ability to demonstrate the fundamental skills necessary to perform as a competent aerial lift operator. The skills include the ability to maneuver an aerial lift device effectively in and around the tree, knowledge of frequently used knots, inspection of working tree, personal protective gear, and aerial lift.
The ISA certification department began development of this credential in 2007, working with a committee of industry experts representing leading utility companies and contractors, aerial lift manufacturers, commercial trainers, and municipalities. The committee began with a job tasks analysis survey completed by companies and supervisors using and operating aerial lifts to help determine the skills and knowledge needed for safe operation. The skills portion of the exam was developed based on the information gathered from the survey.
“The strength of the aerial lift credential lies in the strong backgrounds of our panel of experts,” says Derek Vannice, ISA certification director. “Their experience in aerial lift operation, along with the tasks analysis, helped developed a program we can be proud of.”
To qualify to take the Aerial Lift Specialist exam, an individual must have a minimum of 18 months experience in arboriculture and at least six months experience in the operation of an aerial lift device within the overall 18 months. Candidates may use the Tree Climbers’ Guide to prepare for the knowledge portion of the exam and the new Aerial Lift Specialist Exam Preparation DVD for the skills assessment. The DVD, developed by ISA and the expert panel, demonstrates the necessary skills and tasks a candidate will be asked to perform successfully in order to pass that portion of the exam.
The credential is currently only available in a limited number of regions but will be expanding as ISA trains new skills assessment evaluators. If you are interested in taking the exam or becoming an evaluator, contact the ISA certification department at email@example.com