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ISA and Western Chapter merge Certified Tree Worker programs

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the Western Chapter ISA (WCISA) announced the merger of their Certified Tree Worker (CTW) programs. Both reputable service providers to the arborist community, the two organizations made the collaborative decision to combine forces in order to increase capacity and overall service while generating a larger global impact.

The Certified Tree Worker programs, recognized for the value they add to the industry, are designed to verify that tree workers have the skills and knowledge to perform tree work safely. “The certified tree worker exam is a great tool for all tree workers to have in their toolbox,” says Philip Ruiz, technical training director at Valley Crest Tree Care Services. “It shows the employers and customers that they have the ability and knowledge to work safely and according to industry standards.”

This certification also appeals to potential employers who are looking for qualified tree workers. “As an employer, I see the added value of certification, including increased safety, production, and customer confidence, “ adds Andrew Trotter, vice president of West Coast Arborists. “Certified tree workers have more knowledge about their job, plus generally have more opportunities for advancements and increased wages.”

After a thorough evaluation, the programs were found to be parallel in content and context, which aids in a smooth transition to one stronger overall program for tree workers. “John Britton, founder of the Western Chapter Certification for Tree Workers, would be proud to support the alignment of the Chapter CTW program with the program developed by the ISA,” states Doug Anderson, certification chair for Western Chapter ISA. “Program goals are identical – tree worker knowledge, safety, and competency. This merger will unify our efforts to continue to develop programs that will drive the industry forward and provide better quality tree care.”

ISA utilizes best management practices for credentialing bodies – Accreditation Program for Personnel Certification Bodies (ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024) – for its certification programs. The current ISA CTW program is not accredited under ISO 17024, so merging the two tree worker programs creates a higher quality certification that is aligned with ISO 17024 and can become accredited. “This merger strengthens the CTW credential and broadens our audience to include even more tree workers that want to add a well-recognized achievement to their arsenal of tools,” adds Skip Kincaid, ISA certification board chair.

Western Chapter ISA will continue to offer its CTW course through the end of 2015; however, ISA looks forward to offering an internationally-recognized credential to certified tree workers in their region. “We are excited for the WCISA CTW merger with ISA,” states Rhonda Wood, Western Chapter ISA president. “The value of having our certifications align through the ISA allows our administration management team to spend that time on other chapter programming. This is a win-win for our members while placing the CTW in good hands with the ISA.”

Individuals who currently hold the Western Chapter tree worker certification will be transferred to the ISA Certified Tree Worker program in phases. Final transition and the official launch of the merged Certified Tree Worker program is targeted for June 2016. ISA is excited about the higher level of support and service the merger will bring to its credential holders. For questions regarding the merger of the Certified Tree Worker programs, contact isa@isa-arbor.com.

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