Advice and Training – Training/Education

Arboricultural qualifications explained: A brief guide to Academic, Vocational, Competency and Work based awards in Arboriculture,


Higher level arboricultural qualifications are usually studied full or part time through a college or university. Usually classroom based, they are commonly assessed through formal exams or externally moderated coursework.


Vocational/Centre Based

These qualifications tend to be delivered within a college environment and provide a mix of hands-on practical learning alongside applied classroom-based theory. They prepare people for employment within the industry at various levels, or for progression onto higher level qualifications (Academic). They offer a mix of practice and theory and often include work experience. Some cover a broad range of content whilst others can be specific to a particular task or activity. They are commonly assessed by your tutor as you progress through the course, through practical assessment and coursework.



Sometimes referred to as ‘licence to practise’ qualifications, these tend to be award-sized qualifications and are usually delivered as short, intensive practical courses. They include chainsaw use, tree climbingand aerial tree work, machinery operation (e.g. brushwood chippers, stump grinders, mobile elevating work platforms) and specific skills (e.g. planting, cable bracing, hand tool pruning), as well as specialisedutility arboriculture qualifications for work near power lines and electrical equipment. It is a legal requirement that anyone working must be adequately trained and competent, and in some cases, such as using chainsaws, you must pass a competence-based test/qualification.

Visit the NPTC website for information on Chainsaw certificates ; https://www.nptc.org.uk/qualificationdefault.aspx



Apprenticeships are government-funded training programmes aimed primarily at young people and reflect what employees are expected to do in a particular job. They offer the opportunity to ‘earn and learn’ – to learn the skills needed through a combination of on- and off-the-job training whilst being employed. Apprentices usually undertake a Diploma in Work-based Trees and Timber, along with further qualifications in English and mathematics.

See the Lantra website for more details:

www.lantra.co.uk/apprenticeships or email apprenticeships@lantra.co.uk or telephone 02476 696996.

Training is available from a number of sources including land-based colleges and independent trainers.


For more information on Careers and Qualifications in Arboriculture please contact the Arboricultural Association or download their free guide ‘A guide to careers and qualifications in arboriculture’. (http://www.trees.org.uk/aa/documents/training/aa_guide_to_qualifications_web.pdf)


Training providers:


TKF Training - Careers in Arboriculture

TFK Training Chainsaw Courses  West Yorkshire

Kingswood Training Chainsaw Courses  Kent

Lantra Chainsaw Training Course  Coventry

 https://www.treelifeac.co.uk/level-4 - Part time learning options to gain a Level 4 in Arboriculture, spread over 1 or 2 years.

 https://www.thetrainingtree.co.uk/professionalcourses- Part time and on line Level 4 In Arboriculture. Flexible options

Arboricultural colleges and Universities:

Merrist Wood College Arb & Forestry Course   Guildford, Surrey

Hadlow College Forestry & Arboriculture Course     Tonbridge, Kent

Capel Manor College    North London

Plumpton College Forestry & Arboriculture Course    East Sussex

Sparsholt College Arboriculture Course  Winchester, Hampshire

Warwickshire College Arboriculture Foundation Degree    Warwick, Warwickshire 

Moulton College Arboriculture Course    Moulton, Northamptonshire

Bridgewater & Taunton College Arboriculture Course    Bridgewater, Somerset

Writtle University College Arb & Chainsaw Course   Chelmsford, Essex

Easton College Arboriculture Course  Norwich

Otley College Arboriculture Level 3 Course   Otley, Suffolk

Reaseheath College Forestry & Arboriculture Course Level 3    Nantwich, Cheshire

Pershore College Arboriculture Foundation Degree    Pershore, Worcestershire

Northumberland College Forestry & Arboriculture Level 3   Ponteland, Northumberland

East Durham College Tree Surgery & Forest Management Course   Durham

Bedford College Various Ariel and Chainsaw NPTC Courses   Bedfordshire

Askham Bryan College Arboriculture Foundation Degree   York

Chichester College Forestry & Arb Level 3   West Sussex

Hereford & Ludlow College Forestry & Arb Level 2   Hereford & Shropshire

Derby College Diploma in Arb & Forestry skills Level 2    Derby

Bicton College Forestry & Arboriculture Diploma   Budleigh Salterton, Devon 

Brooksby Melton College Felling & Processing Trees    Leicestershire

Kingston Maurward College Arb & Chainsaw Courses   Dorchester

Myerscough College Arboricultural Courses  Preston, Lancashire

Shuttleworth College Arboriculture Courses  Bedfordshire

Bangor University Undergraduate Forestry Courses  Wales

We use cookies to provide you with the best possible browsing experience on our website. You can find out more below.
Cookies are small text files that can be used by websites to make a user's experience more efficient. The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site. For all other types of cookies we need your permission. This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages.
Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.
ResolutionUsed to ensure the correct version of the site is displayed to your device.
SessionUsed to track your user session on our website.
Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.
Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics is an analytics tool to measure website, app, digital and offline data to gain user insights.

More Details