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Arboriculture Skills & Qualifications

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The arboriculture units of competency, skill sets and qualifications have gone through the Australian Industry and Skills Committee endorsement process, now reaching the completion of the review.

Arboriculture is a specialist profession that recognises and fosters the many benefits of trees, to our health, society, environment, ecology, and economy. According to Arboriculture Australia, the industry employs over 40,000 workers with a turnover of over one billion dollars annually. However, an increase in government agency plantings over the past 15 years, means the current shortage of skilled workers to take up roles across the industry, particularly in specialist areas is likely to increase.

Current entry requirements for accredited training and an ageing workforce have been contributing factors, and industry requires support to address the skills shortage.

Industry consultation throughout this project has concentrated on making qualifications more accessible and that they match with specific job roles. Core units have been reduced in the Certificates II and III where appropriate.

The Advanced Diploma and Graduate Diploma have been given more flexible entry requirements to allow graduates from related fields to undertake them. Specialisations in the Certificate III and three new skill sets have been developed to create pathways for specialist skills and higher learning. In this way, arboriculture qualifications and skills standards have been updated to better support this thriving industry.

During development of the skills standards, subject matter experts, industry leaders and employers indicated the importance of training providers using the Minimum Industry Standards (MIS), to work being carried out safely and effectively. The MIS are developed and maintained by Arboriculture Australia, in consultation with industry.

Arboriculture is an occupation that carries a potential high risk to the safety of workers. It has been acknowledged by all involved in the current considerations that it is important for the updated skills standards to be made available as soon as practicable.

With Skills Impact having reached the completion of its review, the adoption of the revised package is a significant step forward for our industry and it future.

Key Outcomes

Revised 37 units of competency, including removal of prerequisites from 13

Developed two new units of competency covering skills for using cranes to dismantle trees and managing trees to create and maintain habitat refuges

Five units of competency proposed for deletion where they did not meet industry needs or skills could be integrated into other units

Three new skill sets developed to attract and upskill workers including a basic tree worker skill set and an introduction to arboriculture skill set


Certificate II in Arboriculture reduced from 20 to 11 core units and designed to focus on practical skills required operate as a ground-based tree worker across the industry

Certificate III in Arboriculture decreased from 23 to 18 units (9 core and 9 electives). In addition to the existing Climbing and Elevated Work Platform specialisations, three new specialisations have been included to cover Crane, Environmental and Works Coordinator

Added entry requirements for the Diploma of Arboriculture to provide a foundation of arborist skills and knowledge

Advanced Diploma of Arboriculture and Graduate Diploma of Arboriculture have more flexible entry requirements to allow for a broader range of learners

Certificate IV Proposed For Deletion

The final draft documents are available for download at https://bit.ly/3a6qGbM or visit www.skillsimpact.com.au for more information.

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