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Minimum Industry Standards Project

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Arboriculture Australia to provide students free MIS access.

Arboriculture Australia continues to broaden the scope of its Minimum Industry Standards (MIS) project, and has recently implemented a new initiative to offer free access to the MIS for the core units of competency for all arboricultural and vegetation management students in Australia.

The MIS peer-reviewed booklets comprise a collection of standards written and reviewed by Australian arborists, designed to provide key knowledge for industry, with Arboriculture Australia advising it has moved to provide free student access following the approval of new Australian Qualifications Framework arboriculture qualifications in August.

As advised by Arboriculture Australia, the new qualifications refer to the MIS in the qualification companion volume, and recommend registered training organisations (RTOs) rely on the MIS as a guide for industry expectations and practices.

Students to be provided electronic access Arboriculture Australia Senior Staff Member Alex Wilson stated that under the initiative all RTOs “will be able to set their students up with electronic access to the core MISs they need for their course”.

“Offering the MIS to all students is a major commitment for Arboriculture Australia,” she explained. “There is a challenging administrative workload, and the need for additional software development to manage the volume of traffic.

“We have been reorganising our staff resources and working with RTOs to develop a simple, straightforward process for student MIS access. It’s a big job, but we’re very excited about the prospect of this new connection to the future of our industry.”

By offering students free access, Arboriculture Australia states that it hopes to:

  • Provide the next generation of arborists with a comprehensive, industry-approved body of knowledge to support their training and development
  • Provide clear, consistent guidance to RTOs on industry expectations, practices and terminology
  • Enable industry training that is based on a solid, nationally shared foundation by referencing the same training manuals wherever the learning takes place
  • Ensure that training complements industry practice so that students receive a consistent message in the classroom and on their worksites
  • Improve safety by providing foundation documents which cover the full range of skills that a working arborist should know

“The MIS peer-reviewed booklets comprise a collection of standards written and reviewed by Australian arborists.”

Alex said that Arboriculture Australia had worked closely with state and territory associations to develop the standards, which had made an “enormous contribution” to the project, with it having been entirely funded by industry contributions through the industry stewardship program. “We want to send a really big thank you to Active Tree Services, ETS, ENSPEC, Asplundh and Arbor Australis Consulting, who provided the funding, and remind everyone that the MIS project has been proudly developed for the industry by the industry,” she said.

The MIS Go International

As Arboriculture Australia further develops the MIS – with a number of MIS currently being written and reviewed, including the first MIS to be written at the diploma level for consulting, municipal and utility arborists, and as guidance for all sectors involved in urban forestry – there has also been significant interest from overseas.

Alex advised that earlier this year the New Zealand Arboricultural Association (NZ Arb) voted to adopt the MIS, while Arboriculture Australia is now also looking at translating the standards into both French and Japanese.

Alex stated that the NZ Arb “contribution will be extremely valuable in the review and development of the standards”, and noted that “the MIS are turning into truly global documents, and this is a huge credit to all involved”.

“By the time this article is published, we hope to be offering electronic access to the MIS through our website,” she commented.

“Then our next game-changer will be Safe Work Method Statements for arboricultural work tasks, currently being developed by our Arboriculture Australia Work Health and Safety Committee. This will be another amazing resource we will be providing to our industry for free.”

Further information can be found at the Arboriculture Australia website: www.trees.org.au

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