Glendale supports new arboriculture pilot scheme

National green services company Glendale is helping to shape the future of the arboriculture industry as part of a new pilot scheme.

The Register of Tree Work Operatives (R2) is currently being trialled as part of plans to introduce a professional standard for all individuals and companies to work towards.

R2 is an online resource which will record and demonstrate the skills of individuals working within the industry and create a professional standard for all to work towards.

Currently, there is no unified system in place, with arborists working their way up the profession through a mix of vocational and academic qualifications and then choosing an affiliation with the Arboricultural Association (AA) or the Royal Forestry Society (RFS), two independent bodies.

Under the planned scheme, R2 will provide workers with defined job levels and grades and specific qualifications, training and experience needed for each of those levels.  All of this will then be quality assured.

A steering committee comprised of industry professionals has now been set up to bring the plans to fruition.  Glendale’s operations manager for London and the South East, John McKenna, is a member of the committee.

He said: “Glendale is committed to the R2 pilot scheme as we believe that standardising training and development will lead to wider acceptance of the skills and professionalism of arborists and provide employers with a means of monitoring the progress of their staff.

“Our workforce is large and varied in terms of skill level which means we can provide a representative sample of workers to the pilot.  This is enabling us to provide feedback that can be used to really benefit the industry as a whole.”

R2 is due to be launched in Autumn 2014.

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