Reasons to Apply

The RFS offers two professional certificates:

– RFS Certificate in Forestry
– RFS Certificate in Arboriculture

To qualify for the certification you must have completed:

A theory course in Arboriculture, Forestry or similar at level 2 or higher.
8 practical modules of competency from NPTC or Lantra.

Reasons to apply

  • RFS Certification has a strong reputation.
  • The right to add the name of the certificate after your name e.g. John Smith, Cert. Arb.   or John Smith, Cert. For.
  • No need for the time and expense of attending further training courses. Your portfolio can be completed at any speed and based on CPD that you have already undertaken or select a pathway that suits your own needs at a local provider.
  • The RFS retains detailed records on file for each application. We are able to provide verification of RFS Certificates to employers and potential clients.
  • Successful candidates are eligible for free membership of the RFS for one year (saving £49). Details of how candidates can claim their free membership will be provided along with the award certificate.

Theory Elements


ABC Level 2 Certificate in Arboriculture: This course is normally studied flexibly over one year. It is a theory course assessed by a portfolio of evidence. It is a complete qualification in itself, but  can also be used as the theory course for the RFS Certificate in Arboriculture.


Other equivalent arboriculture or forestry qualifications at Level 2 or higher.

Practical Elements

Completion of 8 or more NPTC or Lantra certificates of competency. Full details of the recognised elements for each certificate can be found below.

Practical Awards of Competence – Forestry

Practical Awards of Competence – Arboriculture

Candidates must complete the full Certificate of Competency in each skill from a recognised awarding body and obtain the official license to practice. The RFS does not accept lesser certificates of training or attendance.