Royal Forestry Society Enhances Professional Certification

The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) is enhancing its professional certification requirements to reflect changes in woodland management and forestry practices.

By Wendy Necar · January 15, 2024

RFS Certification recognizes practical professional skills. Both the Certificate in Arboriculture (Cert Arb) and the Certificate in Forestry (Cert For) require applicants to hold a relevant theory qualification and to achieve four compulsory modules and at least four optional modules.

From this year, Emergency First Aid at Work + Forestry (EFAW + F) will be compulsory modules for both certifications.  The First Aid requirement is among a number of changes made.

RFS Learning and Outreach Manager Becky Wilkinson says: “These changes reflect on-going discussions we have had with those working in the sector. Professional Certification is an important signal. It tells the public, employers and contractors that the holders are both professional and competent.

“Many applicants will already hold First Aid qualifications. By including First Aid as a compulsory module we are emphasizing health and safety as a priority.

“Other changes are the direct result of changing practices. Ash dieback, for instance, means many affected trees may be dangerous to climb. Working from an elevated platform instead may be the only practical solution.”

Those applying for the Cert Arb will now be required to have a Level 2 Award in Accessing a Tree Using a Rope and Harness among compulsory modules. A new optional module, the Level 3 Award in Use of a Chainsaw from a Mobile Elevated Platform – MEWP, has also been added.

Those who have already applied for the Cert Arb or the Cert Forestry have until the end of June 2024 to complete their application under the former requirements. All new applicants will need to apply using the new modules.

RFS is the longest standing professional certification organisation, with the Cert Arb succeeding the Woodsman Certification.

More on Cert Arb.

More on the Cert Forestry

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