VETcert is a European ‘Erasmus +’ project which aims at developing a certification system for managing and caring for veteran trees. The project will develop a certification scheme at two levels; one at practicing (arborist/forester) level and one at consultant level.

The Veteran Tree Management Standards have been drafted based on the responses to a questionnaire circulated earlier this year, the partners’ combined experience and stakeholder workshops. The finalised Veteran Tree Management Standards will underpin the scheme by forming the basis for the assessment process.

We welcome feedback on the draft standard, to help us improve the final version; the consultation period runs until 31st January 2018. The standards can be found here.

Respondents are free to comment on either or both standards, dependent on their professional knowledge and experience. This questionnaire is for CONSULTING LEVEL.

The standard is split into 11 units. The unit number, title and summary are provided in the top row of each table. Each unit will have one or more knowledge outcomes, which are what the candidate is expected to know. These outcomes are provided in the left hand column. The middle column details how candidates will show that they have the relevant knowledge and meet the standard. For the purposes of this consultation, the right hand column provides some explanatory notes which are designed to aid understanding.

Where a statement under ‘Skill and knowledge standard’ is followed by a (P) it relates to practicing level only and (C) relates to consulting level only. If a statement is followed by neither, it is common to both standards. Most statements are replicated in both standards but may differ slightly in wording to reflect the difference between the two levels. For example in unit 1 ‘Veteran trees; recognition and values’ 1 iii) covers the same topic but there is a different wording in each standard:

·         The practicing standard reads: “Identify veteran trees in various forms. (P)”.

·         The consulting standard reads: “Identify veteran trees in various forms and provide a description of the main forms of veteran trees across Europe. (C)”.

The draft standard will be quality assured by an external technical expert. At this stage we are not looking for feedback relating to typos or grammatical errors, as these will be picked up during the external quality assurance process. To aid the consultation process we have produced a number of concise questions which will help us focus on areas in need of improvement. There are two questions related to each of the 11 units. If you do  not have any feedback for all units, you can of course skip over these questions.  If you wish to make additional comments, these can be made in the text box at the end of the survey, or by contacting the partner organisation in your country.

The Veteran Tree Management standards are the second of six project outputs for VETcert. The next stages are the production of training material and setting up an assessment and certification scheme. The project runs until August 2019, after which time the certification scheme will be made available.

Please provide your contact details if you wish to receive future project updates.