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Safety Mission

Author | Peter Chaffin

This issue we look into a major review of the training packages and components which is currently underway as well as an audit on WHS White Card Certifications and everything you need to know about safety on the workplace.

Welcome to winter and the Easter bunny season. It’s so nice to feel cooler after the record breaking days above 30 degrees. There is a lot happening in our wonderful industry at the moment. Probably the most significant change underway is a major review of training packages and components, so I hope those of you that are interested in standards of training and its outcomes managed to get a look at the new proposals and sent in any comments you felt were relevant to Skills impact.

Strategy For Training

Words And Images | Peter Chaffin

There are some amazing employment opportunities out there at the moment with well trained and qualified arborists in high demand.

At Training For Trees we are proud to be educating the latest and potentially the greatest up and coming stars of our industry, who will be dedicated to providing a high class service to all things ‘arboricultural’. There are some amazing employment opportunities out there at the moment with well trained and qualified arborists in high demand.

Be a Star of Our Industry

Words And Images | Peter Chaffin

As I write this month’s editorial, Christmas decorations are for sale, the rain has finally arrived in SEQ and it’s amazing to see how fast the vegetation has changed from brown to green

It seems to have happened almost overnight. I’m constantly in awe as to how versatile, tough and adaptable our flora is and how our trees react and maximise their positions within their environment. This serves as a constant reminder of the great privileges we have in our chosen careers. As arborists we are able to work with the largest most amazing dynamic structural living things in the world on a daily basis in the “lucky country” where it sometimes never rain!

Arborists & Training

Words And Images | Peter Chaffin

While with the end of the previous financial year new equipment has been made available to the Training For Trees students, we start off the new tax year with the graduation of the very first apprentice under the latest trade level AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture training package.

We have been busy working with our Certificate III students and are excited to have been able to congratulate Lee Mc Connell as our first apprentice to graduate under the latest trade level AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture training package. We believe and are very proud to say that Lee is the first student to graduate in this current qualification under an apprenticeship scheme in Australia, having completed face-to-face training and assessment with Training For Trees supported by his employer and demonstrating high levels of competence in all of the required 23 units of competency.

Training and Safety

This month we look into Australian Standards and the industry code of practice, useful tools for anyone to refer to for risk management.

Hi to you all, how hot has summer been! Hopefully, you all survived and stayed hydrated and by now are looking at the testimonial beginning of a nice cool winter period.

In between the hectic schedule at Training For Trees the task came around to write this next article for The Australian Arbor Age magazine with a theme based around equipment maintenance so here goes.

As you will all know it is a legal requirement that any personal protective clothing, machinery, tools and equipment used in the workplace conforms to the relevant Australian Standards, is fit for purpose, in good working order and well maintained.


As I write this month’s article I have had a brief chance to reflect on the fact that we are almost at the end of what turned out to be a pretty full-on, exciting year. So much has happened and the Christmas trees are already on sale!

Pruning and Australian Standards

Please, prune trees to at least the level of the Australian standard (AS4373) and take pride in your work.

Some of the pictures included with this month’s article are just another example of recently carried out works by contractors in the area that shows there is a major lack of trained operators with skills, care and pride out there and that trees are still getting lopped in an unacceptable fashion.

Emergency Clean-up

This article was originally going to be a follow-on from the last edition regarding WHS in the workplace and gear checks, but in light of the recent storms, floods and weather events of the year we will now discuss storm clean-up instead.

Storm clean-up

Regarding chainsaw safety and the way their use is portrayed in the media, as usual the news crews followed the guy with the safety orange singlet stubbies and maybe steel capped boots with a helmet, but no ear protection in a lot of the shots of the clean-up, but certainly not much in the way of PPE.

It would appear that in light of the recent hot weather and emergencies PPE such as chainsaw pants and helmets are often not being worn.

This is not acceptable and there is no excuse not to wear the correct PPE at work.

Zero Harm at Work

Let’s have a fresh start of 2017 and focus on improving safety, implementing zero harm policies, investing on training and skills assessment.

Zero Harm at WorkWe are already well into 2017 and the future for Arboriculture in Australia is looking good. The new training package that has involved considerable efforts from many dedicated people is ready to roll out and can only mean good things for our wonderful industry.

I have been involved with the industry advisory group that is managing the process of updating the industry training package for several years now and have to say I am excited to be involved. It really is a case of onwards and upwards.

At Training for Trees we are committed to encouraging safe work practices and standards and have a close allegiance with QLD Workplace Health and Safety who often seek our assistance with their tree related investigations in an independent advisory capacity.

A 2016 Reflection

This year is wrapping up with a list of terrible accidents we don’t want to hear about any more in 2017. This all goes to show how much training matters.

2016-reflectionAs we draw to the close of an extremely busy year, it is normally the time to reflect, relax and recoup with the Christmas break fast approaching and the prospect of recharging with a couple of cold beers and the beach at your feet.

On a sad note, while reflecting on the past year, there have been several deaths and serious injury incidents that have occurred in the tree industry and several that are subject to ongoing investigations and coronial court judgements.

Some of accidents that we are hearing about would appear to be caused by lack of maintenance planning and preparation. While others would sadly just seem to be due to unforeseen circumstances.

At Training For Trees we are committed to encouraging safe work practices and standards and have a close allegiance with WHS who often seek our assistance with their investigations in an independent advisory capacity.

Training and Qualifications

So much is happening at the moment within the arboricultural industry. The new Arboricultural qualifications that have been promised for a while are now current. They have generally been revamped and, as all things new usually do, have made a significant improvement over the old training package.

trainingAll industries are assigned to a specific training package which contain a range of competency units together with packaging rules that specify how a particular qualification such as a Certificate III in Arboriculture goes together and meets the requirements of industry.

They also set industry standards regarding assessment outcomes and specify how training and assessment should be carried out under the rules set by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), who are the national regulator for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

Training packages are reviewed and managed through a series of organisations as explained below.


  • AHC30816
    Certificate III in Arboriculture
    Next Date: 22nd July, 2019
  • AHC50516
    Diploma of Arboriculture
    Next Date: 12th August, 2019

Short Courses

  • Information Session AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture
    Next Date: 2nd July, 2019
  • Information session for the AHC50516 Diploma of  Arboriculture
    Next Date: 23rd July, 2019