AVAILABLE THROUGH: Cornwall College Business | LEARNING AREAS: Horticulture, Floristry & Arboriculture COURSES

Arborist Apprenticeship Standard (Tree Surgery)

Cornwall College Business Bicton LEVEL: 2 Horticulture, Floristry & Arboriculture

The arboriculture industry manages trees for their benefits and values in diverse urban and rural locations from city parks and urban woodlands, to country estates and private gardens. The industry manages trees adjacent to highways, railways, watercourses and power lines. The work of an arborist involves diverse activities such as chainsaw work, aerial tree work, pruning, dismantling and using appropriate machinery such as brushwood chippers. The Arborist New Standard Apprenticeship will develop a wide range of skills and knowledge ensuring your apprentice is competent in the workplace. The apprenticeship is delivered at Bicton College, near Exeter.



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Ideal if:

Ideal for anyone interested in starting a career in the arboriculture industry or for current employees wishing to upskill and gain a recognised qualification.

Entry Requirements:

Math and English at level 2 preferred although can be achieved as part of the development programme/apprenticeship. Apprentices will be required to have or achieved level 1 English and maths and to have taken level 2 English and maths tests prior to sitting the End Point Assessment.

You must have a suitable employer and show a  passion and enthusiasm for the industry and have a willingness to work hard and take on new challenges within your job role and at college.

What You Will Learn:

A range of modules including:

  • Current environmental, wildlife and health and safety legislation
  • Standards and codes of practice in relation to arboricultural works
  • Legislation relating to trees e.g. Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas
  • Procedures and specific instructions for dealing with incidents and emergencies
  • Electrical safety for working in the vicinity of power lines
  • Take instruction from the job supervisor and other senior work colleagues to include signing onto the site specific risk assessment/emergency action plan and maintaining records
  • Set out work place signage (highway and non-highway) and assist with traffic control
  • Support aerial tree workers both Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) and climbing with transfer of equipment for aerial tree work operations
  • Perform an aerial rescue of colleague from a rope and harness and a MEWP
  • Prepare sites for planting, plant trees and provide support, protection and aftercare
  • An understanding of the benefits of trees, recognise health and safety needs onsite and work safely at height in the tree under supervision
  • The use and application of arboricultural equipment
  • Take appropriate care of tools, equipment and customer property
  • The principles of the establishment, growth and care of trees
  • Recognise a basic range of tree and shrub species using common and scientific names
  • Carry out a range of ground-based pruning opertations
  • Fell and process small trees
  • Identify pests, diseases, disorders and tree defects
  • Current environmental, wildlife and health and safety legislation, standards and codes of practice in relation to arboricultural works.



College will be typically one day per week in the first year and one day per month in year two with the mandatory short courses being delivered and assessed on different days where possible.

You’ll love:

The inclusion of industry specific qualifications.  The knowledge and behaviours that the apprentice will need to acquire.  The content and method of assessment of the standard.  Tuition from a range of highly experienced, qualified and knowledgeable staff and employer partners.  You will complete a series of short courses as part of this qualification which include:

  • Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid
  • Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides
  • Level 2 Award in safe use of brushwood chipper
  • Traffic Management (NRSWA Unit 002 Signing, Lighting and Guarding) OR Sector Scheme 12D
  • Level 2 Award in chainsaw maintenance
  • Level 2 Award in crosscutting timber using a chainsaw
  • Level 2 Award in felling and processing timber up to 380mm
  • Level 2 Award in accessing a tree using rope and harness
  • Level 3 Award in aerial tree rescue operations
  • Level 3 Award in aerial cutting of trees using free fall techniques
  • Level 2 award in safe use of mobile elevated work platform
  • Level 3 award in use of a chainsaw from a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP)


An opportunity to progress onto a higher level arborist standard on completion of the Level 2  Apprenticeship Standard.


Arborist Apprenticeship (Tree Surgery)

Start Date

This course is offered throughout the year, please contact us for the latest start dates.




18 to 24 months

*Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The college reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility. The Cornwall College Group reserves the right to withdraw any course listed at any time.