ISA Certification is a voluntary program that tests and certifies the achievement of a professional level of knowledge and skill in the field of arboriculture. When the arborist becomes an ISA Certified Arborist®, he/ she is recognized by the peers and the public as a tree care professional who has attained a generally-accepted level of knowledge in areas such as tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices, safety, and other subject and practice areas within the tree care profession as identified through periodic job task analyses. Hiring a Certified Arborist provides tree owners and government decision makers the opportunity to become better informed about proper tree care and their selection of services based on the expertise represented by the credential.
For details, please download "cert-Application-Certified-Arborist.pdf" at the bottom of this page.
Before applying for the ISA CA Examination
1. Check if the candidate is eligible to apply for the exam
The ISA Credentialing Council requires the candidate to have a minimum of three (3) years of full-time experience in arboriculture OR a combination of education and practical arboricultural experience.
- Minimum of three (3) years of full-time experience in arboriculture; OR
- Two(2)-year associate degree with a minimum of two (2) courses directly related to arboriculture + two (2) years of practical full-time experience in arboriculture; OR
- Four(4)-year bachelor degree with a minimum of four (4) courses directly related to arboriculture + one (1) year of practical full-time experience in arboriculture; OR
- 900 hours of Assessment-Based Certificate Programs (Diplomas, Certificates) with a minimum focus of 90 hours directly related to arboriculture + two (2) years of practical fulltime experience in arboriculture; OR
- 1,800 hours of Assessment-Based Certificate Programs (Diplomas, Certificates) with a minimum focus of 180 hours directly related to arboriculture + one (1) year of practical fulltime experience in arboriculture.
For the details of the eligibility, please refer to page 3 - 4 of "cert-Application-Certified-Arborist.pdf"
2. Prepare documentation proof of work experience
Documentation of work experience is required with submittal of examination application.
Download "CertApp-Current_PreviousEmployer.pdf" at the bottom of this page. Complete all the fields in this application form.
Practical arboriculture related experience should be clearly listed at "duties and responsibilities" section. For example, "assist arborist in Tree Risk Assessment, work, survey and greening by providing support on field inspection and report preparation"; "Analyse plants on nutrients deficiency, disease infestation or pest infestation"; "Perform forestry and vegetation management work", etc.
3. Prepare the transcripts of Educational Experience
If the candidates apply by choosing the combination of education and practical arboricultural experience, supporting documentation in educational experience (i.e. transcripts) is needed.
Save the transcripts in PDF format or JPG format. The size of each file cannot be exceeded 3MB.
4. Create an account in ISA website
Creating account in ISA website (www.isa-arbor.com)
is important. All the kinds of applications and status can be checked in this website.
If the candidates do not have an account in ISA website, Asia Tree Preservation (ATP) shall create the account on behalf of the candidates. In order to create the account, the candidates need to provide the following information:
- English full name (same as HK ID card)
- Mailing address*
- Contact phone number*
- Have you ever been a member of ISA? Yes/ No (If yes, please provide member number)
- Have you ever held an ISA credential? Yes/ No (If yes, please provide Certification ID)
* As this account belongs to the candidate, he/ she should provide personal mailing address, personal email and personal contact phone number, instead of the company contact.
If the candidates own the accounts in ISA website, inform ATP the login information so that ATP can upload the CA exam application and settle the exam application payment on behalf of the candidates.
Apply for the ISA CA examination
1. Submit all the necessary documentation and information to Cecilia Ng, the Education Programme Executive of ATP (firstname.lastname@example.org
) before the deadline stated. ATP shall verify the pre-requisite qualification of the candidates.
2. ATP creates accounts on behalf of the candidates, including setting up temporary password of the accounts. The candidate shall receive notification after setting up.
3. ATP uploads the necessary documentation to ISA website.
4. Incomplete applications shall be returned to the applicant. ISA Credentialing Council may request the candidates to provide additional documentation demonstrating that he/ she meets the eligibility criteria.
ISA Credentialing Council shall not notify ATP. They would send email to the candidates directly regarding the application status. When the candidates receive these kind of emails, they MUST forward to ATP to follow up.
5. When the applicants receive notice that the application is approved, inform ATP and wait. ATP shall not settle the exam fee one by one. ATP shall settle the payment when the applicants of the whole class are approved by ISA.
6. After the payment is settled, enrolment confirmation shall be sent to the applicants. Inform ATP so that ATP is up-to-dated.
Schedule the exam
The computer-based exam is scheduled and held through Pearson VUE. Instruction on how to schedule the date and time with Pearson VUE shall be sent to candidates via email. The candidates can schedule the date and time by themselves. They are provided a 90-day authorization period to schedule AND take the exam. After scheduling, confirmation email shall be sent to the candidates, including the location, date, and the time of the exam.
ISA Credentialing Council shall not notify ATP. They would send the enrolment confirmation email to the candidates directly. When the candidates receive these kind of emails, they MUST forward to ATP so that ATP is up-to-dated about the candidates' exam dates and time.
Rescheduling exam or additional 90-day authorization period requests
The candidates can reschedule the exam through Pearson VUE website within the 90-day authorization period without any extra cost. Requests must be received no later than one (1) business day prior to the scheduled exam date. If contact is less than one (1) business day, the candidate shall be considered a no-show and all exam fees shall be forfeited. Registrations are not transferrable to another person as well.
The candidates can also request an additional 90-day computer-based authorization period within the candidates' current 90-day authorization period. After approved by ISA, a fee of USD50 shall apply to make the change. If the request is not received by ISA before the exam deadline date or is beyond the 90-day authorization period, the candidate shall be considered a no-show and all the exam fees shall be forfeited.
ATP shall not pay for any no-show nor be responsible for any rescheduling, rescheduling follow up and any additional cost.
Failure to schedule the exam
If the candidate fails to schedule the exam within the 90-day authorization period, the candidate shall be considered a no-show and all exam fees will be forfeited.
Failure to attend the exam
No refunds or discounts shall be issued if the candidate does not attend or complete the exam. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. The candidate shall be considered a no-show and the exam taken.
The candidate has to re-enrol along with paying the required retake fees USD75 and the computer-based administrative fee USD125.
ATP shall not pay for any no-show nor the retake fee plus the computer-based administrative fee due to failure to attend the exam.
Retake the exam
If the candidate does not attend the exam or fail in the exam, the candidate can retake the exam. The candidate shall have only one (1) year from the first scheduled exam date to retake the exam.
The candidate is allowed one (1) free re-take and then shall be charged a USD75 fee per retake up to one year from the original date that the candidate took the exam. Each time a computer-based exam is selected, USD125 administrative fee applies.
ATP shall pay for the first time retake plus the computer-based exam administrative fee only if the candidates attended but did not pass the exam.
ATP shall not pay individually when ever we receive retake requests. ATP shall settle the retake payment once a month.