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AA Teccie (Paul)

ARB Approved...views please.

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Firstly, THANK YOU thus far, and acknowledging the good, bad and the ugly...that's exactly what I asked for, and I've not been disappointed :D.

 

The "old boys club" was a phrase I thought we'd got past when we re-structured in 2011 and, actually, at that time and since, many of the older / original contractors have left the scheme (many retired.) That said since the scheme has been in my tenure (since 2005) this has been a perception not a reality, I can assure you.

 

Now I'll go to the individual posts if I may.

 

Thanks again and please "keep um rolling" :thumbup1:

 

Cheers,

Paul

 

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3 hours ago, richy_B said:

What puts me off is that the majority of main local authority arb contractors are arb 'approved' and their gangs are pretty dismal in both quality of work and general approach to arboriculture. I appreciate that will not be everyone but it is certainly not going to be an anomaly either.

It feels less like a mark of quality and more a case if you want to pay a high fee you get to be part of a boys club.

Honest feedback, apologies if it is a bit blunt.

Thanks Richy. I do acknowledge your comments here and the reality is often the larger / largest businesses, undertaking LA work, have a high staff turn-overs and hence maintaining standards is very challenging (in some instances LA specs exacerbate this...and / or rates...but then that's within the arb contracting community control to some extent.) As far as the scheme is concerned we have increased both the frequency of inspections, previously 5 yrs now 2 yrs, and we have increased the numbers of completed work sites we (formally) inspect, previously 1-2 now 3-5, but the reality is this is still only a drop in the ocean and of course the LA / LA TOs also have a role to play.

 

I can reassure you that often these larger contractors are subject to additional / annual visits where it becomes apparent work standards aren't what they should be...but then tomorrow's another day and we're not there. (As you rightly say this situation is not applicable to all larger contractors.)

 

Thanks again for your 'bluntness'  9_9

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3 hours ago, swinny said:

Are your examiners nptc qualified? The people that come out to check companies over?

Hi Swinny, thanks for your post.

 

Most are / have been and/or are business owners themselves. What I would say here is that whilst skills and competence assessments are important, and relevant of course, the process of worksite safety inspection is not an NPTC assessment (hence a contractor wouldn't fail if they forgot to place their visor down or ear defenders on, as a one-off (or maybe two-off), in the way they would / should with an NPTC test (the analogy I sometimes use is you are allowed to cross your hands on th steering wheel, occasionally, which you couldn't on your driving test.)   

 

Additionally, all the assessors are NEBOSH H&S qualified and SSiP auditors...albeit not directly relevant to work site safety inspections, or at least not the operational aspects.

 

Cheers :thumbup1:

Paul

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3 hours ago, Rough Hewn said:

What's the cost?

Hi there, thanks for the post.

 

The cost is variable dependent upon the business size...and there are two costs associated (all are plus VAT.)

1. Assessment fees (in Yr 1 & 3) - varies from £495 - £1,950

2. Annual scheme management fees - varies from £305 - £1080

 

The costs are significant, and these are the direct costs, BUT they can be financially beneficial to the business leading to contract opportunities and "opening doors."

 

Cheers :thumbup1:

Paul

  

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I'd quite like to be arb approved and think the standard of work me and the team produce would easily qualify, my business/paperwork side of things not so much! Going to go down the CHAS route I think,

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As you well know Paul I have nearly done it a few times before but I still can’t see how it will help me, I’m stacked out with work do a fair bit of large commercial works for national company’s and the usual domestics but I have never been asked for AAAc , I’m happy to do it if it means some thing and gains me but I cant see it , we have all the accreditation needed for large commercial company’s and trust mark for domestics .

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16 minutes ago, john p said:

I'd quite like to be arb approved and think the standard of work me and the team produce would easily qualify, my business/paperwork side of things not so much! Going to go down the CHAS route I think,

Ironically CHAS will look at your paperwork and not your finished tree work John. I think you should go for it mate as i think the more  the better and i agree your work quality always looks spot on to me. The office/paperwork side of things does look daunting initially however reality is that we do most of the compliance stuff anyway . Im always happy to offer advice if you want it. 

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Ironically CHAS will look at your paperwork and not your finished tree work John. I think you should go for it mate as i think the more  the better and i agree your work quality always looks spot on to me. The office/paperwork side of things does look daunting initially however reality is that we do most of the compliance stuff anyway . Im always happy to offer advice if you want it. 

Thanks mate, appreciated, the Chas thing just seems a lot more attainable, my paperwork/ h+s policy is dreadful! Been in touch with a company that can sort all that side out of it for me including Chas registration for £750, which seems reasonable, once that's in place it'll be a good stepping stone to AAAC.
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or do the paperwork and the reduction yourself as I did
ive been arb approved coming up 6 years, it has opened doors for some of the well paying work that we do now, for example the national trust near us will only use arb approved contractors.

Twice I've been asked to come into firms trying to be arb approved....all I'm trying to say is that " the wool is so easy to pull " so many of the larger firms need to be arb approved these days to seal the deal on LA contracts ..etc. that I don't think it carries the status it once did unfortunately. Like a few have already stated I won a contract because I was arb approved....why ..

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3 hours ago, jfc said:

I think there will be too many hoops to jump through, I am a sole trader and don't have policies on this or that, which I guess you would be looking for.

 

I also went down the Trusted Trader route, whereby the local Trading Standards vet you and check you are not an unscrupulous trader. I know it doesn't check the quality of my work but it counts for something and works, and only cost £100 p.a.

 

I am an AA associate member btw.

Hi, thanks for your post.

 

The phrase "horses for courses" comes to mind here and if TT is delivering what you need, great. Respectfully, ARB Approval is something completely different and, being a broad spectrum accreditation, we do look at aspects of the business, and you, that TT or similar schemes wouldn't.

 

Thank you for your Associate Membership :thumbup1:

 

Cheers,

Paul

 

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