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TRAQ to replace QTRA


sloth
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It would be nice if you were attending, as it's something I'm planning to go to myself. Good to put a face to the name.

 

Likewise. I seem to have persuaded the family that Preston is lovely at that time of year. Now i need to think of some cracking questions for David Lonsdale.

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I see that the 11th June session is north of Preston, a definite bonus. I'll see if I can double it up with a visit to family in Lancaster. And I need to get over my anti-American bias and loathing of the term 'Arborist', and join the CAS.

 

I don't know if I mentioned it here on Artalk before, but I had plans to research and publish a paper on risk perception and comparisons of qualitative and quantitative methods. Then I ended up surveying in Wales all winter, the commuting (time) nearly finished me off and I put it the adminintensive proposal on hold. I'd be happy to revive it if someone wants to pitch in. I am partly put off by the prevalent (but tankfully not unanimous) attitude that doing tree risk asssessment better and more easily than it already is doesn't matter. Co-write credit of course if it gets to the Journal (which it should), always nice to get research peer reviewed and published. QTRA or TRAQ devotees need not apply...

 

This sounds interesting, I would be keen to read such a paper. I have an assignment to do which involves trying to develop a new (different to what is already available) method of tree risk assessment. I'm currently avoiding it, mainly as I have lots of other things to be getting on with but also because I find it difficult to see beyond QTRA of which I am most familiar.

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This sounds interesting, I would be keen to read such a paper. I have an assignment to do which involves trying to develop a new (different to what is already available) method of tree risk assessment. I'm currently avoiding it, mainly as I have lots of other things to be getting on with but also because I find it difficult to see beyond QTRA of which I am most familiar.

 

I am keen to write such a paper, but like most folk I have a living to earn which gets in the way of such niceties as pure research without financial reward.

 

That's a tough assignment you have. It took ISA two years and a cast of thousands to come up with TRAQ, and it was basically a re-hash of what it already had.

 

Can I ask, what level of qualification is this assignment for?

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I am keen to write such a paper, but like most folk I have a living to earn which gets in the way of such niceties as pure research without financial reward.

 

That's a tough assignment you have. It took ISA two years and a cast of thousands to come up with TRAQ, and it was basically a re-hash of what it already had.

 

Can I ask, what level of qualification is this assignment for?

 

Initially It seems a near impossible task.

I don't think it is possible to come up with a totally new concept as the fundamentals are the same.

The important bit is understanding what elements need to be considered when assessing the risk from trees and looking at how risks are assessed in other industries as well as in arboriculture and trying to come up with something a bit different.

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I wasn't fully aware of the background to the proposed changes from CAS so asked Mark Chester for an update - he has given this response:

 

The Consulting Arborist Society recognises a number of skills whereby an arboricultural consultant can demonstrate competency. These are known as Areas of Professional Competency (APCs). The first APC, which was the starting point for founding the society back in 2003, was the Mortgage course. QTRA was added in 2005.

Several years ago, all of the courses were reviewed to ensure they fitted the model with assessment of competency. Lantra’s Professional Tree Inspector qualification was added at this time.

A limitation of QTRA is that not only is there no minimum entry requirement, there is also no assessment of a candidate’s competency. Operators use the system under license. It therefore does not fit in to the CAS model. As such, the CAS Board of Directors has recommended that it should no longer be recognised as a CAS Competency.

The ISA’s Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ), by contrast, has a minimum entry requirement and delegates need to be qualified to at least level 2 in arboriculture. Assessment follows two full days of classroom and field exercises, and consists of two practical tree inspections and a 100 question Multiple Choice paper, all of which is overseen by the ISA. It is critically acclaimed and internationally recognised. It also fits the CAS model.

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I wasn't fully aware of the background to the proposed changes from CAS so asked Mark Chester for an update - he has given this response:

 

The Consulting Arborist Society recognises a number of skills whereby an arboricultural consultant can demonstrate competency. These are known as Areas of Professional Competency (APCs). The first APC, which was the starting point for founding the society back in 2003, was the Mortgage course. QTRA was added in 2005.

Several years ago, all of the courses were reviewed to ensure they fitted the model with assessment of competency. Lantra’s Professional Tree Inspector qualification was added at this time.

A limitation of QTRA is that not only is there no minimum entry requirement, there is also no assessment of a candidate’s competency. Operators use the system under license. It therefore does not fit in to the CAS model. As such, the CAS Board of Directors has recommended that it should no longer be recognised as a CAS Competency.

The ISA’s Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ), by contrast, has a minimum entry requirement and delegates need to be qualified to at least level 2 in arboriculture. Assessment follows two full days of classroom and field exercises, and consists of two practical tree inspections and a 100 question Multiple Choice paper, all of which is overseen by the ISA. It is critically acclaimed and internationally recognised. It also fits the CAS model.

 

Thanks, and just when I thought I was getting my head around this and about to jon the CAS....

 

So (and by all means say you don't know and direct me instead to the CAS), does this mean that I could not get a CAS competency in tree risk assessment if I don't pass the TRAQ training and exam (including having the implied minimum entry requirements)? Even if I have the PTI qualification? Even if I have my own tried and tested tree risk assessment system?

 

Will QTRA competent CAS members have to re-train to use TRAQ? Will the QTRA competency in fact disappear, replaced with a TRAQ competency?

 

I'm not getting this so far, am I? On the CAS website it is clear that the BS5837 competence is by peer review. This seems logical. So why can't tree risk assessment be by peer review, or even better by one of a number of routes (QTRA + Level 2, TRAQ (which includes level 2) or peer review)?

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This is making less and less sense. CAS says that QTRA is deficient by having no minimum entry requirement. It says TRAQ is better in part by having a level 2 qualification requirement. But membership of CAS requires level 4. Anyone getting into CAS and having QTRA surely meets and exceeds the requirements of CAS and TRAQ by some considerable extent?

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