Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

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ICoP and Technical Guides update

Author:  Simon Richmond
Last Updated:  26/08/2020

Simon Richmond, Senior Technical Officer

Industry Code of Practice for Arboriculture – Tree work at Height


Following the publication of the second edition of the Industry Code of Practice for Arboriculture – Tree work at Height (ICoP) as a free-to-download online resource from the AA website, we now have printed, hard-copy stock of the document which is available to purchase from the AA bookshop: www.trees.org.uk/Book-Shop. It is priced at cost, just £5 per copy, and will be an essential reference for all those responsible for planning and managing tree work at height.

Technical Guides (TG) update

TG1: Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue

When you read this, the industry consultation for this Technical Guide will be complete (due to close on 7th August) and the authors will be busy reviewing comments, suggestions and proposals received. Many thanks to all of those who have contributed. There will of course be a period of revision to consider all the constructive responses to the consultation and to accommodate additional technical content, edits and rephrasing, etc. where required. Final images and illustrations will also be completed, and the last stages of the design and final proofing can then take place. The document will then be ready to print and publish.

TG1: An example page spread from the industry consultation document

TG1: An example page spread from the industry consultation document.

TG2: Use of Tools in the Tree

The text for TG2 is complete and final photos and illustrations are currently being collated to fit into the design layout. This process should be complete by end of September.

TG3: Rigging and Dismantling

As reported previously, this Technical Guide will be the last to be finalised and will require more peer review work and industry consultation, due to the technical complexity of the subject area. For this reason, we have decided to proceed with publication of TG1, 2, 4 and 5 in the autumn, and TG3 will follow when the detailed content has been properly developed, checked and ratified by industry.

TG4: The Use of Mobile Cranes in Tree Work

This guide is complete and in the final design layout, soon ready for print.

TG5: The Use of MEWPs in Tree Work

The text for this guide is at the final editing stage and we are waiting for some remaining images before it, too, will go through the design and layout process prior to being sent to the printers.

Safety Guides

As explained before, each of the Technical Guides will have a corresponding Safety Guide, available as a free PDF download from our website. Each of the Safety Guides is compiled of all the ‘checklist’ items from the Technical Guide, making a quick, easy-access summary of all the key safety-critical aspects of each task or operation. The checklist items are phrased as a question, making it easy to quickly check that everything is in place and safe working practices are being followed. The Safety Guides can also be used as an individual audit sheet, with the last page set out to record the date of observation, operator(s) involved, who is observing, any action points arising, and so on. This can be used in paper form or directly on screen and the recorded observation then forms part of an organisation’s quality assurance audit procedure.


So, we hope to be able to offer four of the five guides in the suite, printed and available to purchase, plus their respective safety guides as free-to-download PDFs, during the autumn. It is a little too early to predict a publication date but keep an eye on the AA website and social media outputs to ensure that you are among the first to get access to this long-awaited and hugely valuable resource.

This article was taken form Issue 190 Autumn 2020 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.