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Two contractors removed from Scheme

Author:  John Parker, CEO
  01/03/2024
Last Updated:  01/03/2024

John Parker, CEO

In 2023, two Approved Contractors (ACs) were removed from the Scheme for failing to meet the required standard.

Both were found to have committed major breaches of the Association’s Code of Conduct & Ethics and were sanctioned through the Complaints Procedure. One of the contractors was removed after video evidence emerged of dangerous work practices adjacent to the highway. The other was found to have knowingly worked on protected trees without the relevant permissions. This AC had also been found to have been guilty of a similar offence in 2021, but had been issued with a final warning in the hope that the same mistakes would not be made again. Unfortunately, the company persisted in this behaviour, and was removed from the Scheme as a result.

If the AC Scheme is to continue to be regarded as a robust, credible accreditation system and a badge of quality for those who achieve it, then it is essential we maintain standards and hold to account any contractor who fails to meet those standards. We will always try to work with contractors to encourage them to improve, but sometimes the ultimate sanction of removal is necessary. In accordance with our Complaints Procedure, complaints are reviewed by the CEO and – if validated – are sent for consideration to a panel made up of Association members who volunteer to help with this task. Recommended sanctions are then reviewed by Standards Committee and a final decision made and issued.

Whilst it is regrettable that we have to occasionally take action such as this, we hope that in doing so we are sending a clear message. To private tree owners, the AC Scheme’s online register should be the first port of call for anyone looking for an arborist. To local authorities, you can have confidence when directing members of the public to contractors who are part of the Scheme, and it is worth including AC Scheme accreditation as one of the requirements to work on your trees. To those contractors who are not part of the Scheme, we invite you to consider it. And to those contractors who are already members of the Scheme, we hope this demonstrates that we share your determination to keep improving standards in arboriculture.

You can find all of the relevant documentation – including the AC Scheme Handbook, AC Scheme Standards 2024, Complaints Procedure and Code of Conduct & Ethics – on the Association’s website.


This article was taken from Issue 204 Spring 2024 of the ARB Magazine, which is available to view free to members by simply logging in to the website and viewing your profile area.