8 Week Course

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This is the perfect fast track entry course which will make you immediately employable as a tree surgeon in the arboriculture industry. 

Course content

The majority of the training is focussed on passing the industry recognised NPTC qualifications stated below. Students will be required to do some self-study in their own time in order to consolidate information given during the day.

All students will be required to have their own Chainsaw Personal Protective Equipment but all tree climbing equipment, chainsaws and tools will be provided.

The course involves Health and Safety, tree identification, tree health, tree law, chainsaw maintenance, felling trees, tree climbing and aerial rescue techniques, using chainsaw aloft from rope and harness, pruning techniques, First Aid training, use of mobile woodchipper, use of mobile elevating work platform (MEWP).

Students will be expected to self-study in their own time to consolidate daily course information. 


  • NPTC/City & Guilds Award in Chainsaw and Related Operations
  • NPTC/City & Guilds Award for Felling and Processing Small Trees
  • NPTC/City & Guilds Award to Climb Trees and Perform Aerial Rescue
  • NPTC/City & Guilds Award to Operate a Chainsaw from a Rope and Harness
  • NPTC/City & Guilds Award in Safe use of mobile elevated work platform
  • Certificate of Competence in Manually Fed Woodchipper Operations
  • One Day First Aid plus forestry unit
  • Candidates will also gain a City and Guilds Level 2 certificate in Forestry and Arboriculture

Please do not delay your booking – to guarantee your place, please book 2 weeks in advance of course date

Entry Requirements:

Although you won't necessarily need forestry or arboriculture experience, you'll need to be over 19 years old, physically fit and have a good head for heights. 

Dates & Location:
  • 6th January - 28th February 2020
  • 9th March - 1st May 2020

Plumpton College


8 week Intensive Tree Surgery Course, 5 days a week, full-time


Tuition £1850*

assessment Fees £740

*funding may be available subject to eligibility 


We’re pretty proud of our facilities here at Plumpton. In fact in the land-based sector, we’ve got some of the leading college facilities in the UK – the perfect natural location for our forestry and arboriculture courses for you to develop your skills.

  • Discover the latest equipment for your course

You’ll work on various equipment such as tractors, a wood miser saw mill plus a range of wood chippers.

  • Extensive grounds for you to develop your skills

You’ll need to be able to work in a variety of locations, build your knowledge by discovering our farmed land, hedgerows and streams.

  • Experience our fantastic modern facilities

You’ll be able to gain practical experience and knowledge of the tree-based sector thanks to our links with local land owners and estates.

This intensive eight-week course, developed as part of an innovative partnership between the Forestry Commission, Plumpton College in Sussex and the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) has been given official approval for those transitioning out of the military. The course, leading to the RFS Cert Arboriculture/Forestry, is the first land-based skills course to have been approved by the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) –  the MoD official  provider of resettlement support for all the Armed Forces. It aims to raise awareness of the forestry industry within the military and the valuable transferable skills that ex-service people have that would suit the sector.

Candidates will qualify for the prestigious Royal Forestry Society Certificate in Arboriculture

Future Opportunities

This is an ideal route for people who wish to enter the tree work industry and provides the opportunity to gain the industry ‘tickets’ that employers are seeking. Employment opportunities exist in both the private and public sectors and many students have set up their own businesses following the course.

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