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With thousands of miles of cables the UK electrical distribution network is a marvel of engineering however the network is dependant on vegetation management to keep the lines working as they should.  The surveying of vegetation near powerlines is an essential part of the work to keep power flowing, this qualification allows you to demonstrate that you have what it takes to carry out this highly specialised work safely and efficiently.

The finer details

This is a regulated qualification that has been registered with Ofqual.

Completing the qualification will count as a license to practice for those that wish to do vegetation surveys around power networks.

The qualification is made up of four mandatory units and two mandatory optional units to give two distinct pathways within the qualification and one optional additional unit. Learners must complete all the mandatory units and at least one mandatory optional unit in order to gain the qualification. 

This page Relates specifically to the Electrical networks pathway if you search for Level 3 Award in Utility Arboriculture – Surveyor (Railway Networks) you can see the information regarding the other pathway.

Who should attend?

This qualification has been developed for individuals carrying out roles in surveying and controlling vegetation in proximity to Power lines, particularly in the utility arboricultural sector.

What will be covered?

This qualification covers the following:

  • Understanding of the significance of botanical nomenclature.
  • Being able to identify broadleaf tree species.
  • Being able to identify coniferous tree species.
  • Being able to identify a range of shrubs.
  • Understanding of the significance of the differing characteristics of species in relation to overhead line clearance.
  • Understanding of hazards associated with climbing plants.
  • Understanding of hazards and defects related to trees.
  • Understanding ill health in trees.
  • Be able to identify decay fungi and its significance.
  • The ability to demonstrate a knowledge of trees and their characteristics.
  • Understanding of how veteran trees in proximity of utilities should be managed.
  • Understanding of what is meant by the term ‘dangerous overhang’ and how it can affect utilities.
  • Understanding of the use of pruning in maintaining the infrastructure.
  • Understanding of the need to deal with of arisings appropriately. 
  • Understanding of the implications of environmental legislation.
  • Understanding of the limitations of the use of herbicides.
  • Understanding the importance of linear utilities as wildlife corridors.
  • Understanding the importance of managing hedgerows.
  • Demonstration of an understanding of protected species.
  • Health and Safety Management.
  • Understanding of the role of utility surveyor.
  • Negotiation of the necessary permissions for work to be carried out.
  • Carrying out a line span survey and making recommendations.
  • Understanding where additional contact/ precautions over and above the standard contact with the landowner might be required.
  • Demonstrating knowledge of the legislation and guidelines pertaining to vegetation management in proximity of electrical systems.
  • Understanding of electrical diagrams and maps.

There is also an optional additional unit that covers:

  • The ability to understand the safe working requirements for undertaking tree surveys and inspections.
  • Being able to understand the legal framework relating to tree inspection and survey.
  • Understanding the significance of ‘survey’ as opposed to ‘inspection’.
  • Understanding of the application of a range of equipment for tree inspections.
  • Being able to identify the signs and symptoms of tree hazards.
  • Understanding of the categorisation of risk. 
  • Carrying out tree inspections.
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