Review of Arboriculture, Forestry and Horticulture or Landscape Apprenticeships

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It’s time to review the apprenticeship standards launched in 2017 and 2018 to ensure they are up to date and can meet the needs of our industries. To ensure we have the right workforce for the future, the Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group for the Arborist, Forest Operative and Landscape or Horticulture Operative and Horticulture or Landscape Supervisor apprenticeships is conducting a review of these level 2/3 standards.

Following a ‘route review’ of agriculture, animal care and environmental apprenticeships, carried out by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE), this more detailed evaluation of our sector-specific standards will provide the feedback, data and contextual information to implement any improvements, amendments, or re-structuring required.

Level 2 Arborist

Level 2 Forest Operative

Level 2 Horticulture or Landscape Operative

Level 3 Landscape or Horticulture Supervisor

The review for all four apprenticeships is being facilitated by the Arboricultural Association (AA), hosting a survey questionnaire and links to the relevant standards, assessment plans, etc. on the AA website: . The survey is designed to be completed by anyone involved in, or interested in, the relevant apprenticeship:

  • Employers (whether currently employing apprentices or not)
  • Training Providers
  • Apprentices
  • Others (e.g. trade bodies, etc)

The survey will be open until 30th April 2021. The Trailblazer’s industry subgroups will then analyse the responses and produce plans for any proposed changes. This work will involve further engagement with stakeholders and any significant changes will be submitted to IFATE for approval before revised standards are launched and available for take up.

Please take advantage of this opportunity to contribute to this important review process. Our sector urgently needs to recruit competent operators and, while this is not a quick fix, it is designed to ensure that the standards are fit for purpose in bringing through the next generation of skilled arborists, foresters, landscapers and horticulturists, to meet the growing needs of our respective industries.

Closes 30th April 2021


For further questions please contact Ros Burnley (  A wider range of high-resolution images are available on request. 

Groups of employers (trailblazers) develop the content for apprenticeships in England.  The arboriculture, forestry, horticulture & landscape trailblazer group was established in 2014 and has representatives from 60 employers, 10 trade bodies, 12 training providers and three awarding organisations.  It aims to:   

  • develop apprenticeships where they are needed
  • monitor and review the apprenticeships they have developed
  • facilitate collaboration with other sub sectors
  • engage with wider skills policy in England

The group developed the arborist, forest operative, horticulture or landscape operative and landscape or horticulture supervisor apprenticeships and they are currently developing the horticulture or landscaping technical manager, professional arboriculturist, arboriculturist and professional forester apprenticeships. 

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