Industry Qualifications

Want To Become An Arborist?

At the QAA, our aim is to provide information that makes the industry safer and more efficient, all the while providing continual learning to improve skill sets and quality of work.

We believe that by increasing the number of qualified, experienced, and insured businesses, the number of dangerous businesses who risk the safety of themselves, their staff and the public while completing work will decrease.

This, in turn, will make the industry safer for those working in it while also giving the general public confidence that work is being carried out by accredited and professional businesses.

That’s why we are committed to providing continuous learning opportunities for those in the arboricultural industry. These include educational workshops, practical training, climbing competitions, industry discussions, and community networking sessions.

What Is An Arborist?

An arborist is a trained and knowledgeable professional who specialises in the care and maintenance of trees. Their primary focus is on the health, safety, and well-being of individual trees and woody plants within a landscape. Arborists possess expertise in tree biology, physiology, and the art and science of proper tree care.

Arborists work in various settings, including residential properties, parks, urban environments, and commercial landscapes. They may be employed by tree care companies, government agencies, municipalities, or work independently as contractors or consultants.

The following Arboriculture programs are nationally recognised qualifications that can be used to work around Queensland, Australia or the world.

The QAA recommends that all Contractors hold a minimum of a Certificate III qualification while a Consulting Arborist should be Diploma qualified.

Further information on courses can be found below.

AHC30820 – Certificate III in Arboriculture

Qualification Description

The Certificate III in Arboriculture is a formal trade qualification [apprenticeship] in Queensland.

Possible job titles relevant to this qualification include the general title Arborist, and the specialisation titles:

  • Climbing Arborist
  • EWP Arborist
  • Ground-based Arborist
  • Work Co-Ordinator Arborist

The qualification covers both ground-based workers and those working at heights. This qualification does not require a person to work at heights, however, units that include the skills and knowledge required to work at heights, both from an elevated work platform (EWP) and by climbing trees, may be included in specialisation streams.

It’s important to note to become a trade qualified arborist you are required to undertake specialised training and certification through a Registered Training Organisation [RTO].

Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements for this qualification.

Please note though occupational licensing, legislative, or certification requirements may apply to this qualification in some jurisdictions. Specific determination should be sought through the relevant State or Territory Department or your RTO.

To find a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) near you, please visit the website.

AHC50520 – Diploma of Arboriculture

What is a Diploma Qualified Arborist?

An AQF level 5 arborist is generally referred to as a Consulting Arborist who holds a Diploma of Arboriculture qualification. They generally provide specialised services and cover a wide range of topics related to tree management, including advanced tree care techniques, risk assessment, and urban forestry planning.

Qualification Description

This is an advanced qualification designed to further enhance the knowledge and skills of experienced arborists.

Graduates with this qualification assess trees and produce reports and documentation attesting to the health and risks related to trees. They diagnose tree disorders and defects, document and communicate recommendations for tree establishment, canopy management, tree remediation, environmental and habitat development and tree removals, within a legislative and regulatory framework. This may include forensic investigations, expert witness reports, and testimonials in a legal setting.

Upon successful completion of the Diploma of Arboriculture, graduates will have advanced knowledge and skills in arboriculture, enabling them to take on leadership roles, conduct consulting work, and manage complex arboricultural projects. This qualification demonstrates a high level of expertise and professionalism in the field.

It’s important to note to become a Diploma qualified arborist you are required to undertake specialised training and certification through a Registered Training Organisation [RTO].

Keep in mind that specific content and units may vary depending on the Registered Training Organisation [RTO] offering the course.

Entry Requirements

To commence this qualification an individual must have achieved the following units of competency:

  • AHCARB314 Implement a tree maintenance program
  • AHCARB316 Perform pruning operations
  • AHCARB323 Identify trees

Though it needs to be noted that various legislation, regulations and by-laws relating to the establishment, treatment and removal of trees apply in most States and Territories.

To find a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) near you, please visit the website.

Course Overview

  • 1 year part time
  • On Campus (Burnley)
  • Available to domestic and international students
  • Summer Intake – February, Mid-Year Intake – July, and Spring Intake – November

Entry requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Arboriculture

To be considered for entry, you must have completed:

  • An undergraduate degreeor
  • A relevant TAFE or higher education advanced diploma (or equivalent), and 3 years of documented, relevant professional experienceor
  • A relevant TAFE diploma and 4.5 years of documented, relevant professional experience, or
  • At least 6 years of documented, relevant professional experience, including at least 3 years in a demonstrated supervisory role.

This course is not available to international students who require a student visa to study in Australia.


Cities all over the world, from Melbourne to New York, from Beijing to Los Angeles, are looking to boost the number of trees in their public spaces.

The Graduate Certificate in Arboriculture is designed for professionals managing trees or wanting to learn how to manage trees in the urban forest.

In this course, you will study urban forest management, tree growth and function, plant identification and selection, pests and diseases, and environmental stresses – such as climate change.

Study while you work.

To accommodate your existing work commitments, all classes are delivered in an intensive format with online assessment elements.

Learn from a garden campus.

You’ll spend your time with urban forestry experts at our beautiful Burnley campus, where you’ll find an extensive collection of trees – both native and exotic – with an urban forestry and arboriculture research station.

This course is not available to international students who require a student visa to study in Australia.

For more course details, please head to the University of Melbourne Website