TCIA and ISA

owScott

Well-Known Member
Location
Lafayette
Here is the discussion I would like to have. I see companies that are members or accredited TCIA members that are not ISA certified arborists. TCIA is like the BBB, they require a fee and basically judge if you run a good business there is no requirement to pass any test demonstrating any level of competency or knowledge of aboriculture. An ISA cert does. TCIA and companies that advertise TCIA accreditations seem to present the idea that members have demonstrated some basic knowledge of aboriculture which I think is misleading to the average customer looking for a good tree service that does quality work. There is a reason some cities require ISA certs for licensing but no TCIA accreditation. I understand that TCIA does alot around education in the tree care industry. They are an industry organization. They are a for profit organization that seems to claw away at being relevant. This isn't a pro ISA rant, they too seem to continue to sell certfications by the pound also. Difference is ISA created the gold standard for basic understanding of arboriculture, like it or not. I guess my issue is companies calling their TCIA membership a credential and TCIA presenting itself as any standard of knowledge or credential. I am not saying companies with a TCIA accreditation and no ISA cert do bad work just that it misleads people, and I dont think thats by accident.
 
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Tony

Well-Known Member
Location
Lancaster, PA
The best way to describe it is TCIA is business accreditation Assuring good business practice.

ISA issues certifications or qualifications for individuals.

Two different things.

A TCIA accredited company requires ISA certified individuals to be in the orginization. I for every 10 employ if I remember correctly.

Tony
 

owScott

Well-Known Member
Location
Lafayette
The best way to describe it is TCIA is business accreditation Assuring good business practice.

ISA issues certifications or qualifications for individuals.

Two different things.

To an accredited company requires ISA certified individuals to be in the orginization. I for every 10 employ if I remember correctly.

Tony
So on the TCIA website under requirements for accreditation it doesnt say ISA certifried arborist. Also why would a company advertise TCIA accredited but show no ISA afiliation? If what your are saying is correct that answers some questions.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
I don't get the consumer benefit of TCIA accreditation as much either. I think it offers great internal strength measurement.

I guess it provides a measure of "legitimacy". But if a company has been established for 10-15-20+ years, isn't that just as good a measure?

I have been (my company, that is) a TCIA member since I started, and think it is a great organization. They play an important role in the industry. I just don't see why customers should care too much about Accreditation. Agreed @owScott I think there is some intentional misleading happening. ISA certifications are the ones more relevant to consumers.
 

Tony

Well-Known Member
Location
Lancaster, PA
As a member of a family owned business that was as one of the first to be accredited by TCIA and has maintained that status through numerous re-accreditation processes, I can say that the process is fair, equitable, and thorough.

Is it for every business? No. The small owner-operators, the single crew ware-many-hats-tree companies would benefit little and just have another hand in their pocket if the business goals are to remain small and concise.

For the small company starting out that has larger aspirations, TCIA accreditation offers a clear path and plan for responsible business growth. It is just one such plan/path, but it has been developed in and for this industry.

I think the best way to look at accreditation programs like TCIA’s is to compare them to things like ISO or ANSI quality control programs or even UL labels. Companies/ products that have them meet certain requirements. The consumer can trust the certifying body to have “done the homework.”

The key word there is trust. That can only be gained by researching the program, comparing it to others out there and making a sound decision based on business goals, preferred operating procedure, and business philosophy.

Many of the comments thus far about the legitimacy and value of the TCIA program were said about ISA’s Certified Arborist Program in the mid to late ’80s when it was starting.

In my direct experience, TCIA’s validation and assurance of adherence to standards for the accreditation program is far better than ISA’s certification program. I know several ISA certified arborists that do substandard work, improperly display the logo, and knowingly misrepresent themselves as CA’s. I have yet to run into an accredited company that does not consistently measure up to the accreditation standards.

Part of this may be a function of scale. Only time will tell.

Tony
 

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