November 14, 2022

What Does It Mean To Be TCIA Accredited?

NUF recently underwent an audit to review our TCIA accreditation standing. This audit takes place every 3 years and it is the Tree Care Industry Association’s method of certifying that a company continues to follow best business practices.

The tree care industry has long been the wild wild west for tree companies. Unlike other professional services like electricians and contractors, anyone can pick up a chainsaw, hop in a truck and become a “tree surgeon.” The Tree Care Industry Association (or TCIA) was established in 1938 to “advance tree care businesses,” and is one of two main professional organizations in the tree care industry. The International Society of Arboriculture was established founded in 1924 recognizing the arborist certification beginning in  1992, and the general public still has little understanding of what an “arborist” is or does.

Accreditation with the TCIA is a voluntary rigorous qualification that verifies tree care companies operate to the highest professional standards.

Before a company can be TCIA accredited they must go through a detailed audit of the business. The list includes looking at the following criteria:

  • Business Plan
  • Training Resources
  • Safety documentation — including safety meetings, accident reporting etc.
  • DOT compliance
  • Personnel Files
  • Insurance Requirements
  • Budgeting and Payroll
  • Proposals and Work Orders
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Code of Ethics  
  • Appropriate licensure both industry specific and general business

The company is also required to have at least one CTSP (Certified Tree Safety Profession) on staff at all times. This person oversees the safety program of the company. They also must have at least one ISA Certified Arborist for every 10 employees. NUF currently employs 11 ISA certified arborists.

The auditor goes through financial and operating data and also visits the facility and on-site operations to verify that all business activities are within the standards that they have set forth for best practices. This process can take years to prepare for and is both rigorous and thorough.

We choose to maintain this status:

  • As a promise to our clients to deliver the highest quality service
  • As a promise to our employees to provide the safest possible work environment
  • As a promise to our community to learn and grow in the field of arboriculture and to always seek the best and most up-to-date information, practices and training.

We choose to maintain this status to go above and beyond tree removal or tree pruning or plant healthcare. We do this to always strive to be better at our profession and show we are beyond capable of just doing the job, but doing the job safely and with the utmost care and professionalism.