The chequered flag has fallen on the first year of the new qualifications for us at Tree Life. It has been a race for all learners and assessors to get work completed in the one year at level 4. The year has been ‘exhausting’ for all of us but nonetheless a good one considering this is the first time of coming to the new grid. The scrutineer otherwise known as the moderator has been to examine our vehicle of operations and passed us fit for purpose. The learners work has also been scrutinised and declared fit for a podium place. We now await official confirmation of the results from the big chiefs at ABC but expect to be wearing winners garlands, holding a trophy and spraying the champagne very soon.
We have learned a lot about these new qualifications having been round the circuit lots of times with different learners (drivers). Some have stayed on track whilst others have taken corners rather more slowly and some have gone into gravel traps along the way. A few have retired from the event altogether citing all sorts of mechanical and electrical reasons. A majority have stayed the course and completed all the laps (assignments) with the assistance of the marshals’ (tutors). A great aspect of the qualification framework is that it allows for learners to go at their own pace to a large extent without grid penalties.
In the pre-season testing we have been in the wind tunnel affectionately called July modifying some components of our assessment methodologies to make them more efficient. We have used a type of DRS (Drag Reduction System) to reduce the drag to learners and assessors alike of some of the assignments. We have also extended the season to provide a longer opportunity for laps to be completed satisfactorily. There are no significant rule changes coming from ABC or the governing body (Ofqual), indeed Ofqual appear to be pre-occupied with another racing incident in a race series called GCSE!
The Tree Life engine has increased its cubic capacity (cc) by appointing a sub-contractor to deliver one of our classes. Darren Blunt is an experienced teacher and holder of the professional diploma and will be a good addition to our team. The pit crew from last year remains the same with Keely remaining team principal. Apart from one class all of our planned classes are full.
It has been apparent from the very first lap that the learners have to stay up to speed with delivery of work in order to get to the end. This is the penalty for no final high stake examinations or testing. Those that have finished I’m convinced have been right on the verge at times of going off and hitting a wall however, they have kept on course through all the troubles and are now able to give post-race interviews with a smile on their faces. For all those that have been successful I hope you have utilised your KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).
For the podium places there has been a question over what post-nominals may be used. We at Tree Life have been campaigning for several months for a resolution to this question and finally we have an answer. The Arboricultural Association, ABC and hopefully the Royal Forestry Society will launch the new post-nominals soon however, I can give you a sneek preview from under the covers.
The accepted convention will be as follows:
Cert Arb L2 (ABC)
Cert Arb L4 (ABC)
Dip Arb L4 (ABC)
Cert Arb L6 (ABC)
Dip Arb L6 (ABC)
We hope that this meets with everyone’s approval, for me it says what the qualification is, at what level it has been attained and who the awarding body is. This should prevent confusion in the future with other similarly named qualifications.
It was definitely a long season and already the new one has begun, Andy was in pole position last week and hopefully the ‘lights came on’ amongst the learners as he introduced the qualification at level 4. New comers to the grid at level 6 started their engines on Tuesday this week sliding into existing courses from the pit lane with plant health taking the focus at the first corner. We look forward to being able to send out certificates as soon as ABC supply us with the goods and to popping the corks!