Access trees by climbing to carry out arboricultural operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Treework
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 28 Feb 2017


This standard is about accessing trees by climbing to carry out arboricultural operations.  It describes the essential competences required to climb trees safely, using both using ladders and climbing equipment.

This unit is relevant to all arboricultural workers involved in working off the ground in trees.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. perform a hazard evaluation of the tree prior to commencing work
  2. assess the risks associated with the site and the proposed work
  3. select and use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the work
  4. select and use access and positioning methods appropriate to the assessed risks and the method statement
  5. tie, dress and set a range of knots used for tree climbing
  6. select appropriate anchor points for climbing and for the arboricultural operations to be carried out
  7. confirm all climbing and lowering equipment has been inspected in accordance with legislation, and is fit for purpose
  8. select and match the equipment relating to the planned working loads
  9. select the appropriate tools for the planned arboricultural operations
  10. climb the tree safely, using climbing equipment and ladders, where appropriate
  11. maintain communication with ground staff at all times
  12. descend trees in a controlled manner and remove equipment appropriately
  13. maintain the health and safety of yourself and others at all times, in accordance with relevant legislation and codes of practice

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how to identify hazards and comply with the control procedures of risk assessments, when carrying out arboricultural operations
  2. the selection, use and care of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  3. how the species and condition of trees will affect your work
  4. how to tie, dress and set a range of tree climbing knots
  5.  how to select appropriate anchor points in order to climb trees to carry out specific arboricultural operations
  6. how to select and inspect the equipment that will be used for the arboricultural operations
  7. the legal requirements for inspection of all climbing and lowering equipment and the evidence required that this has been done
  8. how to check the safe working loads of equipment
  9. how to access trees using climbing equipment
  10. how to use ladders safely to access trees
  11. how to descend trees and remove equipment safely
  12. the duties of a competent ground person
  13. why it is important to maintain communication with ground staff and how this can be done
  14. your responsibilities under relevant environmental and health and safety legislation and guidelines


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

28 Feb 2021





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations


SOC Code



Tree; climb