Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ)

Becoming Qualified

The ISA Certification Program has led the way as a credentialing body in the arboricultural industry for many years. In order to meet the needs of the profession and respond to the demands of our stakeholders, we are now exploring new opportunities with qualifications. ISA is looking to expand training and credentialing opportunities with this new initiative. Qualifications, much like certifications, promote professional development and help set you apart from the competition. But when thinking about which credential is essential to your career, it is important to understand the difference between a certification and qualification.


Obtaining the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

The qualification consists of a 2-day educational course followed by a ½ day assessment that includes both a written and field component. It is required that you attend the course and successfully complete the assessment in order to receive this qualification.

When applying to participate in a TRAQ event, applicants must agree to the terms, conditions, and policies outlined in the Tree Risk Assessment Candidate Handbook.

To be eligible to register for the course and take the exam, you must have earned one of the following credentials:

  • ISA Certified Arborist or ISA Board Certified Master Arborist
  • European Tree Worker, European Tree Technician, Fachagrarwirt Baumpflege
  • AHC30810 Certificate III in Arboriculture (Australia), NZ National Certificate in Horticulture (Arboriculture) (Level 4)
  • United Kingdom Qualifications and Credit Framework Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Arboriculture
  • Connecticut, Louisiana, and Rhode Island Arborist Licenses, Maryland Tree Experts, Massachusetts Certified Arborist, New Jersey Certified Tree Expert, New Hampshire Arborists Association Certified Arborist
  • SAF Certified Forester
  • An arboriculture or urban forestry degree that is part of a national qualifications framework or is from a college or university that is accredited or recognized under a system that is substantially similar to accreditation.

If you would like us to consider any other credential, contact ISA at

Course Content: The course includes Tree Biology and Mechanics, Tree Inspection and Assessment, Data Analysis and Risk Categorization, and Risk Reporting.

Qualification Period: The TRAQ credential is valid for five (5) years from the date it is earned. A credential holder is required to retake the course and pass the exam every five years in order to renew the credential. No CEUs are needed to maintain this qualification. 14.5 CEUs will be offered to current ISA certification holders for attending the course as it is an educational event.

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Current TRAQ Course Offerings & Locations:

The Mulch Center, 21457 Milwaukee Ave., Deerfield, IL 60015
TRAQ Course – March 26 – 28, 2018
TRAQ Renewal Course – March 29, 2018

Registration Form:   TRAQ Course & TRAQ Renewal Course Form

TRAQ Fees:
(For events that are co-hosted by ISA and a local Chapter or Associate Organization)

ISA Member $625
Non ISA Member $750
Exam Retake $150

TRAQ Renewal Fees:

ISA Member $220
Non ISA Member $260

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Course Content and Objectives

The course content is based on the new Tree Risk Assessment Manual and is divided into nine modules:

  1. Introduction to Tree Risk Assessment
  2. Levels of Assessment
  3. Target Assessment
  4. Site Assessment
  5. Tree Biology and Mechanics
  6. Tree Inspection and Assessment
  7. Data Analysis and Risk Categorization
  8. Mitigation
  9. Reporting

Through education and training, arborists will learn strategies to systematically identify and assess tree risk.

The qualified professional will:

  • Comprehend the fundamentals of limited-visual and basic tree risk assessment as defined in the ISA Best Management Practices:  Tree Risk Assessment
  • Understand the principles of advanced diagnostic techniques for assessing tree risk
  • Gather and synthesize information to assess risk
  • Make reasoned judgments and recommendations for mitigating identified risk

Course and Examination Format

The standard ISA TRAQ event consists of a two-day course followed by a half-day examination. Under certain circumstances, instructors may extend the time length of the course.  The course’s instructional design is based on best practices for adult education. Learning activities include lectures, discussions, small-group activities, applied case studies, and field activities. These activities are intended to cater to a variety of learning styles and foster adult learning and application of course content.

The examination consists of two parts:

  • The written portion is made up of 100 multiple-choice questions. Each question has four choices listed, only one of which is correct. You will have two hours to complete the written exam.
  • The performance-based part of the exam is an outdoor tree assessment practicum. The performance-based exam will test your ability to apply tree risk principles to a tree at the training site.

You will have one hour to complete it.

Additional TRAQ information

For other questions pertaining to the TRAQ qualification review the Participant Common Questions and the Tree Risk Assessment Candidate Handbook or email

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