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British Standards relating to trees - BS5837 / BS3998 and ISO9001

British Standards relating to trees - BS5837 / BS3998 and ISO9001

There are several British standards relating to trees but most commonly encountered or conformed with daily as Arborists offer a service to their clients are:

BS5837 Trees in relation to construction 2012
You can purchase a copy from this link 

BS3998 2010 Tree work Recommendations
You can purchase a copy from this link


Currently, users are unable to undertake tree surveys that conform to this British standard. However, the administrative part of preparing a quotation, managing site visits to survey and inspect trees, planning and booking time and ultimately sending the invoice, can all be completed using our software. 

We do have a mapping element allowing users to plot the location of trees on a map tile, however digitising the location of trees is specifically for the purpose of denoting location on site, aiding both client and staff when locating trees on site. 

We will, in the near future, extend our existing mapping features, so users can undertake tree condition surveys. We already provide users with the ability to digitise tree locations using an app and provide an online map, denoting the location of digitised trees. We are already a good part of the way there to providing this extended surveying capability.  

Users can right now click on a tree number pin (T1- For example) and view pictures, work recommendations, tree protection status and value. Extending this so that users can undertake condition surveys, will be relatively simple and this new feature will be available in the early half of 2020.

BS 3998

We give users tools that help with conformity to with this BS standard. 

Users can emphasis work recommendations and easily annotate pictures on site ensuring work recommendations are clearly conveyed to both client and staff.  This simple but effective tool cuts out misunderstandings regarding expectations, visually conveying  target pruning. As well as helping clients clearly understand what is achievable and what results to expect, this tool also makes management for staff very easy to follow too. This helps reduce the risk of misunderstandings and ambiguity between management and staff and is a useful tool on site when clients expectations can be challenging for staff to manage.   

British standard related to trees with Arb Pro software

A simple pictorial tool like this can really help cut through ambiguity and help organisations stay in line with BS standards by delivering work in line with management expectations when specifying work.  

Work Specifications - As well as pictures helping with conformity to BS3998, we also have customisable pick lists for work recommendations. When staff are on site writing a specification of work, it can be very easy for work recommendations to lack consistency when specifying work. A simple pick list of work specifications written in the office,  ensuring wording and specifications of work, conform with BS 3998 can be really useful!

As well as the obvious simplicity and efficiency, speed specifying work from pick lists, there is another just as important benefit. Consistent approach when specifying work as an organisation! If you have 3 staff out quoting for work it is far too easy as an organisation for all staff to slightly describe work differently. However with pick lists it fosters uniformity and consistency when specifying work as a company.

British standards (BS) provide a benchmark and guidance in the relative industry to foster safety and conformity. We recognise this as a requirement for our software users and strive towards continual improvement, offering feature rich software, helping our users wherever and whenever it is achievable.

ISO9001 & Arboriculture

ISO 9001 aims to provide a practical and workable Quality Management System,  improving and monitoring all areas of a business and in this case, your arboricultural business.

Achieving the ISO 9001 standard is not about establishing a set of procedures that are complicated and difficult to manage daily in practice. The aim is to provide a workable management system that is suitable for your arboricultural organisation. With the right support and the knowledge of your employees, you should end up with a system that will improve many areas of your business.

Implementing an effective and robust ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) will help you to focus on important areas of your business and improve efficiency in key areas. The management processes that are established throughout your business will provide a sound foundation, leading to increased productivity and profit. This in turn can also improve your customer acquisition and retention.

Some of the main benefits of ISO 9001 certification include:

  • Suitable for both small and large organisations
  • Better internal management
  • Increase in efficiency, productivity and profit
  • Improved customer retention and acquisition
  • Consistent outcomes, measured and monitored
  • Industry recognised standard, transferable and recognised across unrelated industries
  • Tenders - Measurable standards when tendering for term contracts
  • Tenders – Important point scoring and often required when tendering for term contracts 
  • Achievement fosters important elements of management infrastructure, often required for other accreditations such as CHAS or SMAS and AA approval for example.   

A valid ISO 9001 certificate may often be a prerequisite for your commercial customers and a “nice to have” for others such as domestic clients, when they are considering suppliers. It often gives your commercial customers confidence that you are working to standards and procedures that will provide a high standard of customer service.

Benefits of ISO 9001 to your customers

The ISO 9001:2008/ISO 9001:2015 standard is recognised across industries outside of Arb and your customers will understand the benefits of working with companies that are ISO 9001 certified. In fact, some of your customers will only do business with certified companies because it gives them assurance and confidence your management systems are constantly assessed and accredited to an industry transferrable standard

Commercial clients will know from experience that working with ISO 9001:2008/ISO 9001:2015 certified companies, provides many advantages:

  • Minimises mistakes
  • Improves reporting and communications
  • Better quality products and services
  • More reliable production scheduling and delivery
  • Standards maintained by repeat assessments

Arb Pro and obtainment of ISO9001 certification

Like any other certification, a certified organisation is required to demonstrate competence against as set of standards and requirements. Assessment often involves an initial assessment by a certified 1SO9001 assessor, identifying policies and procedures that are required or require improving.

Arb Pro software can help demonstrate many areas in your arboricultural business that are compliant and help achieve ISO9001 accreditation. However, it’s important to understand we are not suggesting acquisition of our software alone is enough to achieve accreditation! But subscribers are in a position to clearly demonstrate much of the criteria required to successfully pass an assessment. The following for example are included with our software, when considering ISO9001 requirements:

  • System to manage enquiries from existing and potential clients or suppliers
  • Diarising system to manage appointments and general events
  • Reminder system to manage tasks to do
  • Client management tools & contact details recording
  • Client complaint management procedures
  • Characteristics of service to be provided
  • Record of conformity of product/service with acceptance criteria
  • Quotation and Invoice acceptance process and management
  • Job and staff management
  • Procedure for addressing risks
  • Procedure for document and record control
  • Sales procedure start to finish
  • Procedure for production and service provision
  • Procedure for monitoring customer satisfaction
  • Data analysis capability for the purpose of quality management
  • Email and telephone call management system
  • Document management system
  • Quality management to evaluate delivery of service with graphs and charts to regularly analyse and compare data related to services provided
  • Ability to analyse staff performance based on sales and services provided
  • Ability to integrate with 3rd party apps such as Accounting for example and demonstrate how accounts are efficiently managed seamlessly from invoicing and the flow of data into accounting software
  • Marketing capability to manage client data and comply with GDPR
  • Mapping to monitor staff locations and comply with lone working policies for example
  • Mapping to manage booking work and appointments, minimising carbon footprint by effectively planning routes based on geographical work and appointments already booked

Arb Pro provides extensive management infrastructure and efficiently demonstrates competence when evaluating an arboricultural business for the purpose of ISO9001 accreditation.