General outline of the VETcert scheme

Managing veteran trees requires great skill and knowledge and there is now a way for the most skilled contractors to stand out from the crowd. The pan-European VETcert certification scheme has been developed for veteran tree professionals at two levels: practising and consulting.


The European Arboricultural Council (EAC) is the managing body for the VETcert scheme and is responsible for the central administration.

Each participating country has a VETcert Certification Centre (VCC), which is responsible for local organisation of examinations.

The standards and delivery of VETcert is overseen by the VETcert Steering Group (VSG).


To become a VETcert Certified Veteran Tree Specialist you need to have the pre-requisite training and experience and you need to demonstrate that you meet the minimum standards of knowledge and skills as outlined in the VETcert standard document for the relevant level.

In order to prove the candidate’s knowledge, skills and experience, which will have been gained by the candidates’ training and work experience, the VCC will offer candidate examination at two levels, Practising level and Consulting level. Each examination includes both written sections and a practical exercises section.

For either the Practising level or the Consulting level, the examination will be successfully completed when the candidate achieves an overall mark of at least 75% and no less than 50% in any one section.

Successful candidates may use the respective title:

  • “Veteran Tree Specialist – Practising Level”
  • “Veteran Tree Specialist – Consulting Level”


The certification is valid for three years. In order to maintain the certification, the holder must be able to demonstrate that he/she has maintained their knowledge and skills at the required level, including an awareness of developments in the scientific, technical and practical aspects of veteran tree management.

EAC will maintain the names of successful certification holders on the published list of Certified Veteran Tree Specialists, hosted on the VETcert website.