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ISA Qualifications

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 the stakeholders for advanced certificate-based programs, ISA has expanded its training and credentialing opportunities to include qualifications. Learn more about the difference between a certification and qualification.

Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

TRAQ is an ISA qualification program that trains arborists how to use the methodologies outlined in the ISA Best Management Practices for Tree Risk Assessment. This qualification promotes the safety of people and property by providing a standardized and systematic process for assessing tree risk. The results of a tree risk assessment can provide tree owners and risk managers with the information to make informed decisions to enhance tree benefits, health, and longevity

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®
  • ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified
  • A degree in arboriculture, urban forestry, traditional forestry, or horticulture that is part of a national qualifications framework or is from a college or university.
  • A national certification or certificate in arboriculture (see a complete list in the TRAQ handbook)
  • ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist (RCA) status
  • Licensing or Certification from an approved state/province program (see a complete list in the TRAQ handbook)
  • SAF Certified Forester

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

Course Content

  • Levels of Assessment
  • Target Assessment
  • Site Assessment
  • Tree Biology and Mechanics
  • Tree Inspection and Assessment
  • Data Analysis and Risk Categorization
  • Mitigation
  • Reporting

Qualification Period

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

Renewing Your Tree Risk Assessment Qualification

The requalification is a one-day refresher, with five hours of instruction, and three hours to take the exam. Current TRAQ holders can complete the abbreviated course as early as four years into their qualification.

Upon passing the requalification, the expiration date will be adjusted to coincide with the five years from the original expiration date. This means, if someone passes the requalification four years into their credential, s/he has six years until it expires. If someone passes the requalification six months after the expiration date, s/he has 4.5 years until it expires.

Applying for TRAQ Courses

For events that are co-hosted by ISA, all participants are required to submit an application and must register online or by phone. For events hosted solely by a Chapter or Associate Organization instructions will be provided for each event. Click TRAQ events to view current offerings.

Participants will receive all of their course materials a minimum of two weeks prior to the start of the TRAQ event. Course materials will be distributed as soon as possible after the candidate’s application is approved, but in some cases, materials may not be distributed until the course has been filled or has met the minimum participation threshold.

Event Fees

For TRAQ events that are co-hosted by ISA and a local Chapter or Associate Organization, the participant fees are:



(Full Course)
  • ISA Member $625
  • Non ISA Member $750
  • Exam Retake $150
(this course is to renew your qualification)
  • ISA Member –to be determined
  • Non ISA Member –to be determined
  • Exam Retake –to be determined

For TRAQ events hosted solely by a Chapter or Associate Organization, the host has the authority to set course fees at their own discretion, causing course prices to vary. Event fees per course are indicated when registering for an event.

TRACE credential transfer into the new ISA program

If you held the TRACE credential, you have been transferred into the ISA TRAQ program and your current expiration date has been carried over. Transferees have been provided with program information and a TRAQ certificate. TRACE transferees must take the full course before they are eligible for the requalification course.

Additional TRAQ information

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

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PO Box 3129 • Champaign, IL 61826, USA • +1.217.355.9411

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