Keep Calm and Keep Safe - 4th Apr 2016

From: http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/news/releases/2016/keep-calm-and-keep-safe
Calm down - that's the message from WorkSafe Chief Executive Gordon MacDonald as the new Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) comes into effect April 4, 2016

'In recent media coverage there has been ill-informed comment about the impact of this legislation which has been a mixture of over-reaction, misinformation and scare-mongering'.  MacDonald says there have been clear health and safety workplace duties for over 20 years, many of which are being carried over to the new legislation. HSWA does not mean a whole new list of risks has to be managed – risk management has always been part of workplace health and safety.
The new aspects in HSWA clarify duties, and are designed to better protect workers in New Zealand's workplaces.

Some people do not understand the law, are being given very dodgy advice or are being wilfully ignorant of its requirements,” MacDonald says.

MacDonald says rather than the new law focusing on petty issues, it tackles significant areas where there is a need for improvement to help keep Kiwi workers health and safe.  Everyone has a role to play from a director to a worker. HSWA recognises that businesses and their directors have more influence and control than workers.  Companies are required to involve their workers in health and safety matters - that's making sure that the frontline, where the dangers lie, is fully represented in business decision-making
Check out http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/ for more information or call Thoughtplanters on (09) 522 5159 and let us help.

Big changes in Vocational training - 1st Feb 2016

Skills Service Organisations (SSOs) will replace the role previously held by Industry Skills Councils (ISCs) in the review and development of Australian Vocational training products, skills standards and qualifications.

All industry sectors across Australia previously were serviced by training packages under 12 Industry Skills Councils. Under this new model, they will be serviced by five SSOs. Forest and wood products and pulp and paper industries are now, as a result of our proposal, a part of the grown and renewable resources sector grouping, which includes arboriculture, conservation and land management, racing, fishing, food and beverage processing, horticulture and all the diverse areas of aquaculture and agriculture.

SSOs will work under a new model which includes supporting a series of Industry Reference Committees (IRCs), who sit at the core of industry engagement.

The Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Luke Hartsuyker said. “Industry Reference Committees are at the heart of our national training system and are made up of people with in-depth knowledge, skills and experience in particular industry sectors,”

“The SSOs will work under the direction of an IRCs to help them to consult with employers, analyse key trends and emerging issues, identify the skills sought by employers and develop the technical content of training packages.”

ForestWorks CEO, Michael Hartman said ForestWorks is very pleased to be a part of the alliance that helped create and deliver to industry a newly funded SSO called Skills Impact (SI). Through arrangements with Skills Impact, ForestWorks will now be able to continue to support the development of skills standards and qualifications for our industry.

Skills Impact (SI) is an independent, national SSO for a diverse range of industries based on grown and renewable resources and their value chains.

SI provides services to various IRCs, to develop the skills standards and qualifications for the industries they represent.

Minister Hartsuyker said the new arrangements will cover all of the industries currently serviced by the national training system.

There are some key names in the new model

  • Skills Service Organisations (SSOs)
  • Industry Reference Committees (IRCs)
  • Skills Impact (SI)

Urban Tree Diversity Conference - 12th Jan 2016

Urban Tree Diversity Conference

'Urban trees are central to providing healthy, vibrant and attractive cities throughout the world. They provide a wide range of ecosystem services, from mitigating the effects of climate change to providing a sense of place'

Arboriculture Australia is co-hosting the 2nd International Conference on Urban Tree Diversity with the University of Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia. 19 - 24 February 2016.   At the asme time Arboriculture Australia will be holding workshops, their National Conference and Trade Exhibition and the Australian Tree Climbing Championship.

Thoughtplanters Director Mark Roberts will be running an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) workshop prior the conference then presenting at the conference along with an impressive collection of national and international speakers

Click here bookings for more information.

Urban Tree Diversity @ the MCG - 16th Nov 2015

Urban Tree Diversity - where trees and cities collide

The 2nd International Conference on Urban Tree Diversity will be held in Melbourne 19 - 24 February 2016 - save the date and book your tickets.  In conjunction with the Urban Tree Diversity Conference will be the annual Arboriculture Australia National Conference and the Australian Tree Climbing Championships.

Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Melbourne, Australia
19 - 24 February 2016

Click here to view the poster

Roberts recognised with the Ron Flook Award - 12th Oct 2015

Mark Roberts added to the list. The 2015 Ron Flook Award The New Zealand Arboricultural Association Ron Flook Award is an award given to elevate and recognise high standards of practice in Arboriculture. The recipients have demonstrated exceptional management of trees, whether functional or aesthetic in any stage of development. It is the highest award of recognition that the national association has to offer.

The 2015 Ron Flook Award was given to Mark Roberts on October 3, at the New Zealand Arboricultural Association's annual conference held in Nelson. The association recognised Mark for his tireless work and dedication to arboriculture on a national and international level. He was the youngest president of the association (being awarded a life membership in 2007), he has written over one hundred articles, been published in national and international magazines, written for and contributed to Standards, Codes of Practice and Best Practice Guidelines, Study Guides and Units of Competency. He has represented New Zealand with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) for over twelve years becoming President in 2014. Mark has delivered training and presentations all across the world, has been involved in the management and training of over a thousand New Zealand horticulture and arboriculture students.

Mark is a worthy recipient of the Ron Flook Award and we are proud to have him as our Academic Manager. In a typically short acceptance speech, Mark we gracious for the recognition but pointed out that the past was the past and our future actions are more important.

Congratulations Mark.

Validation is almost over - 7th Oct 2015

Competency in Australian Arboriculture - ACH10 review is well under way

Current qualifications and units of competency in Arboriculture from the AHC10 are being transitioned to the National Skills Standards Council Standards for Training Packages. The review process is seven steps - it is currently at stage four. Validation is your opportunity to comment on the content of the training packages within these qualifications. A Training Package is an integrated set of nationally endorsed competency standards, assessment guidelines and Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications for a specific industry

This project is currently open for Validation for the next 24 hours. Click HERE for the link to the AgriFood Skills Australia review material.

The gavel has passed - 18th Aug 2015

The 2014/15 ISA Board of Directors (photo C/o the ISA)

  • Gavel | (noun) a small hammer with which an auctioneer, a judge, or the chair of a meeting hits a surface to call for attention or order

Our Academic Manager, Mark Roberts ended his term as the President of the International Society (ISA) on August 12 at the close of the 2015 ISA Annual Conference and Trade Show in Orlando, Florida.

Although the ceremonial passing of the gavel (where the outgoing President passes over control of the meeting to the incoming President) occurred at the opening ceremony, the presidential term ends at the close of the conference.

Mark posted on the Thoughtplanters Facebook page; "… it’s been an honor and a pleasure. 13 good years and so many good people, I suspect I'll miss it and I know I'll miss them".

Mark was appointed as the NZ Arboricultural Association’s representative to the ISA Board of Directors in 2002. There he served two terms before being elected onto the ISA's Executive Committee where he also served two terms before being elected as President.

During my time with the ISA we have gone from a 50 plus person super committee to an effective 15 person operating Board. It has been a long transition, mainly as it required 75% of the committee to vote themselves out of existence. The ISA has adopted a style of policy governance based on the Carver model where the Board provide direction through ‘ends statements’ – where the Board want the organisation to ‘end’ up.  By using this style of governance the Board remain strategic and allow staff under the control of the Executive Director to work operationally – its hard keeping strategic and not interfering with the detail, but it's the right thing to do and the most efficient way of doing it.

Mark was the youngest President and the first person from the Southern Hemisphere to take on the position. ' I never had aspirations of becoming President or anything like that, it was just a Kiwi thing; when there was work to be done I stood up and said I’ll do it. I must have done something right because they kept asking me to do more and electing me into higher and higher positions'.

Mark Roberts passed the gavel on to de Gourét Litchfield of Sweden - 'de Gourét is a good man, and even though the ISA is truly international having a Swedish President follow on from a New Zealander will help quite the few that still believe that the ISA is limited to America'.

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