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VMT are pleased to offer the new BALI ROLO Supervisor courses. Two courses; one for new Supervisors and the other, a shorter refresher, for existing Supervisors.

A blended learning, three-day (1 day self-taught online and 2 days face to face) course that is equivalent to the CITB SSSTS and fully endorsed by Build UK and the CITB. This course is designed specifically for the Landscaping, Arboriculture, Amenity Maintenance and Ecology based industry sectors.

Covering areas including Health and Safety Legislation, Safe Systems of Work, Environmental Legislation, Environmental Impact, Managing Waste and the Role of the Manager; the course builds the knowledge and skills needed to effectively Supervise a team on site.

With a variety of teaching and learning methods including groupwork, paired task completion and individual tasks, the course allows learners to move from a basic knowledge of legislation into application onto a worksite. Real life examples of Risk Assessments and Safe Systems of work are analysed and used to form the basis of their own documents; whilst designing and delivering their own toolbox talks develops the skills needed to effectively communicate the safe systems of work for their own worksites.

Our instructors are not just academically qualified but have years of working within the Landscaping and Arboriculture industries so really understand the work of our trainees and the issues that they face on site.

Assessment is through a 40 question online test and tutor assessment of the knowledge, input and teamwork capabilities of the individual. Using a range of assessment ensures that the student is able to effectively work individually and as part of a team in order to supervise the site of work.

Feedback from our first course was incredibly positive with candidates really appreciating the relevance to their actual role within the landscaping and vegetation management industries.


Interested? Check out our website or contact the office, we have now added early 2023 dates!!!


Arboriculture is a skilled profession and as such requires planned progression and development opportunities in order to gain the wide range of knowledge to assess and plan for a dismantle that may include the need for climbing, rigging or the use of a MEWP. Here at VMT we pride ourselves on ensuring that our clients have the knowledge across a broad spectrum and offer our courses accordingly and love seeing them as they return with their skills embedded, ready for the next step.

So what route should you be looking at to progress through to our more advanced chainsaw in a tree courses?

In the beginning…

A Level 2 Award Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross Cutting allows the client to get to know how to use and maintain their saw and undertake ground based chainsaw work. We then move on to the Lantra Level 2 Award in Felling and Processing Trees up to 380mm. Learning how to stay safe and control the fall of a tree through safe positioning and accurate cutting is key to ensuring a safe working environment. Real life skills such as moving fallen trees and processing the wood leave a tidy worksite ready to give back to the client. Obviously, it is essential that the candidate has a good understanding of First Aid with a focus on catastrophic bleeds and crush injuries, all covered in our Emergency First Aid at Work + Forestry. Tidying up may require the use of a Winch or a Woodchipper and remember pruning can take place with a Powered Pole Saw.

Gaining experience…

We actively encourage clients to take time to practice their new found skills before moving on with courses such as the Basic Tree Survey and Inspection, allowing candidates to understand the risk factors when assessing trees and their surrounding worksites.

Next Steps…

At this point some of our candidates then feel that they would like to launch themselves into tree climbing. We offer a one day Introduction to Climbing for those who would like to dip their toe in the water before committing to the full to Level 2 Award in Accessing a Tree Using a Rope and Harness + Level 3 Award in Aerial Tree Rescue Operations which can be combined or done separately. As with all of our courses you’ll learn about the HSE legislation and guidelines as well as the tree climbing equipment that you’ll need to use, how to inspect a tree visually to make sure it is safe to climb and different rope configurations. You’ll learn access techniques and work positioning principles, final anchor point and work positioning techniques, using a flip-line and climbing irons, and how to store your equipment. Climbing in itself is a skill and a good level of competency is required before candidates are encouraged to think about wielding a chainsaw at height.

Nearly There…

At this point the candidate is finally ready to undertake Lantra Awards Level 3 Award In Aerial Cutting of Trees with a Chainsaw Using Free-fall Techniques where they can hone their knowledge of tree structure to learn how to choose the safest load bearing anchor points, the different ways to send the chainsaw aloft to the climber, the use of sewn tape seams, different cutting techniques, positioning for working in a tree, removing limbs using handheld and free fall techniques and targeted pruning.

Is this it? Of course not – this is where our experienced and skills arborists start to extend their skills with Rigging, Mobile Elevated Work Platforms, Tree Pruning and more. Don’t forget that legislation, technology and Health and Safety recommendations change and so refreshers every 5 years (for regular users) or 3 years (for occasional users) are essential for up to date knowledge and to knock bad habits out.

Of course climbing is not for everyone and there are other options for those not wishing to spend their time up in the trees and many of our arborists have both ground based and climbing skills sets. If you want pathways to felling large trees or dealing with windblown and severed trees see our Ground Based Treeworks Career Path.


As we all finish Christmas preparations we’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. It’s been a manic year here at VMT and we’re all looking forward to well earned Christmas break.

Whilst the office phone won’t be manned, the website will be fully operational so if you are using this time to get organised and ahead of yourself, you can still book into upcoming courses. If you are thinking about managing your future training needs and you don’t see the course listed, our email can still be used to contact us and we’ll get back to you early in the New Year. We return to the office on the 4th with courses restarting on the 10th.

So as we approach 2022 and whatever that may entail, we wish you a happy and safe New Year and look forward to continuing to support you in your professional development throughout the next 12 months.




Did you know that we are British Association of Landscape Industries accredited to deliver the Register of Land-based Operations (ROLO) courses?

What is ROLO?

ROLO (Register of Land-based Operations) is recognised by Build UK as one of the leading Health, Safety and Environmental Awareness Courses in the UK, designed exclusively for the Land-based industries by landscaping professionals.
ROLO was developed and is owned by the British Association of Landscape Industries to raise the standard of health and safety,  environmental awareness, and reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace. It also encourages employers to keep a record of workers in the Land-based sector who have achieved a recognised level of competence.

Why is ROLO important?

The Department of Trade & Industry made it a ‘duty of care’ that all trade bodies ensure that their members are adequately trained in health and safety and that all employers should demonstrate their personnel are correctly trained. In July 2014 the United Kingdom Contractors Group (UKCG) officially recognised BALI’s ROLO Health, Safety and Environmental Awareness Course under its UKCG Health and Safety Training Standard, now known as Build UK. Their Standard Document can be found here.

How long are ROLO certificates valid for?

ROLO is a prerequisite for anyone applying for a LISS/CSCS SmartCard. Certificates are valid for five years, but applicants must ensure the course has been completed within the last two years when applying for a LISS/CSCS SmartCard. Before the five years runs out, the relevant refresher course can be completed.


Currently we offer the ROLO Operative Course, if you are interested in the new Supervisor and Manager courses, watch this space – its coming soon.

For those of you that haven’t yet visited, here’s a peek at our Colpmans Farm Training Centre in Islip. We’re located just off the A6116 with easy access to the A14, in a beautiful rural environment. With a calm and spacious classroom we run our First Aid, ROLO and much of our landscaping training. We have access to grassland and hedging to allow you to build on the theoretical knowledge in the classroom.