The ASSET ecology training course has been developed to train sub-contractors to an adequate standard to undertake various ecological services for Arbtech, and to introduce individuals to a career in ecological consultancy. ASSET is intended to help bridge the gap between graduating in a relevant environmental subject and undertaking professional work as a consultant.
ASSET began in 2017 and was originally an acronym for Arbtech Summer Starters Ecology Training, designed to take ecology graduates and bring them up to a standard where they could earn money as a sub-contracting assistant working alongside full-time Arbtechers at our larger sites. It involved an ASSET candidate shadowing a full-time Arbtecher for a period of time before being allowed to assist on a (paid) survey.
In 2018, ASSET evolved. Arbtech ran two ASSET courses in Staffordshire for 50 trainees and aspiring consultants. Many of the course participants have since been engaged on a variety of ecological tasks with Arbtech, and one of the participants is now working as a full-time consultant with us.
We plan to run up to four courses in 2019 with space for 25 trainees on each course. Up to three will be held in the south of England and one will be in the midlands. Dates and locations to be confirmed in November 2018.
The course is led by Chris Formaggia and various senior consultants at Arbtech. ASSET consists of five classroom sessions of 5 hours - a total of 25 hours of taught content. There are also 3x field survey elements, providing further contact hours with tutors and extremely valuable real-life survey experience with licenced consultants.
Arbtech wants the course to be available to all graduates and early career individuals so we do offer a facility whereby course fees of £250+VAT can be offset against subsequent sub-contractor earnings. In other words, if you pass the course and work for us; the course is free. Please contact us for details.
Travel and any accommodation costs need to be arranged and paid for by the participants.
Key Skills of ecological consultants; environmental legislation overview and scientific/technical report writing. Individual and group homework assignment.
Overview of Preliminary Ecological Assessment and Enhanced Phase 1 Habitat Survey. Practical sessions, and a group homework assignment.
Use of GIS for mapping; wetland habitats and practical on amphibian surveying. Practical sessions, and a group homework assignment.
Bat Surveying techniques and practical on the use of broadband bat detectors. Practical sessions, and a group homework assignment.
Other survey types with focus on reptile presence/likely-absence surveys; arboricultural surveying seminar. Practical sessions, and presentation of course materials, report templates and other useful tools.
The ASSET Course in 2018 was recognised by the Royal Society of Biology as:
"Approved by the Royal Society of Biology for purposes of CPD, this event may be counted as 75 CPD credits."
We are seeking RSB CPD approval again for 2019.
Successful attendees receive a course completion pack that includes a course certificate, a branded memory stick containing all course training materials, report templates and guidance materials, and a Company T-shirt and ID card with lanyard—so you can get right to work and earn some money while doing the job you love!
We work hard to make this a good place to work but it's what our people think that matters. Here's what some of ASSET 2018 had to say about working with Arbtech...
I had the privilege of attending ASSET ecology training from January – May 2018. As a graduate student that was struggling to find a job at the end of my university course, I saw ASSET as the perfect opportunity to gain essential knowledge and experience within an ecological consultancy environment.
Upon completion of the course and assisting with various ecology surveys with one of the senior consultants at Arbtech, I was offered a full-time position with the company. I was over the moon!
I have been working with the company since June 2018 and I have already achieved so much in a short amount of time. I am currently working towards my great crested newt and dormouse licence. I am an accredited agent on a bat licence.
I am trained up to undertake preliminary roost assessments, great crested newt surveys, nesting bird checks and bat emergence/re-entry surveys.
During one of our busiest times in September, I carried out bat surveys in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in less than 2 weeks!
Thank you Arbtech for this amazing opportunity.
Before starting ASSET I had very little experience/knowledge of ecological consultancy, having studied wildlife conservation at university. The classroom sessions provided me with a great background knowledge of the surveys and the processes in consultancy, and the opportunity to shadow experienced, senior consultants in the field, allowed me to gain practical experience of the surveys.
Within one season I was able to start carrying out sub-contracting work with Arbtech and have had some brilliant opportunities to travel and work on some great projects. Without ASSET I probably wouldn’t have been able to get into ecological consultancy, as I wouldn’t have had access to an amazing team of people to shadow.
It has been a pleasure to work with Arbtech this season and I really feel privileged to have been able to attend the ASSET course and to have been given the opportunity to learn so much.
Even now the emergence season is over I'm still doing some shadowing of daytime surveys where possible and am already excited for next season.
ASSET for me really felt like an essential first step into a future career as an ecologist. The focus of the course was wide enough to cover all of the important areas in detail, without being too technical or confusing for beginners.
Best of all, we got to experience bat and amphibian surveying techniques first hand. And it didn’t stop there – after meeting my local Arbtech ecologist I had plenty of opportunities to go out and shadow surveys, and before I knew it I was getting work as a paid subcontractor!
The Arbtech Summer Starter Ecologist Training course (ASSET) is the swiss army knife of professional development for entry level and experienced ecologists.
As a newly graduated student, ASSET has allowed me to develop a breadth and depth of theoretical knowledge and field skills essential for a career in ecological consultancy. Included in the course are classes and practical sessions on topics such as phase 1 habitat surveying, protected species surveying, environmental law and report writing.
Through ASSET I have gotten to know incredibly talented, enlightening and conscientious people who share a morally vested interest in wildlife conservation. The course has also kickstarted my early career in consultancy by presenting further opportunities to work for Arbtech as a subcontractor throughout the midlands.
We are always on the lookout for outstanding arboriculturists and ecologists. Take a look at our current opportunities.