The ASSET ecology training course has been developed to train you to an adequate standard to undertake various ecological services as a sub-contractor for Arbtech, and to introduce individuals to a career in ecological consultancy. ASSET is intended to help bridge the industry’s key failing: 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.
The course is led by Chris Formaggia and various senior consultants at Arbtech. ASSET consists of four classroom sessions of over 7 hours - a total of 31 hours of classroom content. There are also 3x field survey elements, providing further contact hours with tutors and extremely valuable real-life survey experience with licenced consultants.
The vision for ASSET is to make it pertinent and affordable to all graduates and early-career individuals: high impact and low-cost.
You have the choice to pay in full for the course or offset your course fees against the paid work you do for us as a sub-contractor (once you have passed the course and are signed off as competent to assist on surveys by one of our consultants). Effectively, other than giving your time to gain the requisite knowledge and skills you need to undertake paid work in the industry, the fees offset scheme makes the course free.
Whether you wish to pay in full or take advantage of the fees offset scheme, ASSET course fees for 2020 are £250+VAT. Includes all materials and refreshments. Excludes travel and accommodation. See terms and conditions for full details.
On successful completion of the course, students will receive a completion pack that includes: CPD certificate, a USB pen-drive containing all course materials and a suite of report templates for you to practice with and use, guidance materials, and so you can get out on site with our consultants right away—earning money doing a job you love—a Company t-shirt and ID card/lanyard.
We're also creating an ASSET online community where you will get access to private LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Here, you have a safe environment to ask the questions you don’t want to ask elsewhere, and get honest, straightforward answers from Arbtechers; as well as industry updates, technical advice notes, and much more besides.
We've worked really hard to design and deliver a course that really adds value for you and closes some of those academia-into-industry gaps. But why take it from us? Here's what some of ASSET attendees have to say about the course and working with us...
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.
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.
Life-changing! ASSET is a five-day course that aims to bridge the gap between university and the world of ecological consultancy. It consists of classroom sessions, where we were taught about legislation, dealing with clients, and report writing, as well as practical survey sessions on bats, reptiles and amphibians.
I had been following Arbtech for some time before the course. They are an innovative company, with a strong focus on client satisfaction, but also offering some amazing perks to their employees (just this month they have given all employees a Fitbit, monthly contributions towards exercise classes, and encouragement to take naps(!) – see Why Arbtech wants you to lift weights and sleep more). It is my dream to work for them one day, and I jumped at the opportunity to attend ASSET 2019.
Julia, the Business Manager, was in touch before and throughout the course. Any questions I had were answered fully, usually the same day. Her professionalism and openness are an "asset" to the company. Many of the Arbtech ecologists kindly gave their time to attend the training days to give talks, demonstrate practical skills, and answer our (many) questions.
They were very knowledgeable and are clearly experts in their field. All in all, the Arbtech staff could not have been more helpful or professional, and I am very grateful for their dedication to training future ecologists. I count my lucky stars that I found this course when I did.
It is no exaggeration to say it has been equally as helpful as my University degree in helping me kick-start my career in ecology. Since the course started, I have built a network of ecologists across the country; improved my theoretical and practical skills immeasurably; and shadowed Arbtech ecologists at bat surveys in my local area.
Most importantly, I have landed my first job in ecology! A large part of my interview was spent discussing the course and the skills I have gained from it. I would not be where I am without Arbtech and I cannot thank them enough. If you are thinking about a career in ecological consultancy, ASSET is the ideal place to start. What are you waiting for?
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!
Arbtech has been very welcoming from the get-go! As a recent graduate I have been researching many different consultancy companies to gain experience in my aspired field of work ecology, Arbtech has been one company that has stood out in how understanding it is towards recent graduates.
Arbtech offers not only intensive training to bridge "the gap between graduating in a relevant environmental subject and undertaking professional work as a consultant", I have also been invited on many different surveys from which I can shadow and gain experience!
In addition to this, these employees have allowed me to pick their brains on any questions I may have and I feel so much more knowledgeable from these experiences. From leaving university I have struggled to gain experience without initially having experience; Arbtech has been so nurturing from the website as well as their employees. I would highly recommend Arbtech not only to any other recent graduates in my shoes but anyone looking for advice on the ecology field.
We get all kinds of questions about our ecology training courses. People from all walks of life attend these courses and the feedback we get is very possitive. If you have any questions at all, please get in touch.
We are always on the lookout for outstanding arboriculturists and ecologists. Take a look at our current opportunities.