Two chainsaw workers from scott fraser training discussing the start up sequence


Frequently Asked Questions

Look through the frequently asked questions about our tree surgery courses. Here you'll find questions ranging from what to wear to what equipment is used. If your question is not answered, please call the office on 01825 731810.

Our prices are for the tree surgery training and assessment. Assessment days are booked prior to the course. The format is discussed during the course.

The price paid is based on taking the assessment on the day provided. Should you want a different day, there may be an additional fee.

VAT is included in the fee. Assessments are VAT exempt.

The clothing you choose to wear on one of our tree surgeon courses or chainsaw courses is ultimately a personal choice but be informed! Remember no protective clothing will guarantee that you don't have an accident.

There are 2 standard types of chainsaw trousers:

Type A - these protect the front leg only. 

Type C - these protect all round the leg. These are commonly worn by arborists, to provide all round protection when climbing and operating a chainsaw or by people who use chainsaws occassionally. 

Protective clothing is discussed during all tree surgery courses. 

The majority of our tree surgery courses are held on site in Lamberhurst, near Tunbridge Wells, where we have a fully equipped heated workshop and plenty of woodland.  

We are pleased to say we can now accept card payments. We will send you an invoice via email, you are then able to pay online using your card. This has proved very popular. Please note there is a 2.5% surcharge when using a card.

Left handed people have completed this training and assessment many times with me, but they use the saw in the correct position on the right hand side of their body. Chainsaws need both left and right hands to be active for safe use.  

•    Left hand - for positioning control, decompression button and use of the chain brake

•    Right hand - for throttle, on/off/ choke  and positioning 

I think the main issue is that they need to be used on the right hand side of the body, in order for the bar and chain to be correctly out of line with the head in the event of serious kickback. I understand that left handed people feel more comfortable with the left side of the body taking the 'lead'. So in short left handers are welcome on the tree surgery courses and can use a chainsaw!

As its name suggests, a training course with the assessment element built in. Chainsaw maintenance & crosscutting covered in the same way as below (perhaps slightly less emphasis on the chain detail required to pass the NPTC assessment) the felling part is limited to 200mm diameter at ground level and does not cover quite so many techniques, really the 'what if's' are less comprehensively covered. A good choice for those not intending to be regular chainsaw operators, perhaps it is one small part of their job. I regularly deliver this course to many clients, including civil and marine engineering companies.

Industry standard tree surgery training courses followed by independent assessment. Comprehensive training, in chainsaw maintenance, crosscutting. Tree felling up to 380mm diameter is covered together with felling techniques for more scenarios. More time spent in practice. Suitable for those intending to be regular chainsaw operators and also a requirement to progress through further training units.

No – it’s all available to hire at modest costs (please advise before booking your course) and it can be useful to try a range of equipment before committing your own money. Some items of PPE really are personal and for modest cost would be worth getting in your size – such as gloves.

If hiring PPE and/or equipment it is to be returned in good working order (as supplied). If damaged, a repair fee may be charged or the item may need to be replaced.

Lantra Awards Basic Chainsaw courses and NPTC assessments CS30, 31 and 32 all have a 15” guide bar as the standard size. Up to guidebar length means a tree when de-buttressed with a diameter at ground level of around 15” or 380mm. Small variations are acceptable, (in the NPTC assessment at the Assessors discretion) it’s probably not worth spending on a new bar & chain unless they are in poor condition and you would have had to replace them anyway.

However, anything outside 14 or 16” is likely to be unsuitable, for obvious reasons with a smaller guide bar – you will run out of capacity at the top end of the tree range, and a larger bar may be less accurate and too wide for boring cuts on a smaller tree.

The list is comprehensive, and it covers most of the items we’ve needed to replace on trainees saws over the years. Be sensible and bring spares in proportion to your saws condition! There is also a good Stihl & Husqvarna main dealer within 3 minutes of the training site so we often arrange to meet there on one morning of the course anyway.

No. All this equipment is provided and included in your training course fee, although you may have to share a timber tape and a large felling lever. Some trainees bring their own felling levers and timber tongs or purchase them when they see how handy they will be for their future work. A small plastic wedge won’t cost a great deal and is a handy bit of kit for tree felling.

An instructor and assessor are assigned to each course. When making a booking, you are given a place. If you cancel that space, we are likely to incur a loss - as we have made a commitment to staff and may have turned other people away. 

We therefore do not offer refunds for cancellations made within 15 working days of the course. If cancelled within 15 working days of the course, the full fee is due. If cancelled within 20 days of the training, 50% of the fee is due.

If you are paying by grant, this still applies to you. You will be charged, if the grant does not cover the fee.

If we did not do this, we would have to put the price up for everyone.



During the lockdown starting in March 2020, the Arboricultural Association, following discussions with the Government, said that outdoor work and training could continue. With some additional measure, we started training again in mid-April.

We intend to be able to continue training, if there are local / national lockdowns.

If we do have to postpone a course due to a reason beyond our control, a credit will be added to your account and we will provide an alternative date for your training. We are unable to recover any losses and are not eligible for government support so are unable to offer refunds. Please bear this in mind when booking.