Members of the Institute of Chartered Foresters’ Professional & Educational Standards Committee convened on the 18 May 2023 to approve the accreditation of graduate schemes offered by Savills UK, Scottish Woodlands, and Tilhill.
Successful completion of the respective graduate schemes now offers individuals two additional Professional Membership Entry (PME) qualifying points, meaning graduates without an honours degree specifically in forestry or arboriculture may be able to present for PME two years earlier than before (subject to eligibility).
The accreditation of graduate programmes represents a step-change for the Institute, offering a more flexible route to chartered status – a route that acknowledges additional qualifying points for vocational skills and professional development in a real-world setting, rather than replicating the learning outcomes of academic studies.
Mark Townsend MICFor, Head of Woodland Management and Arboriculture at Savills UK, commented:
“Graduates are the future and Savills has a proven track record in supporting them. I have been privileged to have worked with the Institute to develop this new accreditation which provides a rigorous way of assessing the quality of our Graduate Training Programme.
“It will enable Savills to show its commitment to new and existing graduates by providing a clear and transparent training framework which will set our graduates on their way to a PME submission, professional membership of the Institute and a fulfilling career in our sector.”
Ian Robinson MICFor, Managing Director of Scottish Woodlands, said:
“We are very proud to receive this recognition from the Institute for our industry-leading Graduate Development Programme. This year’s intake of five new graduates means more than 50 people have been through the high-quality programme, launched to tackle industry skills challenges by growing our own future leaders.
“I look forward to welcoming the new recruits as we continue to help graduates build sustainable careers in forestry – and secure the future of our own business by providing the best possible professional development opportunities for the brightest young talent.”
Tony Lockey, Group Learning and Development Manager at BSW Timber, commented:
“We are thrilled at this news. Tilhill’s Graduate Programme being awarded two PME qualifying points highlights our commitment to our people and to the development work we do in our ground-breaking and premier forestry graduate scheme.
“Our highly trained graduates are now closer to being able to receive the internationally recognised badge of excellence that chartered status offers. It further emphasises that our graduates become managers who are competent professionals. It also helps our Tilhill employees build their skills and knowledge for even faster career progression.”
In light of the ongoing skills shortage in the sector, the Institute of Chartered Foresters remains committed to encouraging new entrants and furthering the professional development of arboriculturists and foresters. The Institute encourages any relevant sector organisations offering graduate schemes to get in touch to discuss potential accreditation.
Dr Stuart Glen, Member Services Director at the Institute, commented:
“As the sector looks to recruit more and more capable individuals from non-traditional routes, it is vital that the Institute reflects this, and rewards those employers with rigorous and respected, structured training programmes. I am pleased that the Institute is able to recognise the professional development opportunities afforded to staff of Savills, Scottish Woodlands and Tilhill through these Institute-accredited graduate programmes.”