I joined the Institute as an Associate member shortly after starting with Tilhill Forestry straight from Bangor University. As my experience and knowledge of forestry increased over the next few years, through work and attending events run by ICF and others, I started to seriously consider Chartership. Throughout this whole process Tilhill Forestry’s values and that of the ICF have helped shape my progression and approach to professional forestry.
I feel that one of the most important parts of being a member is the need to undertake and record CPD. This ensures that keeping our knowledge of new developments, practices and refreshing areas of weaknesses is undertaken and importantly recorded. I have been asked on a number of times for proof of CPD when tendering for work and the ICF records have been invaluable.
I also feel that the sharing of knowledge and experience during events plus general networking should not be overlooked. How often do we really get to discuss aspects of our profession during the year with such a range of experienced people.
I was given an excellent opportunity of reflecting on ‘What a professional forester is’ at Bangor University, this event is hosted by Tilhill Forestry as part of their MBs and MSc module on Professional forestry. This was really useful for me and the students who will be working in this industry next year.
Within my role I deal with a range of clients, agents, stakeholders and professional bodies. Membership of the Institute gives a level playing field or an assurance that they are working with a professional of a high standard.
Membership gives me personal esteem that we are working to a high standard and that we should be using examples of this to assure the public and other bodies that forestry is a sustainable industry that can help meet societal demands now and into the future.
I was partially motivated by the forest industry which I feel has a positive drive towards Chartership. This drive has been from employers across the country as well as government bodies which are recognising Chartership in their dealings with the industry. This can only be positive for all.
Chartership is also proof of my professional credentials to myself. I am proud to be a charter member of the ICF.
The ICF was an obvious choice considering my work in forestry. I had attended some events whilst studying and a previous employer had been a chartered forester. Being a Chartered Forester and having active encouragement from my employer Tilhill Forestry, I had always seen membership of the Institute as part of my career development and progression.
Young professionals study tour in Hexham offered an excellent opportunity to see a different part of the country and discuss new planting, active forest management and a tour of the Egger Mill. The event was attended by a range of individuals from across the country and it was good to be able to discuss our jobs and experiences to date. Some of us even managed to arrange a quick climbing session in Carlisle on the way home.