This March saw the first off campus delivery of the Utility Tree Worker (UTW)/Utility Tree Trimmer (UTT) training program in Alberta. The Industrial Vegetation Management Association of Alberta (IVMAA) oversees the training program and certification of the provincially recognized certification. The UTW/UTT certification, is an Alberta provincially recognized certification that is mandatory for all persons who perform vegetation maintenance around energized power lines and ground work around energized power lines. It is also recognized by Saskatchewan and Manitoba through IVMA ManSask. Before candidates can apply for this certification, they must take the UTW/UTT training program as this is a mandatory course required by all persons seeking to receive their UTW/UTT certification.
The IVMAA is the only recognized organization that can issue these provincially recognized certifications for successful UTW/UTT graduates. Successful candidates must have completed this training program and also accumulate 1200 hours working in proximity to energized electrical equipment, and these hours must be logged and verified in a log book by an already accredited UTW/UTT. The difference between a UTW and a UTT is that a UTT has to log a minimum of 600 hours working in proximity to energized electrical equipment from an aerial position.
The training component has been and continues to be traditionally delivered by Olds College in Olds, AB. Arboriculture Canada has been getting requests for many years from customers who would like to get the UTW/UTT training but are unable to send their people away for two weeks or who missed the window when the course was offered at the college and are unable to wait until the next offer.
Arboriculture Canada delivers training components in their regular courses offerings to customers across Canada that is also part of the UTW training program and therefore has the resources to develop course content and materials for a Utility Tree Worker Training program. ArborCanada made a request through application to the IVMAA seeking recognized equivalence to the IVMAA UTW/UTT course.
Through a process of communications and meetings, Arboriculture Canada’s program was granted equivalency and a successful delivery of the program was completed in early March at an off campus location. This program was the culmination of many years of hard work, meetings and passing stringent requirements and in the end it was the first time since the beginning of the IVMAA UTW/UTT certification program that it was delivered off campus and the first time a private training company has delivered the course. Arboriculture Canada’s course is stringent and broad in scope and combined with the electrical training it encompasses 13 days of training.
The group that received the training in March of 2013 was the East Prairie Metis Settlement. The Metis are first nation people who started families with the white settlers in the 1800’s. There are over 500 thousand Metis in Canada today. The training took place at their site and location, near High Prairie Alberta, where the Great Plains and the boreal forest converge – a land of lakes, rivers, aspen, spruce and pine and the theoretical in-class learning was complimented by tying knots by the fire, climbing, rigging and other practical hands on time in the field.
Congratulations to the successful graduates of the first off campus Utility Tree Worker and Utility Tree Trimmer training and qualification program.