Myers Tree Care’s first Arboricultural Association assessment was in November 2004. David Myers says, "like many tree surgeons I had dreamed of becoming an approved contractor for many years and I hold the achievement of this status very close to my heart".
I had attended two pre-assessment workshop held by the AA to give a tree surgeon all the information needed to apply and adapt his company to successfully gain approved status. Time moved on so quickly and whenever I thought I was ready something would distract my focus and yet again this would end up on the shelf for another year or so. The last time was the arrival of my first daughter Emily!
Once settled I reached for the big file and dived straight in by booking an assessment date, which in turn put the pressure on me to get everything prepared. When the day arrived we had just moved home with a six month old and no kitchen, but we did have a new office – you have to get your priorities right sometimes!
The tree surgery assessment was a huge worry for me - would I pass or fail - I had been working towards this day for so long and just wanted to sail through it all. Then the questions started - can you show me a risk assessment, vehicle check sheets, operator’s licence and so on - for three hours to be precise.
Once out of the office and into the courtesy car (my vehicle was in for repair) we arrived at the work site and that side of it was a breeze, as it’s what we do everyday. We spent an hour or so on site and left with me extremely relieved and very proud of my team.
When we walked back to the courtesy car I discovered a flat tyre and then found that there was no locking nut key to take the wheel off with. This was definitely not part of the script and I had to telephone my wife Debbie to rescue us. She arrived with little Emily in the van - I am no mathematician but there were two seats and five of us including Emily. All I could suggest was for the assessors to sit in the back of the van (no seats) and Debbie would drive whilst I held Emily’s seat – I expected this to go against me in the final hour even though they agreed to my suggestion - I though it was a trap to catch me not operating with full compliance!
We collected another car and carried on to see the past job sites and then the yard. All went well and I could see the end in sight at last. We returned back home and had a brew in the shell of a kitchen and went over the day with exact detail. I was delighted when the inspectors advised me that we had been successful in making the grade with only seven minor amendments needed, which they said was a great achievement for our first assessment.