Maintaining Certification

All ISA Certifications are valid for three years. To maintain your certification, you must earn a minimum number of ISA Continuing Education Units (CEU's) by the end of the three-year period and pay a recertification fee. Or, you can retake and pass the exam. The number of CEU's required depends upon the credential you hold:

  • ISA Certified Arborist: 30 CEU's

  • ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist: 6 Utility CEUs + 30 Arborist CEU's = 36 total

  • ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist: 12 Municipal CEUs + 30 Arborist CEU's = 42 total

  • ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist: 15 CEU's

  • ISA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist: 15 CEU's

  • ISA Board Certified Master Arborist: 60 CEU's; 20 each in Science, Practice, and Management


Recertification Fees

You renewal date will be on June 30 or December 31, depending on the date of your original certification exam. Notification of your renewal date will be mailed one month in advance. Please make sure your contact information is current to ensure delivery of any mailed notices.


Tracking Your CEU's

ISA will track how many CEU's you have and how many you need for renewal. However, CEU's may take four to six weeks to be recorded. In addition, you should always keep records of your CEU's. Check your CEU's at the ISA website.

If you lack CEU's six months from your expiration date, ISA will send you a reminder to submit CEU's for recertification. If you have enough CEU's to recertify, you will instead receive a recertification invoice one month prior to your expiration date.


Earning CEU's

CEU's are offered through conferences, seminars, webinars and workshops presented by ISA, PNW-ISA and other professional associations, associate partners, academic institutions, etc. Please check PNW-ISA's Community Calendar for the most current listings. Other ways to acquire ISA CEU's include:

  • Visit the PNW-ISA Online Education Resources Page for online learning opportunities.

  • In-House Training. Many companies and government agencies offer in-house training. Any course pertaining to tree care and safety is eligible for CEU's. This may include safety meetings, CPR/First Aid, chainsaw safety, etc.

  • First Aid or CPR class. 4 CEU's each, once per certification period (every three years).

  • ISA Publications. CEU's for articles and quizzes in Arborist News and other ISA publications may only be earned once per issue or edition.

  • Teaching and Presentations. You may receive CEU's for conducting workshops, teaching classes, or making presentations. Please send a letter with the agenda or course outline along with a post-approval form to the ISA office.


College Courses

College courses may accumulate up to 12 CEU's per credit hour. College coursework must be done through an academically accredited two-year or four-year institution. Approved coursework must involve one or more of the following ten domains:

  • Diagnosis & Treatment

  • ID/Selection

  • Installation & Establishment

  • Pruning

  • Safe Work Practices

  • Soil Management

  • Tree Biology

  • Tree Protection

  • Tree Risk Management

  • Urban Forestry


Obtaining Approval for CEU's

PNW-ISA has a process to review and approve ISA CEU's for our associate members. To submit a workshop or event for review, please fill out this online form. To allow for an appropriate review and response time, please submit applications at least three weeks prior to your event.


Obtaining ISA Post Approval for CEU's

If you have attended a course that seems appropriate for CEUs, please send a letter with the agenda or course outline along with a post-approval form to the ISA office. If the course is granted CEU's after ISA review, those credits will appear on your CEU records. If the course does not meet CEU standards, ISA will send the information back to you with a letter of explanation. PNW-ISA cannot authorize CEU's for events already held.


Retaking the Exam

If you do not meet minimum CEU requirements and/or pay the renewal fee, you must retake the certification exam and pay appropriate fees to recertify. Be sure to include your previously assigned ISA Certification number on the application to ensure the number is reassigned to you.

Only bona fide ISA Certified Arborists are eligible to advertise ISA credentials. Until you have successfully passed the exam, you should refrain from advertising yourself as ISA Certified so as to not mislead the public and violate federal trademark law.