Leaf & Limb is TCIA Accredited.
We are one of a small handful of companies in North Carolina – and the first local company in Raleigh – that has attained this strict level of achievement. This is a voluntary process; no company is required to meet these standards. Our accreditation number is NC-009.
TCIA Accreditation matters because it was created with one important goal in mind: to help consumers identify qualified tree care companies who conduct business in a safe, legal, and ethical manner.
The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) are the two major trade associations representing the tree care industry. TCIA was established in 1938 and ISA was established in 1924. Combined these organizations represent tens of thousands of professional companies and individuals worldwide. Both of these associations create and maintain standards for work practices, safety, training, and credentials that help govern and standardize our industry.
TCIA Accreditation is a third-party verification system similar in structure to other industry credentialing processes such as the ISO 9000 series. It is currently the highest level of standards that a company is able to achieve within the tree care industry.
TCIA does not rely on companies to simply submit information and paperwork. Rather, it sends a third-party auditor on site to assess a company’s operations, facilities, and documentation in great detail. This review includes:
- Insurance compliance: TCIA not only closely reviews all insurance policies to ensure regulatory compliance, but also cross-references payroll and documentation to verify that all employees are properly covered by workers compensation insurance.
- Safety: A company must strictly follow all federal, state, OSHA, and industry-mandated safety practices, such as ANSI Z133 Safety Standards. This also includes requirements for weekly safety meetings, maintaining a safety committee, and filing OSHA 300 forms.
- Client satisfaction: Must provide evidence of high levels of client satisfaction and resolve complaints using either an outside arbitrator or documented processes.
- Payroll: TCIA ensures that all employees are paid according to state and federal law, with proper tax deductions being withdrawn from each paycheck. TCIA does not tolerate cash payments to employees or other similar schemes used to avoid tax and insurance premiums.
- CTSP: A company must maintain at least one Certified Treecare Safety Professional on staff, to help with oversight of all safety initiatives.
- Training: All employees must receive proper training for their position. Training must be documented and verified.
- Regulatory compliance: A company must adhere to all federal, state, and local rules and regulations, including obtaining all necessary business licenses.
- Industry standards for quality: A company must abide by industry standards for quality of work, including the ANSI A300 series, which is the accepted industry standard for tree care practices.
- ISA Certified Arborists: Must employ at least one ISA Certified Arborist for every ten employees on staff.
- Personnel: Must have documentation and processes in place for properly managing personnel, such as drug testing and performance evaluations.
- Business structure: Must have all proper business framework and documentation in place. This goes so far as to include having a functional business plan in use.
- Accounting: Must comply with all legally mandated accounting practices, including maintaining various financial statements on file, obtaining a Federal Employee Identification Number, and filing quarterly tax reports.
- Ethics: Must abide by TCIA Code of Ethics.
- Maintenance: Must document all repairs and abide by written maintenance schedules for all trucks, vehicles, and equipment.
- Department of Transportation: All driving and inspection procedures must be fully compliant with DOT, including pre-trip vehicle inspections and Commercial Driver’s Licenses for drivers operating vehicles of 26,001 gross vehicle weight or greater.
- Pesticide licenses: Must have current pesticide applicators licenses on file and must meet standards for storing, marking, and handling chemicals.
- The list goes on and on. The actual accreditation process requires years of preparation and involves an on-site audit spanning across many days. TCIA and the third-party auditor leave no stone unturned.
The process continues beyond this audit.
TCIA conducts monthly surveillance, requires annual renewal, and mandates re-accreditation every three years.
At the end of the day, TCIA Accreditation gives you confidence. By hiring a TCIA Accredited company, you know you will be working with a safe and capable business that operates according to the highest standards possible within our industry.