ISA Certification

Certification Liaison Update

As the new certification liaison for the chapter, I want to extend warmest regards to all my fellow chapter members.  I am the Community Forester for Eastern Nebraska with the Nebraska Forest Service and have a background in Plant Health Care and landscape design/install. After a few months in the role, I’ve gotten into the swing of things and am bugging my predecessor, Chris Johnson, much less than I used to!

I’m looking forward to attending the ISA Liaison meeting in Chicago this fall to meet other liaisons and discuss ways to fine-tune the process. Nothing about the CEU application process has changed, but a few points are worth highlighting to make the process silky smooth for everyone.

I have set up a dedicated email address for this purpose only.  [email protected].  Like most of you, my work email inbox is out of control and this separate email account will ensure that I don’t lose track of anyone’s requests in the tidal wave of work email that continues to wash ashore.  If you already correspond with me through my NFS account, please note this other address and use it for your ISA CEU activity. 

You can apply for CEU’s either before or after your event and the process is the same for me either way.  Send me a DETAILED agenda that lists location, date, start and stop times for each session, the speakers name and details of the subject matter to be covered for each session (titles are ok, descriptions are better). 

It’s also good to know if you prefer separate sign in sheets for each session or you have a group that will all be staying together for the duration of your event.  Whether you have applied for CEU’s before or after your event, the CEU sign in sheets should be sent to [email protected].

I’ve already met a few great new people so far and am excited to work with a broader network of Great Plains arborists in this role.  Please don’t hesitate to email me or call (402.444.7875) if you have ideas, questions or just want to say Hello!

By Graham Herbst

Community Forester - Eastern Nebraska

Midwestern Chapter – ISA, Certification Liaison




Certification Report
October 16th and 17th was the annual certification liaison meeting held in Champaign, IL.
Changes for Computer-Based Testing and the ISA Certified Arborist® Exam
The management of certification exams occasionally requires changes and updates to accommodate the requirements of our computer-based testing vendor and our ANSI ISO 17024 accreditation. In striving to keep our lines of communication open with ISA members and credential holders, we wish to explain these changes in as timely a manner as possible before the effective date of 16 November 2015.
Computer-Based Testing Administrative Fees
Since 2009, ISA has offered two different exam administration options. The first option is the scheduled sitting for a paper-and-pencil exam. The second option, computer-based testing (CBT), was created in response to the need for providing flexibility to exam candidates. To deliver this flexibility, ISA contracted with testing vendor Pearson VUE and has been charged an administrative fee of $100 USD for each CBT credentialing exam taken during the term of the contract. We recently renewed the contract with Pearson VUE for the next seven years. While ISA makes every effort to keep costs to a minimum, the fee we pay this vendor per exam has risen by $25 USD. As a result, the new administrative fee for the computer-based testing option will be $125 USD, effective 16 November 2015. Updated Application Handbooks may be found on our website tomorrow or by ordering hardcopies. Please ensure that any outdated copies you have are recycled.
ISA Certified Arborist® Exam Change
ISA recently underwent a Passing Score Study for our ISA Certified Arborist® exam. This was a requirement of our ANSI ISO 17024 accreditation. During this process, we identified that the number of tested questions on the exam needed to be changed to effectively provide enough room for 20 pre-test questions. Effective 16 November 2015, all ISA Certified Arborist® exams will consist of 180 graded questions and 20 additional pre-test questions. The new passing score will be 74 percent. All current registrations will be moved to the new testing model on that date. Updated Application Handbooks may be found on our website tomorrow or by ordering hardcopies. Please ensure that any outdated copies you have are recycled.
By Chris Johnson
City Arborist – Davenport, Iowa
Certification Liaison – Midwestern Chapter
Midwestern Chapter – ISA Board of Directors



Quarterly ISA Certification E-newsletter 
CERT Today   
Applications Being Accepted for ISA Certification Board
ISA Certification and Credentials
Midwestern Chapter Tree Climbing Championships
Midwestern Chapter Calendar of Events 

The Midwestern Chapter strongly supports the ISA Certification Programs.  Proctors are located throughout the Chapter to administer exams. An arborist certification prep class is available annually.

  • Remember you must register with ISA a minimum of 12 working days prior to any exam date. Go to to register or call (217) 355-9411.
  • Want to reduce your certification testing fee?  Consider becoming a member of ISA.  ISA Membership Application

If you have general questions about certification, exams or becoming an exam proctor, please contact Midwestern Chapter ISA Certification Liaison.

Midwestern Chapter ISA Certification Liaison:
Chris Johnson
[email protected] 


Exam Dates and Locations:

For certification exam dates and locations view the ISA certiciation calendar, Choose the 'Please view the calendar for a list of exam dates and locations' link then sort the calendar by clicking the calendar table header  'Chapter'. Look for 'Midwestern' in the 'Chapter' column to find exam dates and locations to be held in the 7 member states.


Certification Exam Prep Classes:

For a listing of prep classes offered, please view the chapter event calendar,


Exam Set-up and Proctors:

If you are interested in setting up a Certified Arborist/Utility Specialist/Municipal Specialist Exam, please fill out this form then return the completed form to the Midwestern Chapter ISA Certification Liaison at least 30 days prior to the exam. Only Active Proctors can set-up an exam.

If you are not a proctor and would like to be, contact the Midwestern Chapter ISA Certification Liaison listed above for an application.

If you have any questions regarding taking an exam or holding an exam, please contact via email the Midwestern Chapter ISA Certification Liaison.