For the tree care professional.
A professional association dedicated to serving the arboricultural industry.

Frequently Asked Questions for CEUs   web_ceu.jpg

What are CEUs and how do I get them?

CEUs are Continuing Education Units. These are part of the requirement for recertification every three years. You can earn CEUs in a number of ways, for instance, by attending seminars/workshops, writing articles, attending conferences, or turning in Arborist News quizzes. You can also obtain credit by purchasing ISA publications and workbooks that offer CEUs and turning them in for credit.

Why are CEUs required?

The strength of the ISA certification program is in the continuing education component. In any type of legitimate certification, there must be a way to measure continued competence. One option is to retest, and another is to require continued education. ISA allows either option.

What are the CEU requirements to recertify?

In order to recertify, one must obtain a certain number of CEUs and pay a recertification fee. The number of CEUs depends upon the credential. You can check the application handbook to see the CEU requirement for each credential.

I just sent in some CEUs, can you tell me how long it takes to process them?

CEUs take 4-6 weeks to be processed once they reach our office. Once they have been processed they are posted to your account and viewable online.

How many CEUs do I have?

You can check your CEUs on line by logging into your account using your username and password on the ISA website at, or by calling the certification department at 217-355-9411 or by sending us an email at If you don’t have a username and password, please contact us for assistance.

For further questions please call our office at 217-355-9411 or email us at We look forward to serving you!

Frequently Asked Questions for Applications

How do I go about getting an application?

Applications can be filled out online at and instantly sent to the Applications Coordinator through our newly launched online application system. If you prefer to sent it by mail or fax, applications are available for you to print at Applications can be sent to you on request by emailing or calling the ISA Certification Dept at, or 217-355-9411.

What are the costs involved in taking the ISA Certification Exam?

The cost of the ISA Certification Exam depends on which exam you are taking and whether or not you are a member of ISA and your local chapter. Please refer to the application handbook for the exam fees, you may also email the ISA at, or call 217-355-9411.

When is the next exam date in my area?

All exam dates and locations are available on line at, or by emailing or calling the ISA Certification Dept at, or 217-355-9411.

Can I get application information in Spanish?

Spanish information is available. You can contact ISA to speak with a Spanish speaking representative. You can email us at, or by calling 217-355-9411.

Frequently Asked Questions for Exam Results

When can I expect my exam results?

Exam results take 4-6 weeks to be processed. Once they are available, we will send them to you via the USPS. Sorry, we can not give out results via email, phone or fax.

What does my score need to be in order to pass the exam?

You must first obtain an overall score of 70%. Once you have obtained that overall score, you are required to obtain a 60% in each domain.

Why don’t I get the same overall score when I add up all of the domains and divide by 10?

The overall score is compiled by the number of questions you got right out of 200. Then, each of the domains are scored individually and do not have the same number of questions. Therefore, you can’t add them all up and divide by 10.

I just took my exam can I see the questions that I missed?

Due to the confidentiality of the exam questions it would compromise the integrity of the exam. The exams are only revamped every 6 months and we do not want to have the questions and answers out there for everyone to see in those 6 months.

My overall score was above 70%, but I had 2 domains that I scored below a 60% in, what do I have to retake?

Since your overall score was above 70%, you will be required to retake only the domains that you did not score a 60% in.

How much does it cost me to retake the exam?

The cost to retake the exam depends on a couple of factors.

  • 1st time retake (within 1 year of original exam date) FREE
  • 2nd or more time retaking (within 1 year of original exam date) $65 USD ea time
  • After 1 year of original exam date Full Exam Fee (see application handbook for more details)

Frequently Asked Questions for Recertification

How do I recertify?

In order to recertify, you must obtain a certain number of CEUs and pay a recertification fee. The number of CEUs and recertification fee depends on the credential you hold. You can check the application handbook to see the CEU requirements and recertification fees for each credential that the ISA currently offers.

Will I be notified that my certification is coming up for expiration?

The Certification Department will send you a CEU postcard three months prior to your certification expiration date but only if you are lacking CEUs. This notice is a helpful reminder that you need to get your CEUs in order and sent to us to make yourself eligible for recertification. Please know that CEU processing takes 4-6 weeks so it is to your advantage to send your CEUs in early.

If you do not receive a postcard it means one or two things, either you have enough CEUs to recertify and you will receive a recertification invoice one prior to the certification expiration or that we do not have a valid mailing address for you. It’s very important that if you move or have a change to your address that you let us know. We would hate for you to lose your certification due to a mail glitch.

What happens if I don’t have enough CEUs at the end of my certification period?

If you do not have the CEUs required for recertification, you will receive a notice one month prior to your expiration date that shows what CEUs have been posted to your account. Also, you are given the opportunity at this time to ask for a 60 day extension. The extension begins 60 days past your actual expiration date. In order for you to obtain this extension you should, call us at 217-355-9411, or email us at

If you cannot meet the 60 day extension deadline by having your CEUs and recertification payment made you will have to retest. Retesting is always an option to you versus obtaining the required CEUs.

Frequently Asked Miscellaneous Questions

What are the benefits of ISA Certification?

Potential for higher income - Studies have shown that revenue for certified arborists is often higher; certification is a tool for employers to use in hiring new employees and selecting existing employees to invest in. Builds self-image - Individuals prove to themselves and their peers that they have a solid knowledge and dedication to their profession. Distinguishes among other arborists - Those making hiring decisions acknowledge that someone who is certified stands out among the competition. Incentives for professional development - The requirements of maintaining the credential and earning continuing education units gives natural incentives to continue on-going professional development and learning

How does being a member of ISA and/or my local chapter benefit my certification?

You will receive discounts on the exam fees if you are a member of both ISA and your local chapter. You will also receive discounts on publications if you are a member of ISA. This includes the ISA Certification Study Guide as well as CEU opportunities.

For further questions please call our office at 217-355-9411 or email us at We look forward to serving you!


© International Society of Arboriculture 2008
P.O. Box 3129, Champaign, IL 61826
(217) 355-9411
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For more information about the Georgia Arborist Association, Inc. please contact:

Lori Cowie, Executive Director


Mailing Address:   P.O. Box 8802  ~ Atlanta, GA  31106

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