In 1993 the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) began an international program to certify individuals performing tree care practices. This certification program was meant to elevate the profession by demonstrating that these certified individuals, were in fact, qualified to perform these practices. The certification process proved that these arborists possessed a minimum competency to perform proper and scientifically correct tree care. This process involves passing a rigorous written exam, and accumulating 30 approved continuing education credits (CUEs) in three years. At the end of 3 years a recertification fee is collected as long as the CEU process is met, and there are no complaints of improper tree care or business ethics against you. In 2004 due to increased demand for a higher credential the Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA) program was put in place. It called for a more rigorous exam, highly science based and several other requirements before the exam could be taken. A candidate needs at least 3 years as a Certified Arborist, formal education,(or several years of field experience), publishing of articles or research papers, speaking at educational seminars or conferences related to Arboriculture or Urban Forestry. A BCMA also needs 60 CUE credits with 20 each in science, management, and practice. I was one of the first 10 who tested for BCMA and passed the exam in 2004. To date there are about 300 BCMAs worldwide, and 26,000 Certified Arborists.