Role of the Institute of Chartered Foresters

The role of the Institute of Chartered Foresters: Enhancing compliance and best practices in forestry

The Institute of Chartered Foresters is a vital institution in the forestry industry, providing a benchmark for professional excellence. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune explores the ICF's role, highlighting key facts and statistics, defining its functions, and offering best practice recommendations for compliance with relevant legislation and regulations. As we delve into these areas, we'll also discuss how organisations can leverage tools like ComplyPlus™ for effective compliance management.

Key facts and statistics

  • Professional membership - The ICF represents over 1,800 forestry and arboricultural professionals in the UK, ensuring that members adhere to high standards of practice.
  • Economic impact - The forestry sector contributes significantly to the UK economy, with the forestry and timber industry valued at approximately £2 billion annually.
  • Environmental contribution - Forests in the UK cover about 13% of the land area, playing a crucial role in carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation.

Key definitions

  • Chartered forester - A professional recognised by the ICF, demonstrating high expertise and commitment to ethical forestry practices.
  • Forestry management - is managing forests to meet specific objectives, such as timber production, conservation, and recreation.
  • Arboriculture - The cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, and other perennial woody plants.

The role of the Institute of Chartered Foresters

Setting professional standards

The ICF sets and maintains professional standards for its members, ensuring they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to manage forests and trees effectively. This includes:

  • Accreditation and certification - The ICF provides a rigorous accreditation process for chartered status, ensuring members are highly qualified.
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - Members must engage in ongoing training and education to stay current with industry developments.

Advocacy and representation

The ICF advocates for the forestry profession at the national and international levels, representing members' interests in policy discussions and promoting the importance of sustainable forestry.

  • Policy influence - The ICF works with government bodies to influence forestry policy and ensure that it supports sustainable practices.
  • Public awareness - The ICF raises public awareness about the importance of forestry and the role of professionals in managing it through public outreach and education.

Best practices for implementation of legislation and regulations

Understanding legislation

Forestry professionals must be well-versed in relevant legislation and regulations to ensure compliance. Key legislation includes:

  • The Forestry Act 1967 - Governs the management and preservation of forests and woodlands in the UK.
  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990 - Includes provisions related to the conservation of habitats and biodiversity.
  • The Climate Change Act 2008 - Sets targets reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with implications for forestry practices.

Recommended best practices

  • Regular training and education - Ensure all staff are trained in the latest legislative requirements and best practices in forestry management.
  • Comprehensive management plans - Develop and implement detailed plans aligning with regulatory requirements and promoting sustainable practices.
  • Use compliance tools - Leverage compliance management software, such as ComplyPlus™, to track and manage compliance with relevant legislation and regulations.

Recommendations for forestry professionals

  • Engage with the ICF - Join the Institute of Chartered Foresters to benefit from professional development opportunities and stay informed about industry standards.
  • Invest in training - Regularly update skills and knowledge through CPD and specialised training courses.
  • Adopt technology - Use advanced software solutions like ComplyPlus™ to streamline compliance management and ensure adherence to regulations.


The Institute of Chartered Foresters is pivotal in promoting excellence within the forestry sector. By setting high professional standards, advocating for sustainable practices, and providing ongoing education and support, the ICF helps ensure that forestry professionals are well-equipped to meet the challenges of modern forestry management.

Click here to learn more about how ComplyPlus™ can support your organisation in meeting statutory and regulatory compliance requirements.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

Enhancing compliance and best practices in forestry- ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK

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