Skip to main content

Practical Apprenticeship Program



The Arboriculture Trade includes three distinct and progressive Certificates of Qualification. The three are; Arborist Technician, Climbing Arborist and Field Arborist. All the AARB courses have to be taken sequentially. An individual does not need to complete all 3 programs, as you are awarded a Certificate of Qualification upon completion of the individual programs.

All courses take place on the Langley campus of KPU.

Arborist Technician (AARB 1010)

An “Arborist Technician” is a person who undertakes to prune and perform other work on trees from the ground. In their work Arborist Technicians identify plants, select rigging gear, and have knowledge of how to fall, limb and buck trees, assist climbers, chip brush, cut wood and clean-up sites after tree care operations.

See KPU's calendar for the Arborist Technician

Climbing Arborist (AARB 1020)

A “Climbing Arborist “is a certified tradesperson who cares for and maintains trees and other woody shrubs. Climbing Arborists perform tasks such as tree risk assessments, pruning and removal of trees. In their work they use both climbing and aerial lift devices, rope and rope-tools for rigging. They also identify and remediate mechanical injuries, damage, other abiotic tree disorders, and common root and crown disorders.

See KPU's calendar for the Climbing Arborist



The Horticulture Apprenticeship Program combines skills training and employment. Apprentices maintain full-time employment in horticulture while learning technical, practical, and business skills that will advance their careers.

Employees sign a registered agreement with their employer in the horticulture field to establish their apprenticeship. The agreement is registered with the Industry Training Authority (ITA). The employer is committed to providing practical on-the-job training. During the apprenticeship, apprentices attend technical training sessions at KPU’s Langley campus. Each level includes six weeks of classes.

The first two levels of the Horticulture Landscape/Production Apprenticeship program introduce general horticulture knowledge and skills. Apprentices in levels three (and four for Landscape) focus on specialized skills in either Landscape or Production Horticulture.

Journeypersons in the horticulture trades are in demand. Municipal parks departments, golf courses, nurseries, and landscape contractors often list a journeyperson certification as a requirement or preference when hiring Horticulturists.

All courses take place on the Langley campus of KPU.

Landscape Apprenticeship

The apprentice must complete four technical training levels. During each level, Apprentices attend a six-week technical training session for theoretical and practical instruction at the Langley Campus of KPU. The first two levels of the program focus on the basics of plant biology, pest and soil management, and business. Levels 3 and 4 focus on landscaping construction and planning. Apprentices also learn commercial lawn care and an introduction to pruning. Landscape Horticulture is a Red Seal trade.

Upon successful completion of the in-school training periods, the required workplace hours (6480 hours), and the Employer’s confirmation of the prescribed workplace training, ITA awards credential to the apprentice for:

  • Landscape Horticulturist - Certificate of Apprenticeship
  • Landscape Horticulturist - Certificate of Qualification with Interprovincial Red Seal endorsement

See KPU's Calendar

Production Apprenticeship

The Production Horticulture apprentice must complete three technical training levels. For level one and level two, apprentices attend six-weeks of technical training sessions that focus on the basics of plant biology, pest and soil management, and business. During level three, apprentices attend an eight-week technical training session that focus on skills required to operate a commercial nursery including field and container nursery production. Level 3 is offered every other years.

Upon successful completion of the in-school training periods, the required workplace hours (4,860 hours), and the Employer’s confirmation of the prescribed workplace training, ITA awards credential to the apprentice for Production Horticulturist - Certificate of Apprenticeship

See KPU's Calendar


Apprentice Training Schedules are subject to change. All apprenticeship dates are listed on the Trades Training BC web site: Detailed class schedule:


Step 1: Establish an Apprenticeship
Individuals are indentured through a signed and registered Apprenticeship Agreement between the Provincial Government, the employee, and their employer. The information and agreements are available through the Industry Training Authority at 1.866.660.6011 or 778.328.8700 or on-line at

To begin an apprenticeship, an application can be downloaded from ITA’s site, completed, and faxed to 778.328.8701. Any Prior Learning Assessment (credit for previous work experience and/or vocational training) must be negotiated before the Apprenticeship Agreement is signed. Some students may find that this process will grant them credit for portions of the technical training and/or the required workplace hours. Once indentured, students sign up for Technical Training at KPU. For additional information please visit the Apprenticeship web page at

Do you have a sponsor/employer?
HortEducationBC (HEBC) is the industry training organization for the horticulture trade. This organization is run by industry for industry. It is their objective to see all students succeed in their apprenticeship program through interactive learning and mentoring.

HEBC can act as your sponsor to assist you, as a new apprentice, with registration to the Industry Training Authority (ITA) of British Columbia. This sponsorship will last for one year upon registration with ITA. HEBC cannot sign off on your work-based hours. So it is important to transfer sponsorship to your new employer as soon as possible. HEBC can help you through the process of changing to a new sponsor, when such a time arises.

Please contact HortEducationBC for sponsorship:
(604) 430.0422

Step 2: Enrol at KPU. Download the Apprentice Registration Form

The Apprenticeship Registration form is available at  Please complete all required information and submit to Student Enrolment Services at KPU Langley, Surrey or Richmond or to Apprentice Services in KPU Tech Cloverdale.

  • Payment and Fee Information
    • A $10 non-refundable Apprentice Evaluation fee will be charged for each registration
    • Full tuition and fees are due at the time of registration
      • Sponsored students must provide a Letter of Authorization from their sponsor to complete the registration process; this means that if your sponsor is paying your tuition, your sponsor needs to provide a letter to KPU allowing KPU to invoice them (letter authorizes KPU to invoice the sponsor for tuition).
    • Payments can be made in person by debit, cheque or money order (payable to KPU)
    • Review the Apprentice Payment, Refund and Fee Adjustment at
  • Selecting an Intake
    • Program Schedule and registration CRN’s (course registration number) can be found online at

Step 3: Apprentice Services

Once your registration application has been submitted, Apprentice Services will confirm your eligibility utilizing ITA Direct Access.  A registration decision will be provided once the assessment is complete. 

Eligibility requirements for your program are listed in the ITA Program Profile ( 

If you require additional information please contact Apprentice Services by email at or 604.598.6102

Step 4:  Communications from KPU to Apprentices

All KPU students are assigned a KPU account.  You can access your KPU email, student account information, registration, schedules and more.  Be sure to log into your myKwantlen account using your Student Number (above) at  Your temporary password is set to your date of birth as DDMonYYYY (eg. 25Dec1990); be sure to change your password when you first log in.

When necessary, KPU will forward any information to you by means of your KPU email address only.


Tuition fees per six-week sessions and eight-week sessions are subject to change annually. Please visit the Tuition & Fees website for 2016/2017. Charges for Fixed Term Programs If you have any questions, please contact Apprentice Services by email at or 604.598.6102


The cost of the required texts for each level total approximately $250 to $300. Note: These costs are subject to change without notice.


Students are responsible for field trip costs, CSA safety footwear, rain gear, accommodations, basic school supplies, and study materials.


Apprenticeship technical training sessions are scheduled to start between late September and mid January and February. Early inquiry and application will ensure your assignment to the next available Technical Training period:  Start Dates


Provincial program financial supports must be applied for online through the Apprentice Online Portal at Information on EI is available at It is recommended that eligible apprentices apply for these supports four weeks in advance of the start of their technical training and application must be made no later than the first day of technical training.


Graduates of Horticulture Certificate (Foundation) Programs, at accredited B.C. Horticulture Institutions, currently ladder directly into level 3 of the Horticulture Apprenticeship Program. Journeypersons can transfer into the diploma program; they transfer or receive approximately 30 credits of course work. Call us at 604.599.3254 for more information or contact HortEducationBC at (604) 430.0422.


The university calendar contains rules and regulations that govern students while at the university; each student is responsible for being aware of these rules and regulations. The calendar is available online at


School of Horticulture @ KPU
Langley Campus, 20901 Langley By-Pass, Langley
604.599.2422 science&