Wildlife Dangerous Tree Assessor Certificate Program

Oct. 16, 2021 UPDATE!  Information Sharing on Misrepresentation of Wildlife Dangerous Tree Assessor, Wildland Fire Safety Certificates and the Process for Validating Wildlife Dangerous Tree Assessor Certificates

UNBC Continuing Studies has recently been informed by the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) of incidents whereby contractors had employees working on the fire line as Dangerous Tree Assessors (DTA) without active certification. It is a requirement by WorkSafeBC that any individual acting in the role of a DTA on the fire line must have an active WDTA Wildland Fire Safety Certification, issued by UNBC.

Starting in 2022, BCWS will be cross-referencing all contractor rosters for DTA certified personnel with UNBC’s Database. Any person that does not have current certification (i.e. failed or never took a course) will not be contracted to work, and their employer will be notified by the BCWS. Because BCWS will be working with contractors to verify Certificate information there is no need to reach out to UNBC Continuing Studies to verify Certificate information. 

Given the BCWS contract roster deadlines (June 1 for faller contracts and July 1 for Type 3 crew), and UNBC’s 2-3 week window to process Certificates/wallet cards, we encourage you to have employees trained a month prior to BCWS contract deadlines in order to have a complete roster of Certified DTA’s. 

Register for a WDTA Wildland Fire Safety course in your region here.

If you are not on contract with BCWS and/or need a Parks & Recreation or Forest Harvesting & Silviculture Certificate validated because you are given Certificate information but not presented the physical wallet card, please follow this process:

  • Contact UNBC Continuing Studies via email at cstudies@unbc.ca with the legal names (first and last), associated Certificate #’s and expiry dates of the Certificates for the purposes of validating Certificate information. 

For further information or to pose questions about Certificate validation please contact Lesley Haines at lesley.haines@unbc.ca

UNBC Continuing Studies will continue to follow the guidance provided by Northern Health, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training regarding future deliveries of our courses. We encourage you to monitor UNBC’s COVID – 19 website for more information. 

Important Information Concerning Extension Letters

Between now and December 31st, 2021 90-day extensions will be granted to those whose Certificate is about to expire (i.e. still valid), and due to Geographic Hardship (there are no courses available in your local area by the date of certificate expiry) one cannot attend a course.  To make an extension request please email Lesley.haines@unbc.ca with your full name, Certificate number and the community in which you are located.

As of January 1st, 2022, extensions for all modules will no longer be granted.  One must complete their re-certification prior to their Certificate expiring. 

Wildlife Dangerous Tree Assessor courses are offered throughout the year, however due to seasonal constraints in some parts of the province and instructor capacity to deliver courses, people may have to travel outside of their region to access a course within a timeframe that is required to complete a course prior to their Certificate expiring.  During firefighting season (June/July/August), all modules will be offered on a limited basis, dependent upon forest closures and instructor availability.

Winter courses will not be offered in the interior of BC from December 1 through March 1. We encourage you to register for courses early in the year, to ensure you are able to receive your certification prior to the start of the field season.  Courses may get cancelled under the following safety conditions: heavy rainfall or wind storms, restrictive overhead conditions (i.e. heavy snowfall), field sites not being accessible due to snow on the ground and/or road washouts.

The Wildlife Dangerous Tree Assessor Certificate consists of three modules that provide specialized training in proper assessment and procedures for resolving wildlife dangerous trees in specific forestry and industry-related operations.

1. Forest Harvesting & Silviculture Module

The Forest Harvesting & Silviculture Module teaches students to identify wildlife trees and assess the necessary steps to ensure worker safety and habitat protection when operating around wildlife/dangerous trees. The knowledge and techniques learned in this course are applicable to workplace activities in forestry operations, silviculture, oil and gas, and road construction/deactivation.

2. Parks & Recreation Module

The Parks & Recreation Module is developed and designed specifically for parks and recreation sites, and municipal settings, such as urban parks, where exposure to potentially dangerous trees may occur.

3. Wildland Fire Safety Module

This course provides students the knowledge and technical procedures for assessing tree hazards and establishing appropriate safe-work practices in situations where there is potential exposure from dangerous trees to workers on the fire line. It also provides information on assessing both tree hazards and wildlife-tree habitat value, where opportunities exist. 

To register for courses online, click the "Register Now" button below.

Inside the online registration system, click the blue "Filters" tab and select "All Seasons."

Then find the module you are attending under the Wildlife Dangerous Tree category. 

First time Student: $475             Re-certification: $430         
Challenge: $245 (maximum of two spaces per delivery)

Please note: All Challenge registrations must occur over the phone as there are requirements that must be met in order to qualify. Call 250-960-5980 for more information on how to complete a Challenge.


Two methods to choose from:

1.  Registration Form (return completed form to Continuing Studies) 

2. Online (step-by-step instructions below)

Online Registration Step-by-Step

1. Click the “Register Online” button above to enter our registration system.

2. Scroll down the page to find the "Wildlife Danger Tree" subcategory and select the category of the course you would like to attend.

3. Find the correct module for the location you would like to attend and select "Register Now" to visit our login page.

4. For courses starting April 2020 and after, click the blue "Filters" button and select the 2020/21 season from the drop-down menu.

5. If you do not have a login account with UNBC Continuing Studies, you will have to create one in order to register.

***Please notice the important program details listed below, which all potential students should read carefully prior to registration.***


Course(s) Duration

All public Wildlife Dangerous Tree Assessor Modules are two-day courses that offer in-class & in-field instruction.

Required Materials

  • Hard hat
  • High visibility vest
  • Six-ring binder field book
  • Outdoor appropriate clothes and footwear
  • Probing tool

Items to Bring if Owned

  • Increment borer (Parks and FHS)
  • Clinometer (Parks and FHS)
  • Binoculars (Parks and FHS)
  • Diameter tape (all modules)

Valid original identification must be presented upon sign-in at a Wildlife Dangerous Tree Assessor's course. Ideally, one piece of primary identification, otherwise, two pieces of secondary identification will be required.

All Course Prerequisites

Those participants wishing to become qualified assessors must have the following course prerequisites: 

1. Three or more years of practical field experience in the area of forestry, resource management, parks management, wildland fire protection, arboriculture, or a related field; and

2. Grade 10 equivalency in reading, writing and arithmetic skills (including the ability to calculate percentages); and

3. Ability to identify tree species native to BC; and

4. Proven forestry measurement skills to determine tree diameter, height, lean, stem cross-section, and skill in distance measuring; and

In addition to the above, for attending the Fire Module:

5. Persons must demonstrate that they have recent fire-line experience, (at least 10 days over the previous three years); OR

 6. Persons have a minimum five days of documented Dangerous Tree assessment experience (harvesting/silviculture, parks) in the previous calendar year.

Important Certificate Information

Wildlife Dangerous Tree Assessor certificates are valid for a four-year period. To continue working as an assessor, you must renew your certificate no later than the expiry date printed on the card and letter. You will receive your pass/fail letter and/or wallet card in the mail two to three weeks from the date of grade submission to UNBC.

Outside of course delivery, field cards can be obtained from the following three sources:
1: Government of BC.
2: Parks and FHS hardcopies: call the Distribution Centre at 1-800-282-7955.
3: Fire hardcopies: call 250-387-5965 or visit your local Fire Centre to request a set.

Code of Conduct

The WDTC is committed to providing a working and learning environment in which all students, support staff and instructors are treated with respect and dignity. Course participants and instructors have a responsibility to respect the rights of others and to cooperate in creating and maintaining an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination. To assist in this endeavor a Code of Conduct has been adopted.