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Diploma in Permaculture Design

From the early beginnings of permaculture, our diploma has been a recognition of the ability to do practical permaculture design work, together with the achievement of a certain standard of practice. At the Institute, we can demonstrate our own apprenticeship with the early pioneers and we now carry out our work under the international protocols that they established. Read more about apprenticeships and the Institute's approach.

To embark on the diploma, apprentices must have completed the 72 hour permaculture design course. The diploma is work-based and may be completed entirely "in the field" with no further formal training sessions. To be awarded the diploma, apprentices must build up a portfolio of their design work over a period of at least two years (most people take longer, some a lot longer). The criteria for the award are explained to apprentices when they sign up, but as a matter of public record they are given here.

There are no registration fees for apprentices at the Institute. However, we expect them first to be apprenticed to at least one full member of the Institute, and also to gain the recommendation of a second member. Once accepted, apprentices have "associate member" status and may contribute to the development of the Institute should they so wish. Our membership pages will tell you more about how to apply.

Accreditation (the award of the diploma) takes place once there is a suitable portfolio of design work to assess. The accreditation event is some form of review that only takes an hour or two. We are, however, very clear what we are looking for. We have published the guidelines that we give to our representatives who will make the decision.

In our experience, accreditation events that take place within the local community of the candidate are a powerful affirmation of the designer's achievements.

Our diploma awarding panel has many years of experience and hard work behind them, and we all have a personal interest in keeping standards of practice at a high level. We have published our criteria for the members who will make recommendations for the award to apprentices. We see these activities as demanding another level of apprenticeship. The criteria are strict, but we do not exclude help from members who have made substantial progress towards the criteria, and continue to aspire to them. In many ways, we are all still apprentices.


Our policy on the diploma

Criteria for the award of the diploma

Guidelines for making the award

Criteria for those making recommendations for the award

Contact us for more information