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Notes on assessment

Notes on assessment for those recommending the award of the Diploma


Assessment shall be carried out by suitably experienced, recognised accreditors  - see criteria for appointment of accreditors.

Assessment should be guided by the criteria for the award. Particular reference may be made to the “permaculture design criteria guide” (see separate document)


Design skill

Use your judgement to assess whether the candidate has achieved sufficient quality in:

  • showing that in each case an identifiable process was followed to reach the design

  • describing the design using systems terms and permaculture design language (e.g. are there relational diagrams - or tables - of inputs, yields, functions, elements and events?)

  • narrating the designer's interactions with the Client (owners, client group, stakeholders) and explaining how this has informed the design work

  • identifying the Client's relationship with the site or situation

  • demonstrating fluency with a range of design methods and tools

  • discussing the design in terms of pattern and general ecological principles

  • evaluating what has been learned from the design and making suggestions for further work and improvements

  • selecting an appropriate diversity of projects, so as to demonstrate the above.


Common reasons for failing to achieve the standard are:

  • a lack of application of material taught on the 72 hour coursea
  • focus on a personal relationship with the site and the design - not recognising the Client and external stakeholders
  • excessive use of principles in explaining the design process. with a corresponding lack of information about the methods and tools used.


Theory in Action

Make a general assessment of the candidate's coherence, integrity and ability to “walk the talk”, with particular reference to her/his attitude towards the ethics of permaculture.


Other criteria

Note that all other criteria are non-essential and will not affect the recommendation for the award by the Institute. If other criteria are to be assessed, you should make reference to the relevant documents and the specific reasons for including them.



Version 1-4 Dec 2010