What is Permaculture Design Certification?

What is permaculture design certification?  In a nutshell, it is a class you can take to learn extensively about the ideas and principles that permaculture is all about.

After completing a permaculture design certification course (often referred to as a PDC), designers are qualified to independently plan and implement permaculture design projects. 

Some people become certified in order to implement the principles of permaculture at home or on their private farms.  And many certified designers work as consultants or contractors for other individuals, companies, and governments that want to implement permaculture on their own properties.

Welcome sign for permaculture design certification course

Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Mollison's Viral Design

As soon as Bill Mollison began teaching the first permaculture design certification courses, he also began encouraging each of his students to become a teacher themselves.  In this way, Mollison believed that the revolutionary ideas of permaculture could spread around the world and become available to anyone who wanted to learn. 

I’m selling you information…
I want you to sell this information…
If we sell enough information we can change the world.

Bill Mollison, Funding the Revolution

Mollison's model worked, spreading the ideas of permaculture around the world within a decade.  Today the movement is stronger than ever, and almost anyone can find a permaculture design certification course that is affordable and close to home. 

What Can You Expect?

Different permaculture courses (PDCs) can be quite different from one another, depending on the location and duration of the course, and the individual styles of the teachers involved.  Some courses may require you to purchase Bill Mollison's authoritative guide Permaculture: A Designer's Manual.

Some courses remove the students entirely from their everyday routines and transplant them into a tribal setting in the wilderness for weeks at a time. Some courses are taught on farms.  Some courses are taught under fluorescent lights at government-owned civic buildings.

Some courses are taught all day every day for 10 or more days in a row.  Others are taught only on weekends, with classes lasting for several months.  Still others are taught one day a week and last for most of a year.

When you're shopping for a PDC, be sure that you choose a teacher, location, setting, and schedule that will work well for you and maximize the return on your investment. 

Aranya teaching a permaculture design certification course

Aranya teaching - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Where Can You Earn Your Permaculture Design Certification?

There are institutions around the world that offer PDC courses, and some courses are offered online.

Up until 2010, Bill Mollison's Permaculture Institute maintained a registry of certified permaculture teachers.  In 2011, Geoff Lawton's Permaculture Research Institute picked up the task.  PRI currently administers the certification and renewal process for permaculture teachers worldwide.

While the principles of permaculture can be learned and taught by anyone, anywhere; you need to make sure that your teacher and course are registered with PRI if you want to advertise your services as a Certified Permaculture Designer. 

If you aren't ready to make the commitment to becoming certified now, you can still expand your knowledge and understanding of permaculture by taking any number of permaculture-related classes.  And there is a huge array of resources including books and videos that you can take advantage of all on your own.

What is Permaculture Design Certification?

This brief overview should answer your question, "What is permaculture design certification?"  If you have more questions, see our growing list of permaculture institutions to learn more about what classes are offered and how they are structured. 

To learn more about permaculture without becoming certified, read the information contained on this site and refer to our list of permaculture resources

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