Privileges Associated with the PDC Certificate

In the permaculture tradition established by Bill Mollison, with this certificate a graduate may confidently use the word ‘permaculture’ in the promotion of their work or business. This might include permaculture design consulting, offering finished design work, implementing designs on the ground, and/or offering and teaching one’s own workshops and classes on permaculture.

Please Note However: This does not make you (or any of us) “Certified Permaculture Designers” as some may assert or think. 

There is no nationally or internationally recognized agency or program that certifies someone as an “officially-licensed-permaculture designer”. The PDC Certificate simply states that one has satisfactorily completed a PDC training and now has earned the privilege to consider themselves a ‘permaculturist’ (skilled or not) and may offer their design abilities or knowledge to others.

If a PDC-certificate holder feels that they are ready to offer permaculture designs, they may certainly do so and call themselves a ‘permaculture designer’. Ultimately, each individual decides for themselves if and when they feel qualified to declare themselves a permaculture designer following the completion of their PDC certificate training.

If you do move into designing, what you charge is up to you. However, since the quality of your design work and service reflects upon the entire permaculture community, we encourage everyone to operate with the integrity and openness which is at the heart of this work. If you are new and inexperienced, charge a modest amount for your services and be upfront and honest with your clients regarding your skill and experience level. As you become more and more accomplished, charge more.

Absolutely. Within the permaculture tradition, as a PDC Certificate holder graduates may teach permaculture classes in whatever subjects they feel knowledgeable and capable of teaching. We suggest new graduates start with 1-3 hour classes and work their way up to half-day, full-day and then weekend trainings.

Mollison’s over-reaching desire, (as well as that of the world permaculture community), is that teachers leave students inspired with the possibilities associated with permaculture thinking and designing and a greater confidence in their ability to design and create permanent systems that will care for themselves, others and the planet.

If you have the ability to teach and inspire… Please Teach Permaculture!!!

The accepted tradition in the Permaculture community is for aspiring PDC Course teachers to first take a permaculture teacher training and then work with other experienced and talented PDC instructors to become competent in hosting and delivering this comprehensive training. However, once a person feels confident and ready, they may offer their own PDC Courses and offer their own certificates.

There is no single entity in the United States or the world that grants official PDC teacher certification or guarantees a teacher’s qualifications. The organizations who offer teacher trainings do so to support their own students and the greater permaculture community in offering quality and inspiring trainings. 

Why Not Create an Official Worldwide Permaculture Institution or Trade Organization?
It might happen someday, but the very essence of permaculture resists a institutionalized or top-down organizational approach.  Mollison felt that a traditional bureaucracy would have a dampening effect on the open availability and spirit of permaculture. We agree.

Permaculture students from our Grand Rapids PDC posing by their recently dug swale.
Permaculture students from our Grand Rapids PDC posing by their recently dug swale.