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Permaculture Training and Education

Accredited Training

Accredited Permaculture Training (APT) is training that leads to the award of national vocational qualifications under the Australian Qualifications Framework. APT provides qualifications in Permaculture at Certificate I, Certificate II, Certificate III, Certificate IV and Diploma levels. APT is owned by Permaculture International Ltd (PIL) on behalf of the permaculture community. APT courses can only be provided by PIL approved APT trainers working directly or in partnership with a PIL approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO). APT courses need to meet both permaculture and national vocational training standards. Full-time courses are Austudy approved.  RTOs that offer APT qualifications are required to offer Recognition of Prior Learning and/or Current Competence for the units of competency they deliver in those qualifications. This means that you may be able to use your existing permaculture or related credentials and experience to assist you to gain APT qualifications or credits.

Permaculture Design Course (PDC)

A PDC is the 72-hour course curriculum of The Permaculture Institute, as originally developed by Bill Mollison, the co founder of Permaculture. Successful PDC participants are awarded a PDC Certificate of Completion which is the minimum requirement for permaculture teachers and consultants. The PDC certificate is recognised internationally by the permaculture community, is a prerequisite for attending national and international permaculture designers convergences, and a requirement of membership of Permaculture International Ltd - as such it represents a global permaculture ‘industry standard’.  PDC’s can vary according to local context and the skills and experience of teachers.

Other Permaculture Training

There are many varieties of training with a permaculture theme being delivered around Australia. Often, short courses will be offered (maybe between half a day up to a week), for example Introduction to Permaculture, Permaculture Plants, Permaculture Food Gardens and so on. These courses generally are non accredited or are not subject to oversight by the Permaculture Institute, but are usually more practical or specialised than a PDC. Some specialist professional development courses such as Advanced Permaculture Design Skills earn credits towards APT qualifications. PCC does not vet or review any permaculture training providers, but it is reasonable to recommend that PCC members seek out training providers who deliver APT and as such, have an affiliation with an RTO, are an RTO or have a credible track record in the subjects they teach.

What is best for you?

It depends on what you want to do with your permaculture knowledge and skills as to what path of training best suits your needs. APT is useful if you want to pursue a career in permaculture related areas, or if you want to teach APT. The PDC, which has long been the benchmark for Permaculture training, is still highly recommended, particularly if you are keen on establishing your own permaculture lifestyle. Short courses generally provide you with limited but very useful pieces of permaculture knowledge or practical skills. Short courses too, are recommended, but if at all possible, it is recommended that a full PDC or APT is pursued.

Types of training

There are three general types of permaculture education/training:

  • nationally Accredited Permaculture Training (APT)
  • the Permaculture Design Course
  • non accredited permaculture training (everything else)

Useful links

To help you with your research, try these links: