[permaculture] diploma in permaculture design

Pacific Edge Permaculture + Media pacedge at magna.com.au
Sat Jul 27 00:26:43 EDT 2002

Mark has an interesting point below, but I suspect that few people have 
his breadth of knowledge, so a design or similar course might still be 
worthwhile for most people.

I am not making assumptions about Mark's knowledge or abilities, however 
the people I have met who considered themselves capable permaculture 
designers and who have not completed a course lacked some of the core 
understandings of the design system, such as concepts of integration of 

I do not know the situation in north America, but in Australia there 
have been a (too few) number of paid employment opportunities which 
asked for a design course certificate. A further benefit of the design 
course has been its ability to 'empower' course participants and enthuse 
them to take action in their own lives and homes or in the community.

Here, Permaculture International has taken the initiative to start 
development of a module-based design course to be accredited as 
vocational training with the nation's training authority. The course 
will be considerably longer and far more detailed and rigorous then the 
existing range of design courses on offer, but will not replace existing 
courses which will continue to be offered as community education-level 
uncertified training.

This is seen as a natural evolution of permaculture education in 
Australia for which there has been some demand for some years.

I find Mark's advice that a design course is unnecessary to validate the 
opinion of some in this country that there are substantial deficiencies 
in the present structure of design courses, deficiencies that some 
trainers have moved to remedy in their own course structure. The 
proposed accredited course will also remedy this for people requiring a 
vocational certificate in permaculture design.

Marks' comment that a design course is valuable to 'neophytes' is true. 
The course, even the very conventional course structure stipulated by 
the Permaculture Institute but largely ignored, provides newcomers with 
a broad but not particularly deep comprehension of the design system and 
leaves plenty of 'information holes' for them to fill in with further 

Russ Grayson
Sydney, Australia

>> My advise is to ignore the absurd obsession people have with getting 
>> their shiny PC certificate.  I have yet to take any PC design course.  
>> I have enough knowledge gained from organic farming, grazing, 
>> landscaping, ecological restoration and a quick trip through the 
>> design manual that it would be a waste of my time to take such a 
>> course.   IF you can read the books, get out and look at some sites, 
>> network with others and fill in any gaps in your education on how to 
>> patch the world up a PC course is not necessary.  It is only really 
>> valuable if you are a relative neophyte.  This view is mine alone, I'm 
>> sure others will suggest you take a course, and if you have the time 
>> and money it sounds like fun.  If not just go for it and don't worry 
>> about the folks that think PC is a trade marked club for those who 
>> went to school.
>> Mark P. Ludwig
>> Poultry Research Lab
>> University of Wisconsin -Madison
>> 608-262-1730 WK
>> 608-846-7125 HM
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