[permaculture] "certified permaculture designers"

Scott Pittman scott at permaculture.org
Thu Jul 26 11:03:55 EDT 2007

It takes an enormous amount of hubris to call oneself a "professional" after
two weeks of basic training.  It has always been the case that the two week
permaculture certification course was step one on ones path to becoming a
teacher or designer in permaculture.  

As Toby rightly states the diploma was intended to confer on diplomats the
title of designer or teacher or administrator etc.  There are 9 or 10
occupation categories of diplomas which are issued when the applicant has
presented examples of his/her work and displays competence in the field.

Originally it was thought that two years was sufficient time to accumulate
enough experience and knowledge to apply for a diploma.  There are, of
course, those whose life experience before encountering permaculture is
sufficient to demonstrate competence in a field and to become a diplomat.

I'm very leery of any such titles and apply the dictum "the proof is in the
pudding" as the true test of ability.

Scott Pittman
Permaculture Institute
-----Original Message-----
From: Toby Hemenway [mailto:toby at patternliteracy.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 6:41 PM
To: permaculture
Subject: [permaculture] "certified permaculture designers"

Paul wrote:
> I'm a certified permaculture designer and I'm pretty passionate about
> permaculture principles.
> Recently, I saw a terrible thing.  Six rational, eco-friendly people,
> including two that are certified permaculture designers,

Toby wrote:
A note about the use of terms. Taking a 72-hour design course does not 
make you a "certified permaculture designer." The original certificates 
from Mollison say, in some cases, that the holder "has successfully 
completed a permaculture design course" and other certificates from him 
say "is a permaculture design trainee." Somehow in later iterations by 
other teachers, usually a few generations removed from Bill, people got 
the idea that a PDC made you a professional, certified designer. 
Seventy-two hours is the equivalent of two college classes but with no 
homework, which is not enough to make anyone a designer. Bill has been 
very firm about this, and most of the old-school teachers feel the same 
way. I believe it's generally thought that getting a diploma from the 
Permaculture Institute after two years of study under a mentor is what 
is required to call yourself a certified designer (right, Scott or Robyn 
or any of you long-time Pc teachers?). It's unfortunate that this 
"resume bloat" has led to so many people thinking the PDC makes them a 
certified designer, instead of a design trainee.

I'd be happy to hear anyone's thoughts, pro or con, about this.


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