[permaculture] Advance notes on Permaculture Standards and Principals for NAPC

Scott Pittman scott at permaculture.org
Sun Aug 17 18:48:43 EDT 2014

This is meant to expedite this working group and to serve as a focusing tool
for the participants.  I am certainly open to adding to the agenda.  I have
high hopes that this NAPC will be a working event and that we will be able
to reach some understanding of what is meant when one uses the word
permaculture and permaculture design course.


I also hope to stimulate some online discussion prior to the NAPC.  Those of
you who are more computer literate than I please share to other web sites
where it might generate interest.



Scott Pittman



Permaculture Standards and Principals


This work group will look at PC Standards and Principals in a general way
and then more specifically at the Permaculture Design Course Standards and


By standards I mean such things as how many days is a PDC, what is the
curriculum, who issues certificates, who is qualified to teach a PDC, and
other questions.  By principals I am attempting to reach an understanding of
how does permaculture ethics come into play as practiced by the permaculture
teacher and designer.


The following is a partial agenda for discussion:


o     What is a PDC

o     Who is qualified to teach a PDC

o     How much time is required for a PDC

o     What is the curriculum of a PDC

o     What exercises are required for a PDC

o     What is the price of a PDC

o     Who issues the PDC certificate and under what authority

o     What is a PC Diploma

o     Who is qualified to issue a Diploma

o     What are the requirements for a Diploma

o     How do PC ethics apply to teachers and designers

o     Is PC Capitalism an oxymoron


To be perfectly candid the Permaculture Institute has already developed a
standard for the PDC and the Diploma and my interest is in knowing should we
have a standard that applies to all teachers and designers?  This work group
will look at the above and other issues and hopefully reach some conclusions
that could be presented to the general body to be further discussed and
perhaps adapted.


I believe that a PDC is a certification course that is the first step toward
an apprenticeship in permaculture and does not confer the right to teach or
to design.  Rather it introduces one to the ideas of permaculture and the
students may pursue further study to become a teacher or designer.  The
Permaculture Institute follows a policy that one should have a Diploma of
Permaculture before teaching or designing on their own.


I also believe that PDC courses require a minimum of 12 days to reach
certificate standards, and 3 weeks would be preferable.  The minimum
standard of 72 hours face time established by Bill Mollison did not include
any hands on exercises, student design, videos, or other extracurricular
activity.  The 72 hours was intended to cover the basic curriculum of
permaculture design.  


The standards of the Permaculture Institute is that a teacher of the PDC is
ethically bound to certain standards of teaching and of following the
curriculum plus any new information or techniques that update the curriculum
ie Global Climate Change.


I look forward to this discussion and hope this information is helpful in
preparing for the discussion.  I am attaching the curriculum of the
Permaculture Institute as well as the curriculum of Robin Francis as
examples of Curricula that is currently being used.  I also recommend
Rosemary Morrow's new edition of "A Teachers Handbook".


Scott Pittman

Permaculture Institute 


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