Diplomas

Increase your effectiveness, credibility, and knowledge by acquiring a professional diploma in permaculture Site Design or Education. PINA’s diploma program is designed to help you learn and achieve excellence through a process that supports your needs.

Two diplomas are currently offered:

PINA plans to offer additional permaculture diploma specializations in the future.

    Experienced Permaculturists

    PINA is providing an expedited process for working permaculture practitioners with at least 6 years of experience who already meet the requirements for the regular diploma laid out below. The Experienced Track streamlines the application process and is substantially less expensive, while still requiring a body of documentation not asked of the Fast Track invitees.
    View the Experienced-Track Diploma Requirements.

     Senior Permaculturists

    PINA has invited approximately 65 Senior Permaculturists — generally those with 10-20 years of experience in the field — to apply for a diploma based on work already accomplished. If you have received an invitation to apply for PINA’s Fast-Track diploma, you can skip the steps below and complete the Fast-Track Application.
    View the Fast-Track Diploma Requirements.

    Regular Diploma Program Steps

    For either diploma, the steps below will likely take 2-3 years to complete depending upon your current experience level.  

  1. Complete a Permaculture Design Course (PDC)
  2. Become a PINA member
  3. Apply for Diploma Candidacy
  4. Gain Guidance from Experts
  5. Gain Experience and Document Progress
  6. Pay annual candidate renewal fee of $60 each year that you are still working on your diploma. Pay Candidate Renewal Fee
  7. Portfolio Review and Evaluation
  8. Receive Your Diploma
1. Complete a Permaculture Design Course (PDC)

Certification from a PINA-recognized 72-hour PDC is required. Learn about the Permaculture Design Course.

2. Become a PINA Member

Membership with PINA is required. Learn about membership and register.

3. Apply for Diploma Candidacy

Submit your application for diploma candidacy online or through the mail. The application fee is $200. Once paid, PINA will review and process your application.

It is expected that you will complete the diploma process within 3 years. After the first year of diploma candidacy, PINA will charge an annual renewal fee of $60 to track and continue your candidacy. If needed, additional time to complete the diploma program may be authorized by your field advisor.

Apply for Diploma Candidacy

Handout: Application for Diploma Candidacy (pdf)

4. Gain Guidance from Experts

A PINA-recognized field advisor is central to assisting you throughout the program. The advisor offers resources for research and recommendations for mentors, tracks your work, and provides feedback and written evaluations. Monthly meetings are recommended either face-to-face or remotely.

Mentors have a specific area of expertise, but do not need to be permaculturists. For example, a local herbalist may help you select plants for a medicinal garden design.

Compensation to the field advisor and mentors are paid directly and are determined through mutual agreement. A rate of $60 per hour to advisors is suggested.

5. Gain Experience and Document Progress

You must create a self-directed Action Learning Plan to fulfill requirements for the diploma program. Action learning is structured around objectives and learning by tackling real issues with other people as a volunteer or through paid work. Planning, taking action, observing, and reflecting are key skills. The field advisor guides this process by assessing your experience, determining how you best qualify for a diploma, and offering recommendations for study.

Document your activities by creating a portfolio of work. The portfolio illustrates mastery of the key ethics, principles, and skills on which permaculture rests. This portfolio is a primary component of your application so keep it organized from the start.

Each diploma has specific requirements for the Action Learning Plan and portfolio.

6. Portfolio Review and Evaluation

Once your portfolio is complete, it is reviewed by several experts before you receive your diploma.

Field advisor evaluation

Your field advisor evaluates and approves your portfoilo and provides you with a written evaluation.

Regional review

If there is a regional hub for your region, your field advisor requests them to convene a diploma review panel of peers where you will present your portfolio. The panel may request additional work in specific areas. Upon final review, the regional panel issues a brief written report.  This step is waived pending hub formation if none yet exists in your area.

A fee may be required from the regional hub.

PINA review

Once your portfolio is approved at the regional hub (if any), the field advisor forwards your portfolio and all reports to PINA. PINA’s Diploma Review Panel then assesses your portfolio and accepts it or requests additional documentation or work experience.

7. Receive Your Diploma

Upon final approval by PINA, you are awarded PINA’s Professional Diploma, recognizing your broad competence in the area of your diploma specialization, along with the PINA logo to use on your professional materials.

Permaculture educators also receive a master copy of the PINA PDC Certificate. You can issue this certificate to students upon their completion of a PDC.

Handout: Diploma Program Details (pdf)

Diploma Fee Summary

The amount of time it takes to complete your diploma will depend on your previous experience and amount of focus on the program.  We think it is likely that diploma candidates will take 3 years to complete a portfolio. The estimated PINA cost to receive a diploma is $710.

Summary:

  • $90: Basic PINA membership for 3 years ($30 per year)
  • $200: Diploma program application fee
  • $120: Two annual renewals for diploma candidacy ($60 per year)
  • $350: Portfolio review fee

Fees for field advisor and mentors (6-12 hours per year at a PINA recommended rate of $60/hour) are not included. Tuition for remedial PDCs and advanced trainings are also not included.

Staying Involved

After receiving your diploma, your name, permaculture business name if any, and contact information will be published in the PINA roster of diplomates.

It is expected that you will maintain an active membership in PINA and you will participate in a PINA-recognized education program or permaculture convergence at least once every 3 years.

PINA will review your credentials every 5 years.

Permaculture educators should send PDC participant rosters to the PINA registry.

You may want to consider becoming a field advisor. Learn more about field advisors.