The Permaculture Institute of North America supports pathways to professional development for practitioners, students, and professionals in our wide territory. PINA’s professional diploma recognizes achievement and excellence in the field based on self-directed and documented work, coupled with peer review and support.

We believe that PINA offers something new to our community that it needs more now than ever before. Our collective knowledge is considerable, and our experience vast, but in order to influence society more effectively, we must lift our game.

In 2015, PINA created a Fast Track process to recognize the accomplishments of senior permaculturists, those with 10-20 years of experience and a continental reputation. We invited 65 such veterans, 38 of whom are now PINA diplomates.

PINA has now opened another pathway, the Experienced Track, designed to meet the needs of those already working professionally in permaculture or who have completed a significant body of work, but are not yet recognized beyond their own locale or a limited region.

Experienced Track Diploma – Summary

PINA is providing an expedited process for working permaculture practitioners with at least six 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.

You can read about the full Experienced Track requirements – you will also need to read the requirements for the Regular Diploma to make sure you qualify completely.

Full Description

With the expectation that the diploma requirements have already been met, the focus is on assembling and submitting a portfolio sufficient to show excellence in the field. The Experienced Track streamlines the application process, while still requiring some documentation not asked of the Fast Track.

Candidates applying for this Track to the Diploma (any specialization) must meet the following criteria:

  • Is a member of PINA
  • Has a minimum of six years experience post-PDC
  • Has already met the core requirements for the regular diploma
  • Pays $350 on application, which includes $150 for administration and coaching on the preparation of and review of the portfolio (to be provided by Administrator or a Reviewer). If the application is rejected, $150 is non-refundable.  However, $200 may be transferred to payment for a Regular Diploma application.
  • Presents their portfolio in a very straight forward manner, using the guidelines provided by the Diploma Program Committee and their assigned Reviewer.  If the portfolio is not in the form requested, the Reviewer may, at their discretion, continue working with the applicant to complete their portfolio rather than having it rejected or sent to the regular program process.  If given this option, the applicant will pay an additional retainer for the assistance of the Reviewer or a Field Advisor before continuing with the Experienced Track.
  • Will pay $60/year maintenance fee if the completion goes beyond six months from date of application
  • Pays professional dues of $60/year on granting of the Diploma, and subsequently.

Relative to our existing specializations in Site Design and Education, you will need to document the following:

  • Have completed an advanced course in Site Design or Education according to specialization. (This requirement may be waived by the Diploma Program Committee under special and compelling circumstances.)
  • Two designs (drawings and report), and list others as required; other specific requirements will be developed for other specialties. Designs should exhibit a similar range of scope and scale as required of regular candidates, i.e., invisible structures, team design, rural, urban, etc.
  • Design process flow, client questionnaire, sample PDC schedule, etc. found on the application form.

For Site Design Diploma only

  • Fully document one additional design (for a total of three) and list at least another seven designs with supporting information.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation from clients you served in a professional capacity and who are not related to you. These should verify that your work contributes to the adaptation of the site to an appropriate regenerative ecology; that you can work well with clients in realizing both their personal goals and the ecological needs of the site itself; and that you have experience with design implementation or contributed significant support (budget, timeline, sources, etc…) to the practical development of the project on the ground.

For Education Diploma only

  • Have taught 2 or more PDCs under/with a senior teacher(s) and provide letters of recommendation from them.  The letters should include verification that you are qualified to teach the entire PDC on your own and certify students.  Document at least another eight courses and your role in them.
  • Provide detailed curriculum notes on three main PDC subjects: one invisible/meta-systems; one natural systems; one cultivated systems, e.g., economics, forests and trees, waste treatment.

For Site Development & Implementation Diploma only

  • Standards for this new diploma offering coming soon.

Our intent is to provide an expedited process for working practitioners that reduces the need for

  1. delay
  2. complete documentation
  3. mentoring by a senior teacher or designer
  4. Field Advisor guidance
  5. Portfolio review by regional hub and/or Review panel.

These privileges are granted in recognition of substantial accomplishments already made by the applicant, and on the assumption that a nearly complete portfolio can be readily assembled.

In view of the likelihood that the applicant will need some guidance regarding details of presenting the portfolio in the application and the need for a more extensive review, an additional fee is required. The Experienced Track still enables a skilled and accomplished practitioner to eliminate significant costs in obtaining the diploma, and to move almost directly to diploma issuance. However, it does exact a measure of precision and care at the application stage to ensure that PINA only issues diplomas for actual competence.