Experienced-Track Diploma Requirements

The Experienced Track is designed to meet the needs of practitioners already working professionally in permaculture or who have completed a significant body of work, but whose reputations have not yet achieved national or continental recognition. These individuals will have already met the core requirements for a regular diploma in either Education, Site Design, Site Development and Implementation, Community Development or Media & Communications. One is also required to have a minimum of six years experience post-PDC and get a letter of recommendation from a PINA diplomate or equivalent.

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 more documentation than is needed for the Fast Track.

Steps for the Experienced-Track Diploma
  • Become a PINA member.  Regular Membership is $20/year.
  • Review the regular requirements in your specialty in EducationSite DesignSite Development and ImplementationCommunity Development or Media & Communications to make sure that you already meet the requirements laid out for Design, Teaching,  Site Development and Implementation and/or Community Development experience.  If you have already taught 10 complete PDCs, the Experienced Track only requires you to have taught two of these with a senior instructor.
  • Apply for Diploma Candidacy.  You will pay $350 with your application which includes $150 for administration and coaching on the preparation of and review of the portfolio.  If the application is rejected, $150 is non-refundable. $200 may be transferred to payment for a Regular Diploma application, but will not be refunded.
  • You may apply for a second diploma in another diploma specialty with the same application if you meet the requirements for each. An additional fee of $150 will be charged for the review of your additional diploma portfolio. This fee is nonrefundable.
  • Present your portfolio in a very straightforward 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 you to complete your portfolio rather than having it rejected or sent to the regular program process.  If given this option, you will pay an additional retainer for the assistance of the Reviewer or a Field Advisor before continuing with the Experienced Track.
  • Provide a letter of recommendation from a PINA diplomate or equivalent who is familiar with your work stating a belief that you have most likely met the requirements for a PINA diploma.
  • Pay $60/year maintenance fee if the completion goes beyond six months from date of application.  PINA expects this process to last no longer than six months.
  • Portfolio Review and Evaluation by the PINA Diploma Program Committee.
  • Receive your Diploma
  • Pay professional dues of $75/year on granting of the Diploma, and subsequently.
Experienced-Track Requirements:
    Relative to our existing specializations in Site Design,  Education, Site Development & Implementation, Community Development and Media & Communications, you will need to document the following:
  • Have a minimum of six years permaculture experience post-PDC.
  • Have completed an advanced course with a PINA diplomate or equivalent in Site Design or Education according to specialization. (As advanced courses specific to Site Development emerge, PINA may modify this requirement, which may also be waived by the DPC under special and compelling circumstances.)
  • Fully document two designs (drawings and report), and list at least the required number of designs with supporting information.  Designs should exhibit a similar range of scope and scale as required of regular candidates, i.e., invisible structures, team design, rural, urban, etc.
  • Provide a statement of your Goals and Contributions which describe your goals working in permaculture personally and professionally, and any unique contributions you have made to the field.
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.
  • Document your design process flow and client questionnaire.
For Education Diploma only
  • Have taught two or more PDCs under/with a senior teacher(s) and provide letters of recommendation from them.  (See FAQs for details.) 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 a sample PDC schedule/curriculum for one of your courses.
  • 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.)
  • Provide course evaluations from 10 students.
  • Document your design process flow and client questionnaire.
For Site Development and Implementation Diploma only
  • Documentation of each site development or implementation shall include a schematic of the basic design as well as baseline assessments of soil, water, biomass and species from beginning of intervention to date, as well as describing inputs necessary for establishing the project, along with its human co-creators, and reveal how the design and implementation together address permaculture ethics.
  • Provide documentation of public speaking, media presentations or publications about the body of work, field days at the site(s), or workshops let by you and centered on practices or systems you developed.
  • For Site Development emphasis which focuses on a single site, show evidence of the yields as described in the regular Requirements for this Diploma specialty.
  • For the single site emphasis, provide two letters of recommendation from PINA diplomates or equivalent who are professionally familiar with the site.
  • For Site Implementation emphasis which focuses on multiple sites, fully document two system implementations.  These should be for different sites than your site designs.  List at least 10 system implementations with supporting information as described in the regular track requirements.
  • For the multiple sites emphasis, provide two letters of recommendation from clients you served in a professional capacity and who are not related to you.  These should document your work including actual installation and support of budget, timeline, resources etc. for the project.
For Community Development Diploma only
  • List and characterize 10 community-based development designs for at least 5 groups over a period of at least six years following the DPC — OR — List and characterize 5 comprehensive community-based development designs that promote beneficial connections. between diverse groups, over at least six years following the PDC.
  • Written references from at least 2 of the communities listed in the above.
  • Lists should be chronological, indicate time periods for each project, and should provide information about the size and character of the community with which you worked, the aims of the project, the location, and the outcomes in brief.  Where work was documented on the web, please provide a URL.  A short narrative paragraph for each design is appropriate.
  • These tracks may be blended, but the resulting Portfolio should be equivalent in scope, i.e., designs that bridge groups may count for two designs for single communities.
  • The criteria for Tangibility, Staff, Scale, Density, Client compensation, and Implementation stated in the regular track should be met in this Track as well.
  • Whichever of the above tracks is chosen, or however work is apportioned between them, also list 2 full PDCs or Advanced Courses in which you participated fully as a member of the teaching team, State the dates, venue and co-teachers.
  • Provide a written reference from a PINA-recognized lead instructor.
  • Your portfolio documentation should include a C.V. showing your training in permaculture and related fields, copies of certificates you have been granted, the span of time spent in each of the projects you list, where you lived at the time you did each design, and of course any publications, awards, your public outreach efforts, and any additional documents you wish to submit. Your portfolio must provide evidence of the ability to present design work in an organized, timely and articulate manner, as well as evidence of training or practice in the facilitation of decision-making group processes.
  • Description of 2 short-course teaching events at which you presented or facilitated, with dates.
  • Document your design process flow and client questionnaire.
For Media & Communications Diploma only
  • Evidence of a minimum of six years permaculture experience in media post-PDC
  • An advanced course with a PINA diplomate or equivalent in Permaculture Education
  • Full documentation of two non-media & communications designs (at least one site design)
  • Your experience must exceed the requirements for the regular track diploma.  Lists must be presented that account for this.
  • Evidence of one fully developed media & communications enterprise of at least 5 years duration under your management or evidence of 3 substantial media products.  Your documentation should include sample materials documenting at least 5 contributions to a single enterprise or 2 contributions to each of 3 media products. Please include documentation of type and extent of audience reached.
  • Documentation of your design process with a media & communications client
  • Evidence of business management related to a media & communications enterprise.
  • Two written references from PINA diplomates with whom you have worked.  
  • Two written references from media enterprises you assisted
  • Bibliography of publications or other products
  • Professional awards, if any received
  • Certificates of PDC and other permaculture certifications.
  • Narrative (at least one full page) describing your contributions to the field.

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 a 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.

You may also submit your Experienced Track application by regular mail.  Please  contact our administrator for more information on this option.
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 three years.

PINA will review your credentials every five 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.