Organization of PINA
The well being of our families and communities is inextricably bound to the health of our land, our cities and our planet. Permaculture offers hope of profound societal transformation. Supporting PINA through your membership is a low cost, low effort step you can take to significantly increase the connected yield of our permaculture efforts. Membership Overview
If you do not have a log-in because you have never registered on the PINA website, please use our Become a Member page as if you are a new member. This applies to all member types – regular, diplomate, or fast-track candidate.
If you need any other assistance with your membership, please use the Contact form to get in touch with our administrator.
Permaculture Design Course
In a good course, senior or lead teachers work with newer teachers and diverse guests to ensure that multiple voices represent permaculture, the curriculum is fully presented, and the team can properly support all the students. Courses led by a single instructor, unless that person is deeply experienced, are likely to convey the material less effectively. Though many formats are legitimately offered, it is difficult to convey the full 72-hour curriculum in less than 12 days. Courses of shorter duration may rely on evening sessions or the use of recorded materials prior to the actual class, or may put most project design time outside the bounds of the course. In a PDC, students should expect to encounter the fruit of lived experience as well as research and study, and to engage with practitioners of the design system. Film and video can be entertaining and informative, but are not a substitute for teacher – student interaction.
PINA diplomates in Education teach the international standard curriculum, which was published following the 1st Intl. Permaculture Convergence in 1984, based on the original work of Bill Mollison, and has been stewarded by his successors for nearly 40 years. You may view it on our website.
A residential course will provide a greater immersion experience, building bonds with your learning community. Many people enjoy combining a PDC with travel to an inspiring place. There is much to recommend taking the course with instructors who know the region where you expect to live and work.
A weekend-format course will involve primarily local participants, can build ongoing local connections, and is more convenient for those working weekday jobs. It can also delve more deeply into uniquely local issues and potentially provide better access to resources of immediate concern to you.
Courses longer than 12 days will generally offer additional benefits through hands-on experience, multi-season observation, extended immersion in community, and additional time to process information. Bill Mollison’s initial PDCs ran 21 days, but it was soon recognized that 1) this was impractical for too many, and 2) that the need for extensive presentation of the evidence for global problems has diminished as public awareness of the crisis has spread. As a result, the course was affirmed in its present 72-hour framework by delegates to IPC-I.
On-line courses do not offer the same level of instructor interaction, group support, hands-on training or group design experience as a face-to-face PDC. That being said, due to their location, time constraints, or financial issues, some people may only be able to take an on-line PDC. As with other courses, PINA recommends studying with an instructor who has a high level of competency.
For purposes of becoming a member, as well as fulfilling the pre-requisite to begin diploma work, PINA recognizes any Permaculture Design Course taught by any teacher. That does not mean all teachers or all courses are equal or even adequate. For the diploma, additional training may be required by the Field Advisor based on evaluation of the candidate’s individual strengths and weaknesses. This may include remedial work if the original PDC did not cover the full curriculum.
The pathway to becoming a teacher of the PDC is a matter of some debate in the movement. There are excellent teachers of the PDC who have not gone through the PINA diploma process. Please investigate the background and experience of your prospective PDC instructors. We look forward to offering a calendar of courses offered by PINA recognized instructors in the future.
Permaculture Design magazine publishes a quarterly calendar of PDC offerings across North America.
Teacher training courses are now widely available and are considered important for those planning to teach the PDC. Teaching permaculture is an artisanal activity requiring multiple skill sets, deep intelligence, and a strong heart. It is best learned by modeling superior practitioners and by practice. The sober advice of veteran teachers to new ones is to start by teaching introductory classes and co-teaching with an experienced teacher. After one has taken the teacher training, in most regions, local teachers are open to a request to audit for additional experience with other teachers, teach a module in their course, or co-teach with them.
It is also important to gain experience with permaculture design before putting oneself forward to teach others. If you have recently taken the PDC and want to start sharing what you’ve learned, we recommend that you start by teaching short courses in areas where you have particular expertise and that you practice doing designs.
Some organizations offer a diploma that Bill Mollison designed which requires only one documented project over 2 years of self-study, a much lower standard. There are also diplomas with high standards offered by other organizations such as the Permaculture Association in the U.K. Holders of the diploma issued by the Permaculture Academy of Britain may apply to PINA for recognition of their diploma status if they are working or living in North America.
A mentor is an expert in a specific field relevant to the Action Learning Plan who has knowledge or understanding sought by a diploma candidate. Candidates are encouraged to seek out mentors of their choice.
In addition to the PINA fees listed in the summary, expect that most candidates will have a monthly meeting with their Field Advisor lasting 1/2 to 1 hour. Those who are more self-directed may not need that level of assistance. We hope to be able to answer this question better as we gain experience with our diploma candidates. Fees for mentorship and costs for training would be in addition to PINA and Field Advisor fees. Remember that candidates make their own contractual arrangements with Field Advisors and mentors, so while we can recommend fee levels, we cannot control or foresee them./accordion_item]
If you have long-term teaching experience but just started teaching Permaculture, PINA expects that your experience will shine through in the diploma process and other aspects of professional development. The Field Advisor evaluates the diploma candidate’s capabilities and determines credit for any past experience which could be applied toward PINA criteria.
Site designs should demonstrate the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of a permaculture approach. While we say that permaculture design can be applied to anything, the designs we are asking diploma candidates to base their portfolio upon should have the complexity of living and working venues for households and communities surrounded by productive landscapes. These can be small or large, but should involve yields from land, conservation of natural resources and the meeting of real human needs.
We are looking to see that diplomates understand design methods and process, can work with others, and are applying permaculture ethics and principles to transform the culture. The design does not have to get implemented, though it’s nice if at least some of those in any portfolio are built. We do not require every qualified design to have full scale drawings and a lengthy report. There should, however, be clear evidence that the candidate has done such work repeatedly.
If you became a member of PINA without registering on the website, please use the Fast Track form to register as a new member at the professional level.
Our administrator will refund any overlapping membership fees when she processes your application.