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

Why Get A PINA Diploma and Which Is Best For Me?

If you are interested in the Diploma program but are not quite sure of all the details yet, we have a simple, free resource for you. Peter Bane, PINA’s Executive Director, has written a short but concise write-up of the Diploma Program, it’s scope, history, and how it fits in to your right-livelihood visions and dreams. Download it now for free.

Standard Diploma Program Steps

For any of the diplomas, the steps may take 2-3 years to complete depending upon your current experience level.

  1. Complete a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
  2. Become a PINA member
  3. Apply for Diploma Candidacy
  4. Wait for Acceptance Email
  5. Meet with a Field Advisor
  6. Deveop and Complete an Action Learning Plan
  7. Submit a Portfolio
  8. Receive Your Diploma!
More Details on the Standard Diploma Program Steps

1. Become a PINA Member

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

2. Complete a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course

Certification from a  72-hour PDC is required.  Learn about the Permaculture Design Course. While a PDC taught by someone with a PINA diploma in Education is recommended, we accept candidates and members who have taken any PDC.  Diploma candidates with a non-recognized PDC may be subject to additional requirements as determined by the Field Advisor.

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 online
PDF of Diploma Application

4. Meet with your Field Advisor

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 is paid directly and is set by mutual agreement. A rate of $60 per hour to advisors is suggested.


5. Complete an Action Learning Plan

You must complete the Action Learning Plan developed with your Field Advisor 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. Submit Portfolio

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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

Diploma Fee Summary

The time required to complete your diploma will vary based on your prior experience and the level of dedication you put into the program.  If you have recently taken a PDC and signed up for the Diploma program, it will likely take around 3 years to complete all requirements, though individual timelines may differ.

The estimated cost to receive a Diploma from PINA is $775, broken down as follows:

  • $75/year at the Professionals & Diplomates Membership level (for projected 3 years $225 total)
  • $200: Diploma program application fee.
  • $350: Portfolio review fee, due at final submission

Fast-Track Fees:

  • $75/year at the Professionals & Diplomates Membership level 
  • $200: Diploma program application fee

Experienced-Track Fees:

  • $20/year at the Student & Volunetters  Membership level
  • $350: Diploma program application 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 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 are asked to send their PDC participant rosters to the PINA registry.

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