Diploma of Education

The Diploma of Permaculture Education is granted to honor achievement and excellence in teaching.

Once your application is accepted, your Field Advisor will meet with you to discuss your current qualifications and together you will develop an Action Learning Plan in order to meet all of the Diploma requirements. Upon completion of the Action Learning Plan, you will submit a Portfolio to PINA for review and earn your Diploma!


Your portfolio must include the following documents:

Additional documentation if applicable:

  • Bibliography of publications.
  • Roster of public outreach activities.
  • Professional awards.
  • Additional supporting evidence, such as field reports or photos.
Action Learning Plan

Developed with the guidance of the field advisor, the plan may entail mentoring, internships, paid work, self-directed projects, and direct instruction. A completed Action Learning Plan also includes documentation of how you implement permaculture in your personal life, including the design and status of your home site and livelihood. This item illustrates permaculture ethics in action.

Advanced Coursework

Participation in a PINA-recognized Advanced Permaculture Design Course (PDC) and/or Permaculture Teacher Training Course is highly recommended, and may be required by the field advisor.

Advanced courses may be applied towards the requirement for teaching experience.

Permaculture Teaching Experience

Accrued under the guidance of the field advisor, you must teach at least 10 PDCs. Portfolio documentation must include course evaluations from 10 participants. Additionally, documentation must be made of the ability to teach all modules of the PINA-recognized PDC curriculum. This may include a written description of the curriculum as taught, documented lesson plans for units within the curriculum, and/or documentation through oral presentation and inquiry.

You must co-teach at least 4 PDCs with a PINA diplomate in education, or other instructor approved by your field advisor as sufficiently experienced to provide mentorship, being present throughout the entire course and sharing in organizing, instruction and classroom management responsibilities. (For candidates with extensive previous experience, one or two of these courses may be waived at the discretion of the field advisor.)

After co-teaching 4 PDCs, you must co-teach and co-organize an additional 6 PDCs. Teaching an online course can count towards this requirement, as determined by PINA on a case-by-case basis.

Certification from an advanced course will be considered equivalent to co-teaching one PDC. With both advanced courses, you must co-teach only 4 additional PDCs.

PINA will supply PDC certificates for graduates of these courses. The field advisor, in consultation with senior teachers who co-taught with the candidate, will ascertain if you are ready to sign certificates on behalf of PINA, or if a senior teacher needs to be included in the course.

Permaculture Design Work

Completion of 5 comprehensive permaculture client-based designs and/or community project designs are required, including one design for an invisible structure that has been presented to a group, such as designing a permaculture guild for the community.

Team-based design work is encouraged. Demonstration of skills is required that connect design to the real world, including problem solving ability, budgeting, generating estimates and scheduling.

Design Submission Format

Provide each of the 5 designs electronically in the following format.

1. Project Overview

Vision statements/ethics
Notes on client interview
Goal statement/design aims
Icon or symbol for the project (optional)

2. Documentation of Existing Site

Base map for the entire site, including neighbors at the edges
Blow-up maps for area(s) of intensive design (as needed)
Elevations, sandbox or models (as needed)
Species lists
Diagram of current invisible structures
Document features (soils, water rights, liens, easements, building codes, etc)
Additional notes on observation and research

3. Site Analysis

Overlay Chart of Sectors
Overlay Chart of Current Zones of Use
Overlay Charts of Microclimates, etc. (as needed)

4. Design Methods

Charts of Needs/Yields, Pattern Language, other methods (as needed)

5. Final Design

Overlay Chart of Design Features
Blow-ups, elevations, models, charts, etc. (as needed)
Overlay Chart of Proposed Zones of Use (as needed)
Diagram of Proposed Invisible Structures (as needed)
Bubble Chart showing connections among the design features

6. Implementation Plan

Phases/Time line
Budget and Materials