What is a Permaculture Design Course and Certification?

The standard, internationally recognized Permacultupermaculture design coursere Design Course is presented as a 72-hour curriculum laid out by Bill Mollison in his book “Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual” and taught around the world as a way of introducing people to creating sustainable human settlements and putting humanity on a course to a more sane future.

Permaculture is a sustainable design science, rooted in observation of natural patterns and applicable to every aspect of our culture.  A lot of people think of permaculture as gardening, but that’s a lot like thinking of math as being about building bridges, and gardening is only a single application of permaculture.

The Permaculture Design Course curriculum touches upon a variety of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Permaculture principles for smart design
  • Pattern observation and site analysis
  • Natural building construction
  • Renewable energy and appropriate technology
  • Rainwater harvesting and conservation
  • woman with laptopPassive and active solar design
  • Graywater considerations and system design
  • Waste recycling and treatment
  • Reading the land and natural cycles
  • Soil regeneration and land restoration
  • Food forests, trees and garden design
  • Agroforestry and forest gardening
  • Useful plants and herbs
  • Cooperative economics and financial permaculture
  • Scale – designing sustainable, thriving cities
  • …and much, much more

The online permaculture design course and certificate meets all the requirements laid out by the American Permaculture Association accreditation, which follows and exceeds internationally-recognized standards:

  • The course must discuss every chapter of the “Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual” book by Bill Mollison.
  • The certifying instructor must have previously completed a Permaculture Design Certification course that met the certification requirements as laid out by Bill Mollison and must agree to comply with the APA Standards.
  • The minimum course length must be at least 72 hours, including design projects, hands-on components, and instructional site visits.
  • The course must include a design project as part of the certification.
  • The course must require at least 70% attendance for certification.
  • The course must be available to audit by any other accredited APA course instructor.
  • If listed by the Better Business Bureau, the organizational/business umbrella under which the course is offered must consistently maintain a satisfactory rating, ensuring a fair record of resolving any student concerns.

In addition our online permaculture certification program requires each graduate to pass a multiple-choice test directly based on the “Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual”, thus demonstrating competency through both the presentation of the design project as well as the follow-up test.  The testing requirement is unique to our program and is specifically in place to ensure that every graduate of this course has demonstrated proficiency in the course materials.


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  • I’ve just read this again to figure out, what exactly it is I need to do to finish… and whether I can do it before my one year is over. I’m not completely clear. I also can’t remember completely which lectures I’ve watched and which I haven’t…..
    can you help?

  • The course description states there are 74 videos but I’ve noticed on the site there are over 200 videos. I’m confused by this.

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