Permaculture Diploma

Get a diploma in applied Permaculture design

The Diploma formally recognizes and accredits a persons permaculture practice.
The Diploma is not a taught course like a permaculture design course, it is a scheme for supporting an extended period of self-directed learning based around the
projects and activities that you are involved in and that you set yourself.
You plan and carry out your own course of self managed study, taking on projects of your own choosing and carrying out the permaculture design process with these projects.
You document your work and put it together in a portfolio. This work is assessed by diploma holders and accredited by the Permaculture Association in one of the Baltic countries.
If you want to extend your studies and your practical skills in permaculture, you can apply to have this recognized and formally certified by attaining a diploma in permaculture design from the
Baltic Permaculture Network in cooperation with the
Nordic Institute of Permaculture.
After your work is approved and you have delivered your final diploma presentation, you will be awarded a Diploma in applied Permaculture Design.
The process for attaining a Diploma in Permaculture design is based on self-managed planning and learning. The amount of time you need to work to earn your diploma varies, but a minimum of 2 years of work after you have received your PDC certificate is needed to apply for a diploma with 10 documented projects.
Below are guidelines for the process and the different categories / areas from which you can choose to focus your diploma work. The guidelines are intended to provide inspiration and framework for the diploma work but they are flexible and the process is open to alternative methods and content.


As a Diploma holder you are responsible for ensuring that the concept and practice of Permaculture remains intact and continues to spread.
Your knowledge should be up to date.
The diploma is first and foremost a kind of license the Baltic Permaculture Network gives to formally confirm that the diploma holder can:
Be a representative for the Permaculture movement to the public on their own
Provide quality assurance of PDC courses held, and arrange PDC & other Permaculture courses on their own
Is recognised as a high level source in Permaculture matters.
Provide quality assurance for projects, and conduct professional design consulting on their own
Will be Tutor for time (2 new Diploma Students) after the Diploma

Therefore, as a part of the requirements to receive a diploma you have to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the Permaculture ethics, principles, and methods, and that you can convey them; that you have produced a comprehensive portfolio of 10 designs and that your designs reflect your understanding. The portfolio should be as diverse as you are. 2 out of the 10 designs should cover the field you would like to work in after you are awarded. And 1 out of 10 has to be a site design. The diploma is awarded to individuals, not places or projects.

Geographical context

The main focus area of the diploma system is to build an advanced practice and understanding of permaculture in a Baltic context.
If possible, one out of the ten designs should be in a different climate zone. For so small countries like the Baltics: The seaside is already different from the interior.

Diploma Categories

The diploma categories below show the various areas of design you can include in your diploma portfolio. You can choose to do your work in multiple categories, and each design included in your diploma portfolio, may belong to one or more categories. The Sector you would like to work in after you are awarded with the Diploma should be covered with at least 2 designs.

  • Site Design. (Stand-alone design project)
    Project design / Professional design consulting. At least one out of your 10 Diploma projects has to be a site design.

  • Site Development.
    Several designs, implemented on the same site and evaluated over a longer period of time.

  • Education and/or Training.
    Design for and work with Permaculture training and education.

  • Administration.
    Design of, and work with, organizational and management practices in line with the Permaculture ethics.

  • Architecture.
    Project design / Professional design consultancy in architecture using Permaculture practices and in line with Permaculture ethics.

  • System establishment and implementation.
    Design, establishment and evaluation of systems and methods that are instrumental to Permaculture design and implementation.

  • Trusteeship.
    Design, establishment and maintenance of legal structures for the conservation of land ownership for Permaculture purposes.

  • Community development or Social development.
    Design, establishment and maintenance of ecovillages, permaculture in local communities or communal farms, within a bio-regional context.

  • Research.
    Creation of new research that significantly contributes to the development of Permaculture.

  • Finance or Economy.
    Design, establishment and maintenance of economical systems, which can be a real alternative to the conventional financial system. Alternative currency.

  • Media and Communications.
    Design and work in mediation and dissemination of permaculture, which significantly contributed to raising public awareness of the permaculture community, practice and/or concept.

  • Manufacturing (Tools).
    Design and preparation of relevant technology, manufacturing processes or tools that significantly contribute to the design and/or implementation of permaculture systems.

  • Farming and farming systems.
    Design and implementation of farming systems, including ecosystem-based farming of annual vegetables, Regenerative farming, Carbon farming, Forest gardens, Agroforestry systems and Sustainable forestry using permaculture.

  • Business.
    Design and establishment of new businesses and business models or adapting existing businesses in line with the permaculture ethics and tools.

  • World.
    All other projects that do not fit into the previous categories.

The Diploma process

    1. Registration

You register as diploma student through the Permaculture association in one of the Baltic countries. To become a diploma student you have to have a PDC certificate approved by a Permaculture association and be a member of the association in your country or in one of the Baltic countries. At the time of registration you should also share your reasons for getting a diploma, including why you choose to get a diploma through the Baltic diploma system.

    2. Learning Pathway
We recommend that you choose a tutor, choose the categories you wish to work with, and that you make a plan or design for your diploma with your tutor’s help, to get an overview of the pathway to receiving your diploma: “learning pathway”. In order to become a diploma holder, your diploma work must be reviewed and approved by a diploma tutor that has been approved by the Baltic Permaculture Network. By choosing a tutor and making a plan for your diploma work early in the process, you can ensure that the work you do can be the basis for a diploma.

    3. Be part of a diploma guild
We also highly recommend that you seek out other diploma students to create (or be included in the already formed) Diploma Guilds, where you can get support and share ideas with others.

    4. Presentation on the website
We also recommend that you present yourself and your work as a diploma student on the Latvian Permaculture website and the website of the Permaculture Association in your country. This is recommended to make it easier for other diploma students to get in touch with you for collaborations.

    5. Tutor and Guild meeting
In the time you develop your 10 designs you have to participate at 4 Tutor and Guild meetings. These weekend gatherings will happen at least twice a year at different location in the Baltic's.

    6. Review
After at least two years of work, when you find that your 10 projects & your diploma portfolio is completed, you can request for your work to be assessed to see if your diploma portfolio meets the requirements for a diploma in permaculture design. Your diploma tutor will approve the diploma portfolio, and then a second diploma tutor will be selected. Either you or your diploma tutor can propose the second tutor. This tutor must be approved by the Baltic Permaculture Network. The review carried out by the second tutor ensures that the quality of the work lives up to a high standard. The second tutor may be from a non-Baltic or Nordic country. The review time for both Tutors have to be at least 3 months, so they have the chance to go deeply in your work and documentation. If you would like to be awarded in the same year, it has to be before the beginning of May that you can present your work at the Latvian Permaculture Festival witch is normally held in the second weekend of August.

    7. Publication
When both tutors find your work to be complete, you send it to the Latvian Permaculture Association, at least 1 month before the Latvian Permaculture Festival (second Weekend in August) where you intend to make your final diploma presentation. It will then be published on the Latvian Permaculture website. Your Diploma work (10 projects) will be published at the Diploma holder database.

    8. Presentation
The final step before you can get a diploma is to present your diploma work at the Latvian Permaculture Festival, which takes place once a year, normally second Weekend in August. One or two out of these ten projects has to be presented. Depending on the number of diploma presentations at the Festival, you will receive at least 45 minutes to present your work and a subsequent 15 minutes of questioning by any diploma holder on place, and then by others present at the meeting. If there are not too many diploma presentations, you can have more time.

    9. Approval
The final approval of the work is done at the Permaculture Festival meeting by the diploma holders present, preferably by consensus and by at least 2/3 majority.

    10. Diploma
Congratulations ! You got your Diploma in applied Permaculture Design. 

What will you get out of a diploma?

  • You will demonstrate that you have a sufficient level of permaculture design skills, that you have an in-depth understanding of permaculture and that you can apply the ethics and design principles of permaculture to guide your choices in different contexts, from your design work to the way you live and work.
  • You will be able to assess which design tools, among the various alternatives that best suit each individual design, thus creating design solutions that are holistic, effective, and adapted to the location and situation.
  • You will be able to evaluate implemented permaculture designs based on the ethics and methods of permaculture. Permaculture is holistic and interdisciplinary and should permeate all the work on the design.
  • You will be able to clearly convey your designs to others. You should be able to determine which forms of presentation and what documentation best meets the needs of customers and other stakeholders.
  • You will be able to run Permaculture Workshops / Seminars and PDC courses to spread permaculture knowledge and know-how to the world .

Diploma requirements and expected content

  1. Description and analysis.

The diploma work is expected to contain a brief description of design. A design can be done on paper or digitally and submitted in digitally format. It can be a PDF, Word document, a film, a presentation, a picture book, etc. Questions that should be answered are which diploma categories it covers, the problems that were resolved with the design, the design tools you used, and a reflection on your design process. More guidelines for documentation and content in your design work can be found under the heading “What does a design entail?” found below.

  1. Evaluation based on the Permaculture ethics

  • Evaluation of implemented design based on earth care.
Description of designs should describe how they regenerate the four natural resources of water, air, soil and energy, and the organization that ensures the regeneration.

  • Evaluation of implemented design based on people care.
Descriptions of the designs, should contain information on how the design contributes, and caters to, the care of people, both those directly influenced by the design and other people on the planet.

  • Evaluation of implemented design based on fair allocation of resources / fair share.
Description of designs, should describe how they contribute to a fairer allocation of resources / fair share.

Presentation Requirements

Your diploma work is presented in a design portfolio that you can choose to do for instance as a written report or PowerPoint presentation (or similar). Another possibility is to use video clips that showcase your design work. Whether you make a written report or a movie, the following materials should be included in your design portfolio:

Image material and sources.

Attach maps, drawings, photos, tables, and other relevant data that you have used. What you include here depends a lot on the one or more design categories / areas you choose to work with. It is important that your inspirational and factual sources are reported regardless of whether you made a film or a written work.
Describe witch Permaculture Principles you have used and why. Explain as more as better.

The basic structure of the project documentations:

Use, if possible, the following structure of each Diploma project:

- Title page / Cover
        - Picture (before & after)
        - Title of work
        - project number
                               - period of time
                               - Customer
                               - Designer
                            - Mentor

- Short Summary
    • present motivation, goals and result on half a page.
    • has to catch the interest of the reader.

- Introduction, Motivation, Goals
    • 1-2 pages
    • answer the following questions:
                what? - how? - why? - where? - when?
    • motives / visions
    • show goals

- Methods and Resources
    • description of workplace:
      - geographic location
      - climatic factors
      - terrain
    • permaculture principles & elements used
    • resources and plants used
    • size depends on size of project

- Results
    • before & after pictures
    • description of implementation & of the results
    • work journal
    • size depends on size of project

- Conclusion
    • on half to one page
    • satisfaction with the project
    • the good and the bad
    • what would you do different?

- Bibliography
    • summary of all cited resources

- Appendix
    • maps and plans
    • plant list, plants used for the project
    • more pictures (documentation of the work progress)

Activities and Engagement

If you like you can describe all relevant activities you have been engaged in during your diploma process and before: Courses you have attended, permaculture meetings / festivals you participated in, if you worked in the association in any way, events you’ve organized, if you have been Voulunteering or worked at a permaculture site, wrote articles or blogged about permaculture, etc. Include everything you’ve done to spread permaculture and to broaden your own perspective in permaculture.

Clear and easy-to-read reporting.

It is important that your design work is clearly presented, making the results readily accessible for others to build on. Make sure that your Tutors understand your documentation language.

What does a design entail?

A permaculture design describes a system that, based on the ethics of permaculture, is more desirable than the present system. These guidelines for design work in your diploma are pertinent but flexible:

A design should at least describe:

  1. which design process was used
  2. the current system and its shortcomings.
  3. resources or elements needed to implement the design.
  4. how the different elements of the design system relate and connect to each other and how resources are transferred in form and over time.
  5. what design tools and how the permaculture ethics were used.

But a design is more efficient if it also describes:

  1. the choices you made in the process leading up to the final design.
  2. alternative possibilities and their consequences – pros and cons of the options.
  3. what interventions are to be performed, when, by who and by using what?
  4. the cost of implementing the design.

To get a diploma, most of your design proposals should be implemented, so it’s desirable that you also evaluate each design that you implement by

  1. Comparing the result with the goals that you have set for the desired design system.
  2. Compare the design result with your establishment plan.
  3. Summary of the outcome of the evaluation, describing what you learned and how you have gained in knowledge and experience.
  4. Design a least one property, a farm, homestead, Balcony, piece of land, etc.


Minimum time between your PDC certificate and your Diploma presentation is 2 Years.
There is no maximum time limit between your registration and your Diploma but it is foreseeable that you will finish your Diploma after 4 years.
Should it take a bit longer, new costs have to be discussed with the tutor and his expenses has to be compensated.


Enrollment and registration for the Diploma Pathway
10 €
supported Course fee for the two-year course, 200, - € per year

supportive Course fee for the two-year course, 300, - € per year
400 €

600 €
Tutors/Guild weekend at least 2 times a year: 4 x 25, - € for 2 years
100 €
Selection 2. Tutor
100 €
Print out and hand over the diploma
15 €

The annual course fees in 2a or 2b depend on the country of origin and / or regular income.
You can find out more details when registering.
The costs for points 1 and 5 of the table go to the permaculture association in the respective
Baltic country of the registration of the graduate student.
Points two to four of the table go to the respective tutor.
The costs for the first year (260, - €) are due immediately upon registration.
These consist of: registration, course fee, and 2 tutor weekends.

It my be possible to pay these fees in installments, For this an exact examination is necessary and
can be discussed.

Refund policy

We will not refund registration fees, or annual fees for years that have been completed,
or the current year.
We will only refund payments for tutorials that have not taken place.

Diploma process

Contacts (to find a Tutor)

Thomas Krüger