Story by Taj Scicluna, October 2015
It is an exciting time for those interested in pursuing permaculture studies beyond the Permaculture Design Course. 2016 will see the opportunity for Permaculture Certificate I, II, III and IV, as well as the Permaculture Diploma to become more widely available through a number of Registered Training Organisations.
The draft Permaculture units have been reviewed by the Technical Reference Group for validation, and are awaiting endorsement through AgriFood. Once these courses have been endorsed, providers may apply through their state organization of ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) to add them to their Scope of Registration.
This is an important step and one we have been working towards for quite some time as we try to ensure permaculture is more accessible and reaches a wider range of people who wish to make changes to their lifestyle, develop practical skills, create environmental change and contribute to healthier social, economical and agricultural systems.
The course material has been reviewed and updated, the changes exhibiting a stronger emphasis on permaculture terminology and specific practices, and assessment requirements detailing performance as well as knowledge-based evidence.
A number of new units have been developed to offer practical applications of Permaculture, including:
- ‘Assist with garden soil health and plant nutrition’
- ‘Use and maintain garden hand tools and equipment’
- ‘Manage a Permaculture aid and development project’
- ‘Demonstrate Permaculture practices to a small group of learners’
- ‘Develop a relocalization or transition project’, to name a few.
Other news is that the units within the Permaculture Demonstrator Skill Set will provide credit towards a Certificate III in Permaculture for those offering practical training to small groups such as school teachers and permaculture demonstrators.
Each course has been carefully reviewed and evaluated to give participants a holistic learning experience, focusing on many facets of permaculture, enabling the exploration of various avenues for future employment.
This learning goes beyond the Permaculture Design Course, which is based on strategies rather than techniques. These accredited courses have been designed for those hoping to take the next step and get their hands in the soil and develop down-to-earth skills that compliment design and systems thinking.
Registered Training Organizations are encouraged to get their material prepared for the application process and trainers to ensure they have their Certificate in Training and Assessment if they wish to find employment opportunities as facilitators.
We look forward to the future of permaculture education being accessible, inspiring and functional in its application, contributing to the health of all living systems.