There is great opportunity for teachers and high schools to adopt new Cert I and Cert II Permaculture courses into Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs for Years 10, 11 and 12.
Permaculture is a framework to enable the design of resilient systems and to create sustainable, living, integrated systems based on ecological principles and earth caring practices.
Permaculture training is now embedded into the AHC Training Package  (Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management) and courses have been initially developed for delivery in WA. However, they are also able to be delivered anywhere in Australia through Registered Training Organisation (RTO) partnerships.
Skills Strategies International, based in WA, is able to auspice with schools anywhere in Australia and these courses are also available for purchase by other RTOs.
Cert I is most suitable for Education Support students, or those with learning difficulties, and Cert II for students who have aspirations of working within the agricultural and horticultural sector, but specialising in sustainable living practices.
These hands-on, student-centred courses engage students in the school garden where they learn life skills of growing, propagating and caring for plants, caring for animals, growing soil and undertaking organic practices to minimise their impact in the environment. While they are growing their vegetables, herbs and other plants, they may also be carrying out natural area restoration, recording weather, maintaining structures in the garden, preparing products and working safely when using and maintaining garden tools and equipment.
Teachers, or other school staff, will need to undertake four Cert III units in the Permaculture Demonstrator Skills Set for them to offer the Cert I in Permaculture course or at least a Cert III in Permaculture to deliver Cert II, unless they have already undertaken a Permaculture Design Course (PDC).
Permaculture Australia has information on its website that further discusses the requirements of schools and teachers.
Besides the Permaculture Demonstrator Skills Set, Skills Strategies International also offers face-to-face courses in Cert III and Diploma in Permaculture, as well as providing a mechanism to Recognise Prior Learning (RPL) for any of these courses. You may have the skills, abilities and knowledge to obtain a qualification without attending a class, as long as you can provide the evidence supporting your involvement as a permaculture practitioner. Online courses may be developed in the future.
To find out which other RTOs are able to deliver Accredited Permaculture Training at various levels please search
For more information contact the Permaculture Australia Education team:
Article by Dr Ross Mars, Skills Strategies International.

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