The newly reviewed Permaculture VET qualifications, skill sets and units are now published on the National Training Register, training.gov.au which means they are available for use by registered training organisations (RTOs).
With the release of the new permaculture training package there has been a major change to the requirements for trainers to deliver accredited permaculture training.
The old package rules for trainers were that you needed to hold at a minimum the qualification you were delivering or a higher qualification. This meant that if you had done your training outside of the Vocational Education Training (VET) framework you couldn’t deliver training no matter how experienced or dedicated a permie you were.
Now with a PDC or other training, relevant industry experience (relevant to the units you teach) and a Trainer and Assessors qualification the door is open.
This is great news as it has been a case of not enough training organisations offering permaculture and not enough qualified trainers. Hopefully with these changes we will see more permaculture in schools, more funded courses and an increase in permies all round.
Below is advice to Registered Training Organisations about requirements for permaculture trainers. (Ref. page 14 AHC release 9.0 Companion Volume V1.0 Jan 2023 (User Guide – Permaculture).pdf‘).
The Training Package Delivery and Assessment states that:
• RTOs must ensure that both training and assessment complies with the relevant standards.
In general terms, training and assessment must be conducted by individuals who:
- have the necessary training and assessment competencies
- have the relevant vocational competencies at least to the level being delivered or assessed
- can demonstrate current industry skills directly relevant to the training/assessment being delivered
- continue to develop their VET knowledge and skills, industry currency and trainer/assessor competence.
Permaculture as a discipline is characterised by some general characteristics, including the Ethics and Principles.
The three key ethical principles identified as underpinning permaculture are:
• Earth Care
• People Care
• Fair Share (set limits and redistribute).
These principles align with rejection of exploitation of the planet, ethical growing
and harvesting of production and regenerative production beyond the principles of organic sustainability.
The Permaculture approach is based on the understanding that everything is inter-related and inter-dependent. A system is composed of related and dependent elements which when in interaction, form a unitary whole. A system is simply an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex whole and inspired by nature.
Permaculture addresses all aspects of human culture, not only food production but how we build, how we organise ourselves and how we utilise all our resources, including human resources.
It is important that these fundamental principles and understandings are applied across all levels of training in permaculture as they are key to understanding and applying permaculture for targeted work outcomes and social development.
Training and assessment in permaculture must be conducted by individuals who understand and live by permaculture ethics and principles and integrate them into their training and assessment practices.
Types of relevant experience and background for permaculture trainers and assessors can include (but is not limited to):
• Permaculture Design Course (PDC) – a globally recognised training course sometimes called a ‘certificate’, although not accredited as such in Australia. PDCs vary substantially, but a good course would normally furnish participants with a syllabus or topic list that would correspond to the knowledge criteria of units of competency in permaculture.
A good example is A Syllabus For Permaculture design in South Eastern Australia compiled by Graeme George for the Permaculture Educators Guild.
• Experience working on permaculture-based projects
• Permaculture Internships
• Other permaculture qualifications and courses including Advanced Permaculture Courses, Permaculture Teacher Training Courses and other specialist training offered by several permaculture training providers
• Nationally accredited permaculture qualifications.