The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) has been taught globally to hundreds of thousands of people. It was developed by Bill Mollison to teach the principles and foundations of ecological design to benefit the planet and society. With recognition of collapsing socio-ecological systems, the PDC is an immersion in an ethical and ecological mind/skill-set to create positive change.


Upon successful completion of the Permaculture Design Course one receives the Permaculture Design Course Certificate from their lead instructors (who should have a diploma to issue certificates). The certificate attests that the recipient has acquired foundational knowledge of Permaculture, and allows the recipient to use the term in their personal practice.

All PDC courses offered throughout the world must follow the same curriculum to assure the integrity of the certification process. At minimum, any certificate course should meet the following criteria: 

  • The lead instructor is an established permaculture teacher with a Diploma of Permaculture Design in the field of Education or equal credentials. Lead instructor is present throughout the entire course and course certificate bears their signature
  • The course provides a minimum of 72 hours of direct contact with instructors in addition to group design time/self-study time/hands-on projects/visits to demonstration sites/and other learning activities. Courses shorter than 12 contact-days are generally not offering sufficient time for learning and should be evaluated by potential students for their validity
  • The course material is inclusive of but not limited to all subjects listed in the PDC Curriculum Outline
  • The course includes at least one design project or multiple design vignettes
  • The course includes Talent Show at the end

There is no single oversight group for the multitude of “permaculture” courses offered globally. We encourage prospective learners, if in doubt, to carefully read the bios of the instructors and request to view curriculum, comparing it against criteria listed above or contact us with further concerns.

Erika HaranoWhat is a Permaculture Design Course?