develop your permaculture practice

Grow your skill with structure and support. Demonstrate and document your insight, commitment, skillfulness, and embodiment of permaculture. Grow ecological culture in the world by design.

The Permaculture Institute Diploma
  • Action Learning

    Put your handprint in the world by applying permaculture to your life, land, and community. The world needs your touch and we are here to help you develop your practice of making it effective.

  • Mentorship

    We guide you through the process of embodying permaculture, one-to-one. A mentor feeds you creatively, guides from experience and challenges you where you need to be nudged.

  • Participant Driven

    Direct your own learning, focus areas, and design projects. Self-motivated learners that are eager to translate passion into skillful action find the Diploma both freeing and supportive.

  • Accomplishment

    We help you set in motion a life-long practice of growing ecological culture, and help you set rewarding milestones for feeling accomplished and being recognized along the way.

Man watering newly built garden.


Design Projects Portfolio

The core component of The Permaculture Institute Diploma is a projects portfolio. Over the course of the program students develop, design, implement, and document five different projects demonstrating competent use of permaculture ethics, principles, tools, processes, frameworks, strategies and techniques. The outcome for diploma students is gaining practical experience as a permaculture practitioner across diverse project types while having a positive impact in the world. Portfolio includes:
  • One full property land-based design: project includes entire property, full vision and all project goals. Implementation encouraged, but not required.

  • One partial property land-based design including implementation: project completes design and implementation of selected portion.

  • One community impact design with implementation: project is focused on having public impact beyond private property. Can be land-based or social.

  • One social permaculture design: project is completely social in nature and can include education, group formation, aid-work, resource sharing, etc.

  • One personal nature immersion project: project requires cultivation of a regular practice of ecological study and creative documenting.

  • Mentorship: two ninety minute sessions are required per year, and are highly valued by students for guidance, camaraderie, and feedback while working on projects.

Diploma Fields of Practice

Participants choose up to two fields of practice to focus on. These fields are the core competencies one is pursuing a Diploma in. We encourage the application of permaculture principles and ethics to any of the aspects of human culture below. Consider which fields might be best suited for your unique talents, passions, strengths and opportunities.

For landscape focused permaculture using regenerative agriculture and ecological restoration methods and practices that increase biodiversity, resolve erosion, heal watersheds, generate economically viable products, increase soil fertility, and sequester more carbon than they produce.

For teaching, curriculum development, and other educational work using permaculture ethics and principles in any setting, formal or informal, not limited to Permaculture Design Courses. This field has teaching and teacher training requirements in addition to the design projects portfolio.

For permaculture design work and implementation of design work on any scale, at home, in your community, or for hire. This field must include site design and implementation for all projects included in your portfolio. 

For work with the built environment, from design to construction, using natural and renewable materials, innovative heating/cooling/lighting techniques, and repurposing and/or rehabilitation of existing materials and structures.

For the development of art and information systems such as placemaking installations or other art that highlights cultural/ecological significance. Also includes film, photo, and authorship related to permaculture work.

For developing and promoting local employment, non-monetary exchange, cash recycling in community, cooperative formation, facilitation of new business models, and those financial and business systems that contribute to the regeneration of localized community wealth.

For work with health care using herbal medicine, alternative non-invasive therapies, and mental health care modalities, as well as increasing access to care for those populations who are underserved by mainstream health care systems.

For developing and putting into practice systems or inventions that improve efficiency, provide better transport, generate clean energy, repurpose/recycle materials, conserve resources, and improve the lives of users while regenerating the environment. Also, for work involving scientific methods to study and document the success, or lack thereof, of techniques and practices to improve landscapes and communities.

For inner work that expands the sense of connectedness in individuals and society, and for community development around spiritual practices that alleviate stress, increase community cohesion, and promote human development for developing ecological consciousness.

For work that involves shifting legal policy, exploring alternative forms of governance, securing human rights and equitable access to resources, as well as advocating for social and environmental justice via non-violent means.

For work with populations concerning poverty relief, emergency response during catastrophes, restorative justice, community peace-making, and tending of common resources.

For work involving planning land uses with the community. This may include development of neighborhood organization efforts, place-making, Community Benefit Agreements with developers, community building, commons creation, and place/people sensitive development projects.

Diploma student in documenting success in rain garden.Teaching in high tunnel greenhouse.Permaculture diploma student working in garden.

Benefits of the Diploma


The diploma can be done in your own community and at home. It's about applying permaculture to your life and growing your skillset.


The Permaculture Design Course is life changing. Continue your momentum with a self-paced, self-directed and mentor-supported program.

Resume Build

Build your resume to take advantage of growing career opportunities in regenerative land management, teaching and change making.


The diploma requires you to grow your network of teachers, mentors and collaborators. Develop community while building experience.

For further details: The Permaculture Institute Diploma Program Outline.

Design Your Diploma (at acceptance into the program and initial registration)

  • 1.5 hours of initial mentorship by phone, video conferencing, or in person.
  • Create flexible learning plans every six months that include sites you want to visit, books you want to read, classes you want to take, articles you want to write, and the design projects you will be working on for the Design Projects Portfolio.
  • Include how you are going to achieve your goals, what challenges you may face, how you will keep momentum, stay organized, and celebrate achievements.
  • Include dedicated time for documentation (a critical step).
  • Adapt your learning design along the way. You are likely to encounter new opportunities, and we want participants to feel free to allow for those.


  • Choose one project to document in-depth up to 15 presentation pages.
  • Other design projects can be documented concisely, about 5 presentation pages.
  • Take plenty of photos. For physical sites, it’s important to take ‘before’ photos.
  • Express yourself in whatever creative form is of most interest to you.


  • Two 1.5 hour mentorship sessions are required each year of enrollment for encouragement, support, feedback, dialogue, and guidance.

Mid-Program Review (at the mid-point of the program)

  • Submit amended learning designs as well as a mid-point progress report.
  • 1.5 hours of mid-point mentorship by phone, video conferencing, or in person.
  • Receive written feedback and suggestions on progress so far.

Final Review (when Design Projects Portfolio is nearing completion)

  • Submit draft Design Projects Portfolio.
  • 1.5 hours of final review mentorship by phone, video conferencing, or in person.
  • Receive written feedback and advice on creating an outstanding Final Portfolio.

Final Portfolio Requirements

  • Include complete Design Projects Portfolio as detailed on the website.
  • Creatively share about your learning journey and its highlights, accomplishments and intentions for the future. This could be done in any way you like in any medium, including picture, video, music, sculpture, drawing or poem.
  • Include a letter of intention for your next steps including some goals, challenges, strategies and practices that you can use to design for success.
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers, clients or students are encouraged.

Final Submission

  • Submit final portfolio to Diploma Program Coordinator.
  • Present your Final Portfolio to peers of your choosing in-person or online.
  • Permaculture Institute staff will review your Final Portfolio and provide feedback.
Download PDF: The Permaculture Institute Diploma Program Outline.

Application Requirements

  • Applicant must have completed an approved Permaculture Design Course to apply.
  • Opportunities to apply permaculture as required in the design project portfolio.
  • Applicant must have completed an approved Permaculture Design Course to apply.
  • Opportunities to apply permaculture as required in the design projects portfolio.
  • List item #1$10.00

Application Process

  • Submit diploma application.
  • Our Diploma Program Coordinator will contact you to discuss your application.


Feel free to contact us for more information! If you are ready to apply, please fill out the application below.
  • Submit diploma application.
  • Our Diploma Program Coordinator will contact you to discuss your application.
  • Permaculture Institute Diploma Application

    Ready to apply? Submit an application form to start the conversation.

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    Group Diploma Adventure

    Are you interested in pursuing a Permaculture Diploma with a virtual group of like minded peers? Our Diploma Program Coordinator offers an exciting Group Diploma Adventure in conjunction with Applewood Permaculture Centre and the Permaculture Association UK.