The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) – also known as a Permaculture Design Certification Course – is offered all over the world in various formats and with some variations to suit the local conditions and the teaching team’s specialties. The Resilience Hub, for example, has tailored its PDC to the local conditions of our bioregion in the US Northeast and Eastern Canada. Because we have extensive ongoing design experience with farms, residences, and community projects, the teaching comes from real-life examples of permaculture in our region.
Most courses, including ours, take inspiration from the core syllabus contained in Bill Mollison’s 72-hour format for this offering. Since the world and our knowledge has evolved over the decades, most PDCs have likewise evolved by building onto the 72-hour model, adding the latest research and techniques to the core content. For example, most course organizers/facilitators have realized that more time is needed than 72 hours to honor the intention of the Permaculture Design Course! The Resilience Hub PDC comprises well over 100 hours of class time and is augmented by additional independent study (reading, video, design exercises) between course weekends.
A well-designed PDC is typically made up of some lecture, independent study, field trips, hands-on exercises (both design exercises and “applied” permaculture techniques), group work, guest speakers, practice design projects and an overarching participatory design that values the skills and knowledge of all attendees.
There is no one universal accrediting body for Permaculture Design Courses. Various organizations around the world have created their own standards against which they measure the quality or appropriateness of any particular PDC. The global community of permaculture practitioners has tended toward a community-based approach of sharing information about courses, their differences, varying strengths or specialties and “letting the market” take care of quality. There are pros and cons to this approach so it is worth doing your research when considering an investment in a Permaculture Design Course to best suit your needs and learning goals.
Even if you don’t take a course with us, we are happy to give feedback about other courses you may be considering!