About Accredited Permaculture Training

Accredited Permaculture Training, or APT™, was developed by Permaculture International Ltd, a long-standing, dedicated Permaculture organisation, in conjunction with Hortus – a registered training organisation, delivering accredited training packages to a range of land-based industries such as agriculture, landcare and horticulture. All accredited permaculture training is competency based. i.e. when you are competent in a certain area you can be assessed. This may vary in time and energy according to previously-acquired skills. The learning emphasis is on practical work – building, gardening, planning and organising.

APT is nationally recognised and is consistent with other current training packages. Students are eligible to apply for Austudy.

Certificate I, II, III, IV and Diploma

C I – 6 units 110 hours (4 weeks)

C II – 15 units 400 hours (14-15 weeks)

C III – 15 units 500 hours (17 weeks – one semester full-time, one year part-time)

C IV – 12 units 550 hours (18 weeks – one semester full-time or one year part-time)

Diploma – 10 units 850 hours (one year full-time)

(these hours are nominal, typical example)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Qualification can be obtained by recognising prior knowledge and skills, experience and work already produced. Assessments involve providing evidence of competencies obtained. Ideally suited for CIII to Diploma.

Cost to RPL is typically about $1000. CIII to Diploma courses may be approx $1850 – $2200.

The Certificate III Permaculture Course Structure

The Certificate III Permaculture course is designed to be flexible in its delivery so that students can work at home and in small groups. Participants need to be self-motivated and mature to study at this level as much of the work is to be completed unsupervised and with appropriate record-keeping. The course is designed to be completed over one year. Course participants need to have completed or be currently enrolled in a PDC when they begin their Cert III. This standard two-week course is offered at a number of venues Australia-wide. While there are no formal pre-requisites to undertake CIII, it is highly recommended that a PDC be completed first. To complete a Certificate III, students will be involved in three main learning areas:

Home Projects

Once enrolled, students take on projects at home, in their local community or on other properties. Mentors are assigned to each student and continuous documentation is required.


Students participate in a minimum of at least seven weekend workshops offered by registered APT trainers. These cover some of the main permaculture units and provide a meeting point for course participants. Workshops will take place on permaculture properties mainly around Perth and the hills.


Assessment will regularly take place throughout the year and may conclude with a final assessment day where students will present the documentation of their completed projects.

Level III Outcomes

Certificate III contains fifteen units of work – some compulsory (core) and some choice (electives). It is a level that requires you to demonstrate a certain amount of thought in applying knowledge to a range of situations with discretion and judgment. At the present time, many of the ‘electives’ have been deemed compulsory, and these are noted below as Automatic Electives. There is some choice, and these are simply called electives in the lists below. It is the level of competency that permaculture practitioners acquire, and gives you the confidence to apply these skills in the wider workplace environment.

We give you the opportunity to do this with people who are committed to helping you achieve your goals. Increasingly, our futures are going to depend on our resilience and adaptability to the challenges this changing world is thrusting upon us. Take up the challenge, reduce your negative impact and become part of the solution!

Units for Certificate III


Core units (6)

  • QLD843PPP01B Research and communicate information on permaculture principles and practices
  • QLD843IPA02B Develop recommendations for integrated plant and animal systems
  • QLD843IPA03B Maintain integrated plant and animal systems
  • QLD843DES08B Establish an urban permaculture system

OR (QLD843DES07B Establish a rural permaculture system)

  • QLD843IPA12B Plan organic garden and orchard systems
  • RTC3218A Undertake a site assessment

Electives (8) The following ‘electives’ are deemed compulsory and seen as essential for this course:

  • QLD843WAT09B Install and maintain permaculture water systems
  • QLD843BUI10B Install structures for permaculture systems
  • QLD843DES14B Read and interpret property maps and plans
  • RTC3213A Implement property improvement, construction and repair
  • RTC3404A Control plant pests, diseases and disorders
  • RTE3506A Monitor weather conditions
  • RTD3507A Undertake sampling and testing of water
  • RTF3503A Sample soils and analyse results

Chose ONE (1) of the following units as your last unit.

  • QLD843RES13B Co-ordinate preparation and storage of permaculture products
  • QLD843IPA04B Carry out animal care, maintenance and treatment programs in a permaculture system
  • QLD843COM15B Co-ordinate community projects
  • QLD843IPA05B Implement crop maintenance and harvesting programs for permaculture systems
  • QLD843IPA06B Use weedy plants in a permaculture system

Payment Details for CIII Total cost $1800.

Current CIII Courses: Workshop Schedules will be posted for courses held in 2016

Certificate IV

Candlelight Farm also offers CIV and Diploma Courses and can RPL students as well. Have a look at the:

Next CIII Course starting 2016. Project work and Training workshops starts then. Then typically monthly.