Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC)

On a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), you will be presented for a wide range of methods and solutions, that can lead to concrete and positive change – and often in the company of people who really care!

The certificate is awarded after a successful completion of a course of a total duration of minimum 72 hours. Out of this, 70% of the curriculum is pre-determined according to international agreements and thereby obligatory regardless of where in the world you do your certificate course. The certificate is awarded by diploma-holders.

The course finish with a fictive design project based on group collaboration, in which the participants will demonstrate that they have understood the basic principles and techniques of permaculture. The result is presented to the teachers and the other participants.

The following subjects are part of the curriculum:


  • Concept clarification: ecology, sustainability, permaculture
  • The five catastrophies
  • Permaculture Ethics
  • Permaculture principles: zoning, sectores, etc.
  • To read a landscape: key-line etc.
  • The energy exchange of trees
  • Sustainable systems
  • Design: the patterns of nature
  • Climate and energy, air- and energy streams, micro-climate
  • Renewable energy sources, energy-saving techniques
  • Soil, creation of mulch
  • The circuit of nutritions
  • Composting and compost toilets
  • Plants
  • The establishment of micro-climates for plant cultivation
  • Plant cultivation and -systems
  • Water: in the landscape, the living water, the circuit of water
  • Waste water management
  • Water plant systems and aquaculture
  • Waste and waste management, recycling
  • The Circuit House
  • Indoor climate, renewable energy
  • Mateials, construction, urban structures
  • Urban ecology
  • Organisation: the fifth element of permaculture
  • Basic democratic decision-making, local residents’ association
  • Economy and green money, LETS
  • Bio regions, food product and countryside-city network
  • Permaculture: nationally and internationally
  • Diploma criteria
  • Design task

The 30% of the curriculum which is not pre-determined relates to concrete construction and cultivation techniques, which of course can vary according to the region and country.

In order to receive the certificate, it is a condition that you have followed the entire course or is able to demonstrate that you have acquired the missing knowledge elsewhere.The course finishes with the group presentation of the final design task but there is no “exam” as such. Though permaculture is based on insight into cultivation methods, construction techniques, the climate and other types of sciences, it is no competition in trivia. The goal is for the student to have gotten a general understanding of permaculture and the design process and -tools, which are then based on a broad spectrum of technical background knowledge.

When you have obtained your certificate, you are free to make your own permaculture projects and to define them as “permaculture”. Moreover, you can teach on permaculture courses under the circumstance that these activities are supervised and approved by a recognised diplma-holder. At least one diploma-holder must be part of arranging or approving a PDC course.

See the list of Danish diploma-holders here.
Read more about the rules for PDC courses here.


Welcome to the Permaculture Association of Denmark!