Look for Professional Certifications
a competent landscape or garden center professional can be difficult.
Fortunately, there are professional certification programs that can help
consumers evaluate the credentials of those that they consult or
contract with to improve their landscapes and outdoor living areas. In
addition to passing rigorous written and, in the case of Landscape
Industry Certified Technicians, a hands on exam as well, certified
professionals are required to recertify every two years by taking
twenty-four credits of continuing education. Always ask those claiming certification to produce their current certificate or card.
Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist (PCH)
A Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist (PCH) has proven their broad knowledge in horticulture by passing an exam that tests their expertise of plant growth and maintenance,
landscape design and installation and retail operations. An 80% or above must be attained in each of
the four sections of the competitive test in order to receive the PCH designation. Maintenance of that certification is also required which exemplifies these individuals commitment to professionalism, the industry and their willingness to stay in tune with current developments through continuing education. The PCH program is a PLNA administered program.
Sustainable Landscapes Certification designation (PCH-SLC)
One of the fastest growing areas in horticulture is Sustainable Landscapes. A person with a PCH-SLC designation has proven their knowledge in both the general areas of horticulture as required by the PCH exam and also has proven their specialized knowledge about how plants can be used most effectively to provide ecosystem services that improve water quality, air quality and enhance human health and performance.
Landscape Industry Certified Technician (formerly CLT) or Manager (formerly CLP)
The National Association for Landscape Professionals (NALP) administers the Landscape Industry Certified programs. Included are Landscape Industry Certified Technicians and Landscape Industry Certified Managers. These programs are national and you can find these certified individuals throughout the United States and Canada. The Landscape Industry Certified Technician (CLT) program offers certifications in various disciplines within the landscaping profession such as Softscape Installation, Hardscape Installation, Turf Maintenance, Ornamental Maintenance or Irrigation. A Landscape Industry Certified Manager (CLP) on staff promotes the knowledge and expertise in managing the business side of the company exemplifying that they understand the impact decisions have on company outcomes.