In 2015, the PLNA Board of Directors voted to create a Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist (PCH) Emeritus category, honoring PCH’s who have maintained their designation in good standing for at least 25 years. There are 2 groups within this category; PCH Emeritus Class (40 plus years) and PCH Emeritus Member (25 – 39 years).
PCH Emeritus Class
A PCH will automatically qualify for PCH Emeritus Class when they have maintained their PCH designation in good standing for 40 years. After this time they will no longer be required to submit recertification fees or continuing education credits and will maintain their status. Emeritus Class status removes the PCH from the current active PCH list available to consumers.
PLNA inducted 12 individuals into the Emeritus Class on Thursday, January 14 at the PLNA Member Recognition Meeting. To view the list of PCH Emeritus class members click here
PCH Emeritus Member
A PCH can qualify for PCH Emeritus Member when they have maintained their PCH designation in good standing for 25 years. This is optional. At the end of the recertification period where they reach 25 years in good standing, the individual will be notified that they are eligible for this status. If the individual so chooses to become a PCH Emeritus Member they will be required to pay a one-time status fee to enter the PCH Emeritus category. Once an individual meets the time requirement and pays the status fee, they will no longer be required to submit recertification fees or continuing education credits. Emeritus Member status removes the PCH from the current active PCH list available to consumers.
The Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist (PCH) program was started in 1971 as the Pennsylvania Accredited Nurseryman (PAN) program. It was started to recognize professionalism within the industry. In the 90’s the program was expanded to include non-members and the name of the program was changed to Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist. Everyone who earns this designation must pass an exam evidencing their technical knowledge of horticulture. The exam covers a thorough understanding of plants, their attributes, functions, soils, insects, diseases, pruning, fertilizing, pest control, principles of design and installation, and understanding of retail operations. The exam requires a score of 80% in each of four sections before the candidate earns the PCH designation. To maintain the designation individuals must pay recertification fees along with earning continuing education credits to support their knowledge and dedication to professionalism. The program went through various changes over the years. The most recent change took place in 2011 when the recertification requirements were changed to fall inline with other professional industry certifications. Over 1000 individuals have earned this designation over the past 44 years. The most current count is 215 active PCH’s.
The board realizes that as an individual increases their responsibilities within their own companies it becomes more difficult to obtain CEUs, They want to make sure individuals are recognized for their dedication and achievement of maintaining this designation during their career.