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What is a PRI Recognised PDC Teacher?

A Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) teacher recognized through the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) is one that has been deemed determined and competent, via our vetting process. This determination reflects the instructor’s ability to successfully teach a full, 72-hour PDC course based on (but not necessarily or solely constrained to) all topics in Bill Mollison’s Designers’ Manual.

It is our philosophy that sharing permaculture principles, and that describing and presenting practical examples of these principles in action, instructors can help their students gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all elements in our natural systems. Furthermore, teachers can share with students the information and design tools they’ll need to help them work productively and sustainably within these systems, in a broad range of climates zones and varied circumstances. These courses are meant to both assist students practically and to inspire them to embark on their own journeys as permaculture system designers.

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Our PRI PDC instructors are committed to design science, rather than to subjective spiritual/metaphysical/religious elements as topics in their courses. “Belief”-based courses run contrary to our focus on the scientifically provable strategies and techniques promoted by the PRI. A great PRI PDC teacher emphasizes science along with an inclusive, simple representation of universal life-based ethics instead of particular sets of beliefs which can create barriers to permaculture uptake. These ethics should prioritize the return of surplus to natural systems, which in turn promotes the successful, practical nurture of our earth and its inhabitants. These inclusive ideals help us work together, regardless of other beliefs, to create a world that lives in harmony with nature as a whole.

Why Apply to be a PRI Recognised PDC Teacher?

As a PRI Recognised PDC Teacher, you’ll become part of the growing PRI network. This network gives you increased opportunities for consultancy, teaching, and aid work postings as they become available. You’ll be contributing to the expansion of this network, by sharing your knowledge with others.

Also, your application fees work to support the continued evolution and development of the Worldwide Permaculture Network. In return, we provide you with the valuable benefits listed below. Together, we’ll help work to raise the standard of permaculture education around the globe. Renewing benefits yourself as a permaculture instructor, as well as the citizens of the world at large. The WPN brings together those who are invested in the value of permaculture systems, teachers and potential learners alike.

In addition, there are many other benefits to attaining PRI recognition:

• Most students that are seeking permaculture design certificate instruction want assurance that they’ll receive high-quality, science based instruction in return for their tuition, as opposed to subjective, metaphysical/spiritual/religious opinions. Our application review process specifically addresses this need, ensuring that PRI PDC instructors remain on topic and maintain high standards, through a series of rigorous checks.

• Accredited instructors may list their profiles in the Worldwide Permaculture Network’s (WPN) member database, which allows potential students to find them easily.

• You’ll be able to post a standalone advertorial piece in the Permaculturenews.org main news feed four times a year. This page is even more highly trafficked, ranked within the top 100,000 websites worldwide by Alexa. This gives our recognised instructors a voice on one of the world’s most influential permaculture news sites.

• If you so desire, you can promote yourself and your professionalism as a PRI recognized instructor with a your.name@permacultureglobal.org email address.

• Your students, if they graduate and receive their certificate after your accreditation date, will receive a PRI PDC Graduate badge on their WPN profile. This shows that students who have taken your course have received a high standard of instruction.

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What is the Application Process?

The application process consists of two phases. We’ve endeavoured to make the process as simple and streamlined as possible. At any time, prior to applying, or during the application process, you have a question or would like to discuss the application, you can email Darren at the email address info@permaculture.org.au .

Note: We are presently only able to accept applications written in English.

Phase 1

Complete the form at the bottom of this description, submit it, and pay the associated fee. Your application will be checked to see if your information is complete. If it is deficient in any area, we’ll contact you to correct it.

Phase 2

Once your information is complete, your submitted documentation will be submitted for examination by two PRI Australia reviewers. If we require more information, or if we have constructive feedback to offer to improve your documentation to qualify, you’ll be contacted by a reviewer.

You may be asked for two additional items:

1. Full, coherent teacher’s notes, evidencing that all topics of the Designers’ Manual are covered.

2. Documentation/portfolio, including photographs of at least two reasonable sized permaculture implementations. These photographs should document the process of implementation from beginning to end. The documentation should describe the design process, implementation, adjustments to original design (if any), outcomes, and lessons learned in the process. All documentation is to be the applicants own work.

What are the Application Costs?

The total cost for a successful application is AU$550. This includes an AU$330 application fee, which is required prior to having your documentation processed by our reviewers, as well as the first annual PRI PDC Teacher registration charge of AU$220.

What are the Annual Registration Charges to Stay Registered? (And why!?)

The annual PRI PDC Teacher registration charge is AU$220. This fee is required to maintain the relevant databases, issue new certificates and to cover administration costs associated with placing the promotional material on the relevant websites.

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Teaching Sabbatical

If you choose to not teach for a period, and wish to let your registration lapse during this time, you may do so for a limited period of time classified as a sabbatical. During this time, you will not be able to issue certifications to students.

If this period extends to three years (or longer), additional steps may be required to reinstate your recognition as a PRI PDC Teacher, including co-teaching a minimum of fifty ours of a PDC course with a currently accredited PRI PDC Teacher. This teacher would then offer the PRI feedback regarding your competence levels after such an extended break from teaching.

What are the Costs Involved, Should the Initial Application Fail?

• One of the reviewers will email you, stating the initial reasons for the rejection. They’ll request a Skype session or the opportunity to call you in order to more fully explain the deficiencies in the application, and will help coach you toward a successful application.

• You are granted one free re-application if your application is updated within three months of the notice of rejection.

• Subsequent re-applications within three months of each successive rejection are $100 each.

• If you reapply between 3-6 months after initial or subsequent rejection, the fee is $150 (this time-based staggered increase encourages prompt attention on your part, to avoid PRI admin and reviewers ending up with too many prolonged loose ends at a time. This is being particularly important to the process, because if the reviewer resigns from the review board in the interim, then a new reviewer needs to start from scratch…).

• If you do not reapply until 6-12 months after initial or subsequent rejection, you will be required to pay 50% of the current full application price before reviewing would re-commence.

• If you do not reapply until 12 months or beyond initial or subsequent rejection, then you will be required to pay full price for your re-application.

The PRI review team are very prompt, professional and will make every effort to be as clear as possible in order to avoid any instances that could result in multiple re-applications.

Turnaround Time for Application Processing

Assuming your references are all available when contacted by reviewers, we aim to be as timely as possible in application processing. There are numerous factors that can influence the length of time required to process your application. Typically, first time applicants can anticipate a turnaround time of two months or less, although there are exceptions. We strive to ensure a speedy turnaround, and are committed to maintaining clear communication during the process.

Questions or Technical Support

At any stage or if there are delays we can be contacted via info@permaculture.org.au or through the contact form here.

Regionalisation and Languages

1. While we are developing organised and recognised PRI regional review satellites, that process is not yet complete. Until it is, applications will be received through PRI Australia’s Teacher Representative, Ms. Lesley Byrne, who will then allocate applications to the most appropriate reviewers.

2. We’re presently only able to accept English applications, as we streamline the review process over the next six months. Once we’ve achieved an efficient review process, we’ll work toward perfecting the process, regionalise it, and organise non-English reviewers as well as multi-lingual WPN development.

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