About UsAPLD is committed to advancing the profession of landscape. An Ad-Hoc Task Force was created over two years ago to study our current membership categories and requirements. As a result, they have decided that some refinements are needed. The goal is to raise the level of professionalism within the APLD membership which will enable better representation of our profession.
Beginning in 2016, APLD will roll out a program to restructure membership categories and associated requirements. The restructuring will better define all membership categories, with specific requirements for each category including levels of education, professional documentation, years of experience and commitment to continuing education. The new membership levels will be:
- Allied - companies or individuals in related fields
- Sponsorship Partner
- Associate - practicing Landscape Designer with documented education, experience and 15 CEU's every three (3) years.
- Professional - practicing Landscape Designer with documented education, experience and 30 CEU's every three (3) years.
- Certified - practicing Landscape Designer who has passed the APLD certification program and 30 CEU's every three (3) years.
- Fellow - Certified Member awarded this honor as acknowledgement of special contributions and meets all requirements as a Certified member.
- Retired Professional - non-practicing Landscape Designer of retirement age
These new criteria will not only strengthen our profession but allow us to differentiate ourselves as landscape designers from other practitioners who do not have the same level of education or professional qualifications. Today, anyone can adopt the title, open a business and voila, they too are a landscape designer. It is incumbent on us to establish, meet and document recognized criteria. It's good for our profession, our clients, and us individually.
Change is often challenging, but necessary and, yes, even desirable. Our national APLD Board and Advocacy Committee have been very thorough and thoughtful in considering this new program. It will take some effort to implement but it is a giant step forward for us as professional landscape designers. Let's embrace this opportunity to raise the bar of professionalism for our vocation.
The Association of Professional Landscape Designers, APLD, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to establishing the highest standards for the landscape design profession. The Washington state chapter, APLDWA, represents APLD members throughout Washington state. Our chapter formed in 2000, making it the oldest chapter in the United States. APLDWA actively pursues the goals of the international organization. Click here to join.
- APLD’s certification program—the only landscape design certification program in the United States—offers professional recognition to landscape designers based on established standards of excellence.
- Monthly events.
- Educational webinars.
- APLD’s quarterly magazine, The Designer.
- National and chapter newsletters.
- Discounted fee for APLD’s International Landscape Design Conference.
- Eligibility to compete for APLD’s International Landscape Design Awards.
- Members-only Yahoo group—a great resource for exploring topics of interest.
- Participation in sponsored year-round events.
Business & Legislative Advocacy
- Sample proposals, contracts and documents, customized for individual businesses.
- Advocacy—includes monitoring and updating members on pertinent national legislative and regulatory changes, including right-to-practice issues.
- The state chapter informs members about local issues, such as the Green Factor, Stormwater Management Codes and Low-Impact-Development (LID) methods of practice.
- Professional member listing in the Find a Designer directory.
- Individual member/company page on both national and chapter websites.
- Recognition of member accomplishments, such as NWFGS participation, awards, activities and publications.
- Use of APLD logo on website and print material.
- Certified members are permitted to add “APLD” after their names.
National dues vary depending on membership category:
- Certified & Allied $340
- Professional & Associate $290
- Retired $90
- Student $55
Additionally, membership in the Washington chapter is $35 (students $20).
Find out more about APLD membership.
APLD’s certification program confers professional recognition to landscape designers based on established standards of excellence. Currently, 20 percent of APLD members are certified. Certification is available for Professional members in good standing who have been practicing landscape design for at least four years. APLD offers the only landscape design certification program in the United States.
The certification review process, overseen by the APLD certification committee, evaluates a candidate’s submitted work, consisting of three installed projects. For each project, the designer submits drawings, a plant list, a design intent statement and photographs.
To maintain certification, Certified Professional Members must continue to develop their skills. During each three-year period, APLD requires certified designers to submit proof of the completion of 30 hours of approved continuing education credits (CEUs).
The APLD Certification Review Panel convenes four times a year to review applications for Certified Professional Membership. The current review schedule is January, March, August and November. Applications are due by the first of the month.
Why Be Certified?
APLD certification is an important credential that reinforces one’s professional status in the landscape design industry. The more professional landscape designers there are who gain certification, the more professional the industry—and APLD members—will be perceived by the public. Certification is an achievement, an honor and a way for experienced designers to distinguish themselves in a crowded field.