Certification: An Olympic-style achievement - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Certification: An Olympic-style achievement

Are you ready to compete for your credential?

PLANET’s Student Career Days—The National Collegiate Landscape Competition event held in Auburn, Ala., March 7 – 10, 2013, is described as a “Landscape Olympics.” Last year, I wrote a blog “Go for the Certification Gold,” using the summer Olympics in London as my theme. “In this Olympic year, go for the gold of our industry…earn your Landscape Industry Certified designation today.”

Whether you participated in Student Career Days held earlier this month or are taking an exam to become Landscape Industry Certified, you’re demonstrating a commitment to excellence that rivals the well-trained athlete competing in the Games.

This pursuit of a higher achievement shows drive, focus and determination. Certification is a goal worthy of your time and energy. While we’re between Olympic years and the winter Games are a distant date in 2014, my challenge stands. “Go for the Certification Gold.” Here’s how to challenge yourself and compete for your credential.

PLANET offers several certifications – seven to be exact. While they’re arranged under Manager and Technician categories, both levels are of equal distinction with many individuals choosing to obtain both and pursue several specialties under the Landscape Industry Certified umbrella. Personally, I chose the Technician-Exterior first, specializing in maintenance and installation. Then I set my sights on the business certification and achieved the Manager credential. Now, I am a Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician.

Choose a program, register, order any recommended study materials, and plot your training regimen. Give yourself enough preparation time. Most of the programs allow up to three years to study and test.

Pace yourself. One technique a newly Landscape Industry Certified Manager, Michael McShane, successfully used: I read the study material any time I had a chance. I read each module once and highlighted important areas that I felt would need to be reviewed again. I went through all of the study guides a second time and wrote key elements of each section in an outline. I reviewed the outlines that I drafted numerous times prior to the test.

More than 5,000 actively hold the Landscape Industry Certified designation worldwide with the majority of certificants located in the United States, followed by Canada. Competing for your credential, like an Olympian, is an internationally shared endeavor. No matter where you’re from you can go for the green leaf that decorates the Landscape Industry Certified logo.


A logo  that, once earned, you can display to your peers and customers with pride as long as you maintain it by earning continuing education and service CEUs every two years. After all, top athletes stay conditioned to be a peak performance, so must the certified contractor stay on top of the latest industry information, trends and technologies.

Countdown to the winter Olympics in 2014 is on and I challenge you to make a personal and professional commitment to earn your industry’s own gold standard by becoming Landscape Industry Certified. You’ll stand above the rest and can promote your distinguished status for years to come. Your name will even be listed on the Honor Wall.

Let the certification games begin! Contact PLANET at 800-395-2522 or email certification@landcarenetwork.org to get started.

David Hupman, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician

BRICKMAN – Great Lakes Division, Cincinnati, Ohio

Chair, International Certification Council