RHS Practical

New RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture

RHS L2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture

Course dates at BamptonTimePlacesPrice
16th September 20249.30 am14£1610.00
Course dates at North MoretonTimePlacesPrice
18th September 20249.30 am14£1610.00
Course dates at RytonTimePlacesPrice
17th September 20249.30 am10£1610.00
21st September 202413.30 pm15£1610.00

Enrol for this course

Booking for Practical courses starting in  September 2024  is now open:

The course will start in the week beginning 16/9/2024. It will run on Monday mornings at Bampton, Tuesday mornings and Saturday afternoons at Ryton, and Wednesday mornings at North Moreton.

The course runs for 32 weeks, and consists of 28 regular half-day sessions over normal academic terms,  two full days for practice and rehearsal, and two more for assessment by an RHS Assessor.  There will  be an online assessment of practical knowledge in June.


Are you up for a horticultural challenge?

This new course is quite different from the previous RHS Level 2 Certificate Practical Horticulture, with new content and new assessment methods.  

If you are an adult beginner in horticulture, a keen amateur gardener or a potential career-changer, this  hands-on horticultural course has been designed to equip you with a wide range of horticultural skills  to carry out routine tasks proficiently in a variety of contexts: as well as propagation, pruning and plant care, these range from maintaining hard landscaping to using hedgetrimmers and lawnmowers. It also provides you with the opportunity to develop  transferable skills within a variety of horticultural settings. 

Because of this breadth, there is more emphasis on the underpinning knowledge behind practical tasks and the course will require your commitment to weekly home study to be prepared for each week's practical tuition.

Click here for a link to the RHS website which explains more about their qualifications.

A level 2 qualification from the RHS can be your first step in changing to a career in horticulture. This Certificate is an accepted route into the horticultural profession for the National Trust and many other large employers.  It also gives you the opportunity to progress on to a level 3 course, in turn allowing progression to higher education or perhaps career advancement into supervision or management positions within the industry.


What will I study?

 You will study eight units, which make up this Certificate. These are:

·       1. Plant Identification

·       2. Plant establishment

·       3. Plant propagation

·       4. Plant health

·       5. Plant care:  how  to implement garden maintenance plans

·       6. Plant pruning

·       7. Care and maintenance of a range of garden features

·       8. Establish and maintain grassed areas

What is covered?

Click here for the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture syllabus which provides you with a complete overview of the course.

Click here for a link to the RHS website which explains more about their new format qualifications which were introduced in September 2022.

How is it delivered and assessed?

Course delivery:  The course runs over a full academic year ( September to June) following school terms as much as possible.  Click here for our full RHS timetable for all centres.  

A variety of delivery methods are tailored to meet the needs of learners and the requirements of the syllabus.

  • Weekly sessions of practical tuition will allow students to concentrate on becoming proficient in various horticultural tasks.
  • An online classroom will give access to videos which demonstrate the tasks you will cover, to give you a chance to return to topics for your own practice (and in case you miss a session).
  • Course notes for each topic are downloadable from the online classroom (or available in printed form to purchase separately); these provide the background information for each part of the syllabus which is tested in the OCA (online competence assessment).
  • Self-test quizzes in the online classroom will help you check your knowledge.
  • Narrated presentations in the online classroom  cover the key points for each practical topic. These will be in a downloadable format and with the course notes are an essential part of the course to complement the practical sessions.
  • Plant identification will be supported by an online gallery of plant pictures, with self-test quizzes to help you to learn botanical names.
  • Once a month there will be a plant identification test from live specimens .

Studying in this way this will virtually double the course time, so you need to be able to commit to a regular 3 hours of home study each week . We will ensure that you are adequately prepared for all assessments and can look forward to successfully achieving your qualification.

Assessment: The new RHS Certificate will be assessed by two types of examination*: 

  •   Two Practical Competence Assessments will cover various core tasks from the syllabus; these will be undertaken at the centre in spring and summer and assessed  by an external RHS examiner and a Centre assessor.   The Assessments are marked according to method and proficiency; the pass mark is 50%, and this element  (both assessments combined) provides 80% of the full assessment.
  •  A 75 minute online test taken at the end of the course  ( the online test is designed to be taken at home, but it will be on a specific date/time decided by the RHS, and taken in line with their exam procedures). The test will consist of some multiple choice questions and some short answer questions, based on 'real world scenarios' of horticultural situations; it is designed to test the application of practical knowledge rather than underpinning theory .  The pass mark is 50% and this provides 20% of the assessment.

Final marks will only be awarded when both parts of the Assessment have been undertaken, but the Qualification can now be graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction depending on proficiency  and knowledge.

There  is a  Rehearsal Day built into the timetable before each Practical Competence assessment to give learners experience of working under time constraints and with an external assessor, who will give feedback on the tasks undertaken.

*If you are not comfortable with an examination-based course, you may like to look at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Practical Certificate in Horticulture, which is a practical and  centre - assessed course.


What qualification will I get?

When you have successfully completed all the constituent parts of the qualification The Royal Horticultural Society which award The RHS Level 2 Certificate in Horticultural Practice, graded either Pass, Merit or Distinction.

If you combine this with the RHS Level 2 certificate in Horticultural Principles, The RHS will award you with an RHS L2 Certificate in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

What is the cost and venue(s)?

Important note on RHS fees : The RHS have made a decision that  a Centre can only accept you on an RHS course if you commit to the complete assessment process when you start. Their fees for the new Level 2 Practical are £210   - £20 registration  and £190 for examination  and assessment.  These RHS fees are now due at the beginning of the course as an itemised part of the initial payment.

Tuition fees: £1400, RHS fees £210  = total payable £1610, or £1630 if paid in four instalments of £407.50.

 For this RHS course,  each practical session will be supplemented by an online lessons and videos, and weekly idents will be covered by online ident presentations; this will allow sufficient time to cover the  practical work in class and prepare for the two RHS-assessed practical competence tests and the online test of practical knowledge.  This effectively doubles the course time.

There will be a non-refundable booking fee payable when you enrol on the course of 25% of the full cost of the course plus an administration charge ( £407.50 payable as the first instalment). This covers the registration and certification fees and secures your place on the course.

Please note: In the event of a place not being available or the course not running, the booking fee will be returned to you. 

The remainder of the course fees can be

  •  paid in three equal instalments of £407.50, on weeks 8, 16 and 24  (including an administration fee of £5.00 for each instalment). You will receive statements of account during your course but we do not sent out specific reminders for staged payments.
  • You can ask us to set up a direct debit mandate when you book the course by indicating 'yes' on the enrolment form and we will be pleased to send you a mandate form by email. Once this has been returned to us we can request payments from your bank on or about weeks 8, 16 and 24 .

Courses will take place at our North Moreton, Bampton and Ryton Centres.




What is the enrolment process?

You can click on the 'enrol now' button above and complete an enrolment form.

Please note course places will be limited;  if no course places are showing, please contact our administrator about a waiting list.

Once a booking has been made,  you will receive a confirmation of your place.  Shortly before the course begins you will be sent joining instructions.

What else do I need to know?

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.

THe RHS states: 'This qualification has been designed to provide learners with the breadth of horticultural knowledge and skills required to carry out routine tasks proficiently in a variety of contexts. It supports progression to employment within areas of the horticultural industries (such as professional gardening, landscaping, plant production and garden retail), as well as supporting learning in entry level roles in the early stages of a horticultural career. It is also designed to meet the needs of the amateur gardener. It also provides learners the opportunity of personal development, including the changing of careers and engagement in their learning and offers an opportunity to develop transferable skills such as problem solving, implementing management plans / programmes, and communication as part of their applied learning.

In terms of progression, it allows learners the opportunity to progress to further learning opportunities at Level 3, allowing progression to higher education, career advancement or entry in the horticultural industries at a more advanced, technical level.'

What can I do after completing this course?

An RHS Level 2 qualification is well respected in the horticultural industry and can be the first step in changing to a career in horticulture.

From this, you can go on to study the RHS theory Certificate, The RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth and Development and work towards the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.

You could also progress to a new RHS Level 3 Practical Certificate and to an eventual Level 3 Diploma with a Level 3 theory Certificate and Award in Horticultural Investigation.