RHS Level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture (New for 2023)
Sorry, there is currently no availability for this course, for further information on when there will be availability for this course, please feel free to contact us.
BEST has now completed the RHS approval process and in August it was confirmed that we can to deliver the new level 3 qualifications from 2023.
This new addition to the RHS Level 3 qualifications will run at our Ryton Centre from Saturday 23 September (9.30 - 15.30). It will not run at North Moreton in 2023.
Courses will start in the week beginning 18/9/2023 and run for 30 weeks (including at least one session of RHS assessment ). There will also be an online assessment of practical knowledge in June.
This Certificate will deliver the practical element of the new three-part RHS Level 3 Diploma, alongside the New RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Garden Planning and Applied Propagation and the New Award in Horticultural Investigation.
New topics for level 3 include the production of fruit, vegetable and herb crops as well as the design and maintenance of ecological and sustainable plantings.
The Level 3 Practical Certificate offers a progression for those already in a horticutural role, and is also aimed at anyone with a personal interest in the supervision and development of gardens and landscapes, so meeting the needs of horticultural professionals and amateur gardeners looking to take their skills to a more professional level.
It is quite different from the previous RHS Level 3 Certificate Practical Horticulture course and has been designed to support specialist/industry specific pathways and is a direct result of the findings of the Horticultural Round Table Group (OHRG).
A level 3 qualification from the RHS can facilitate career progression and is recognised by the National Trust and many other large employers as an entry into management positions within the horticultural sector.
The RHS states:
'Those involved in the field of Garden and Landscape Maintenance have to be able to apply the principles of horticultural science, seek out best practice, select techniques which are cost effective, embrace sustainability, ensure biosecurity and comply with current legislation as they develop the gardens and landscapes under their care. These horticulturists have to apply the skills developed within the Level 2 qualification, but embrace the concepts of Garden Management Plans, Maintenance Schedules and Garden Health Plans to enable them to manage the many different aspect which make up gardens.'
What will I study?
The RHS Practical Certificate consists of 8 Topics, plus 4 qualification-wide outcomes
Plant Knowledge 1. The identification and requirements of plant species 2. Plant specification and sourcing 3. Plants within gardens and designed landscapes 4. Propagation techniques.
Creating Planted Areas 1. Site preparation 2. Planting schemes 3. The planting process 4. Post-planting management.
Maintaining Planted Areas 1. Maintenance of planted areas 2. Garden management plans / maintenance schedules 3. Evidence-based practice / best practice 4. Evaluation of techniques.
Plant Health 1. Biosecurity 2. Biotic and abiotic impacts on plant health 3. Integrated Pest Management 4. Planning garden health.
Productive Growing 1. Cultivation of vegetables 2. Cultivation of top fruit 3. Cultivation of soft fruit 4. Cultivation of herbs.
Protected Growing 1. Siting, design and maintenance of protected structures 2. Internal structures and equipment 3. Production of crops 4. Management of plant collections.
Ecological and Sustainable Plantings 1. Purpose of ecological and sustainable plantings 2. Species selection 3. Establishment of ecological and sustainable plantings 4. Maintenance of ecological and sustainable plantings.
Landscaping Materials 1. Inspection of existing hard landscaping features 2. Maintenance plans and schedules for landscaping materials and features 3. Planning a new hard landscaping feature 4. Selection and calculation of materials.
The Qualification-wide outcomes embedded within the course follow on from level 2 and consist of health and safety, sustainability, best practice and equality and diversity.
What is covered?
Click here to download the syllabus for the New Level 3 Practical Certificate.
How is it delivered and assessed?
The Certificate will be delivered at our Ryton Centre on Saturdays over one academic year ( 30 sessions) from 9.30 - 15.30.
This qualification is assessment-based: your tutor will show you various horticultural techniques, get you to practise them and give you guidance on how to improve to reach an acceptable horticultural standard with those tasks. This part of the course will take place in the morning.
You will also be required to keep a record of your individual work on all assigned tasks through the course: to enable this, you will spend a further two hours (13.30 - 15.30)on independent work on the tasks (vegetable, fruit production, planting etc), on a planting trial which you will undertake, and on portfolio development which will involve taking photographs and writing up your notes each week.
RHS assessment formats have yet to be confirmed but there will be at least one Practical Competence Assessment session which will include direct observation of practical work by an RHS visiting assessor, and 'professional discussion' of other topics which your portfolio of notes will help you to be prepared for. There will also be summative short-answer tests, probably in the form of an online exam.
It can be challenging to demonstrate your best practical work under examination conditions, and we will give you advice and feedback through the course to help you prepare. We will also offer an optional Practice Assessment Day to help you to be ready for the Practical Competence Asessment.
There will be regular plant identification tests during the course, and online quizzes to help get used to the RHS test format.
For the RHS Level 3 Award in Horticultural Investigation, the last component part of the RHS Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture there will be an externally validated case study. We are awaiting further details. Please click here for the RHS Level 3 Award in Horticultural Investigation.
The course will require students to use our VLE (online classroom) for additional directed weekly study, supported by our extensive online resources.
What qualification will I get?
On successful completion of the course and RHS assessments, you will receive an RHS Level 3 Practical Certificate, graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction.
What is the cost and venue(s)?
Venue for 2023 will be our Ryton Centre.
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 3 Practical are £240: that is, £20 registration and £220 for examination and online assessment. These RHS fees are now due at the beginning of the course as an itemised part of the initial payment.
Tuition fees will be £1350; with RHS examination and registration fees of £240, the total cost is £1590 if the course is paid for in full in advance, or £1610 if paid in four instalments of £402.50.
A full day rehearsal for the Practical Assessment will be available to book separately at a cost of £150.
There will be a non-refundable booking fee* payable when you enrol on the course; this is 25% of the full cost of the course plus a £5 administration charge ( £402.50 payable as the first instalment). This covers the registration and certification fees and secures your place on the course.
The remainder of the course fees can be paid in three equal instalments of £402.50 on weeks 8, 16 and 24 (including the 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.
*Please note: In the event of a place not being available or the course not running, the booking fee will be returned to you; but otherwise the booking fee is only refundable at the discretion of BEST in Horticulture.
What is the enrolment process?
Once bookings are open 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; while the new Certificates are being rolled out there may be some flexibility in adding extra dates.
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?
It is recommended that learners will have successfully completed a level 2 course such as The RHS Level 2 Certificate in horticulture or a suitable alternative. Applicants working within the horticultural industry will be considered on the basis of previous qualifications and industry experience.
It is not suited to adult learners who haven’t recently studied.
What can I do after completing this course?
You can go on to study the RHS Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Plant Growth, Garden Planning and Applied Propagation. With the Award in Horticultural Investigation you can then achieve an RHS Level 3 Diploma.