Certification in the horticulture field is becoming increasingly requested by those employing Horticulturists. Clients, consumers, and employers are looking for assurance that the person being hired is knowledgeable and skilled. The American Society for Horticultural Science values the education, experience, and dedication by those in horticultural sciences by offering the Certified Professional Horticulturist Certification, Associate Professional Horticulturist Certification, and the Certified Horticulturist Certification.
Benefits of an ASHS Certification
• Certification builds an individual's self-image. Achieving a ASHS Certification reaffirms to themselves and their peers a thorough knowledge and dedication to horticulture.
• ASHS Certification affords the public and those in government and industry the opportunity to make an informed selection of services based on the knowledge represented by the certification designation.
• The process of becoming certified and maintaining the designation provides incentives to the individual to continue his or her ongoing professional development.
• Certification is a tool to help employers both in training their personnel and selecting new employees.
By obtaining a certification through ASHS, you are proving your dedication, knowledge, and skills to consumers, employers, and those within your profession. By continuing to maintain your certification through earned Continuing Education Credits, you continue to add to your professional growth.
ASHS Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH)—Certification is the highest level of certification offered by ASHS. It recognizes those in horticulture who are established, with significant work experience, and most with advanced degrees in horticulture. Applicants must have a minimum of five years experience with a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture or a closely related field OR three years experience with an advanced degree in Horticulture or a closely related field. Applicants must also meet the curriculum background requirements as stated in the CPH application. Continuing Education Units must be reported in order to renew certification.
ASHS Associate Professional Horticulturist (APH)—Certification is available to those continuing to expand their education in horticulture and experience. The APH is generally working toward an advanced degree and working to obtain greater experience. APH's can apply for the Certified Professional Horticulturist certification when education and experience are achieved.
ASHS Certified Horticulturists (CH) —are practicing horticulturists who are skilled and knowledgeable in all areas of horticulture. Those with the ASHS CH certification are required to pass a rigorous four-hour exam based on the following areas of horticulture:
- Landscape Design and Maintenance
- Production of Fruits, Vegetables, Turf, and Ornamental Plants
- Shipping and Handling of Final Product
- Monitoring and Testing,
- Diagnosing and Managing Plant Problems
- Business Practices
Those that have passed the exam, must have more than three years of experience or a combined level of experience and education. Continuing Education Units must be reported in order to renew certification.
ASHS Certified Horticulturist Program Status
The American Society for Horticultural Science will cease accepting applications for the Certified Horticulturist Examination as of December 31, 2019. The ASHS Board of Directors decided to terminate the program after 11 years of operation. The program will remain in Legacy status with ASHS. All current ASHS Certified Horticulturists will be able to retain their certification for 3-year intervals by meeting the requirements of attaining 30 continuing education units (CEUs) and paying the appropriate renewal fee. All other regulations regarding revocation of certification in the original application remain in effect for the duration of the certification.
The ASHS Certified Professional Horticulturist and Associate Professional Horticulturist programs are unaffected by this decision and remain in operation for qualified individuals.