Certified Landscape Designer


The Landscape Design Sector Group, newly formed under the administration of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, founded the Landscape Industry Certified Designer designation as a way to establish a high standard of excellence for the landscape design profession. This provides landscape designers with a valid way to communicate their professional status to their clients.

The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) administers and markets this certification designation nationally, continuing to uphold the standards set by the Landscape Design Sector Group.


Landscape Industry Certified Designer is for you!
A Landscape Industry Certified Designer designation will provide you with a means of proving to your clients that you not only have the necessary education and industry experience, but also that you have written and passed an industry test proving a high degree of proficiency as a landscape designer.

Why certification and why now?
With the current popularity of landscape and gardening in society, landscape designers find it increasingly difficult in today's market to position themselves as professionals with a high degree of competence and knowledge. The certification process verifies the skill of qualified individuals, elevates the value of the landscape design process and the professional stature of landscape designers.

Steps to certification:
  1. To qualify to write the Designer test, the candidate must first have seven years of combined academic and industry experience. For example:
    1. Graduate of a two to four year recognized post secondary horticultural program, plus an additional three to five years of practical experience, or:
    2. seven years of practical experience.
  2. Successful completion of a written exam to test the candidate's knowledge of grading, drainage, layout, plant material use, professional practices, regulations, structural/construction/paving details and quantity take-offs. A passing grade of 70 per cent is required.
  3. The final step to certification is the submission of a portfolio containing samples of work and at least three references. The portfolio will be judged by a three to five person jury of academic, design/build members of CNLA or CSLA and a representative of the regional Landscape Industry Certified Designer group.

Portfolio review submission deadlines

When: Annually on January 1st and August 1st
Where: Landscape Ontario, Attn: Certification Coordinator, 7856 Fifth Line  S., Milton, ON L9T 2X8

Portfolios must contain samples of work and at least three references. Designs need to be completed to the level that would require no further communication between the client and designer. If you are submitting your portfolio for the first time, you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to submit one project for an initial review. You will receive comments back and can make necessary changes and re-submit it as part of your final 3 projects. The portfolio will be judged by a three- to five-person jury of academic, design or design/build members of Landscape Ontario who are also representatives of the Ontario Designers group.


Sample portfolio coming soon
Jen Cuddie is a community-spirited designer, eager to help others in her field. She has agreed to making her own CLD portfolio available for download soon, as a model for others seeking the CLD designation.


Click here to download:
Portfolio requirement details
Client Letter Template