Welcome to the Alabama Certified Landscape Professional website. We are in the initial stages of this program and will be developing this page as we progress. Our goal is to provide you with all of the tools you will need to become certified.
We have prepared a website for you with photos and information on plants, pests and diseases that will help you prepare for your certification. We link to that site here and below for your convenience.
Mission of the ACLP Program
To offer a comprehensive teaching, testing and continuing education program to develop and recognize excellence among the Landscape Professionals of Alabama.
Voluntary - NOT a State of Alabama Certification Program
The State of Alabama requires a company or individual to be licensed to be a landscape contractor and designer. The Alabama Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industries requires individuals to pass a licensing exam. This test is elementary and offers minimum assurance of knowledge and competence for the consumer but easy access for people wanting to begin a landscape business. Members of ALNLA envisioned a higher level, voluntary educational and testing program so landscape professionals would have a way to distinguish themselves from those businesses with lesser skills and knowledge. The Landscape Industry represents about 1.6 billion dollars to Alabama’s economy, so it was a high priority area to offer educational outreach opportunities.
Evolution of the Program
The ACLP was developed in cooperation with the Georgia Green Industry Association, the Metro Atlanta Landscape Association and the Georgia Extension Service. The program offers reciprocity of certification between the states.
ACLP applicants are required to know over 250 plant materials, including weeds, annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs along with a defined list of plant pests and landscape problems. Other areas of expertise include, landscape plan take-off knowledge, construction materials and standards, grading, landscape equipment safety, operation and maintenance, irrigation basics and trouble shooting, pruning, sod selection and installation, grounds maintenance BMP’s, pesticide application and safety requirements, Alabama State landscape regulatory requirements, soil and fertility management and other areas necessary to be recognized as an ACLP.
Training Materials and Educational Assistance
ALNLA and its Georgia partners have developed materials and recruited cooperators to help landscape workers become professionals. A comprehensive teaching manual is available through ALNLA. Regional training programs will be posted on this site and the ALNLA site, www.alna.org, as well as articles for helping with re-certification points. Auburn University Horticulture, Botanical Gardens and Community Colleges have volunteered to teach and promote the program. To date, Wallace State, Jefferson State, Bessemer Tech community colleges and Huntsville Botanical Gardens and Birmingham Botanical Gardens have all agreed to teach all or portions of the program.
Testing for Certification
There are two tests required to receive certification, a written test that covers information from the manual or on-line materials, a pest and plant ID test, a landscape plan take-off test and a practical outdoor exam that tests for equipment knowledge, pesticide application and handling, landscape design, pruning, sod installation, grounds maintenance knowledge and grading. The test is administered by ACLP members, AU Horticulture faculty, qualified Regional and Extension Commercial Horticulture Agents and qualified members from the Greater Birmingham Association of Landscape Professionals (GBALP).
Time for Testing
Written tests are currently offered in August at the Southern Nursery Trade Show in Atlanta in cooperation with Georgia and at the Gulf States Trade Show in January. Testing opportunities will be expanded to on-line testing and to more frequent regional venues as the program develops.
Professionalism, Perpetuation and Promotion
The people who successfully pass the exam for the ACLP are required to attend or submit work from on-line continuing education opportunities to maintain their certification. A committee under the ALNLA Board will be established to define the requirements and help strengthen, improve and promote the ACLP. ALNLA has developed a promotional logo and will develop promotional ads and a web listing of the members who have achieved the distinction of a ACLP. ACLP’s members will be rewarded for their efforts. Their success will translate into economic gain by increasing the value for their services and generating greater demand and higher expectations for certified quality assurance of a base level of expertise by the landscape professional. The job applicant who has earned this recognition will also be a more qualified and appealing employee.
Costs and Registration for ACLP
The price of the program and teaching materials is $100 for members and $150 for non-members. Contact the ALNLA office by phone for teaching materials and testing information (334-821-5148). Updated information on the ACLP program can also be found at the ALNLA web site, www.alna.org. Link here to our photo gallery that will help you to prepare for your certification exam.
We know that the industry will recognize and appreciate your efforts to become a highly qualified professional.