A sustainable future needs skilled, knowledgeable and passionate new farmers and gardeners.

The Crossfields Institute Level 3 Diploma in Biodynamic Farming and Gardening provides a two-year training which combines the development of practical skills alongside the development of deeper understanding which are needed for a new generation of farmers and gardeners.  This training is designed along the lines of a classical apprenticeship, combining practical and theoretical learning with the aim of building confidence and resilience in producing high quality food in a way that works cooperatively with nature, just what is needed to make the world a better place.  Sustainable agriculture offers solutions for current challenges and potential for positive change in areas such as climate, environment, health, and economics.  This training prepares students to be part of this positive change in the world.

By working alongside experienced practitioners and being actively involved in the management of a biodynamic/organic farm or garden, students gain the ‘on the job’ skills needed to run a production enterprise.  sheep sheering - 1Alongside the development of practical skills, students take seminars during the winter months when the practical work is less busy.  These courses bring students from all over the country together to consider biodynamic principles, aspects of a farm and garden and how these can work together harmoniously with nature. They include classroom and outdoor teaching, artistic activities and plenty of discussions.  Students have more than 30 teachers each with a professional background that offers students insight into many different areas of expertise. These complement the practical experience gained in day-to-day work, offering the opportunity to work meaningfully in creating practical solutions for the future.on farm study - 1

With more than 20 years experience in the provision of agricultural education, we are pleased to offer this unique professional training, the only certified level 3 diploma in the agroecological sector in the UK.

Accreditation

more about accreditation
The Diploma in Biodynamic Farming and Gardening is an Ofqual Regulated qualification awarded by Crossfields Institute.  It was designed as a collaboration between the Biodynamic Agricultural College and Crossfields Institute to be delivered by BDAC and is endorsed by the Biodynamic Board of Studies and the Biodynamic Association.  Crossfields Institute assures the quality and standard of the training and assessment offering a meaningful and internationally accepted vocational qualification.

Entry Requirements

more about entry requirements
Students who enroll on the Diploma course should have a minimum of six months practical experience in land-based work.  In addition, it is essential that students have the capacity for self-guided study, motivation for active learning and an open attitude to biodynamic perspectives.  An equivalent to GCSE level education (level 2) and a minimum age of 18 is required, though due to the nature of the training, an age of at least 21 is recommended (there is no upper age limit).

Students should be willing and able to physically work in an agricultural environment throughout the seasons and to work in the normal routines of the placement.  This can sometimes mean long working hours and weekend work. Each training centre will also have their own requirements including the respect of health and safety, general rules of conduct and possibly the need for a valid driving license.

If you currently have no practical experience and are interested in the training, there are a few ways to gain some practical experience.  Some of the training centres offer seasonal volunteer placements, or you can take a look at the links below for routes to gain experience.

www.soilassociation.org/futuregrowers/ www.wwoof.org.uk www.communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk

How it works

more about the practicalities and costs

Students identify a work placement in a farm or garden from the list of training centres below.  When you begin the work placement you become an employed trainee at the training centre which includes a contract with the farm for working hours (usually 35-44 hours per week with seasonal flexibility) and a wage (all farms pay at least minimum wage).  These wages should be enough to cover your living expenses and the cost of your training (which is a £700 initial payment followed by 24 monthly payments of £450).  These payments include all the costs of your training on and off the farm: nearly 50 days of seminars, accommodation and lunches during the seminars, personal support, quality assurance, registration and assessment.

There is no specific date for starting the training, this is usually done in negotiation with the training centre and although it is often most convenient for a training centre to have new students joining in Spring or Autumn, enrollments for the diploma course are welcome throughout the year.  The seminars are on a continuous rotation and are flexible to meet students’ needs.

Documents

documents to download

The following Work Placements / Training Centres have placements available – contact them directly to start your practical training

vacancies 2018/19

The following centres currently have NO vacancies:

If you have any questions, please get in touch!

If you are a biodynamic farm or garden and are interested in providing work placements, please see the following and then contact us to start the training centre approval process: