2013 award winner

Experience/Education Requirement:

To complete this certification process the candidate must :

    1. Have six years pertinent landscape design experience. (1-4 years must be post-secondary related education)
    2. Successfully complete each section of the certification examination (A minimum grade of 70% in each section required).
    3. Submit a portfolio of three projects completed by the candidate that meets the judging committee requirements.

Written Exam:

Candidates must successfully complete each section of the Certified Landscape Designer written exam:

      • Communications
      • Landscape Construction
      • Design
      • Grading & Drainage
      • Horticulture
      • Practice

Candidates who do not achieve 70% in each section will re-write only those sections.

Portfolio Requirement:

Candidates must submit a Landscape Design portfolio of 3 projects completed by the candidate (with at least 3 client references to confirm that the work was completed by the candidate) that meets the Portfolio Submission Guideline. The portfolio is judged by a Jury of academic, design/build members of CNLA or CSLA and a representative of the regional Landscape Industry Certified Designer group.

Portfolio Submission Deadlines:


  • Jan. 25, 2016
  • March 1, 2016
  • October 15, 2016

Canada Nursery landscape Association
Attn: Certification Coordinator
7856 Fifth Line South
Milton, ON   L9T 2X8

Sample portfolio:

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.

> View Sample Portfolio

Grandfathering Provision:

Recognizing that potential candidates might have extensive industry experience or may have already obtained membership in other landscape design organizations, these candidates could consider applying for certification under the “Grandfathering “ provision rather than the writing the formal examination. Requirements for Grandfathering are:

      • Full membership in any professional landscape design certification (to be approved on application by the Review Committee.)


      • 12 years landscape design experience – full time after schooling, and
      • A pertinent degree or diploma or equivalent and
      • 2 formal sponsorship letters submitted by 2 certified landscape design professionals, and
      • Appearance before the Review Committee, including a presentation of 3 relevant landscape design projects in which the applicant had played integral part

pdf – Application for certification – Grandfathering

pdf – CLD Sponsor Declaration

> pdf – Review Guidelines for Grandfathering Applications

> Web Page – View webinar regarding the CLD grandfathering provision – As the CLD application under the grandfathering provision is currently evolving, the review committee will address specific inquiries raised by interested applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Grandfathering provision for CLD certification


Why a Landscape Industry Certified Designer (CLD)?

How are Landscape Industry Certified Designers qualified?

What is a Certified Landscape Designer’s role in the design and construction process?