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GLAS Special: Grow your career with the Chartered Institute of Horticulture

Joseph Croke, president of the CIH Ireland says the organisation has something for everyone, wherever you are in your career



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19 July 2023

The Institute of Horticulture was established in 1984 with the aim of fostering a close relationship between all sectors of professional horticulture throughout Ireland and the UK. On 21 July 2014, the Institute became Chartered, it is now known as the Chartered Institute of Horticulture (CIH).

Chartership has improved the status of horticulture as a profession for Irish horticulturists in all sectors including landscape design and construction, nursery stock production, sports turf and many more horticulture sectors.

The organisation highlights to government and the wider public that horticulture demands high level skills and continuing professional development.

Being a member of the CIH confirms that the horticulturist and their business is truly professional and carries similar standing to other chartered professions and professional bodies.

Role and Aims of the CIH

  • To promote the profession of horticulture and the professionalism of those working in the industry
  • To act as an authoritative body; consulting with Government and other policy making bodies on matters of interest or concern to professional horticulturists
  • To confer recognised status upon professionally qualified and experienced horticulturists
  • To promote educational and training opportunities and encourage the development of all disciplines within horticulture
  • To co-operate with other bodies on matters of common concern
  • To disseminate information on matters affecting the profession and provide opportunities for discussion amongst horticulturists through the website, publications, conferences, seminars, lectures etc.
  • To promote the importance of horticulture in food and ornamental plant production; providing employment, often in rural areas; improving the environment; and creating and managing valuable sports and recreation facilities

There are different levels of membership of the CIH to reflect the level of professional development that any individual has in their career. This helps people to develop as professionals and for everyone to have a place on the road to chartership, there is something for everyone, wherever you are in your career path.

Membership levels

The stages in career development status in the institute range through Associate, Member, Fellow and Chartered levels. Membership rates start as low as €50 per year for early career horticulturists for their first three years of membership (early careers are the first five years in career) with varying rates appropriate to each level. Students are free.

Members can use their professional title on professional cards, emails, advertisements and more. A quarterly magazine with brilliant articles and unequalled networking access to other professional horticulturist is one of the many benefits of the elite membership.

“I would welcome anyone to become a member,” said Joseph Croke, chartered horticulturist and Chair of the Irish branch of the CIH 2023. “Joining the CIH has been the most positively changing choice I have ever made in my horticulture career. I think everyone should have the opportunity to start their path.”

The CIH is the only body representing horticulture in Ireland and the UK that is currently awarding chartered status. More information is available or email

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