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Professionalism in Horticulture for the 21st century

"Education and professional development is not only what allows people to progress in their careers – it also enables the whole industry to move forward." Pic: Joe Keogh.

Claire Woods from the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, focuses on ways to develop professionalism in the horticulture industry in order to ensure the industry is valued and its products and services are justly rewarded.



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31 July 2018

A Fellow and Chartered Horticulturist of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture Claire Woods has been working in horticulture of 30 years since graduating with an MSc in Crop Production (Horticulture) from the University of Bath.

Passionate about all things horticultural Woods has worked in both the commercial and amenity sectors.

Woods is enthusiastic about teaching and training the next generation of professional horticulturists and promoting the professionalism of the industry to the general public.

Her talk focuses on ways to develop professionalism in the industry to ensure the industry is valued and its products and services are justly rewarded. Check it out below

Why we need professionalism

  • Education and professional development is not only what allows people to progress in their careers –it also enables the whole industry to move forward. (Kingsbury, 2018)
  • Professionalism is needed to ensure the future for horticulture.
  • Undervalued – Andrew Wilson: “Clients simply want or
    expect the cost of a garden to be low for no other reason than it is a Garden”
  • Greater realism and more effective communication of the message.
  • Public and politicians alike need to appreciate the value to Horticulture
  • Poor perception
    • Need to have ‘horticulture gardening and landscaping recognised by schools and careers advisors as a sector with huge potential for growth for students’ (Kay 2018).
    • 14 year old in London said: “I think I speak for everybody here that while we may have come to enjoy gardening ,we’ve never considered it as a career.”
    • As an industry we fail to communicate that horticulture is a career to be proud of – Image!

What is horticulture

  • Horticulture is the science technology art and business of cultivating and using plants to improve human life.
  • Horticulturists and horticultural scientists create global solutions for sustainable and nutritious food and healthy /restorative and beautiful environments.


  • Professionalise your business
  • Paul Downer – how to procedures , build teams, manuals, processes, strategy for growth, set KPI’s, raise company’s profile and reputation
  • Advice from others network
  • Plan

How can we improve the professionalism in horticulture

  • Knowledge
  • Networking
  • Planning
  • Lobbying
  • Communicating

How do we do we access the required skills and information?

  • Continuing Professional Development.
  • Growth in horticulture relies on people to succeed. If you put them at the centre – empower them.
  • Be professional in HR management.

Chartered Institute of Horticulture Uniting a growing profession since 1984 The professional voice for horticulture

Your membership to the Chartered Institute of Horticulture gives you access to the only community in the industry with members from every aspect of horticulture.

Membership gives you access to network with fellow horticultural professionals, attend technical and social gatherings, read our publications, and stand out amongst your colleagues as a member of a chartered organisation.


  • Become a member and we will work with you towards achieving your
    professional goals, providing you with resources, help and guidance along the way.
  • We also provide an industry voice on careers, education and many
    other aspects that affect your career.
  • We strive to raise the profile of horticulture with governments
    and policymakers by creating publications, holding events, and providing awards and bursaries to deserving projects, students,
    and professionals.
  • Each membership category has different requirements, from levels of
    education, to time spent working within the industry.
  • To become a member simply choose the membership category
    suited to you, and complete the required paperwork online.
  • Networking
    Academics / lecturers Researchers Technical and sales marketing Growers Head Gardeners Commonwealth and War Graves Commission

Grow Careers

Grow Careers exists for just one reason, to ensure there is a vibrant and skilled workforce capable of maintaining a competitive economy and ensuring that our natural environment, in all its forms, is in safe hands

Continuing professional development

The most wonderful thing – never stop discovering new and exciting knowledge about plants. (Wilkinson,2018). Join an organisation today and ensure you continually develop yourself as a professional and your business so helping to drive the horticulture industry forward.

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