RHS - Royal Horticultural Society Qualifications Courses

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ADL is an RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Distance Learning Approved Provider.

For over 10 years we have successfully prepared students for the prestigious RHS qualifications.
You do not require any knowledge of horticulture in order to study for the RHS theory Certificates, Levels 2 & 3.

To begin your RHS course all you need is passion and enthusiasm for all things gardening.

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Exams for February 2022 can now be booked
; please note the RHS now raises its fees every year in September, so there is a new rate for 2022 exam fees.

As the COVID situation continues to affect everyone, the RHS may decide that it would be sensible to adopt the same timetable changes for February 2022 in which they put in place in September 2021, to allow time for cleaning between exam sessions.

Please be aware of these timetable changes which you should be able to download from your chosen Exam Centre page.

LEVEL 2:  Principles of Garden Planning Establishment and Maintenance

  The RHS suite of level 2 and 3 qualifications is changing from September 2022. RHS course providers will be expected to offer these new format qualifications.

ADL Students who have completed one part of the current Diploma by September 2022 will be able to continue to complete the second part using the new Certificate in Horticultural Principles.

This will be the newly titled Certificate in Horticultural Practice or continue with the existing Certificate in Garden Planning, keep in mind that February 2024 is the final Exam date for that syllabus.

We intend to continue to offer the current Level 2 & 3 Principles of Garden Planning Certificates online for study up to August 2022;

Information from the RHS indicates that they will not accept any new exam registrations from students not already studying a qualification after August 2022 and exams for these only until February /June 2023 AND February 2024. All Students are encouraged to apply for their first Unit Exam as soon as they start.

February 2024 is to be the final date for all current format RHS qualifications.

Level 2 qualifications from the RHS will be the first step as an accepted route into the horticultural profession for National Trust and many other employers or changing to a career in horticulture.

There is no equivalent Level 2 qualification for the RHS Principles in Garden Planning Certificate in the new courses.

Level 2:  Principles in Plant Growth, Propagation and Development

This qualification is being replaced in September 2022 by a new RHS Theory Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture. The new qualification will be part of a new Level 2 Certificate in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture but there will not be another theory certificate to make up a Diploma.

If you are looking to achieve the current RHS Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture then exams for RHS Certificate in Plant Growth will continue in February and June 2022, 2023 and Final Date is February 2024.

Students will need to register in the RHS Portal for your Unit Exams in before September 2022 for the RHS to accept your registration.

Realistically ADL will not be able to offer this Certificate to new students from January 2022, but we will continue to monitor any new information.

If you have already begun some of the units for this Certificate, you can continue to study these to complete your course but please do apply to start taking Unit Exams in February 2022.


The RHS are in the process of introducing new qualifications at level 3, for September 2022.

We do not have full details for the new level 3 qualifications as yet. We do know that the new format for Level 3 will include 1 Theory Certificate (from a choice of two paths, relating to garden design or heritage gardening) and a Practical Certificate, which together will form an Advanced Certificate.

There is currently no proposed Certificate in Plant Science.

Existing: RHS Level 3 Certificate in Plant Growth, Health and Applied Propagation to be replaced with RHS Level 3 Certificate in Garden Designed Landscape Management.  A research project can be added to achieve a Level 3 Diploma.

Important Notice: Going forward in September 2022 it will be necessary to complete Both Level 2 Certificates before starting Level 3. ADL will start to inform and implement this from January 2022 to all newcomers.

Details of the New Level 3 and the transition for students on the current Diploma are due to be released to course providers sometime before Christmas.

Enrolling in one of the current Certificates now may allow you to continue to complete the Diploma in its present format, but as each Certificate is at least 150 hours of study, we would advise prospective students to consider whether they can devote enough time to study to be ready to start taking examinations in February or June 2022.

In accordance with the Royal Horticultural  Society website, no existing or new students will be disadvantaged by these changes.

If you need further clarification please contact our Support Team either by email, phone or webchat as listed on our banner.


The RHS lesson content provided by ADL focuses exclusively on the RHS Online Courses syllabus. The course material has been specifically designed by experienced professional horticulturists to follow the RHS requirements.

Our students come from all walks of life, all ages, and with various levels of horticultural knowledge.

When you enrol you are allocated your own personal dedicated tutor, experienced and qualified in preparing you for the RHS examinations. You may contact your tutor as often or as little as you like.


Learn and prepare your future today with an approved RHS distance learning course from ADL.

Become one of the many ADL worldwide graduates, who have gone on to become established horticulturists and gardeners.

To qualify for the RHS Level 2 or Level 3 Theory certificates, you will need to pass four unit exams per certificate. Exams are held in February and June of each year. Registration is required 3 months before these dates.

Past test papers are readily available. Please note that exam fees are paid to the RHS Centre direct when booking your date.

RHS links for examination procedures, dates, fees, and exam centres are listed with each course description.


Demand for Horticulturists in the UK and abroad is on the move. The cause for this demand is related to increases in horticultural production globally.  However, within the industry, there is an undersupply of horticultural graduates.

If you want a career in horticulture, anywhere in the world, then first you need a solid foundation. RHS qualifications meet this requirement. They are broad-based and cover everything from landscaping and turf to crop production, propagation and plant health, nursery management, and much more…

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