January 15, 2015
The 2015 schedule for Landscape Industry Certified tests has been announced. Four of the dates include hands on exams, while there will be 11 opportunities for candidates to take the written part of the Certified testing.

A recent survey among members shows some strong reasons to obtain certification.

Ron Swentiski CLD of Trillium Associates, Thornhill, was one of the original founders of the certification process. “Although, not formally recognized outside of the industry, it adds some credence to our plans as designers,” says Swentiski. “It (certification) creates a level of professionalism which creates business opportunities. However, a professional stamp which is recognized outside of the industry would also go a long way.”

Harold Deenen CLP of Hank Deenen Landscaping, Toronto, says he was inspired to challenge himself. Other factors were showing examples to his employees and public recognition of professionalism.

Carmine Felice CLP of Greentario Landscaping in Hamilton believes certification is important for our industry to be viewed as a certified trade, just like electricians, plumbers, etc. “It is important that we support the certification programs.”

On a personal level, Felice says, “Completing the courses and continuing my education helped to keep me on my game, while dealing with others in the industry has provided me with a wealth of information and support.”
ron swinteskiRon Swentiski
tim kearneyTim Kearney
harold deenenHarold Deenen
Tim Kearney CLP of Garden Creations of Ottawa, says, “A certified workforce lends credibility to our profession and industry. We talk about creating relevance. If certification meant professional and skilled, then the public would potentially prefer dealing with a certified landscape technician or professional, and that would create a demand. By creating a demand, we would also create relevance and this would increase our membership. Potential members would then need to get certified in order to stay credible, thus creating a relevant and professional industry.”

Offering advice to those thinking of taking the exam, Swentiski says “If you have the basic knowledge to run a business, or the basic knowledge to do your job, the test is easy.”

Deenen recommends those ready to test themselves should read the study guides and focus on safety.

Kearney’s advice on preparing for the tests is, “Think big picture and know you are being part of the solution versus a problem. Don’t be afraid to fail. You will surprise yourself. It will give you a great sense of pride that you can pass on to fellow staff, employees and customers.”

To view the schedule of certification test dates, go to, horttrades.com/certification, or contact certification@landscapeontario.com.