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Certify Your Programme

Since 2006, Gaia Education has successfully supported the delivery of more than 350 programmes in 54 countries over six continents, reaching over 22,000 students. Our EDEs have been offered in settings ranging from tribal and traditional communities to intentional ecovillages, from urban slums to universities and training centres.

All EDE applications are invited to submit the listed forms in the certification or re-certification processes, with a view to receiving the Gaia Education Certification.

After re-certification, the EDE certification is automatically renewed for 3 years if no significant changes are made to the programme. Nevertheless, the schedule and proof of payment must be sent to certification@gaiaeducation.org for each programme.


Programme Criteria

  • A minimum of 125 contact hours (e.g. 20 course days; 6.25 hours/day)
  • A strong intention to cover all 20 modules within each of the four dimensions of sustainability (download here the 4D curriculum bellow)
  • A minimum of 15 hours devoted to applying design methods and processes into real-life scenarios (Design Groups)
  • A skilled team of educators with sufficient knowledge and experience, and at least one who is a certified Gaia Education trainer (completed certified EDE and ToT and one GEDS dimension)
  • An appropriate venue, ideally demonstrating integrated application of design for sustainable settlements
  • A commitment to complete and submit course evaluations and reports
  • A commitment to contribute to Education for Sustainable Development activities in your region

If your course meets the following criteria, your organisation is eligible to receive Gaia Education certification and the ESD Contributor stamp.

Benefits of Cooperation with Gaia Education

Official certification is a privileged way of cooperating with Gaia Education. It consists of a mutual engagement to cooperate and work together in advancing education as a tool for designing sustainable transitions in both rural and urban contexts while providing numerous benefits.

  • Certification assures maintaining a consistent standard of course design and teaching
  • Gaia Education certification adds institutional value and international visibility to courses
  • Gaia Education certification provides access to a forum of experienced educators and designers who have been developing and updating the curriculum since 1998
  • New courses can receive mentoring by experienced EDE providers in their region, facilitated by Gaia Education
  • Host sites can benefit institutionally by adopting Gaia Education policies and branding guidelines

Application Requirements

First Certification


  • Anticipated daily schedule of your course, including a breakdown of hours within each of the four dimensions and for design work, time allocated for orientation, regular reflections and evaluation
  • One-page resume for each primary faculty, with gender indicated, and with the EDE date and host site/venue from where the EDE primary instructor graduated, highlighted
  • A high-resolution picture of the primary instructor with a completed EDE, in jpg format
  • 2-3 high-resolution digital images of the host site, of the inside and outside facilities, excluding people, sent separately in jpg format
  • A brief description (60 words maximum) of the host site
  • Submit your organisation and host site logo in high-resolution JPEG or PNG format
  • Upon approval of application, host site must create a logo link-up between your website platform and Gaia Education website and social media
  • An application fee of £200 GBP
  • Final Report of the last EDE programme within the past three years
  • Participant list of last EDE programme
  • Participant evaluations of last EDE programme
  • Any instructors’ bio updates, including photos, with gender indicated and with EDE place and date of primary instructor highlighted
  • If host site is different from the last EDE, send a photo and description of the new host site
  • Pdf documents of brochures, posters, institutional leaflets etc. of the host site
  • Submit your organisation and host site logo in high-resolution JPEG format
  • Upon approval of application, host site must create a logo link-up between your website platform and Gaia Education website and social media
  • An application fee of £100 GBP

After the second re-certification, the programme is automatically re-certified for three years upon payment of the recertification fee, provided there are no significant changes. However, the last programme report and the daily schedule must be provided.

Organising an EDE? Resources

Please download and read the following documents carefully:

Download helpful information to understand the process for applying for Gaia Education Certification.

Download additional information including selection process, participants engagement, evaluation and reporting.

Download a wide range of practical application and innovative materials, ideas and tools that have been developed and tested in ecovillages, communities and urban transition settings worldwide.

Dates to Remember

Certification application should be completed six months before your programme is scheduled to start. These are the dates for applying for Gaia Education’s Certification:

Applications received between Will be reviewed by
January 1 – April 30 May 31
May 1 – August 31 September 30
September 1 – December 31 January 31

We are excited about the ongoing development of the certification process and welcome your questions and suggestions at certification@gaiaeducation.org

For further information about past certified EDEs worldwide, take a look at the Gaia Education Programmes Reports.