Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What qualifications are acceptable to become a member?
A: A horticultural qualification at Level 2 or above.
The qualification does not have to be focused on garden maintenance but should include plant identification and plant maintenance i.e. pruning or propagation techniques. Your qualification should be complete with a certificate to show you have achieved the qualification you started.
Licenses for pesticides, chainsaw, mower/strimmer use etc alone are not accepted for membership.
Some online courses are not accepted. Design qualifications are accepted if the course includes plant identification and maintenance topics.
Search registered qualifications on the Register of Regulated Qualifications: http://register.ofqual.gov.uk/Qualification
Q: Can I send a photocopy of my certificate?
A: Yes, or you can scan your application and email it to us.
Q: I want to apply as a Consultant. What can I send as evidence of experience?
A: You could send us:
- a copy of an old public liability renewal letter
- a reference from a former employer
- an old certificate of membership for another horticultural group or similar
Q: I can't find my certificates
A: It is important that you keep your certificates safe in case you are asked for them when tendering for a new contract. If you have lost your certificates and you do not want to pay your course provider for a duplicate then you can email them and ask them to confirm by email that you attended and passed the course. We will accept this email from them as evidence of your qualification. Some form of evidence that you have a horticultural qualification is always required before membership is accepted.
Q: Does TGG have a code of conduct?
Q: Will I get lots of new work enquiries?
A: Some members say that nearly all their work comes from us. Others say that they get very little. Typically, members say that they get good quality work. One good customer may recommend you to many other good quality customers. With many registered members, how much work you get may depend on how well you compare to other members in the eyes of the customer. Population density will also affect how many people are looking for local gardeners.
Q: If I join as a Consultant Member, will I get lots of consultancy work enquiries?
A: We hope so but, in reality, how many people are online looking for
consultants? We suspect very few. However, those looking for a gardener in
the Member Register will see the Consultant section and at least understand
the difference - maybe resulting in work.
That said, as a result of membership, our members have had opportunities to present for SKY TV, have regular presenting work on ITV garden features, be paid to provide gardening tools as props for a film production and been invited to be a guest panelist on county radio gardening segments to name just a few. These opportunities are not common but can lead to other similar work and useful contacts. Consultant members will be given priority for this type of enquiry as we will know they are actively looking for this kind of work.
We expect consultant members to create work opportunities through blogging, training, coaching, supporting contractors etc - the Consultant category is designed to support that activity by distinguishing contracting work from consultancy work.
Q: Will I have letters after my name?
A: Traditionally, it is often Institutes that give letters of designation
when you join. The primary purpose of this honorific is to create a measure
of comparibility between members who all have different levels of
experience, qualifications and work in different sectors of the industry.
However, the public rarely know what these letters mean. In a similar way,
affinity groups may also issue letters designate to indicate your level of
Many members are qualified to degree level and this grants them use of letters designate for their qualification. Other qualifications can be shortened and added after your name to indcate the level of your training e.g. RHS Dip.Hort. (Royal Horticultural Society Diploma in Hoticulture). There is no law about what you write after your name for marketing purposes provided it is not misleading.
However, remember that many of your customers have worked very hard to have the right to use letters designate - doctors, judges, scientists etc. While it can be good to promote your qualifications and memberships, having too many letters designate could give a negative impression - especially if you use the same qualifications and experience to gain multiple letters designate from multiple organisations.
As a result, we recommend that members either join an institute, summarise their qualifications or simply abbreviate their memberships - whichever is most relevant.
All TGG members are Registered Members because we have a specific entry criteria and accepted members can be found in our online Member Register. Consultant members may use the abbreviation of CMTGG after their name to indicate that they are consultant members who have additional entry criteria and to remind their customers that consultancy and contracting are different services. However, as the public are unlikley to understand what the letters mean we think that, space allowing, it is better to state in full text that you are a Consultant Member of The Gardeners Guild or Registered Member of The Gardeners Guild (for contractors).