Centre approval criteria

Any organisation may apply to become an approved centre as long as  they meet and maintain delivery of our Centre Approval and Monitoring Criteria (232kB pdf)

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Once a centre is confident they meet the Centre Approval and Monitoring Criteria and would like to pursue approval, they should email the RHS Qualifications team who will respond with an application form, further information and log-in details to the online portal.

Approval process

Once all necessary forms are submitted via the online portal an RHS Approvals Auditor will begin a desk-based audit to review and consider the application. 

Subject to a successful desk-based audit, a visit to the centre will be arranged at a mutually convenient date. The visit is to confirm the suitability of the intended programme delivery, facilities, resources and check the centre meets the remaining centre approval criteria.

Following the visit, the Approval Auditor will make a recommendation to RHS Qualifications on the centre’s suitability to offer each qualification and RHS Qualifications will notify the outcome of the approval process shortly after the visit has taken place.

Centres who have been approved to offer our practical qualifications for the first time will receive a free advisory visit to help assist with the delivery and completion of RHS documentation.

Our centre approval process is designed not only to ensure compliance with our criteria but also provide advice to prospective centres wishing to offer courses and conduct assessments leading to RHS Qualifications.

Delivering courses: alone or in a group

A centre may operate as a single site, or as the main site controlling a number of satellite sites. 

Where one centre has satellite sites, it will be treated as a single centre providing there is a single named point of accountability for the management of the qualifications. The suitability of each of the satellites to run courses and/or conduct examinations will be assessed as part of the approval process. 

Where a centre has satellite sites that run as separate entities, each managing their own courses and examinations, they will be assessed as separate centres and each will be subject to a separate fee.

A consortium of organisations working in partnership can apply to become a single approved centre, providing it meets the criteria of having clearly defined roles and responsibilities of each partner and has one single point of accountability.

Distance learning provider criteria

Any centre looking to offer RHS Theory qualifications via distance learning must meet our distance learning provider (DLP) criteria. The criteria and further information can be found in the RHS Distance Learning Provider Approval Scheme guidance document.

To apply to become an RHS approved DLP please complete our expression of interest form, once we have received the form a member of the RHS Qualifications team will be in touch to discuss the next stage of the approval process

Approval fee

Centres applying to offer RHS Qualifications will be required to pay a one-off centre approval fee of £450 to cover the costs of the approval process.  This fee will be payable after the approval visit has been conducted. Thereafter an annual fee of £150 will be charged on the anniversary of the approval date. 

RHS Qualifications does not require a minimum annual spend. 

Approved centre logo

Approved centres are entitled to use the RHS Qualifications approved centre logo on their promotional literature and websites.


RHS Qualifications is required to monitor the work of its approved centres to ensure they continue to meet the requirements of being an approved centre.

So we can continue to make continuous improvements to our services and support our centres an annual customer service questionnaire will be used to seek feedback. Additionally, approved centres will be invited to attend consultation events where they will have the opportunity to meet with staff from RHS Qualifications.

As part of the monitoring process, RHS Qualifications may request that a monitoring visit is made to an approved centre.

Where an approved centre is found to no longer meet the required criteria, RHS Qualifications reserves the right to withdraw approved centre status. Our Sanctions Policy outlines the sanctions that RHS Qualifications may impose on centres that fail to meet delivery requirements.

Contact the qualifications team

RHS Qualifications,
RHS Garden Wisley,
GU23 6QB

Tel: 01483 226500
Email: qualifications@rhs.org.uk

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