Training and education in horticultural therapy: comparison of certification levels and education courses in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan

S.J. Ou, M.L. Liao
This study compared the certification systems and education courses for horticultural therapists in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Only one organization in the United States certifies horticulturists, namely, the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA). Awaji Landscape Planning & Horticulture Academy (ALPHA) and the Japanese Horticultural Therapy Association (JHTA) are two of the main organizations in Japan that certify horticultural therapists, and in South Korea, horticultural therapists are certified through the Korean Horticultural Therapy and Well-Being Association (KHTWA). Other relevant certification organizations include the Hong Kong Association of Therapeutic Horticulture (HKATH) as well as the following three organizations in Taiwan: the Hwa-Kang Xing-Ye Foundation (HKXYF), Formosa Green Care Association (FGCA), and Taiwan Horticultural Therapy Association (THTA). The horticultural therapy certification systems in these countries or regions vary substantially. AHTA, ALPHA, and HKXYF only offer Horticultural Therapist-Registered (HTR) certification, whereas KHTWA, HKATH, FGCA, and THTA offer more complex certification systems. HKATH, FGCA, and THTA offer a primary registration as interim certification prior to official registration as a horticultural therapist. The organizations in South Korea and Hong Kong also provide training and certification for horticultural-therapy-activity helpers or volunteers. In terms of internship requirements for certification as a horticultural therapist, most of the organizations stipulate that an individual must complete 400-800 internship hours to qualify for professional registration. However, HKXYF in Taiwan does not have an internship requirement. The training courses range considerably in duration from 32 h to approximately 500 h. Course content also varies substantially by country. Programs in the United States are oriented toward robust training in fundamental principles and implementation methods. In Asia, particularly in Taiwan, many of the relevant courses are application oriented. This study suggests that a worldwide or consensus system of training or certifying horticultural therapist is needed.
Ou, S.J. and Liao, M.L. (2021). Training and education in horticultural therapy: comparison of certification levels and education courses in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Acta Hortic. 1313, 73-84
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1313.10
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1313.10
horticultural therapist, certification levels, education courses, USA, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan
English