Current status of the qualification system and education of horticultural therapy in South Korea

N.Y. Yoo, S.A. Park
This study reports on the job prospects of Korean horticultural therapists and the need of recognition for horticultural therapist as a specialization of well-being service professionals in South Korea. To date, despite a private qualification called well-being horticulturalist offered by the Korean Horticultural Therapy & Well-Being Association (KHTA), a national qualification framework on horticultural therapy in South Korea and relevant laws regulating this profession are still lacking. In 2008, the first private qualification in the field of horticultural therapy was registered with the Korea Vocational Competency Development Institute (KVCDI) (Qualification No. 2008-0243). As of December 2020, 5,560 trainees had acquired the well-being horticulturalist qualification, at supervisory, registered grade 1, 2, and 3 levels. To become a qualified well-being horticulturalist, a trainee must complete a 90-h program recognized by KHTA, comprising horticultural science, horticultural therapy, medical related, social well-being, and counseling psychology. In addition, qualifications can be obtained if there is a record of written examinations, clinical practice, workshop attendance, and thesis presentation. Our results showed that the key competencies of horticultural therapists required in the clinical field were therapeutic program design capabilities, understanding of horticultural therapy, and psychological counseling. The most preferred training method that could improve a trainee's job competency was the practical training method, and the most important role of KHTA that horticultural therapists expected was job creation through granting nationally recognized qualifications for well-being horticulturalists.
Yoo, N.Y. and Park, S.A. (2021). Current status of the qualification system and education of horticultural therapy in South Korea. Acta Hortic. 1330, 235-244
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1330.28
treatment service, well-being services, horticultural therapist, horticultural therapy, well-being horticulturalist

Acta Horticulturae