Overview of the role

Build and manage parks, gardens, greenspaces and grounds.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in horticulture grounds maintenance, landscaping, parks, greenspaces and gardens (historic, botanic, destination and estate). They might be working for a charity, a consultancy, governmental organisation, private estate/client or commercial contractor. The broad purpose of the occupation is to develop, build and manage parks, gardens, greenspaces and grounds (e.g. business parks, schools, retail sites etc..). This includes planning the site, engaging with clients, customers and visitors, financial management and income generation. This standard is suitable for those who focus on constructing horticulture areas and those who maintain and develop them, but may use contractors for construction projects. The types of horticultural sites covered will vary depending on the employer and examples include landscape scale commercial developments, public gardens or parks.

This occupation gathers information about a horticultural site including the history, environmental factors such as soils, habitats, designations, usage, design condition and infrastructure. They plan the future development and maintenance of the site through a management plan design, which will include ensuring the original use (e.g. stately home, castle) is mapped against future use and plans (e.g. tourist attraction). Analysis of environmental conditions of the site to include soil, water and existing vegetation. They are responsible for the implementation of those plans through direct staff and/or contractors. Progress is monitored, evaluated and responded to. They have budgetary responsibility and will need to secure funding for works which might be through commercial activities, charitable fund raising or by securing budget from their line management. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with landowners, statutory bodies, local authorities, local & national interest groups, ecologists, arboriculturists, other professional experts, contractors, suppliers, colleagues, volunteers and the public.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for:

  • Autonomous decision making relating to horticultural sites
  • Budget management including financial sustainability
  • Health and safety of staff and public plus competence of workforce
  • Awarding and managing contracts and contractors
  • Procurement and sales
  • Gathering, analysing, interpreting, implementing and communicating information
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Compliance with legislative requirements for all machinery and equipment used on site and minimising their environmental impact.

Typical job titles include:

Garden and outdoor manager and technical support manager Garden manager Greenspace manager Head gardener Horticultural project manager Horticultural site manager Horticultural technical manager Horticulture consultant Landscaping project manager Landscaping site manager

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Manage the research and collection of data on horticultural sites and evaluate the results including history and environment of site, plant health, plant collection records, invasive species, biodiversity, plant identification, soils, water, habitats, usage, features, heritage and trees. Using databases and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K9 K10 K11 K13 K14 K16 K19 K21 K23 K25 K31 K32 K33

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S12

B1 B2 B4

Duty 2 Develop horticultural site management plans / contracts incorporating wider landscape context, legal frameworks and site factors including design, both original and future development of site, health and safety, condition, features, soils, habitats, designations, heritage, water, transportation routes, ecology, planning policy, sustainability and resources.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K18 K19 K20 K21 K23 K25 K27 K31 K33 K34

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S12 S14 S15 S16 S21 S22 S26 S27

B1 B2 B3 B5

Duty 3 Interpret and deliver horticultural site management plans / contracts. Ensure delivery is of suitable quality and meets objectives.

K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K8 K9 K10 K12 K13 K14 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K27 K28 K29 K30 K31 K33 K34

S4 S5 S7 S8 S13 S14 S15 S16 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 4 Manage heritage horticultural sites maintaining and enhancing the historic context through sympathetic design, infrastructure, plantings and signage.

K1 K2 K6 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K19 K25 K32

S1 S2 S3 S5 S9 S10 S11 S26 S27

B2 B5

Duty 5 Create designs and design briefs to develop areas of the site.

K16 K17

S9 S10 S11

B1 B2 B3 B5

Duty 6 Manage contractors and staff undertaking practical works including cultivation of landscape areas, landscape construction, care of infrastructure, and providing specialist expertise. Responsibility and accountability for quality, health and safety and delivery to plan and budget.

K6 K8 K9 K12 K13 K17 K18 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K28 K29 K30 K34

S7 S8 S12 S13 S17 S19 S21 S23 S24 S25 S26

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 7 Manage and be accountable for the environmental impact of horticultural sites including measurement of energy usage and advising on better environmental standards to work towards a zero-carbon economy.

K3 K5 K6 K9 K12 K13 K18 K19 K21 K22 K23 K24 K28 K29 K30 K34

S7 S8 S12 S13 S17 S21 S23 S24 S25

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 8 Manage plant health and suitability to site.

K1 K2 K5 K6 K9 K13 K19 K20 K21 K25 K27 K32 K33

S2 S3 S4 S12 S13 S16 S22


Duty 9 Assess risks of plant pests and diseases on horticultural sites and mitigation e.g. quarantine, provenance of nursery stock etc.

K1 K2 K5 K6 K9 K13 K19 K20 K21 K23 K27 K32 K33

S1 S4 S5 S6 S9 S10 S14 S15 S16 S22

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 10 Provide technical horticultural consultancy and advice on plants, designed horticultural spaces and landscapes including plant health, pests and disease prevention and response, the law, planning, impact on built environment, risk and the role of horticultural spaces for the public, clients and colleagues.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K23 K25 K26 K27 K28 K31 K32 K33

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S9 S10 S11 S14 S15 S16 S18 S20 S21 S22 S25 S26 S27

B1 B2 B3 B5

Duty 11 Seek appropriate specialist technical input for example ecologists, landscape architects, arboriculturists and review quality and relevance of contributions made by specialists.


S1 S6 S8 S23 S25 S26


Duty 12 Manage interaction between people and horticultural sites. Engage people by interpreting horticultural sites and settings using static and dynamic methods.

K6 K8 K9 K15 K21 K25 K28 K29 K32

S1 S6 S11 S17 S18 S19 S21 S23 S25

B1 B2 B4

Duty 13 Promote the organisation, products, services or activities and the benefits of green spaces, parks, gardens, trees, woodlands and forests including community engagement, visitor experience, education, event management ensuring health and safety directives are followed.

K7 K8 K17 K21 K23 K28 K29

S17 S18 S19 S25

B1 B2 B3

Duty 14 Manage employees and contractors including workforce planning, quality, health and safety, skills, motivation, recruitment, retention and training.

K8 K21 K22 K23 K24 K30 K34

S7 S8 S17 S19 S20 S21 S23 S24 S26

B1 B2 B4 B5

Duty 15 Manage volunteer workforce with responsibility for inclusion, organisational culture, health and wellbeing.

K8 K12 K21 K22 K23 K25

S17 S18 S19 S23 S25

B2 B4

Duty 16 Manage relationships and influence customers, stakeholders, landowners, internal and external colleagues including negotiations and networking.

K21 K28

S11 S17 S18 S19 S25

B1 B2

Duty 17 Generate income including developing business cases, identifying audience and managing targets.

K7 K15 K21 K24 K25 K26 K28

S18 S20 S21

B1 B2 B3 B5

Duty 18 Responsibility for budgeting, setting priorities, forecasting, driving efficiencies, procurement, Profit and Loss reporting and sourcing funding where applicable. Manage systems and processes and use information generated to manage organisational performance and drive improvements.

K23 K24 K26

S20 S21




K1: Classification of plants using scientific, binomial, cultivars and common names as per the International Code of Plant Nomenclature. Back to Duty

K2: Plants common in the UK and their requirements for optimal growth including cultivated plants and weeds. Back to Duty

K3: Implications of environmental factors for managing horticultural sites (for example ecology, waste management, biodiversity, pollution). Back to Duty

K4: Purpose, value, and limitations of research and recording tools for horticultural sites, for example Geographic Information System (GIS) and databases. Back to Duty

K5: Types of biosecurity threat for example pests and diseases, invasive species. Legislative requirements, prevention and response (for example quarantine, site hygiene, sourcing, recording and reporting). Back to Duty

K6: Legislative requirements and best practice guidance in relation to horticultural sites including use of machinery, environmental, conservation, planning, designations, finance and data protection. Back to Duty

K7: Techniques for promoting business, garden, open space, products or services Back to Duty

K8: Health and safety legislation and best practice guidance including, safeguarding, risk assessments and implications for public and staff on horticultural sites. Back to Duty

K9: Functional factors, their relevance and implications for management of horticultural sites for example, infrastructure, features, services, users, conditions, hard structures and surfaces. Back to Duty

K10: Historical site factors, their significance and implications for management, for example, heritage, archaeology, previous use. Back to Duty

K11: Government, local or organisational strategies or policies that impact on horticultural sites including garden or landscape management strategies. Back to Duty

K12: Quality standards for horticultural sites including industry standards, setting of organisational standards and how to implement on site. Back to Duty

K13: Operational methods (including associated tools, equipment and machinery) to carry out horticultural and landscape works; their impact on plants and the environment, for example, construction of hard structures and features, soil cultivation, propagation, lawn and tree care Back to Duty

K14: Social and cultural relevance of garden and landscape design through history. Back to Duty

K15: Techniques for site interpretation, for example signage, mobile phone apps, tours. Back to Duty

K16: Design techniques and tools for horticultural areas, for example simple plan sketches, CAD. Back to Duty

K17: Services provided by contractors and specialists, for example surveys, construction specifications, planting plans. Back to Duty

K18: Principles of sustainability and sustainable supply chains including measurement of energy use and advising on improved environmental standards to work towards a zero carbon economy for example selection of equipment, techniques, FSC timber supplies and peat. Back to Duty

K19: Implications of climate change for horticultural sites and how to adapt and mitigate against these for example, alleviating flood risk, extreme temperatures. Back to Duty

K20: Biosecurity controls for example hygiene, provenance of plant material, plant passports, quarantine, control of harmful and notifiable organisms. Back to Duty

K21: Communication techniques for different contexts for example verbal, published, social media, broadcast media. Back to Duty

K22: People management including legislation, performance management, recruitment, inclusion, induction, training and retention. Back to Duty

K23: Benefits and purpose of organisational systems and processes, their role in compliance and how to follow them. Back to Duty

K24: Techniques for financial reporting and budgeting. Back to Duty

K25: Benefits of horticultural sites for example health and wellbeing, ecosystem services. Back to Duty

K26: Techniques for developing a business case for financing future projects. Methods for identifying audience and managing targets in business cases. Back to Duty

K27: Principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Weed Management. Back to Duty

K28: Principles of customer service and managing relationships with clients and stakeholders. Back to Duty

K29: Procedures and principles for procurement of products and services including legislation Back to Duty

K30: Components and purpose of specifications and operational work plans for horticultural sites. Back to Duty

K31: Environmental factors and their impact on plant health and growth including temperature, soils, hydrology, light. Back to Duty

K32: Survey, research and data analysis techniques for horticultural sites including features (for example paths, structures, utilities), abiotic factors (for example aspect, climate), ecology, horticultural elements (for example plants, soils), community engagement and people (for example usage, access, experience). Back to Duty

K33: Invasive species and their implications for horticultural sites. Back to Duty

K34: Project Management techniques. Back to Duty


S1: Plans and carries out a site survey and research to include features (for example paths, structures), abiotic factors (for example aspect, climate), ecology, horticultural elements (for example plants, soils), community engagement and people (for example usage, access, experience). Back to Duty

S2: Gathers site data through field and desk-based research methods. Back to Duty

S3: Analyses and interprets survey results and other information, and proposes appropriate action. Back to Duty

S4: Identifies biosecurity threats, selects and implements control or prevention measures. Back to Duty

S5: Identifies plants and determines their suitability and cultural requirements. Formats plant names as per the International Code of Plant Nomenclature. Back to Duty

S6: Develops a management plan to enhance and maintain a horticultural site, including health and safety, user requirements, risk assessment, prioritising, feasibility, interactions between elements and resourcing. Back to Duty

S7: Interprets and implements operational work plans and manages resources in alignment with work plans (for example monitoring, and quality assurance). Back to Duty

S8: Develops detailed work specifications and operational work plans incorporating input from internal or external colleagues to include waste management. Back to Duty

S9: Designs a horticultural area in keeping with site, for example historic interest, style, existing features. Back to Duty

S10: Creates design briefs for horticultural areas to be used as basis for a design, outlining objectives, site requirements, projected use, treatment of existing features and style. Back to Duty

S11: Communicates ideas to develop areas on site in order to gain agreement from clients, managers or stakeholders. Back to Duty

S12: Carries out an environmental impact assessment. Back to Duty

S13: Manages waste and implement waste management plan, for example application of waste hierarchy, segregation, composting. Back to Duty

S14: Manages water usage and hydrology for horticultural sites, for example drainage, mulching, irrigation. Back to Duty

S15: Manages soil health, for example fertility, structure, micro-biology, avoiding compaction. Back to Duty

S16: Manages plant health including mitigation of environmental factors, developing sustainable control methods, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Integrated Weed Management. Back to Duty

S17: Selects communication method and communicates using a range of methods to technical and non technical audiences. Back to Duty

S18: Promotes products or services identifying opportunities, audience and communication channels, generating written information. Back to Duty

S19: Trains and mentors staff, contractors or volunteers. Back to Duty

S20: Develops a business case to aid decision making and financial planning of future projects, including identifying audience and managing targets. Back to Duty

S21: Prepares, reviews and analyses budgets, forecast and other profit and loss reporting including recommending efficiencies or improvements. Back to Duty

S22: Develops an invasive species management plan, including objectives, environmental considerations, resources, legal considerations and implementation. Back to Duty

S23: Manages people for example staff, contractors or volunteers. Back to Duty

S24: Manages a horticultural project. Back to Duty

S25: Provides customer service and manages relationships with customers and stakeholders. Back to Duty

S26: Procures horticultural or landscaping products or services. Back to Duty

S27: Assesses historic, cultural interest and values of the site and its features, their significance and implications for management for example archaeology, veteran trees, buildings and structures, and previous use. Back to Duty


B1: Acts with integrity, for example being open and transparent in dealing with stakeholders and respecting their confidentiality. Takes full responsibility for your actions. Back to Duty

B2: Communicates effectively and respectfully towards clients and colleagues and takes into account cultural sensitivities and business practices. Back to Duty

B3: Acts professionally providing a high standard of service based on sound business evidence, including managing self, staying up to date with new developments, example, machinery, techniques, legislation or technology and continued professional development. Back to Duty

B4: Adopts and promotes a safety culture within the organisation and acts with regard to health, safety and the wellbeing for self and others. Back to Duty

B5: Embeds sustainable working practices Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • Chartered Institute of Horticulture for Member

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 5
Reference: ST0924
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 23/01/2024
Approved for delivery: 28 September 2021
Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £17000
LARS Code: 662
EQA Provider: Ofqual

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Health Education England Hillier Landscapes Historic and botanic garden training programme Horticulture Trades Association Idverde John O'Conner London Borough of Waltham Forest Maylim National Trust Nurture Landscapes Professional Gardeners Guild Rain Tree Training Roger Gladwell Landscaping and Garden Design Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Royal Horticultural Society Scarborough Borough Council The Garden Makers The Royal Parks

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 28/09/2021 Not set Not set

Crown copyright © 2024. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

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