Key information

  1. Reference: ST0226
  2. Date updated: 01/11/2023
  3. Level: 3
  4. Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
  5. Regulated occupation: No

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Details of the occupational standard

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Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a wide range of outdoor spaces. This may include public parks and gardens, green spaces, schools, tourist attractions, business and retail parks, historic gardens, private gardens, and estates.  The horticultural spaces may be privately or publicly owned.

Work may be carried out on a variety of locations that might include domestic gardens, construction sites, retail and business parks.

Employers will vary in size and type and can include charities, commercial businesses or governmental organisations. Many organisations will be specialised in their activities, such as grounds maintenance or landscape construction.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to plan, oversee and carry out horticultural or landscaping operations to create and maintain horticultural spaces.  The work involves both the soft landscaping aspects (plants and soil) and the hard landscaping (surfaces, features, and structures).

Horticulture or Landscaping Supervisors will be employed in an occupation that specialises in either horticulture or landscaping.

Horticultural Supervisors plan the maintenance of established horticultural areas. They oversee and carry out hard and soft landscaping maintenance operations and ensure that the site is maintained in line with the design, purpose and business objectives.  They will have an advanced skill set, enabling them to undertake a wide range of horticultural operations.

Landscaping Supervisors will plan, oversee and undertake activities required to install landscapes to meet customer specifications.  This might be complex landscapes with high values and a range of features including ornamental, horizontal and vertical structures, or smaller scale domestic gardens such as patios, retaining walls, water features, decking or pergolas.  

Horticulture or Landscaping Supervisors frequently work outdoors, year-round and in all weathers. They sometimes work at heights, for example pruning taller plants and hedges.

Horticulture or Landscape Supervisors will require certificates of competence and or training to undertake particular activities and use specialist machinery.

Core occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Supervise health, safety and welfare for undertaking horticultural activities, including key documentation, site safety planning and ensuring communication is sufficient for work to be completed safely.

K15 K21 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K29

S9 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17


Duty 2 Supervise environmental and heritage protection on a horticultural site.

K2 K3 K4 K8 K9 K15 K21 K23 K29

S1 S2 S4 S9 S13 S15


Duty 3 Establish, maintain and care for plants in different environments.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K14 K16 K17 K18 K22 K25 K27 K30

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S8 S10 S11 S14 S16 S18


Duty 4 Manage and optimise soil condition relevant to the environment and planting requirements including the prevention of damage from traffic and works.

K2 K3 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K14 K22 K25 K27 K30

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S8 S14 S16 S18


Duty 5 Develop and implement work plans to deliver projects and achieve desired quality of work.

K2 K3 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27

S2 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18

B1 B2 B4

Duty 6 Develop and supervise the implementation of site biosecurity measures and invasive species management.

K2 K4 K8 K9 K10 K21 K23 K25 K30

S1 S2 S4 S5 S13 S15 S16


Duty 7 Oversee horticultural site-based projects, organise resources, budgets and people. To include environmental protection, keeping records and using digital technology.

K2 K3 K4 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27

S1 S2 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18

B1 B2 B4

Duty 8 Provide customer care to all stakeholders.

K23 K24 K26

S15 S17


Duty 9 Supervise a team of staff or volunteers undertaking horticultural or landscaping maintenance activities.

K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27

S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18

B1 B2 B4

Duty 10 Manage own performance and development.

K1 K5


Duty 11 Supervise, maintain and operate tools equipment and machinery.

K2 K3 K21 K23 K25 K27

S2 S13 S15 S16 S17 S18


Duty 12 Plan and implement the assessment, maintenance and repair of horticultural structures for safety, longevity and aesthetics.

K2 K13 K21 K23 K25 K27 K28

S1 S2 S7 S13 S15 S16 S18

B1 B2

Option duties

Horticulture Supervisor duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 13 Plan, schedule and undertake maintenance for soft landscape elements.

K31 K32 K33 K35 K36 K37

S19 S20 S22 S23 S24

Duty 14 Propagate plants and choose appropriate growing media

K32 K33 K34

S19 S20 S21

Landscaping Supervisor duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 15 Plan and install landscape features, ensure resources are present and that activities meet the specification.

K38 K39 K40 K41

S25 S26 S27 S28

Duty 16 Survey sites for landscaping.

K40 K41 K42

S27 S28 S29



K1: The benefits of the ornamental horticulture industry for society (including human health and wellbeing) and the environment. Back to Duty

K2: Environmental mitigation measures, procedure and regulations, including waste management, hazardous waste and recycling. Back to Duty

K3: Principles of sustainability and how to contribute to government-led sustainability and zero carbon targets. Back to Duty

K4: Techniques to protect and enhance biodiversity and heritage on horticultural sites, including basic ecology and legal designations. Back to Duty

K5: How horticultural approaches vary with organisation type (for example charities, commercial, governmental) and site type (for example parks, greenspaces, heritage, botanic, destination or domestic gardens). Back to Duty

K6: Science of plant growth and development and requirements for healthy growth and development, including plant tissues and their functions, germination, photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration and fertilization. Back to Duty

K7: Naturally occurring factors (including microclimate, light, water, nutrients) and cultivation factors (including designed microclimates, pruning, training, irrigation, nutrition, species requirements), and how they affect plant growth. Back to Duty

K8: Principles of biosecurity, regulation, measures and policies for horticultural sites, including when importing plant material. Back to Duty

K9: Prevention and control methods of invasive species, including identification of species, their environmental and human impact, and regulatory requirements. Back to Duty

K10: Scientific plant naming conventions, including genus and species. Back to Duty

K11: Planting activities (including planting techniques, planting support, and protection methods) and their suitability to different stock types/ species and the planting environment. Back to Duty

K12: Importance of correct plant storage, transport, planting practices and aftercare. Back to Duty

K13: Methods to assess, rectify and maintain hard structures or surfaces, for example paving, walls, fences, pergolas, decking. Back to Duty

K14: Soil and growing media types and factors that affect soil quality and condition and management regimes, including sources, potential problems, storage, characteristics, including the prevention of damage from traffic and works. Back to Duty

K15: How to identify tree features that pose a risk and require professional inspection. Back to Duty

K16: Uses of general amenity, higher ornamental and species-rich meadow turf types, including biodiversity and management implications. Back to Duty

K17: Techniques for planning and installing turf surfaces (seed or turf) and species- rich meadows, including calculating material volumes. Back to Duty

K18: Methods to control unwanted vegetation and suitability to different situations, including prevention of unwanted growth, vegetation clearance and routine pruning techniques. Back to Duty

K19: Principles of project management, including purpose and structure of a project, roles and responsibilities, project plans and controls. Back to Duty

K20: Principles of budgeting and keeping within a budget. Back to Duty

K21: Digital tools and their ability to support business operations, including for problem solving, planning, collaboration and communication. Back to Duty

K22: Components of work plans and specifications, including schedule of activities and resource requirements. Back to Duty

K23: Principles of business communication and communication aids (including information technology) and how to adapt communication for different audiences and situations. Back to Duty

K24: Principles of customer care, including types of customers (internal and external), impact of customer care on the organisation, building relationships and collaboration. Back to Duty

K25: Statutory health, safety and welfare policies, procedures and regulations, safe working practices and how to comply with them, including how to implement and reviewing risk assessments and or Construction Design Management (CDM) plans. Back to Duty

K26: The role of the supervisor for delivering wider business plans, including techniques for allocating work, overseeing quality, communicating work instructions and establishing safe systems of work in a team (staff or volunteers). Back to Duty

K27: Principles of operating, maintaining and storing tools, equipment and machinery, including implications of legislation, manufacturer’s guidance, operator skill and training, safety and procurement. Back to Duty

K28: The importance of maintenance regimes for hard structures or surfaces, including hazards associated with faults and damage, for example broken drainage, rotten timber, cracked paving stone, pointing, frost, damaged brick work. Back to Duty

K29: Tree protection legislation and causes of damage to trees from horticultural operations, including how conservation zones and tree preservation orders impact work undertaken on trees. Back to Duty

K30: Methods of identifying plants and their limitations, including physical inspection and assistive resources (for example, mobile applications and botanical keys), and the importance of correct plant identification. Back to Duty

K31: Types of water feature (including formal and informal) and aquatic environments, their maintenance requirements, and the role of plants in aquatic environments. Back to Duty

K32: Types of irrigation system and water sources, their suitability to the situation and environmental impact, and regulation and principles of use in line with manufacturers’ instructions. Back to Duty

K33: Principles of Integrated Pest Management and planning plant pest and disease management, including types of plant threats and their impact on the plant and control measures and principles of the application of pesticides. Back to Duty

K34: Different plant propagation methods using seed and vegetative methods (including cuttings, division and layering) and implications of propagation method on management of plants including grafting. Back to Duty

K35: Components of a maintenance schedule and methods to assess maintenance requirements, including principles of planting design and how to enhance and manage a design through maintenance activities. Back to Duty

K36: Turf and species-rich meadow management regimes for different outcomes and the Pitch Quality Standard. Back to Duty

K37: Specialist pruning and training techniques for climbers, shrubs and trees. Back to Duty

K38: Work methods for landscape construction (including horizontal, vertical, water and timber features), regulatory requirements and the importance of construction methods for quality and safety of end feature. Back to Duty

K39: Principles and techniques for planning and installing services into landscapes, including lighting conduits, irrigation and drainage. Back to Duty

K40: Techniques and tools for measuring and setting out a site with several features and levels for landscape construction, including methods to identify location of utilities and or services. Back to Duty

K41: Estimation techniques and information sources for landscape construction projects, including construction drawings, scheduling, quantifying of human resources, materials and equipment. Back to Duty

K42: Site surveying, measuring and cable and service avoidance techniques, including cable avoidance tools and interpreting diagrams to avoid water, gas and electricity. Back to Duty


S1: Plan and implement horticultural activities using techniques to protect and enhance the environment, biodiversity or heritage. Back to Duty

S2: Plan and implement environmental mitigation measures for horticultural tasks, including protecting sites (for example aquatic environments, soils, plants, structures) from horticultural works, waste management planning, hazardous waste and pollution controls. Back to Duty

S3: Plan the care of plants in different environments, including suitability for the site and providing irrigation and nutrition. Back to Duty

S4: Identify biosecurity threats for a horticultural site (including main pests or diseases and their identification features) and implement and communicate phytosanitary and biosecurity procedures for the site in line with legal requirements. Back to Duty

S5: Apply scientific plant naming conventions (including genus and species) to identify plants via physical inspection and without assistive resources. Back to Duty

S6: Plan and implement planting activities in context of the stock type/ species and planting environment. Back to Duty

S7: Assess hard structure or surface, evaluate hazards, damage and faults and rectify, report or maintain as required. Back to Duty

S8: Assess soil type and quality (imported or natural), identify soil condition and recommend management regimes as required and appropriate to the site, including the prevention of damage from traffic and works. Back to Duty

S9: Identify basic health threats and hazards for established trees. Back to Duty

S10: Plan, quantify materials and implement turf or species-rich meadow surface installation. Back to Duty

S11: Plan and supervise vegetation control (including formative, regenerative and maintenance pruning), selecting methods and equipment. Back to Duty

S12: Implement project management skills, including project processes, planning and specifications. Back to Duty

S13: Use digital tools to solve problems, plan, collaborate, communicate and keep records. Back to Duty

S14: Develop a work plan to a specification. Back to Duty

S15: Communicate using verbal and written communication skills. Back to Duty

S16: Establish safe systems of work and comply with health, safety and welfare legislation, including basic risk assessment. Back to Duty

S17: Supervise others (staff or volunteers ), including motivation, work prioritisation, quality, problem-solving, capability for task, establishing a safety culture and resource deployment. Back to Duty

S18: Manage use of tools and machinery on site (including safety and record keeping) and carry out selection appraisals. Back to Duty

S19: Use and maintain irrigation system (hose and lance, drip, sprinkler or rotary system) to ensure accurate and timely water application. Back to Duty

S20: Plan a programme of plant pest and disease controls in line with Integrated Pest Management principles. Spraying of pesticides and or fertilisers or non-chemical alternatives. Back to Duty

S21: Select propagation methods and plan and implement propagating plants by seed and vegetative methods in an indoor or outdoor context. Back to Duty

S22: Assess a horticultural area, develop an annual maintenance programme and undertake maintenance activities. Back to Duty

S23: Assess turf or species-rich meadow quality and plan and implement the maintenance, repair and renovation of ornamental turf areas. Back to Duty

S24: Prune or train a climber, shrub and tree using specialist pruning and or training techniques to maintain plant health and achieve design or functional objectives. Back to Duty

S25: Select work method and plan and undertake the application of a range of landscape construction materials to a specification, including brick laying, paving, timber features; construct horizontal and vertical features. Back to Duty

S26: Install a service into a landscape, for example lighting conduits, irrigation or draining. Back to Duty

S27: Measure and set out a site with several features and levels from a construction drawing. Back to Duty

S28: Plan and implement landscaping activities for a non-complex landscape construction project, including interpreting job specification and construction drawings, estimating materials required, planning resource allocation (human and physical), work quality and health and safety considerations. Back to Duty

S29: Survey site for landscape construction, including presence of services, drainage, plantings, features, protected areas and hazards. Back to Duty


B1: Puts safety first for themselves and others. Back to Duty

B2: Sources solutions to problems in a proactive manner. Back to Duty

B3: Committed to continuous improvement and keeping up to date with industry practice including technological advancements. Back to Duty

B4: Team focused and works effectively with colleagues and others. Back to Duty

T Level in agriculture, Land Management and Production

Qualification type: T Level

Qualification level: 3

Awarding organisation: City & Guilds

Approval date: 01/05/2023

Available from: 01/09/2023

Occupational specialism: Ornamental and Environmental Horticulture and Landscaping

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Aligned occupational standards

ST0226 Horticulture or landscaping supervisor

Options: Horticulture Supervisor , Landscaping Supervisor

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