Why certifications matter for your commercial property

Hiring a commercial landscape company you can trust is crucial. Here at Landscape America, we want to honor all clients who choose us as their firm and build that trust with them.

Some of the ways we do this are through healthy company culture, rigorous team training, and open-book management.

Another way we do this is through the Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional (MCLP) certification from the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals (MLP).

When our crews are led by certified and highly-trained leaders, everyone knows what they’re doing, which means fewer mistakes, fewer accidents, a safer property — and ultimately, a healthier landscape.

What is the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals?

The Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals (MLP) is an industry association that represents the leading landscape companies in Massachusetts. Their purpose as an organization is to elevate the professional standards and business practices of its members through education, certification, advocacy and networking.

Through MLP, our team has access to training and continuing education in both technical and business skills. As our customer, you can look to the MLP to find qualified, reputable and insured landscape professionals you can trust — Landscape America being one of them.

What is a Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional (MCLP)?

In Massachusetts, landscape companies aren’t required to have a license. But serious landscape professionals can get a voluntary certification through MLP. This certification, known as the Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional (MCLP) certification, shows that a landscape company is committed to safety, best practices and technical knowledge.

Just like a chartered professional accountant (CPA) is recognized in the finance world, so MCLPs are recognized in the landscaping world.

MCLPs are rigorously tested on a complete range of topics: - Plant identification & installation - Insects & plant diseases - Soil ecology & health - Turfgrass management & maintenance - Safety & first aid - Construction techniques - Drainage & grading - Landscape design

What’s involved in the testing process and how do people get (and stay) certified?

To become MCLP certified, a landscape professional has to pass the MCLP exam. Exams are offered three times a year, in March, August and November.

Just like the old days, the exam is a traditional pen and paper exam with two sections:

150 multiple-choice questions based on chapters from the MCLP Study Guide, which is a massive, 1,500-page document with educational material, high-quality color images and interactive tutorials. Image identification for plants, insects, pests and diseases. Those taking the exam have to identify 40 plants, 10 insects/pests and 10 diseases. Both Latin and common names are required for plant identification!

A score of 70% or higher for both sections is required in order to pass and attain the MCLP certification. Once certified, an MCLP is required to maintain their certification by earning ten (10) continuing education credits per year.

These credits can be earned by attending meetings, seminars, maintaining certifications and licenses, getting further safety training, serving on a board, speaking at a landscape industry event, or even doing community service in the field.

As you can tell — it’s a robust certification with a rigorous process behind it!

Why does it matter?

In short, hiring companies that are MCLP certified shows that they’ve done the work to prove themselves as industry leaders.

It also means you get some peace of mind, knowing that who you’ve hired can do the job well — and properly. With all the horticultural knowledge you’ll have access to, your landscape will see greater vitality and look even more beautiful than before.

For us, it’s really about trust. Having clients that trust us is an amazing thing.

Interested in working with a certified landscape firm? Request an estimate today.