California Native Plant Society

California Consulting Botanist Certification


The Application Process for Botanist Certification

Application for certification and registration for tests is now open for 2018. Examination dates and venues are below. Applicants are required to fill out the application form and provide current contact information, sign the Code of Ethics (PDF), and submit the examination fee.

Applicants will be notified on the next available examination (date and location). Upon successfully passing the examinations, the applicant will be required to pay the membership fee before receiving their certification number, certificate, and certification card.


Test locations, dates/times

June 11, 2018 Southern California
San Diego Botanic Garden
Registration Form (PDF)
October 1, 2018 Northern California
Curry Canyon Ranch Preserve, Clayton, CA
Registration Form (PDF)

*Cancellation Policy: Exams may be canceled if there is insufficient enrollment. Cancellation due to lack of enrollment will be determined 7 days (168 hours) prior to the date of the exam. If an exam is cancelled as a result of insufficient enrollment, all fees will be refunded, or held for future use, at the discretion of the applicant. The applicant's application/examination fee will be refunded in full if the applicant withdraws their application at least 14 days (two weeks) prior to the examination date, late cancellation will be assessed a $50 cancellation processing fee. CNPS makes budgetary decisions based on the number of registered attendees, so the last day to request a refund is typically 2 weeks before the day of the exams. If you need to cancel your registration after the stated cancellation deadline, CNPS will be unable to issue a refund for your examination and you will forfeit your payment, regardless of personal or professional emergency.

  • There will be two opportunities to take the tests each year:
    • One will be administered in Southern California
    • Another will be administered in Northern California
  • Field Botanist and Consulting Botanist tests will be administered at the same location and date.

Application/Examination Fees
Field Botanist: $350
Consulting Botanist: $450


Exam Registration

Registration forms are available at the links above under the test location info. To register for the upcoming exam dates, please fill out the registration form and send by mail, along with the examination fee, to:

2707 K Street Suite 1
Sacramento, CA 95816
...or by e-mail to or by fax to (916)-447-2727.


Certification Maintenance

Botanists in Northern California
Botanists in Northern California. Photo by Mona Robison.

Maintenance Fees
An annual fee of $85 for Field Botanist and $95 for Consulting Botanist must be paid by annual membership date each year to maintain certification.

Renewal of certification is required every 5 years; however, reexamination is not required unless annual membership fees are not kept current.

  • 50 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) must be completed before renewal
  • PDCs will only be accepted from authorized providers (details coming) or courses pre-approved by the Board of Certification
  • Subject areas include: professional ethics, taxonomy/plant ID, laws and regulations pertaining to plants, and methods in survey, assessment, and mitigation
  • Certification at a higher level than previously certified requires the submission of a new application for certification and testing for that level

Pay Certification Maintenace fees here:


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