ICN Professional Certification 

The ICN Pro Program has been developed to offer a way to upgrade the retail nursery industry through the improvement and maintenance of the skills and knowledge of its employees and owners. A well informed staff with a positive self-image should result in better service to the customer. This in turn will translate to repeat customers and a good reputation, and once established, will bring new customers. The public looks to the nurseries for the best answers now. The ICN Pro Program will help improve and maintain this well deserved image. (The program was developed to target the retail nursery but is not limited to any one segment of the industry.)

There are currently two types of certification available - Woody and Perennial. Professionals may become certified in one or both types. Skills and knowledge needed to serve the public will be proven by exam, which will be offered at various times and places throughout the state. The written exam is based upon information found and the study manual available through the IGIA office. The exam also covers plant, insect and disease identification, and basic landscape design.

Successful candidates will be awarded an ICN Pro certificate, patch and the right to advertise ICN Pro status on letterhead, business cards, clothing, etc. Certification is for individuals, not firms, and the ICNPro title may be promoted only in relation to individuals.


Enrollment in the ICN Pro Program is voluntary. To become certified, an individual must:

  1. Be the owner or officer of a nursery firm; or currently be employed by a nursery firm for a total of 4,000 hours; or currently be employed by a nursery firm for a total of 2,000 hours and have successfully completed 2 full years of classroom study in a recognized college-level horticultural program.
  2. Successfully complete the ICN Pro examination (exam dates).
  3. Pledge in writing that should their certification ever by revoked for whatever reason, they will not display any distinguishing emblems, titles, or in any manner whatsoever imply that they are an Illinois Certified Nursery Professional.

Program Manual
The materials you will need to study in order to be prepared for the exam can be found in our ICN Pro Manual. The manual is available at no charge to all who are interested in preparing for the exam

Annual Recertification
Certification must be renewed every year. This is based on accrual of continuing education points and paying the $30 renewal fee.  Renewal is handled every December by submitting either the electronic or paper form at the links below, along with your continuing education log.

Paper Recertification Form