Application and Renewal Process

California Consulting Botanist Certification


The Application Process for Botanist Certification

Applicants are required to register for an exam and pay the examination fee.

Upon successfully passing the examinations, the applicant will be required to sign the Code of Ethics and pay the membership fee before receiving their certification number, certificate, and certification card.

*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 canceled as a result of insufficient enrollment, all fees will be refunded, or held for future use, at the discretion of the applicant.
Before registering, please review our full exam cancellation policy  and participant expectations. The last day to cancel your registration for this exam and receive any refund is generally two weeks out. For other ways to register, please see our full registration & payment policy.

  • 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.

Exam Registration

Online registration is available at the links posted on the main Botanist Certification page.

Application/Examination Fees
$250 Certified Field Botanist Exam
$350 Certified Consulting & Field Botanist Exams
$115 Retake of Exam (if you have taken before)
$115 Certified Consulting Exam Only (for Certified Field Botanists)

Certification Maintenance

Maintenance Fees
An annual fee of $70 for Associate or Field Botanist and $80 for Consulting Botanist must be paid by annual membership date each year to maintain certification.

Pay your certification maintenance fee in the CNPS store:

Pay Annual Maintenance Fee


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