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Is it necessary to complete the Green Cert?

Is it necessary to complete the Green Cert?

On completion of the Green Cert course, students meet the requirements of a qualified farmer for the purposes of all Revenue and Department of Agriculture (DAFM) schemes. Serena Gibbons, Education Officer, Teagasc Athenry discusses the wider benefits of completing the Green Cert

The Green Cert is an unusual course in that it is often completed as a necessary additional course to a primary qualification. 

Course Benefits

The benefits of completing the Green Cert are numerous, these include:


The Green Cert is a Fetac Level 6 Specific purpose certificate. Modules covered include Beef and  Sheep Husbandry, Grass Production, Farm Business, Sustainable farming and the Environment , Farm Safety and Maintenance of farm structures as well as comprehensive training in Beef, Sheep and Grass management skills.

DAFM Grants

A qualified farmer can avail of a 60% TAMS grant and is also eligible to apply for the Young Farmers Scheme and National Reserve. A new young farmer’s scheme will be available under the new CAP in 2023. Agricultural education must be completed prior to the young farmer’s scheme application.

Stamp Duty Exemption

A qualified farmer under the age of 35 is exempt from stamp duty payment on the transfer of land which is presently 7.5%.

Consanguinity relief will apply when land is transferred between a parent and child, thus reducing stamp duty from 7.5% to 1%

More details are available on Revenue website in relation to calculating stamp duty 


Capital Acquisition Tax (CAT). Both inheritance tax and gift tax come under the CAT category. Once the holding value that is being transferred exceeds €335,000, one of these taxes will apply at a rate of 33%. A qualified farmer can avail of Agricultural relief if they can also pass the 80:20 asset test.

The Tax calculation on the transfer of the family farm is complex. Each transfer situation is different. The Green Cert qualification is only a part of the transfer requirement. It would be time well spent to discuss the taxes involved in a transfer with your Accountant.

Course Options

Students are fortunate that there are now a number of options available to complete the Green Cert course. The range in course availability has made the Green cert course more accessible for students.

The Full time Green Cert course

(i) The Full time Green Cert course is designed for school leavers and is available in Agricultural colleges nationally. This is a two year full time course with work placement. Throughout the academic year, students can attend and  participate in organised events, shows, day trips, open days etc, both on and off campus. Students opting for the full time course benefit greatly from the experience of spending work placement on host farms, gaining invaluable agricultural and life skills. Application can be made online to the Agricultural College of choice. See link: Apply Online

The Part time Green Cert course

(ii) The Part time Green Cert course is delivered at Teagasc centre, Mellows Campus, Athenry to students over the age of 23. Classes are delivered over an 18 month period. Classes are delivered one day every two weeks (10am to 5pm) with one eve in class and one eve via Zoom on the alternate week, the part tie course is designed to suit the students who are working off farm. Students must be over 23 years of age to apply to this course

Next available Part-time course commences January 2023 in Teagasc, Athenry.

The Distance Green Cert course

(iii) The Distance course is available at Mountbellew Agricultural College, the Distance course is available to students who have a FETAC Major Level 6 or higher qualification in a non-agricultural area. Delivered over an 18 month period. Students attend college for a total of 22 days to complete practical skills. With one hour per week online theory delivery.

In the Galway region, the Distance course is available in Mountbellew Agricultural College. The Distance course is also available in all Agricultural Colleges. Further information for this course is available at Teagasc Distance Education Green Cert

Green Cert opens doors to further education

Whichever course option suits best, students who complete the Green Cert course are introduced to a wide range of topics and have options to select elective modules to help widen their Agricultural knowledge. There are also options to advance to further education programmes on completion of the Green Cert.

It is an excellent opportunity to meet young farmers from various enterprises and backgrounds and an opportunity to visit other farms and Agribusinesses. It is also the setting where firm life friendships are made.

Have a look at the benefits and course options and ask the question; is the Green Cert a serious consideration for you?

What past students have to say about their course..

Hear from past students of Teagasc courses on their experiences of the Green Cert. Check out:

To explore all of your options on courses and colleges with Teagasc check out Education | Contact your local Teagasc Education Officer or Agricultural College also for more details