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The MCLP exam is a rigorous exam that tests on a wide range of topics.  A degree in horticulture or arboriculture, experience in the industry, and significant test preparation are all important to success on this exam. 

The requirements for sitting for this exam are:

1. Required: Purchase of the MCLP Study Guide
Required: Registration for the MCLP exam
3.  Optional: MCLP Overview Webinars may be purchased below.

The MCLP exam is offered on the first Friday in March and the first Friday in November each year.


MALP offers landscape professionals working toward their Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional (MCLP) certification a comprehensive green industry resource called the MCLP Study Guide. The 6.0 version of the Study Guide, published in 2015, presents the study material in a digital reference format. The online guide incorporates 1,500 pages of educational material, 400 high-quality color images and interactive tutorials.  No hard copy publication will be provided.

All information on the MCLP Exam is contained in the MCLP Study Guide.  Purchase of the MCLP Study Guide is required to register for the exam and Study Guide access must be active, not expired.  Study Guide ownership is non-transferrable.  Once assigned to an individual, the Study Guide login is the property of the individual and not the company.

Purchase the MCLP Study Guide below:

MCLP OVERVIEW Webinars - new for 2023!

The MCLP Overview webinar courses are an optional study resource designed to provide a review of key points in the chapters of the MCLP Study Guide.  Exam candidates who learn best by hearing and seeing information presented may find these reviews to be a helpful alternative to reading the chapters alone. 

MCLP Overview 1 - Plant Biology and Soil Science - with Russell Holman, BCMA
on-demand webinar recording reviews Chapters 1 & 2 of the MCLP Study Guide

MCLP Overview 2 - Plant Health Care Topics - with Russell Holman, BCMA
on-demand webinar recording reviews Chapters 3, 4 & 5 of the MCLP Study Guide

MCLP Overview 3 - Turf Topics - with Barbara Conolly, MCLP, ISA

MCLP Overview 4 - Landscape Construction Topics - with Barbara Conolly, MCLP, ISA


The exam is a traditional pen and paper exam.  There is no electronic version of the exam.

The exam consists of two sections:

1.  Multiple Choice - approximately 150 multiple choice questions.  These questions are derived from the Study Guide Chapters.

2.  Image Identification for Plants, Insects/Pests and Diseases.  The Plant Identification portion of the exam will contain 45 plants to identify by common and latin name, 10 insects/pests and 10 diseases.  Spelling is important.  You will study the images located in tutorials C, E, F for this section - although images located in the Study Guide Chapters may be included on the ID portion of the exam as well. 

You must receive at least 70% correct on both sections to pass the exam.

Candidates will have one year in which to pass both sections of the exam.   If an exam candidate achieves a 70% or higher score on one section of the exam (ID or multiple choice), but does not pass the other section, he or she may return to the next exam to retest on the failed section.   Within that year, once a candidate achieves 70% or higher on both sections, the MCLP credential is granted.  If both sections are not passed within one year, the exam candidate would return to testing on both sections.

There is no limit in the number of times one may attempt the MCLP exam.


Once certified, an MCLP is required to maintain his or her certification by earning ten (10) continuing education credits per year.  These credits may be earned in many ways, such as:

... attending MALP dinner meetings or seminars

... maintaining certifications and licenses, such as a pesticide license

... attending MALP or other industry safety training

... maintaining current memberships in MALP or allied associations

... performing industry service, such as serving on a board or speaking at an industry event

... performing community service in the field

Credits are reported annually using a Recertification Tally Sheet (RTS).  The RTS is due by February 15th each year for the previous calendar year.

Questions about certification?  Visit the RECERTIFICATION page or contact the Certification Manager at the MALP office.

Become a member

MALP’s 600-strong membership includes leading professionals in landscape design and installation, lawn care, landscape maintenance, plant health care, irrigation and water management.  Members also include consultants, suppliers, and allied industry members. MALP offers a variety of membership types to suit your needs.

Explore membership options and join us!


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