Introduction to Agricultural Land Classification (ALC)

  • 22 November 2022
  • 06 December 2022
  • 4 sessions
  • 22 November 2022, 9:30 AM 1:00 PM (GMT)
  • 23 November 2022, 9:30 AM 1:35 PM (GMT)
  • 24 November 2022, 9:30 AM 1:35 PM (GMT)
  • 06 December 2022, 9:30 AM 10:30 AM (GMT)
  • Microsoft Teams
  • 17



The purpose of Agricultural Land Classification (ALC), since inception, is to identify high quality agricultural land so it can be taken account of in development management and land use decisions. 

This training course, designed and presented by agricultural land classification (ALC) experts from Natural England, the Welsh Government and commercial consultancy, offers an introduction to ALC and a unique opportunity to learn about the background and technical basis of the current ALC guidelines.

By the end of the course you will learn:

  • about soil / climate relationships, soil behaviour and soil properties
  • about how the ALC system has developed over time, its underlying principles and its role within the planning system - the WHAT, WHY and WHEN of ALC
  • all the details of how land is graded - the HOW of ALC
  • what a best practice ALC report should contain and how it should be structured.

The course will include the opportunity to work within a group to undertake an ALC grading desk exercise to apply what you have learned.

This course is designed for:

  • soil scientists who wish to extend their experience to (or refresh an existing awareness of) Agricultural Land Classification
  • those commissioning ALC surveys from specialists, and
  • planners reviewing ALC reports.

The virtual course will consist of three consecutive half-day sessions (Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 November) and a further compulsory follow-up session two weeks later (Tuesday 6 December).

Course Programme and Speaker Biographies

The provisional course programme and speaker biographies are available to download online.


For non-soil specialists, a basic knowledge of soil is required. Attendance on our Working with Soil course, Exposing and Describing a Soil Profile, or equivalent is highly recommended.

Certification and CPD

Following attendance at the four sessions, delegates will receive a course completion certificate. Please note that this is not a certificate of competence in ALC.

If you are new to ALC, the course provides you with a thorough introduction. Field training from an experienced ALC practitioner is strongly recommended if you wish to practice ALC on a statutory or commercial basis. Delegates should review the BSSS Working with Soil ALC competencies to understand what additional training and practical work they should undertake to be fully competent in this area of work.

CPD has been applied for through BASIS.

Cancellation Policy

Please view the cancellation policy for this event here.

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