What do you need to be a nursery manager?

The course trains managers or supervisors rather than general nursery workers.  

Advance your opportunities in the retail nursery management sector

A 900 hour course that develops both skills required to manage a retail business, and knowledge in identification, care and handling of plants and other products sold through retail nurseries. There are 7 units plus a 200 hr workplace project in this course. These are the 4 core units common to all streams of this Advanced Certificate ( plus three specialist units of study relating to the management and operation of a retail nursery.


This course is internationally accredited through I.A.R.C.

Start or improve your Retail Nursery Business
Get  a Job and Build a Career in Nursery Retailing

This course is comprised of:

  • Core studies - Four units (400 hours) of compulsory subjects for all students.
  • Elective studies – Three stream units for the development of knowledge in a chosen industry sector.
  • Project – a workplace project of 200 hrs relevant to your field of study. The project specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study. Contact the school for more information.




Totalling 400 hours. All four of these modules must be studied and passed.

1. Office practices

Develops basic office skills covering use of equipment, communication systems (telephone, fax, etc) and office procedures such as filing, security, workplace organisations, etc.

2. Business operations

Develops knowledge of basic business operations and procedures (eg. types of businesses, financial management, business analysis, staffing, productivity, etc) and the skills to develop a 12 month business plan.

3. Management

Develops knowledge of management structures, terminology, supervision, recruitment and workplace health and safety.

4. Marketing

Develops a broad understanding of marketing and specific skills in writing advertisements, undertaking market research, developing an appropriate marketing plan and selling.





This is a thoroughly practical course which gives you a sound broad technical grounding in horticultural principles and practices. A section of each lesson involves plant identification.


  • To identify, propagate and care for 80 different types of plants.
  • The systematic way plants are classified.
  • Structure and parts of a flower.
  • To identify different leaf shapes.
  • Different ways to control weeds.
  • Simple soil tests.
  • Making propagating and potting mixes.
  • Identifying pest and disease problems.
  • How and why to prune different plants.
  • Drawing a simple garden sketch plan.
  • To plant or repair a lawn; and lots more.



The course is divided into 12 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction: Plant classification, plant cultural requirements, soil and nutrition, watering requirements, drainage, temperature, light, humidity.
  2. Plant Health: How to diagnose a problem, pests, diseases, nutrient deficiencies, frost, sunburn, chemical damage, insufficient light, overwatering.
  3. Stock Maintenance: Quality standards, buying new stock, inspecting stock, extending stock life, disposing of below-standard stock, watering techniques, fertilising, pest and disease control.
  4. Display and Display Techniques: Display units, product location, sales area layout.
  5. Garden Product Knowledge I: Plant containers, tags, soil mixes, equipment, tools.
  6. Garden Product Knowledge II: Chemicals, fertilisers, baskets, terrariums, cut flowers.
  7. Indoor Plants: Major groups, common problems, plants for specific situations, customer attitudes.
  8. Container Stock: Trees and Shrubs.
  9. Seedlings, Bulbs, Herbs and Perennials.
  10. Deciduous Trees, Fruit, Nuts, Berries; and Seed.
  11. Marketing: Pricing strategy, advertising, promotions.
  12. Management: Staff control, staff productivity, work scheduling.



There are twelve lessons in this course; as outlined below:

  1. Presentation and selling Personality. "Never judge a book by its cover." A wise old saying! but people who buy do make judgements especially about sales people. Dress and grooming are top priority in selling. As well you must learn how to develop a selling personality.
  2. Communication and Conversational selling. Learn the art of written and verbal communication in easy to understand terms.
  3. Marketing (Buyer analysis and motivation) Presentation of products to consumers and motivating them to buy.
  4. Management (Hierachy) Dealing with upper management; learn how to get your point across.
  5. How to be assertive and positive when dealing with your superiors.
  6. Helping the Product Sell Itself
  7. Know your product and pre planning. Through observation, reading and listening get to know your products (pre planning is essential in today's complex society).
  8. Selling made as simple as A B C. The procedure of selling.
    "The Opening" (getting the attention of the buyer). Creating the right atmosphere for a sale to take place.
  9. "Closing a Sale" (overcoming objections). Buyers will tend to look else where unless a salesman can close a sale in an appropriate amount of time (learn the secrets).
  10. "Stress Management" Learn the art of relaxation through stress management techniques.
  11. The Law and Selling
  12. Report Assessment Writing. The majority of sales persons need to have the ability and skill to write a condensed and accurate report on which management will comprehend and act upon.

What is required for Workplace Projects to be satisfied?

Essentially we will accept anything that constitutes "Learning in a real world relevant situation" -as distinct from our "normal way of delivering a distance education module.

The term "Workplace Project" is often used to embrace any type of "learning" experience. that is "real world" oriented. This includes:

A. Attending industry meetings (conferences, seminars, study tours, committee meetings, etc)

B. Work experience (paid or voluntary)

C. Attending workshops run by another institution; or supervised by a professional person working the student through our "workshop curriculum documents"

D. Undertaking any of the following modules: Workshop I, II, III or Research Project I, II, III or IV

E. Undertaking where appropriate other PBL based modules including Editing Practice I, or Journalism Practice I or II

We DO NOT organise and conduct workshops.

The student DOES NOT need to sit exams for any of the above....but they do need to show documentary proof (in the cases of a, b or c. Fees Apply for d & e but not a, b, or c (where the fee is incorporated into the qualification fee.

We have the following on some of the web sites for these things:

  • This is the final requirement that you must satisfy before receiving your award.
  • There are two options available to you to satisfy this requirement:


Alternative 1

  • If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.
  • The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.


Alternative 2

If you do not work in the relevant industry, you need to undertake a project as follows:

Procedure for a Workplace Project

  • This project is a major part of the course involving the number of hours relevant to the course (see above). Although the course does not contain mandatory work requirements, work experience is seen as highly desirable.
  • This project is based on applications in the work place and specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.
  • Students will design this project in consultation with a tutor to involve industry based activities in the area of specialized study which they select to follow in the course. The project outcomes may take the form of a written report, folio, visuals or a mixture of forms. Participants with relevant, current or past work experience will be given exemption from this project if they can provide suitable references from employers that show they have already fulfilled the requirements of this project.
  • For courses that involve more than 100 hours, more than one workplace project topic may be selected. For example, 200 hours may be split into two projects each of 100 hours. This will offer the student better scope to fulfill the needs of their course and to meet the number of hours required. Alternatively, the student may wish to do one large project with a duration of 200 hours.
  • Students will be assessed on how well they achieve the goals and outcomes they originally set as part of their negotiations with their tutor. During each 100 hours of the project, the students will present three short progress reports. These progress reports will be taken into account when evaluating the final submission. The tutor must be satisfied that the work submitted is original.
  • If the student wishes to do one large 200 hour report, then only three progressive reports will be needed (however the length of each report will be longer).





Just go to the top of this page for pricing and enrolment options. If you have any questions you can contact us now, by:
Phone (UK) 01384 44272, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

Email us at [email protected]