How We Work21/06/2018 22:20:45


Established in 1979, ACS has educated thousands of full and part-time students, many of whom have gone onto successful employment, both in industry or in their own businesses. Others have used their courses to develop a hobby, or simply broaden their general education. We currently have over 2500 students enrolled around the world. The school operates from the Midlands in the UK, with  staff working out of a number of countries. 


Our Priority is and always has been "Learning"

The school holds high the ideals of practical education, emphasizing in all courses those things which are relevant to "real life". Courses offered cater for hobby interest through to formal training in industry and the professions.


The school and it's tutors have always been active in industry. We believe strongly that maintaining an awareness of current information and trends enables us to keep our course notes and services to students up to date and relevant. When you study with this school you are learning from people who are doing what you are studying on a daily basis.


A key philosophy of the school, since its establishment, has been that tutors should not only be tertiary qualified, but also actively working in the industry. This allows the student to gain the benefits of the tutors "professional" experiences and up-to-date knowledge of their industry. 
All tutors: 

  • Hold a tertiary qualification (eg. professional certifications, diploma or degree).

  • Have a minimum of 5 years of industry experience.

  • Hold an appropriate training skills qualification.

  • Are still working in industry (at least part time).

We endeavour to employ tutors who have distinguished themselves as leaders in their respective fields. Current tutorial staff (more than 20 professionals) include former presidents and secretaries from professional associations, former and current managers and department heads from a variety of organisations (both private enterprise and government) and successful owner operators of a wide variety of businesses.

The school was founded by the current principal, John Mason. Mr Mason is a widely published international author of more than 100 books and thousands of articles. He is a well known and respected academic in his original field of horticulture, in both Australia and England (A fellow of the Australian Institute of Horticulture,  Parks & Leisure Australia, and also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture, in the UK.

Click here for more information on our staff.


You get to make more choices here than with most colleges. You can choose what to study; what to focus on in your assignments, when and where to study, when an how to use our academic support staff, whether to use printed materials or electronic course notes -and a whole lot more.

Our aim is to make the course fit the student; as much as is physically possible. The only limit we have is that we cannot compromise the quality of the learning experience (If we were to do that, we would be devaluing the benefit of the course to you and other students).

Often the problem with distance learning is that you feel you are on your own,and have limited access to resources, to ask questions and obtain assignment feedback. 
ACS provides the highest level of support possible. Students can:

  • Talk directly with tutors by phone.

  • Fax or email questions and quickly receive a phone call, email or fax back.

  • Access additional information that has been reviewed and recommended by our academics (through an online library or directly from tutors where needed for your studies).

  • Borrow videos (free if you pick them up, handling charge applicable via mail in Australia).

  • Use the mail order bookshop to get a wide range of excellent books.


We provide all the resources and advice needed for extensive student support, including all necessary course notes and required reading materials

  • Unlimited Tuition as long as it relates to your course (Contact us by phone, email, social media or chat)

  • Assignments marked

  • Questions answered

  • Careers and business advice

  • Access to our Resource Library

  • Newsletters -emailed weekly to keep you up to date with what is happening

  • Blogs 

  • Social Media (We are active on Facebook, Linked in and Pintrest)

  • Bookshop discounts


If you have already learnt things which are taught in a course, either through previous study or work experience, you may be able to obtain credit towards your chosen course, eliminating the need to repeat material, and thereby reducing the time taken to complete your course.

Credit can be obtained by completing a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) form BEFORE commencing your course.
To apply for RPL, contact the school for an application form. Complete the form and submit it together with photocopied documentation.

A nominal fee is charged for Certificate courses and Diploma courses, to make a standard RPL assessment. A higher fee may apply for more complex submissions involving large exemptions. The RPL fee will be deducted from the total cost of your course, plus discounts for any exempted studies, upon enrolment. However, if you complete an RPL and choose NOT to enrol in a course, this fee is non-refundable.


Short courses (i.e. any course below 150 hours duration) - Anyone can enrol, there are no formal pre-requisites, though year 10 or equivalent is preferable in most instances.
Certificates & Advanced Certificates - See each course, usually Year 10, 11 or equivalent, or mature age.
Diplomas & Advanced Diplomas - Year 12 or Mature age.


We're always learning new things, from conferences, magazines and journals, internet searches, colleagues and of course student's assignments.

Staff at the school are continually researching and writing new books, magazine articles and video scripts
This gathered information is used to update course notes.

We offer you more up to date information than you are likely to get from many other schools.

We encourage feedback from students through newsletter questionnaires, and contact with tutors.


There are no set starting dates. Start when you want at any time of the year.

We allow students to work at their own pace. There are no deadlines for assignments (Austudy students will have a set time frame as dictated by Austudy Guidelines).

Cancellation of a registration will only occur if you haven't contacted us for over 6 months
See schedule of fees for estimated hours of study for each course.
Extensions and deferments may be requested if needed. Please contact the school for more details.
If your studies are supported by someone else (e.g. Austudy or Employer), they may require you to finish within a specified period. In such cases check with the supporting agency before enrolling.


As our courses are offered by distance learning (online or eLearning), students can start when they wish, at any time of the year.


The task of choosing a course can be daunting.
The courses available menu lists courses according to subject area. Look through the subject area/s that interest/s you and choose the particular course/s that most appeal/s to you. The fees for each course are listed at the right hand side of each course.

If you need further information then fax, phone, write, visit or email the school for further advice or information. -As you complete written & practical assignments, submit your work to the school for comment. Your tutor provides guidance where needed, and the work is returned to you to keep.


Recognition can mean different things to different people.
If you want to know whether we are reputable the simple answer is "YES".
We have established formal standing with various government & industry bodies.
We are known and supported by professionals throughout Australia & overseas.
Graduates have obtained employment and established successful businesses across a wide range of industries.

Accreditation usually involves a formal process of gaining endorsement of credibility by an organisation outside of the college (e.g. A government department/authority). In Australia formal recognition refers to a school not to courses. Accreditation does not necessarily guarantee improved quality or standards in a course.

The difficulty with accreditation and recognition systems is that they can become bureaucratic and can often change. This can mean accredited courses may:
Become out of date (because accreditation processes may take several years).
Be changed or lose accreditation before you finish a course.
Contain things which are considered important by committee members or bureaucrats, but which you may not really need in your situation.

Recognition of the school involves more than just being formally accredited with the appropriate authorities. The most important things must be:

People in the industry know of the school and it's courses.
The school has a good reputation and it's graduates get jobs.
After maintaining high standards for over 18 years, this school has seen great success in all of these respects. The school has developed a credible identity, with courses being supported by employers, industry publications, and professional groups. Graduates find their studies help them gain employment, and increased success in their careers. Many of our students have been sponsored to do courses, or had course costs subsidised by employers.


This school maintains a quality control system to comply with the standard AS.NZS ISO 9002, as published by Standards Australia.


We are involved with a group of well respected colleges in a system of course endorsement, to provide students and industry with an assurance of a quality of course content and delivery which is appropriate to the future. For more information, please visit 



At the completion of any course, the school will, on request issue you with an official "letter of completion" acknowledging your satisfactory completion of all assignments.


To formally complete all course assignments, then sit and pass the required examinations. You can arrange to sit your exam close to your home, with someone such as a police officer, minister of religion, J.P. or college lecturer acting as a supervisor.


Your official qualification is awarded by our UK school,  hen you successfully complete all course requirements. The official document is yours to display. As a graduate, you are also entitled to use an appropriate abbreviation of your qualification after your name.


All assignments and exams are assessed with a percentage, based on not only exams, but also assignments and any other interactions with you - a Holistic Assessment. This system is a requirement for accredited vocational courses. Tutors will also write comments and advice on your work.



The following services are provided free to students of our school.

  • Professional advice on finding work in your area of study.

  • References are provided on request to support job applications.

  • We will review and comment on job applications on request.

  • Assistance in writing a C.V. or Resume to support job applications.

  • Advice on where to promote your new business.

  • Referrals to employers, when approached.

  • On your request, a free listing on our student internet directory.

  • We will promote you or your business for free!

  • Careers Guides are available through the bookshop.




Credits may be achieved through a recognition of prior learning assessment which determines that you have developed appropriate skills through experience in industry. Such credit must be based on a fully documented, formal submission. The following situations are generally approved:

  • Work under the direction of a qualified person.
  • Under the direction of a long term member of an appropriate professional association.
  • Work which you can be refereed by a qualified or well recognized professional.



A workplace project may involve developing and undertaking a research project in liaison with a tutor. A typical project will involve a series of communications (by phone, fax, email or in person), interspersed with periods of work and preparation of written reports.



Find out more, contact us today -

By phone (UK) 01384 442752, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752

or Email at [email protected]

If you have any questions on our courses, you can also contact our specialist tutors using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.