Advanced Certificate in Environmental Management

This course provides extensive professional training for environmental managers, consultants and assessors. Gain unique insights and skills relevant to the environmental industry.

Course Code: VEN038
Fee Code: AC
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate
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The Health of our Environment is Integral to our Future 

The natural world is a wonderful thing but we need to work in ways that help to maintain it.

This course provides students with insights into different aspects of the natural environment from soils to plant physiology in the hope that they develop an appreciation for all kinds of habitats. It also helps students to nurture skills needed to manage natural resources.


Environmental Management at the heart of new businesses 

Environmental sustainability is the way of the future. With the ever-increasing trend to reduce waste and emissions, increase energy efficiency and minimise practices that may threaten our natural resources, more and more organisations are realising the importance of environmental management and implementing environmental initiatives as core values into their business plans.

This course is different to many others, because it goes well beyond just teaching you basic management skills, but offers a solid foundation of the necessary science and environmental background. 

It is an "experiential based" learning program; designed to get you involved with a variety of industry professionals, while exploring the nature and scope of managing environments.

For ongoing success, you need to become "connected".  This networking within the industry will provide the basis to remain "connected", so that you can evolve and adapt to changes as your career moves forward.
The available course tutors are skilled professionals who are fully qualified in the various subject areas. The combination of their qualifications and many years of actual practical experience, will benefit you greatly as you work through the course.

What will YOU gain from this course?

A broad knowledge of the environment - more than most other comparable courses. Besides the core subjects, there are many options to choose from,  for example:

  • The biochemistry of plants - you can't understand the environment and how to manage it so don't miss out on these fundamentals.

  • Botany - many environmentalists have no idea on plants and plant identification - this will put you ahead of the rest.       

  • Ecotour management - humans put stresses on the environment, well managed tourism helps to prevent this.

  • Soil management - rarely offered in many other courses but fundamental to environmental health.       

  • Project management - a great area of study that helps you into management roles and also consultancy.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Environmental Management.
 Environmental Studies VEN100
 Introduction To Ecology BEN101
 Conservation and Environmental Management BEN201
 Trees For Rehabilitation (Landcare Reafforestation) BHT205
 Environmental Assessment BEN301
 Water Conservation And Management BEN302
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Industry Project I BIP000
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 35 modules.
 Biochemistry I (Plants) BSC102
 Botany I (Plant Physiology And Taxonomy) BSC104
 Ecotour Management BTR101
 Marine Studies I BEN103
 Nature Park Management I BEN120
 Permaculture I VSS104
 Research Project I BGN102
 Self Sufficiency I (Be More Self Sufficient) ASS100
 Self Sufficiency II ASS101
 Soil Management (Horticulture) BHT105
 Botany II (Plant Growth and Development) BSC204
 Cleaning: Domestic and Commercial VTR207
 Climate Science BSC208
 Earth Science BEN204
 Environmental Waste Management BEN202
 Healthy Buildings I (Building Construction & Health) BSS200
 Horticultural Resource Management BHT203
 Invertebrate Animals BEN218
 Leisure Facility Management I BRE205
 Marine Studies II BEN203
 Nature Park Management II BEN207
 Permaculture Systems BHT201
 Project Management BBS201
 Research Project II BGN201
 Restoring Established Ornamental Gardens BHT243
 Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
 Weed Control BHT209
 Wildlife Conservation BEN206
 Wildlife Management BEN205
 Biochemistry III (Plant Processes) BSC302
 Environmental Chemistry BSC306
 Leisure Facility Management II BRE306
 Plant Ecology BSC305
 Soil and Water Chemistry BSC307
 Turf Repair And Renovation BHT303

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Environmental Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Everything You Do Has an Impact

Environmental managers are people who impact on the environment every day. This is what their job is all about: to understand the actions they take, and how those actions are most likely going to impact the environment -either in a positive way, or a negative way.

Your environmental impacts can either contribute toward the long term well being of the environment; or if ill conceived, they can damage the environment.

Consider Animals

When you change features in an environment you will affect the well-being and sustainability of animal populations, in many ways. Here are some examples.
Trees provide a range of uses for animals in supporting their needs. Even dead trees provide important habitat. Examples of the benefits animals derive from trees include:
  • Canopy foliage provides a location for climbing animals and birds to rest and feed.
  • Canopy flowers provide feed for insects and some birds (some eat insects).
  • Branches provide a place for birds to nest and feed.
  • Large tree trunks provide a place for birds to feed and reptiles to bask.
  • Mistletoe clumps provide a place for birds and small mammals to feed and rest.
  • Bark strips provide a place for mammals to feed and birds to collect nesting material.
  • Flaking bark provides a place for lizards to shelter.
  • Hollow branches provide a place for birds, reptiles, mammals and frogs to rest.
Under storey trees and shrubs also provide a number of roles for native animals including:
  • Shaded areas below under storey provide a place for reptiles to shelter from hot weather
  • Flowering under storey plants provide a place for birds and mammals to feed
  • Under storey grass trees give birds and insects a place to feed
  • Under storey trunks and branches allow birds a place to feed and make nests
Logs, Surface Rocks and Ground Cover
Logs, surface rocks and ground cover provide an array of roles for wildlife, as well as providing critical habitats for some animals. A list of roles as offered by each of these environments is as follows:

Logs and Fallen Branches
  • Reptiles can use the inside or underneath of logs as a place to lay eggs.
  • Hollows in logs provide a place for reptiles and mammals to shelter.
  • Leaf litter layer next to logs provides a place for reptiles and insects to feed and shelter.
  • The log and soil boundary provides a place where leaf litter and extra moisture collects and where reptiles feed.
  • The log surface provides a place where reptiles can bask and birds perch.
Surface Rocks and Piles of Boulders
  • Surface rock embedded in the soil provides a place for insects and earthworms to feed and shelter, as well as to be protected from bushfire and predators.
  • Rock outcrops provide a place for reptiles and mammals to shelter and feed.
  • Mosses and lichens on rocks are used by birds to line their nests.
Ground Covers
  • Soil cracks provide a place for legless lizards to feed and shelter
  • Native grasses and ground cover plants provide a place where birds can find food.
Creeks, Wetlands and Dams
Creeks, wetlands and dams offer an important role in wildlife management and conservation, even though they may only occupy a small part of a landscape. Most importantly, they all offer water, which is essential to the survival many animals. Each environment offers specific roles as follows:

  • Stream side remnants offer a place for frogs to hide and birds to roost and nest.
  • Emergent vegetation offers a place for birds to nest.
  • Cobbled areas along creeks offer a place for invertebrates and frogs to hide.
  • Flowing water over rocks provides a place for invertebrates to live and reptiles to bask.
  • Deep areas of water provide an environment for fish to live.
  • Woody debris within the waterway provides an area for turtles to bask.
  • Riparian vegetation offers a place for frogs to shelter.
  • Floating vegetation allows a place for fish to hide and frogs to bask.
  • Taller vegetation adjoining wetlands offer rookery and nesting sites for some birds.
  • Low-lying vegetation in wetlands provides spawning sites for both fish and frogs.
  • Act as a filter, providing cleaner water for flora and fauna downstream.
  • Still water allows a place for eels and turtles to live and for water birds to feed.
  • Islands within the dam offer a place for water birds to roost.
  • Shallow water at the edge of dams provides a place for tadpoles to breed and water birds to feed.
  • Aquatic vegetation gives invertebrates a place to live and birds a place to nest.

What is needed to succeed in an Environmental career?

Environmental professionals lead change…

The environmental Industry is changing faster than ever; and will continue to change; and for ongoing success you need to adapt to recent changes, and ongoing changes as your career moves forward.
Success in the environmental industry is not just a matter of being able to do the job. It is also very much dependent upon the attitude you have and the decisions you make. A need to be multi-skilled, flexible and adaptable is the way of the future.

Where can this Learning Program in Environmental Management lead?

Job opportunities in environment will be highly varied in the future so current students need to "think outside the box".  This course may deliver different things to different graduates. The following are just some of the areas where opportunities in Environmental Management may be found in the future:
  • Land regeneration
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Energy activity (wind farms, energy from waste)
  • Oil and gas and minerals
  • Infrastructure
  • Contaminated land (remediation, site investigation)
  • Water
  • Waste management
  • Drought management
  • Flood risk
  • Environmental security
  • Nuclear
  • Fracking
  • Biogas
  • Supply chain management
  • Energy management
  • Energy auditors
  • Resource management
  • Climate change
  • Climate adaptation
  • Compliance management
  • Reputational risk
  • Training
  • Land regeneration

In roles such as:
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Coordinator
  • Environmental Assessor
  • Environmental Advisor
  • Environmental Officer
  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental Compliance Officer
  • Environmental System Technician
  • Environmental Designer
  • Environmental Project Manager
  • Environmental Specialist
  • Parks Ranger
  • Environmental Educator
  • Ecotourism Operator
  • Zoo Keeper
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.
ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.
ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088).
ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088).
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

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We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding of the subject. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (8-9 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- an Advanced Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Dr Robert Browne

Zoologist, Environmental Scientist and Sustainability, science based consultancy with biotechnology corporations. Work focused on conservation and sustainability.
Robert has published work in the fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and development, husbandry, thermo-biology, reproduction technologies, and facility design.Robert has B.Sc., Ph, D.

Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation.
Gareth has a B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Maria Schmitz Fontes

Maria has extensive experience in Environmental Science working in the private and public sectors. She has 6 years of experience teaching graduate and post-graduate students subjects as Marine Pollution, Microbial Ecology, Geochemistry, Oceanography, Methods in Aquatic Science and Benthic Ecology. She has published over 20 scientific articles and book chapters. She has also coordinated an innovative project in bioenergy production using simple-cheap methods to isolate microbes in laboratory. She has collaborated with scientists of Climate Change Cluster Group from University of Technology Sydney and has current interests in areas such as: sustainability and clean energy.

Timothy Walker

Timothy is a Botanist, Horticulturist and Gardener. He is an Author, and also a lecturer at Somerville College, Oxford. After training at a number of gardens including Windsor Great Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Timothy commenced work at Oxford Botanic Gardens in 1986. Appointed as "Horti Praefectus" (Superintendent/Director) there in 1988, he held that position until 2014. Under Timothy's watch, the garden won four gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, and developed 67 acres of MG5 wild flower meadow at the Harcourt Arboretum; a UK threatened habitat. Timothy remains an active practical gardener as well as a highly respected international academic in the fields of horticulture and plant botany.

Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams BSc (Hons), PgDip Eng, MSc, CEng MIET, CMgr FCMI

Andrew has extensive experience across the engineering and building services industries, with specialisms in refrigeration and energy management, with professional recognition as both a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Manager.

This experience includes working in consulting and leadership roles right through to being hands on to deliver projects and outcomes for large scale organisations and within startup and scale up environments.

He has adapted his experience to integrate with new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to allow for a data driven perspective to be applied to problem solving and is actively using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to solve real world problems.

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