Certificate In Recreation

Study recreation and leisure online. Develop skills needed to work in leadership or management in recreation or related fields e.g. in recreation centres, fitness centres, camps, youth work, parks management, cultural and church organisations, etc.

Course Code: VRE001
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
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Work as a recreation officer and leader!


This course will help you get a job in the recreation industry!

This is a career that will:

  • get you outdoors
  • keep you active
  • allow for opportunities to work with different groups people
  • let you have fun too, for example go adventure climbing
  • get you involved in fitness and sports development 
  • aid you to be responsible for event management

The only limit is your imagination!

"This is an excellent course with many dimensions - learn foundation knowledge needed to give you confidence and a real depth of knowledge! You will learn how to communicate and plan activities for all different groups of people. Really valuable course with some fantastic activities to give you inspiration!"  J. Sciascia, ACS Tutor and Former Youth Leader in Vacation Care Programs in the UK and Australia.   

The course involves 30 lessons plus practical assignments covering the nature and scope of leisure studies, recreation, leadership principles and practices, fitness and fitness testing, managing recreation facilities, first aid, staff supervision and management, marketing, budgeting, tourism, youth leadership, sports, crafts, environmental activities, organising exhibitions and more.


There are 30 lessons and 30 assignments as follows:

  1. Introduction to Recreation   
  2. The Nature and Scope of Recreation
  3. History of Recreation           
  4. Planning Recreation Programs
  5. Leadership
  6. Introduction to Fitness
  7. Fitness Testing 
  8. Developing an Exercise Program
  9. Herb Crafts 
  10. Planning for Recreation Facilities
  11. Parks and Playgrounds 
  12. Play leadership
  13. Recreation for Special Populations 
  14. Sports in Recreation
  15. Introduction to Gardening   
  16. Gardening in Recreation
  17. Tourism            
  18. Understanding People
  19. Communication skills A - writing. 
  20. Communication Skills B - speaking.
  21. Photography and Recreation  
  22. Environmental Studies
  23. Environmental Activities  
  24. Youth Leadership
  25. First Aid         
  26. Office Management
  27. Staff Supervision      
  28. Organising an Event
  29. Marketing       
  30. Budgeting



  • Develop an understanding of the meaning of recreation.
  • Define what falls within the nature and scope of recreation in the recreation industry.
  • Examine some historical changes in the nature and availability of recreational activities.
  • Identify all factors which should be considered when planning a recreation program.
  • Identify opportunities and requirements for leadership in the field of recreation.
  • Identify and discuss key elements of fitness and their relationship to leisure and recreation.
  • Discuss uses of fitness testing and identify methods that can be used.
  • Identify factors to be considered when developing an exercise program that is recreational in nature, and relevant to different needs.
  • Identify and plan ways to use herbs in recreational activities.
  • Identify key requirements of recreation facilities, and how to incorporate them into planning.
  • Identify key functions and kinds of parks and playgrounds.
  • Identify requirements and skills in particular to planning and managing children’s recreation. 
  • Understand some needs of special populations to be considered when planning and managing recreation.
  • Understand the recreational aspect of sports and how to develop it in recreational programs.
  • Learn some basic gardening principles, and consider how they might be relevant to a recreational program. 
  • Describe gardening activities as recreational pursuits.
  • Explain tourism activities as recreational pursuits.
  • Discuss the significance of people skills to recreation industry operations.
  • Communicate effectively with people through writing, as a recreation industry employee.
  • Communicate effectively with people through speaking, as a recreation industry employee.
  • Explain the use of photographic activities as a recreation pursuit.
  • Relate environmental issues to recreation.
  • Explain the use of environmental activities as a recreation pursuit.
  • Determine recreation needs of the youth demographic.
  • Determine the provision of first aid in recreation settings.
  • Discuss management of a recreation service office.
  • Explain the supervision of staff in a recreation setting.
  • Plan the organisation of an event.
  • Prepare a budget for a recreation programme, service or event.


What Does Recreation Involve?

Recreation involves activities that are intended to "re - create" a person.  These are generally leisure time pursuits that will improve a person's physical and mental state of well being. We all suffer when our bodies are over worked or abused; and we can all benefit from doing things that are different, pleasurable and reinvigourating.
There is a whole industry designed to cater for recreation; and depending ipon your definition, this may involve social activities, sport, entertainment, tourism, fitness, play, and more.


The way you conceive the role of a “leader” may differ from one situation to the next.
Don’t think of one concept as being correct and others incorrect.

Simply use different concepts to help you understand the role which a leader should play, according to each different situation you confront.

A popular concept is that a leader is an "enabler" (i.e. someone who enables others to experience something).

Four Framework Leadership Model
This model suggests there are four different approaches leaders might take; and that a good leader will avoid always following the same approach: instead, they would choose an appropriate behavioural approach for the situation at hand. The four approaches are:

1.    Structural Leadership involves analysing the situation, developing a strategy and then implementing a plan.

2.    Human Resource Leaders act as a catalyst by showing confidence and support for people to empower them, fostering a positive approach and participation. In effect, they are allowing people they are leading to make their own decisions.

3.    Political Leadership aims to act as an “advocate” (representing the pre-determined needs of those they are leading).  They aim to communicate what is required and persuade participation from those they lead.

4.    Symbolic Leaders are those who aim to inspire others, communicating a vision that motivates participation.

As an example a recreational leader working in ecotourism may from time to time need to adopt all of the above leadership styles in just one tour.

Hypothetical situation: The tour group is cut off from civilisation by flood. The leader will firstly adopt the “structural leadership” style.  

a. Analyse the situation – what are the immediate needs of the group, what are the perceived threats, how is the comfort and safety of the participants ensured?
b. Develop a strategy – how will the group handle the situation, what immediate actions need to be taken etc
c. Implement the plan – through encouragement and participation of the group

However in a situation such as the one outlined a successful leader will also adopt features of the other leadership styles i.e. support and engender confidence within the group through participation in finding solutions. They will understand the needs of the group and can recognise potential in others as well as persuade and encourage the utilisation of these skills.

Go on, start today and take the first step to a career out of the ordinary!  You could progress into leisure facility management, run tourist trips and adventure tours, become a coordinator of child care programs responsible for planning and development, work in a care setting for the elderly or disadvantaged youth ... the opportunities are endless..!


• Reputation: well-known and respected in leisure management
• Industry focus: courses designed to suit industry needs and expectations
• Different focus: develop problem solving skills that make you stand out from others
• Hands on: develop practical as well as theoretical skills
• Lots of help: dedicated and knowledgeable tutors.
• Efficient: prompt responses to your questions
• Reliable: established in 1979, independent school with a solid history
• Up to date: courses under constant review
• Resources:  huge wealth of constantly developing intellectual property
• Value: courses compare very favourably on a cost per study hour basis
• Student amenities: online student room, bookshop, ebooks, acs garden online resources.

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.
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.

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.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
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 in your selected discipline. 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 login.training 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 (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a 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 acs@oamps.com.au.

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.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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Course Contributors

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

John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner.
John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.

Tracey Jones

Widely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience.
Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.


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

Nicola Stewart

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Lyn Quirk

Lyn has 35 years of experience in the Fitness, Health and Leisure Industries. She has a string of qualifications that are far too long to list here; being qualified and registered to teach, coach or instruct a wide range of different sports and other skills.

Lyn established and managed Health clubs at three major five star resorts on Australia's Gold Coast, including The Marriott. She was a department head for a large government vocational college (TAFE), and has conducted her own aquafitness business for many years. Lyn has among her other commitments worked as a tutor for ACS for almost 10 years, and over that time, participated in the development or upgrading of most courses in her fields of expertise.

Melissa Leistra

Melissa has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition from Deakin University and Bachelor's degree specialising in personal development, health and physical education. She has enjoyed teaching Hospitality in the areas of commercial cookery and food and beverage. Her experience includes 16 years teaching health and nutrition and working in the hospitality industry. Melissa enjoys living a self-sustainable lifestyle on a farm and raising all types of animals. She is an experienced vegetarian/vegan cook and loves to create wholesome food using her slow combustion wood stove.

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