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Qualification -Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Crops)

Course CodeVBS001
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

Distance Learning Course -Learn to Manage Crop Production

This Advanced Certificate develops both the skills required to manage a horticultural farm (eg. Market Garden, Orchard), and also the knowledge in the identification, growing, processing and marketing crops and crop related products. This course involves seven units, plus a 200 hr workplace project.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification -Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Crops).
 Business Operations VBS006
 Management VBS105
 Marketing Foundations VBS109
 Office Practices VBS102
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Crops I (Outdoor Plant Production) BHT112
 Protected Plant Production BHT223
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 1 of the following 11 modules.
 Herb Culture BHT114
 Commercial Organic Vegetable Growing VHT241
 Commercial Vegetable Production BHT222
 Cut Flower Production BHT221
 Fruit Production -Temperate Climate BHT218
 Fruit Production -Warm Climate BHT217
 Hydroponics I BHT224
 Nut Production BHT219
 Viticulture BHT220
 Mushroom Production BHT310
 Warm Climate Nuts BHT308

Note that each module in the Qualification -Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Crops) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

CORE UNITS Click on each module for more details

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.

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.


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

Marketing Foundations.

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


The three specialist units include:

1. Outdoor Plant Production

2. Protected Plant Production

3. Another Crops Module chosen from the following options:

  • Cut Flower Production
  • Fruit Production
  • Commercial Vegetable Production
  • Nut Production
  • Mushroom Production
  • Berry Fruit Production
  • Viticulture

Fees do not include exam fees


Selected Module Outlines

Outdoor Plant Production

This course has ten lessons.

  1. Crop Production Systems To explain different cropping systems and their appropriate application for the production of different types of crops
  2. Organic Crop Production To evaluate and explain organic plant production, and the requirements in at least two different countries, to achieve organic certification.
  3. Soils and Nutrition To understand the function of soils and plant nutrition in outdoor cropping systems.
  4. Nursery Stock Production Describe the commercial production of a range of nursery stock.
  5. Tree Fruit Production Describe the commercial production of a range of tree fruit crops.
  6. Soft Fruits Production To develop an understanding of the techniques used to produce a range of soft fruits.
  7. Vegetable Production To develop an understanding of the techniques used to grow a range of vegetables.
  8. Cut Flower Production To develop an understanding of the commercial production of outdoor cut flowers.
  9. Herbs, Nuts and Miscellaneous Crops To develop an understanding of the commercial production of herbs, nuts and other miscellaneous crops.
  10. Crop Production Risk Assessment To understand the risks that may occur in outdoor crop production.

Protected Plant Production

This course consists of 10 Lessons:

  1. Structures For Protected Cropping
  2. Environmental Control
  3. Cladding Materials And Their Properties
  4. Irrigation
  5. Nursery Nutrition
  6. Relationship Between Production Techniques And Horticultural Practices
  7. Horticultural Management In A Greenhouse: Pests And Diseases
  8. Harvest & Post Harvest Technology
  9. Greenhouse Plants
  10. Risk Assessment


This is normally done after completing all of the other modules. It is intewnded as a "learning experience" that brings a perspecive and element of reality to the Modules you have studied. The school is very flexible in terms of how you achieve this requirement, and can negotiate to approve virtually any situation which can be seen as "learning through involvement in real life situations that have a relevance to your studies"

Some of the options, for example might be:

Option 1. Work Experience

This involves working in a job that has relevance to what you have been studying. For some students this may be a job they already have. (In some instances, credit may be even granted for work prior to studies). In other instances, this may be either paid or voluntary work which is found and undertaken after completing the other modules. Proof must be provided, and normally this is done by submitting one or more references or statements from an employer. It may also be satisfied by a discussion between the employer and the school in person or on the phone. The must be an indication that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Option 2. Project

This project may be 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.

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 a project, 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.

Other Options

Workplace learning hours may also be satisfied through attending or being involved with meetings conducted by industry bodies such as professional associations; or attending seminars which are attended by industry professionals. Any opportunity for observation and networking may be seen as a valid option.

SUGGESTED READING -books written by our principal John Mason and the staff
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