Qualification - Foundation Diploma in Property Management

Course CodeVSS014
Fee CodeFD
Duration (approx)1000 hours
QualificationFoundation Diploma

Learn to be a Property Manager



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Foundation Diploma in Property Management.
 Brick, Stone and Concrete Masonry BSS101
 Building Renovation BSS104
 Carpentry BSS100
 Horticulture I BHT101
 Healthy Buildings I (Building Construction & Health) BSS200
 Planning Layout and Construction of Ornamental Gardens BHT242
 Operational Business Management I (Horticulture) BHT326
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 9 modules.
 Alternative Energy VSS102
 Landscape Construction BHT111
 Workshop I BGN103
 Green Walls and Roofs BHT256
 Project Management BBS201
 Biophilic Landscaping BHT343
 Healthy Buildings II (Building Environment & Health) BSS300
 Interior Plants (Indoor Plants) BHT315
 Operational Business Management II (Horticulture) BHT327

Note that each module in the Qualification - Foundation Diploma in Property Management is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Learn to Manage a Building Renovation Project

Project management is often needed for more complex tasks like renovating a house or building over many years.  It is helpful when strategic planning is needed so that a goal or set of objectives can be completed by a certain date. In summary, project management helps to:

  • Eliminate or reduce uncertainty
  • Improve efficiency in achieving the objective(s) set out
  • Clarify set goals or objectives
  • Become aware of alternatives
  • Provide the basis for controlling the process of fulfilling the objective(s) set.

When correctly applied, project management ensures that the right information is collected and assessed, realistic priorities are established, alternatives are laid out and considered, relevant problems and issues are accounted for, and decisions are taken according to a systematic analysis of these factors. Project management is therefore a technique used to attain planned goals in the most cost effective way, by the optimal use of resources. We won’t go into more detail here, but if you are planning a major renovation it is worth spending some time reading up on this subject.

Choosing Materials and Appliances

When it comes to redesigning a room, you are faced with choices about what materials to use, and often what appliances and fittings to install. Some of the more significant factors underlying such choices are now discussed.

The materials and finishes you choose may be influenced by aesthetics e.g. you prefer pale blue wall paint in a bedroom to fit in with your adopted colour scheme. Aesthetics is a very important consideration regardless of what you are doing. No-one wants to look at something they consider to be ugly however it should also be borne in mind that whilst some finishes are clearly of a higher quality than others, aesthetics is very much personal taste.  You may like marble kitchen bench tops but the next person may prefer granite or timber. If you are renovating a property to rent out or to sell, you may not be so concerned with the final appearance or colour schemes. However, you should also consider that if you renovate a living room using a purple colour scheme because purple paint and carpets were on sale at the time, when it comes to selling the property you may have a hard time convincing potential buyers of its beauty.  

Any renovation should be done with performance in mind. If it involves structural changes to walls, floors or openings than strength and stability are paramount. Windows and external walls and doors have to be weatherproof, for example. There are also requirements for insulation against temperature fluctuations and noise, as well as fire retardation.

Furthermore, the quality of materials and finishes can determine whether faults occur later. For instance, using the wrong type of plasterboard in a wet area could result in moisture problems later on. It is not always possible to avoid problems later on. Often decisions are made on the basis of the current scenario and the information to hand. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can affect quality e.g. changes in climate could affect external finishes.         

The cost of materials, fittings and appliances is likely to have a significant influence on your renovation decisions. Nevertheless, cost is not just the cost at the time of purchase. Cost also includes the cost of labour, if needed, to install. For example, you may be attracted to new light fittings but have to pay an electrician to hook up existing wiring to the new fittings. If you want to add lights or change their positioning then you will incur additional fees to re-route the lighting. 

You should also consider that some materials and fittings will outlast others by a considerable margin. They may cost more to begin with but could be worth it in the long run.  If it is a property you plan on retiring in, you may be best spending money on longer lasting products and finishes for peace of mind. 
Cost also includes cost of maintenance. Some materials and finishes may have little maintenance cost whereas others may require regular maintenance. Although some materials and finishes may be touted as maintenance-free, in reality most things will need a little maintenance at some time. 
Cost of delivery is another consideration. If you have to have parts manufactured and shipped from overseas you would be wise to get quotes before any agreements are made. If you live in a rural location you may need to collect parts to avoid hefty delivery charges. If access to you property is restricted e.g. tenth floor apartment you might incur additional delivery charges due to extra labour required to get the items to where they are needed. 

What you use inside a building can have a significant impact on health of the occupants. Chemicals from paints to glues as well as furnishings release particles into the air which can be detrimental to health. Adequate ventilation is needed to help air-borne pollutants escape. As mentioned in the opening lesson, asbestos poses a very real risk to the health of a building's inhabitants if the fibres become air-borne, and if asbestos products need to be removed it should be done by licensed professionals. 

Electromagnetic radiation can also disturb some people so you may wish to think about where you locate wall sockets and electric wiring. For instance, having sockets and wiring close to the headboard of a bed is not considered a good idea.     
When you consider human health all sorts of factors can play a role such as types of furnishings, acoustics, thermal properties, natural lighting, colour schemes, and use of space. Outside the property things like trees and plants can impact on general wellbeing by providing a connection with nature. Land pollution has to be dealt with by local authorities.

Environmental considerations include things like if the parts you want have to be transported from a long way away, should you abandon your pursuit of those parts to avoid polling the environment. Perhaps you should only use materials which are produced or manufactured locally. If you are using timber that doesn't come from plantations, then that too has an environmental impact. Reduction of natural forests harms wildlife as well as impact upon global warming through reducing the number of trees available for capture and storage of carbon. Maybe rather than teak stained softwood would suffice. 

Also think about contamination. Could any materials or chemicals you use end up in groundwater and how are you going to dispose of waste products and materials from your site?   


This course will develop your capacity to manage every aspect of a property from initial development, through routine operations and maintenance to renovation.

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