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ADVANCED CERTIFICATE IN APPLIED MANAGEMENT (WHOLESALE NURSERY) VBS001

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

COURSE STRUCTURE

This course is comprised of:

*Core studies - Four units (400 hours) of compulsory subjects for all students.

*Elective studies - Three stream units for the development of knowledge in a chosen industry sector.

*Project - a workplace project of 200 hrs relevant to your field of study. The project specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study. Contact the school for more information.

CORE UNITS

Totalling 400 hours. All four of these modules must be studied and passed.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Management

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

4. Marketing

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


STREAM

The stream studies are as follows:

1. WHOLESALE NURSERY MANAGEMENT

This subject involves eight lessons as follows:
1.Nursery Site Organisation: Buying an established nursery or establishing a new site, site planning, estimating space requirements.
2. Management: Government and commercial nurseries, partnerships, companies, sole proprietorships, developing a management structure, labour relations and seasonal staff, work programs and production timing.
3. Nutrition and Pest Management: Field crops, container plants, principles of fertiliser use and plant nutrition.
4. Growing Media: Soils and soil-free mixes, rockwool, sterilisation, techniques.
5. Irrigation: Methods and equipment, estimation of water requirements and use of liquid fertilisers through irrigation.
6. Modifying Plant Growth: Modification techniques, flower forcing and quality control.
7. Marketing Strategies: Exploiting existing markets, developing new markets, advertising, product presentation, pricing, plant recycling.
8. Selection of Nursery Crops: Developing a stock list, operational flow charts, market surveys.

AIMS

  • Explain the significance of property, marketing and contracts to site selection.
  • Estimate the cost of producing different plant varieties as specified marketable products.
  • Develop a nutritional program for plants in a wholesale nursery.
  • Explain the implementation of integrated pest management in a specified nursery situation.
  • Explain different chemical methods of controlling plant appearance.

2. PROPAGATION I

The course is divided into ten lessons as follows:
1. Introduction to Propagation - asexual and sexual propagation, plant life cycles, nursery production systems
2. Seed Propagation
3. Potting Media
4. Vegetative Propagation I - cuttings
5. Vegetative Propagation II - care of stock plants; layering, division and other techniques
6. Vegetative Propagation III - budding and grafting, tissue culture
7. Propagation Structures and Materials - greenhouses, propagating equipment
8. Risk Management - nursery hygiene, risk assessment and management
9. Nursery Management I - plant modification techniques, management policies
10. Nursery Management II - nursery standards, cost efficiencies, site planning and development

AIMS

  • Develop the ability to source information on plant propagation, through an awareness of industry terminology and information sources.
  • Plan the propagation of different plant species from seeds, using different seed propagation methods.
  • Plan the propagation of different types of plants from cuttings, using different cutting propagation methods.
  • Plan the propagation of various types of plants using a range of propagation techniques, excluding cuttings and seed.
  • Determine the necessary facilities, including materials and equipment, required for propagation of different types of plants.
  • Determine a procedure to minimise plant losses during propagation.
  • Determine the management practices of significance to the commercial viability of a propagation nursery.
  • Design a propagation plan for the production of a plant.

3. CUTTING PROPAGATION

The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:
1. Introduction. The principles of propagating plants by cuttings.:Importance of cuttings, Phenotype vs genotype, why choose cutting propagation, where to get cuttings from, basic cutting technique.
2. Stem cuttings. Ease with which tissue forms roots, types of stem cuttings (softwood, hardwood, semi hardwood, herbaceous, tip, heel, nodal, cane etc), treatments (eg. basal heat, mist, tent, etc), testing rooting, etc.
3. Non-stem cuttings. Leaf cuttings, root cuttings (natural suckering with or without division, Induced suckering, In situ whole root cuttings; ex situ detached root cuttings), bulb cuttings, scaling and twin scaling, sectioning, basal cuttage.
4. Materials and equipment. Selection and maintenance of stock plants; disinfecting cutting material;
5. Growing media. Propagation media; biological, chemical and physical characteristics of propagation and potting media, Testing for toxins, air filled porosity, potting up cuttings, soil-less mixes, rockwool, etc.
6. Factors affecting rooting. Juvenility, Cutting Treatments (hormones & their application, anti transparents, acid/base treatments, disinfectants etc), Callusing, Mycorrhizae, Carbon Dioxide enrichment, etc.
7. Setting up a propagation area. Creating and managing an appropriate cutting environment in terms of: Water; Disease; Temperature; Light and Air Quality. Greenhouses and other structures, watering methods (mist, fog, capillary etc), heating, etc.
8. Management of cutting crops. Estimating cost of production; Keeping records, etc.

AIMS

  • To familiarise the student with the principles of propagating plants by cuttings
  • To develop an understanding of how to propagate plants from stem cuttings
  • To develop an understanding of how to propagate plants from non-stem cuttings
  • To develop an understanding of the materials and equipment used for propagating plants from stems
  • To understand the principles of growing media in relation to cutting propagation
  • To understand how and why cuttings form roots. To learn how to manipulate the formation of roots on cuttings
  • To understand the principles for establishing successful plant propagation areas
  • To understand the principles of nursery crop scheduling

WORK PLACE PROJECTS

This is the final requirement that you must satisfy before receiving your award.

There are four options available to you to satisfy this requirement:

Alternative 1.

If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.

The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Alternative 2.

A one module credit (100 hrs) can be achieved by verifying attendance at a series of industry meetings, as follows:

  • Meetings may be seminars, conferences, trade shows, committee meetings, volunteer events (eg. Community working bees), or any other meeting where two or more industry people or people who are knowledgeable about their discipline.
  • Opportunity must exist for the student to learn through networking, observation and/or interaction with people who know their industry or discipline
  • A list of events should be submitted together with dates of each attended and times being claimed for each
  • Documentary evidence must be submitted to the school to indicate support each item on the above list (eg. Receipts from seminars, conference or shows, letters from committee or organisation secretaries or committee members. All such documentation must contain a contact details)

Alternative 3.

Credits can be achieved by completing standard modules Workshop I, II and/or III. Each of these modules comprises a series of "hands on" PBL projects, designed as learning experiences that involve interaction with the horticultural industry. Research shows that PBL gives the learner greater long-term benefits than traditional learning, and many successful and progressive universities around the world use it in their courses. Graduates of PBL courses advance faster and further in their careers.

Other benefits of PBL:

  • Develops critical and creative thinking;
  • Creates effective problem-solvers;
  • Increases motivation;
  • Encourages lateral thinking;
  • Improves communication and networking skills;

Every PBL project is carefully designed by experts to expose you to the information and skills that we want you to learn. When assigned a project, you are given:

  • A statement of the problem (eg. diseased plant; failing business; property case study);
  • Questions to consider when solving the problem;
  • A framework for the time and effort you should spend on the project;
  • Support from the school.

The problems that you will solve in your course will relate to what you are learning. They are problems that you might encounter when working that field, adapted to your level of study .


Alternative 4.

If you do not work in the relevant industry, you can undertake a project as follows.

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.

For courses that involve more than 100 hours, more than one workplace project topic may be selected. For example, 200 hours may be split into two projects each of 100 hours. This will offer the student better scope to fulfill the needs of their course and to meet the number of hours required. Alternatively, the student may wish to do one large project with a duration of 200 hours.

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 each 100 hours of the project, the 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.

If you wishe to do one large 200 hour report, then only three progressive reports will be needed (however the length of each report will be longer).

HOW TO PROCEED

1. Students are expected to select a suitable project or task to complete that allows the student toapply and integrate the knowledge and skills they have obtained as part of their studies.

2. The student should submit a draft proposal outlining their proposed project, study or task. The expected outcomes of this project should be clearly stated. This will be looked at by a tutor andcomments made. Students are welcome to visit the school or to talk to a tutor to obtain advice on how to draw up their proposal. The proposal should indicate what the student intends to do, how they intend to do it, where they intend to do it, and what they expect to produce (e.g. a written report, a folio, references from an employer) as a means of showing what they have achieved during their project/study/task.

3. A refined proposal will be submitted by the student incorporating changes based on the commentsmade by the tutor. This updated proposal will either be accepted as being suitable or further comments made. The proposal may need to be submitted several times before it is finally accepted.

4. The student will then be expected to carry out the project, study or task.

Progress Reports

The student will be expected to submit three progress reports during the duration of the progress. This is in addition to the final project product (e.g. report, folio). Each progress report should show what you have done so far (e.g. what research you have done, what tasks you have carried out, etc.). It should also cover any problems you have had so far, and if so, what you have done to overcome these problems. Each progress report should be in the vicinity of 300 - 500 words in length.

Progress Report 1. This should be submitted about one quarter of the way through your study/project/task.

Progress Report 2. This should be submitted about one half way through your study/project/task.

Progress Report 3. This should be submitted about three quarters of the way through your study/project/task.

Final Report

The final report should summarise the objective of the workplace project, and be set out like a professional report. Although content is the most important factor in determining a pass grade for the workplace project, your report should exhibit elements of professional report writing (in regards to spelling, grammar, clarity and presentation).

For 100 hours Workplace Projects: this report should be about 1,500 to 3,000 words.

For a 200 hour Workplace Project: this report should be about 3,000 to 5,000 words.

THE ACS TEAM APPROACH

ACS was founded by John Mason in 1979 as Australian Horticultural Correspondence School.

Right from these very early times, we've always believed that the best education only comes when the student is learning from the experience of a whole range of industry experts (rather than just a single teacher).

Every ACS course is a work in progress, continually evolving, with new information being added and old information being updated by our team of internationally renowned professional horticulturists.

Over the decades more than 100 horticulture experts from across the world have contributed to these courses, bringing their individual knowledge and experiences from as wide afield as England and Spain to Australia and America.

While may colleges and universities focus on providing courses that relate only to the country where they are based, ACS has always strived to make it's courses relevant to all parts of the world; any climate, economic or cultural situation. This has been achieved by involving a large number of professionals in the course development.

When it comes to tutoring, marking papers and mentoring students, the team approach is just as strong as with our writing. ACS students have the ability to obtain advice and support from staff across the world, with horticulture tutors located in the UK, Australia (both the north and south) and New Zealand.

The ACS team approach and global focus to both course content and student support, ensures our graduates have a unique and "real world" skills set. This unique approach is highly regarded by our colleagues in horticulture.

Contributors to ACS Courses over the years have included:

John Mason -former parks director (Melton, Essendon and Heidelberg), Landscape Designer (Playgrounds and recreation Association of Victoria), Nurseryman, President Australian Institute of Horticulture (Victoria), Committee International Year of the Child (Australia), Author ove over 40 books, Editor Garden Guide Magazine, Editor Your Backyard Magazine.

Maggi Brown - Education officer, Henry Doubleday Research Association (UK), gold medal winner Chelsea Flower Show, Garden consultant.

Adriana Fraser - Horticultural Consultant, TAFE Lecturer, Project Manager - Parks and Gardens, Horticultural writer.

 

Iain Harrison -Garden Manager Fibremakers, Garden Consultant, Lecturer Swinburn TAFE

Katie Freeth - Manager Commonwealth War Graves (France), Horticultural Consultant (France & UK), Board member Institute of Horticulture, and International Federation Parks & Recreation Administration

Tony Bundock -Horticulture Businessman, Consultant, Head of Horticulture Dept. TAFE

Jim Davis -Horticulture Businessman, Lecturer TAFE (NSW), Principal VCAH Burnley College

Dr Lyn Morgan -author and internationally renowned hydroponics consultant (New Zealand)

Dr Valeria Astorga -horticultural consultant, lecturer (Spain, Peru, Australia)

Alison Bundock -Editor (Kangaroo Press; Southern Cross University), Technical Writer (APM), Consultant

Rosemary Davies -Horticultural concultant, journalist, media personality (Victoria)



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REFERENCE BOOKS
ACS operates a student bookshop that supplies a range of horticulture texts to supplement our courses.
Many are written by the principal (well known gardening author John Mason), or other staff. All have been reviewed and approved by our academic experts (to be accurate and relevant to students studying our horticulture courses).
  • Student discounts are available to anyone studying with ACS Distance Education.
  • Both printed books and ebooks (as downloads) available
  • www.acsbookshop.com

Meet some of our academics

Bob James Bob has over 50 years of experience in horticulture across both production sectors (Crops and nursery) and amenity sectors of the industry. He holds a Diploma in Agriculture and Degree in Horticulture from the University of Queensland; as well as a Masters Degree in Environmental Science. He has worked a Grounds Manager at a major university; and a manager in a municipal parks department. Over recent years he has been helping younger horticulturists as a writer, teacher and consultant; and in that capacity, brings a diverse and unique set of experiences to benefit our students.
John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Rosemary Davies Rosemary trained in Horticulture at Melbourne Universities Burnley campus; studying all aspects of horticulture -vegetable and fruit production, landscaping, amenity, turf, aboriculture and the horticultural sciences. Initially she worked with the Department of Agriculture in Victoria providing advice to the public. Over the years she has taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing


Check out our eBooks

Climbing Plants“A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.” ― Frank Lloyd Wright This e-book is a wonderful guide to climbing plants. Complete with full colour photographs, it is ideal for the home gardening enthusiast, landscape designer, or architect.
Fruit, Vegetables and HerbsHome grown produce somehow has a special quality. Some say it tastes better, others believe it is just healthier. And there is no doubt it is cheaper! Watching plants grow from seed to harvest and knowing that the armful of vegies and herbs you have just gathered for the evening meal will be on the table within an hour or two of harvest, can be an exciting and satisfying experience.
Garden Design Part 1This stunning full colour Garden Design ebook is full of useful tips, information and inspiration. It contains around 300 colour illustrations! It is comprised of three parts: Design, How a Garden Functions and Aesthetics (making it look good).
Plant Pests & DiseasesAre you one of those people that kill every plant you touch? Perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it's a pest or disease. A little bit of reading might just turn your garden into an oasis. Learn how to identify pests and diseases and bring the spring back into your plant...visit the bookshop to find out more...