Course CodeVBS105
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
Developed by professionals with substantial industry experience, this is the perfect foundation for any successful career in private or public enterprise. Tutors are qualified and part of a team with a very broad experience across Australia, the UK and beyond.

Make sure your management style is grounded in the 'tried and true'.

Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction and Organisational Structures
    • Types of Organisations
    • Legal Status of Different Organisations
    • The Organisaton's Liability for Staff Action
    • Basic Contract Law
    • Roles for Managers
    • Management Objectives
    • Management Processes
    • The Mission Statement
    • Different Types of Managers
    • Different Levels of Management
    • Organisational Structures; formal and informal
    • Division of Responsibilities
    • Understanding the Workplace
    • Unions
    • Committees
    • Scope of Office Work
    • Report Writing
  2. Theories and Procedures of Management
    • Motivating Employees
    • Classic School of Management Theory
    • Behavioural School of Management Theory
    • Management Science School of Management Theory
    • Other Management Theorists and their Ideas; Weber, Barnard, Follett, Mazlow, Herzberg
    • Contingency Planning
    • Introducing Change
    • Giving Orders
    • Types of Orders
  3. Problem Solving and Making Decisions
    • Decision Making
    • Problem Solving Technique
    • Types of Managers
    • Group Decision Making and Problem Solving
    • Conflict Resolution Techniques
    • Planning Processes
    • Implementing Plans
    • Time Management
    • Planning for Your Organisation
    • The Importance of Planning
    • Developing a Business Plan
    • Lateral Thinking
  4. Management Styles and External Influences
    • Management Styles
    • Target Oriented Management
    • Process Oriented Management
    • Interactive Oriented Management
    • Management as Leaders
    • Perception
    • Perceptual Barriers
    • Perceptual Change
    • Motivating Employees to Change their Perception
    • Other Factors affecting Managers Effectiveness; Stress, Self Esteem, Career Management, Security etc
  5. Employing People and Interview Skills
    • Advertising for New Staff
    • Anti Discrimination
    • Interviewing
    • Communication at an Interview
    • Common Communication Barriers
    • Induction
    • Staff Training
    • Training Programs
    • Conversation with Trainees
  6. Staff Management
    • Scope and Nature
    • Learn to Plan
    • Steps for Successful Goal Achievement
    • Managing Staff Levels
    • Why do you need Clear Procedures
    • Writing Procedures
    • Quality Assurance (Compliance Procedures)
    • Job Satisfaction
    • Professional Supervision
    • Mentoring
    • Dealing with Grievences
    • Productivity
    • Workplace Health and Safety
  7. Ethics and Equity
    • Codes of Conduct
    • Interpreting Code of Conduct
    • Refund Policy
    • Honesty and Fairness
    • Respect
    • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
    • Privacy Considerations

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Get the Organisation Right and Management is so much easier

Horticultural enterprises need to be organised under a clear and well structured management framework. The framework might be simple or complex management. It should always be logical though; and everyone who deals with that enterprise needs to understand how it operates.  Do that and the organisation will be successful.

The nature of the horticultural work, together with the type of organisation, can dictate limitations as to how the structure might develop.

The public sector not only controls the broad planning policies but also determines the development control processes – this can hinder or enhance development. Horticultural managers in developed countries often must obtain consent from the relevant planning authorities to change the way in which land is used – this may involve developing ancillary facilities, such as roads and other access routes, which are part of existing gardens or parks, or  which provide access to gardens or parks.

1. Functional Structure
A functional structure involves people with similar skills working together on similar tasks. For example, in a council parks department, landscaping is handled by a team of landscapers, the sports grounds, are maintained by a team of green keepers, and the street trees are maintained by a group of arborists.

2. Divisional Structure
Under a divisional structure, people within a team may not have the same specific skills or tasks but they share something else in common – they might deal with the same customers, use the same equipment or be involved in common processes. For example, a company that manufactures garden products might create a structure based on regional offices, with each regional office looking after customers in its area.
While there may be several sales people in the organisation, it is possible that they rarely meet or talk directly with each other because each is attached to a different regional office, and each relates to their regional supply officer, regional manager, etc. rather than other sales people.

3. Matrix Structures
A matrix structure is a hybrid that combines aspects of both functional and divisional structures. The concept is to create cross functional teams. For example, in a large organisation, people with similar levels of expertise might be the managers of functional teams; these managers facilitate interaction between individuals across the functional team boundaries. In effect, an individual can belong to two different work groups at the same time.

4. Team Structure
Teams may be permanent or temporary. This type of structure may establish a range of work teams that could be assigned to different supervisors or managers for short or long periods. They may be moved from one supervisor to another if and when needed. For example, a large landscape construction company might establish ten crews (teams) of landscape workers working under the direction of four project managers. As they move from one project to another, the project managers could be assigned different teams as required. In theory, there would always three or four projects being undertaken. If it is a big project, Project Manager No. 1 might be assigned three of the teams to work under his direction. On completion that manager will move onto a new project and the teams may go elsewhere.

5. Network Structure
The organisation may employ a core of permanent staff (eg. manager, supervisors, and some specialists) and then engage additional staff or sub contractors as required, allowing the total workforce capacity to be increased or decreased as needed.

A garden manager, landscaper or even a large nursery may develop a network of contactors who can be employed when needed to swell their workforce, or dropped when the demand for manpower diminishes. By maintaining a core of some permanent staff, the capacity to maintain control and coherence in work quality and quantity is maintained.

6. Boundary-less Structures
This type of structure eliminates boundaries between workers or work teams. An organisation may maintain a central core (eg. a husband/wife partnership) that manages and outsources work tasks to partners, contractors or temporary staff as and when the need arises. 

A manager’s role is the same as a business leader:
“Delivering performance for planned outcomes”.

Chain of Command

Longer and more complex chains of command are more prone to problems. Many management experts now recognise this fact, and as a result, encourage (where possible) shortened command chains. Reducing the number of levels of management can not only save on manpower, but it can also greatly reduce the likelihood of instructions being altered or misrepresented as they move along the chain.

Span of control = the number of people reporting directly to a manager or being directed by a manager. Shortening a command chain normally results in increasing the span of control.

Concept of Unity in Command

Traditionally employees reported to one person and one person only! It was considered disruptive and confusing to have a person reporting to more than one boss. This concept is no longer considered a foregone fact! Provided tasks, priorities and responsibilities are clearly defined and understood, it is quite possible to have a person working under more than one person.

A common management problem is resistance to delegating tasks. Good managers need to develop a habit of delegating tasks if employees are to be adequately empowered to perform those tasks. While another person might not do things exactly the same way that the manager would, if the manager tries to do everything, the organisation’s capacity for work will be greatly reduced. Managers must recognise that there can be several adequate (even correct) ways of doing a task, and must come to accept the ways that others choose.



Being a good technician may be sufficient for you to get a good job, but without management skills, your career may stop advancing the way you might hope -sooner, if not later.

This is an excellent course for anyone who is on a career path already, and who wants to give their prospects for the future a boost.

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.
Kate GibsonKate has 12 years experience as a marketing advisor and experience as a project manager. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia. Kate has a B.Soc.Sc, Post-Grad. Dip. Org Behaviour (HR).
Yvonne SharpeRHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Check out our eBooks

Business OperationsIn the daily operation of a business, some days will challenge you and some will inspire you. Most of them however will be just part of the daily routine of normal business operations. Unfortunately your business will not run itself - goals need to be set and decisions need to be made in order to achieve these goals. This book talks you through all of the different aspects involved in running a business from finance and forecasting to staffing changes and legal issues.
Farm ManagementThis new e-book looks at everything you need to improve your farm management skills. Learn about the farm site, production systems, managing livestock, managing pasture, crops, marketing and more.
ManagementManagement is the process of planning, organising, leading, and controlling an organisation’s human and other resources to achieve business goals. More importantly though, effective management needs to be a process of human interaction and compassion. Most bad managers don’t know they are bad. They may well admit that they are a bit erratic, or they are sometimes late to appointments, but it is rare that they will recognise that they are ineffective as managers. Never here. This book has something to offer even the best of managers.
Project ManagementThis ebook is designed to help improve your capacity to manage any type of project in any type of industry. It may be read as a stand- alone book; used as something to refer to during the process of managing projects, or used as a complementary reference to help enhance the overall learning experience when studying a project management course.



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