PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 2500 hour Learning Bundle for Horticulture - PARKS

Course CodePD25
Fee Code25
Duration (approx)2500 hours

Train to Manage Parks

These courses provide learning for people to work in the management and development of recreation and park facilities and services. It is relevant to all types of situations including municipal parks, national parks, tourist parks, resorts, etc. This is a substantial and unique course, requiring a 5 year part time or 2 to 3 year full time commitment.

This course is designed to provide a starting point for careers such as: Parks Superintendent, Parks Manager, Technical Officer, Park Interpretation Officer, Recreation Facility Manager, Vocational Trainer.



Scope of Parks Work
Parks can be either public or private. They include municipal parks, regional and national parks, sports grounds, golf courses, zoos, amusement parks/theme parks; and much more.
All of these parks need planners and builders to create them, grounds staff to maintain them and others to manage bother their maintenance and their use. Graduates from this course will have a good foundation for any of these roles.  The specific work tasks involved in any job will however vary; according to the situation.
Evaluating a Site for Improving or Renovating a Park
A site survey is an important step in the research process as the documentary evidence gathered, may not match the current condition of the site in question. Gardens, designed landscapes and parks change over time and these changes to the original plans or designs may not have been recorded. A physical survey can determine the current boundaries, features, components, design, plantings and the condition of the site. Changes in the topography (such as raised areas under grass) can sometimes pinpoint the location of old unused pathways, driveways etc. The original plans and maps can be used to identify and cross reference any changes.
During the site survey the following details should be recorded:
  • The location of principal building, other buildings walls, pathways and driveways and their condition.
  • The location of features such as ponds, fountains, waterways and their condition.
  • The location and identity of trees and planting schemes in detail, their condition and any evidence of older plantings or deceased plantings (tree stumps, hollows, rows of trees may all be significant in determining what was the original planting scheme and garden design. Ancient trees should be recorded and if possible valued – they are of significant cultural and environmental importance and as wildlife habitat.
  • The location of specialised garden areas such as kitchen and rose gardens.
  • The location of remnant features - the loss of remnant features may inappropriate where these features are significant (even in the most degraded landscape).
  • Identify views and vistas, from within building and from outside – vistas may have been formulated in the original design to be viewed from certain rooms, terraces, pathways or other places within the garden.
  • The surrounding landscape or adjacent features including those of historical importance. Each historic landscape should be surveyed and assessed in the context of their setting an area adjacent could be integral to the design of the site and may be essential in retaining the overall setting.


When choosing a course the most important things to consider are:

  • Choose a course of study that best suits you and your future aspirations.
  • Choose a course of study that will be broad enough for you to enable you to move across industry sectors should you want or need to.
  • Choose a course of study that can be tailored to your needs and ambitions.
  • Choose a course of study with a school that will encourage and support you and also give you practical along with theoretical skills.

ACS prides itself on all these things – our learning system ensures that students not only gather information but they absorb, retain and recall it (even years later). Problem Based Learning and Experiential Learning beats Competency based Training hands-down in producing quality graduates. Our courses are based on developing problem solving skills.

Will Studying Help me to be a Professional in Horticulture?
Many people study just to get a qualification, they rush their studies and just manage to scrape through their exams. In the workplace these people are found wanting as they just have not taken the time to gather the theoretical and practical ability to be true professionals. Advancing in a career or becoming a professional horticulturist isn’t just about horticultural skills and knowledge though - the industry needs graduates with:

Sound demonstrable knowledge and skills across horticulture industry sectors but also pertinent to the job; A qualification is just one part of that, many people have qualifications but it is how you are able to apply and demonstrate your knowledge that will count most to your potential employer.

Good communication skills: verbal, written and IT skills are the very basis of a professional in any industry and horticulture is no exception. You need to be able to communicate effectively at all levels – with workers, your peers, your employers and importantly your clients.

Problem solving skills: this is so lacking in many graduates from competency based courses as their range of skills is limited to what is on the ‘list’ of competencies for that course, rather than expanded through the development of problem solving skills like ACS courses. In the work place, and as a professional, you will need to problem solve all the time – you need to be able to think on your feet, come up with quick solutions and make sure that those solutions are carried through and actually work.

Efficiency: Being efficient doesn’t necessarily mean doing things quickly – efficiency is more linked to being a good organiser, a good planner, performing tasks in the correct, logical order and applying skills with adeptness and expertise.

Professional attitude: be well presented and a team player, most employers are looking for people who can work with others effectively and work as a team. They prefer people with a demonstrable passion for the industry and those that network in within industry; volunteering to get experience, memberships to clubs, societies, associations; reading literature all help you gain a good profile and make you stand out from others applying for the same positions.

What Can You do to Improve Your Career Prospects?

  • When you study do it for the right reasons; open yourself up to learning, rushing through a course won’t give you a sound basis of knowledge and skills you need to succeed. When you study know that this is the first step – these days you need to continue learning throughout your entire career to advance.
  • Technology also changes rapidly so being open to learning also keeps you abreast of new industry developments.
  • Read, attend conferences, check the news in your industry, read industry papers, network and so on. Learn from a variety of sources: reading and learning from a variety of perspectives expands your knowledge, building a mix of skills that will make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make sure your C.V. is well written and presented and set out to current preferences –get help if you need it (tutors at this school will help our students with their C.V.'s if you ask - no cost. Resume writing services can also be used, but they charge).
  • Recognise your weaknesses, and work on improving them - not just academically.


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