COMMON QUESTIONS ANSWERED (FAQ's)
Please read below for a list of commonly asked questions, but if we haven't answered your questions on the website, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.
Q. When can I start my course?
A. Any time - we have people enrol and start virtually every day of the year.
Q. What learning methods do you offer?
A. All of our courses are offered via distance learning. But we offer three different methods of learning. Correspondence E-learning Online.
Q. How long does the course take - What does "a self paced 100 hour course" mean?
A. We leave it up to the student to decide how many hours they study, when and where they study. You can do more hours one week than the next if you want. Some students will take 6 months to do a 100 hour course, others taking only a couple of months. Some complete a 600 hour certificate in 6 months, while others take a year or more. These courses are as flexible as you will get anywhere! HOWEVER the most successful students set aside 4- 6 hours a week to study.
Q. What qualification will I achieve after taking a course?
A. This depends on which course you take.
- If you take a certificate course, for example, then you will achieve a certificate qualification on passing the course.
- If you take an individual module course, such as Cut Flower Production or Introduction to Psychology, you will have the option of taking an exam at the end of the course.
- If you do not wish to take the exam, but pass all assignments, you will receive a Course Completion Letter.
- If you take, and pass, the examination, you will receive a Statement of Attainment.
- If you wish to take a certificate course or higher course, you will be required to take the examinations to achieve the qualification. Some courses also have additional recognition. You can find more information on this for each individual course on the course details
Q. If I do a shorter course first will I get credit towards a qualification? What is involved in upgrading later?
A. We do give credits in this way; but every situation needs to be looked at after you complete the first course. The credit you are granted will depend upon lots of things; including how you performed in the shorter course, what that course was and what the qualification is that you want credit in. Generally, a 100 hour short course will count for 100 hrs being exempted from studies in a diploma or certificate; but a 600 hour certificate might not always give you 600 hours off a diploma -i t all depends what the diploma is and what the certificate is.
Q. Can I pay in instalments?
A. Yes, but the total fee will be greater if you pay in instalments. (Refer to course fees for more information.)
Q. Will you give a discount if two or more people enrol together?
A. You may claim a 5% discount on fees if multiple people enrol in courses at the same time.
Q. Does a discount apply if we enrol in a second course?
A. Yes, you may claim a 5% fee discount when you enrol in a second course. (This does not apply however to the second stage or part of the same certificate or diploma.)
Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while? (e.g. Due to illness, change of circumstance, etc).
A. You can apply for an extension. It's OK to take a break and start up your study at a later point in time. Just let us know.
Q Will this course get me a job?
A In our experience current relevant training is always viewed positively by employers...the rest is up to you
Q. Do I need any extra books?
A. You are supplied with all "essential" reading in the course notes. Extra books can be useful in some courses; especially for special projects; but we have also found that they can sometimes distract the student from focussing on the most important things they need to absorb and remember. There is a danger of having too much information in a course. Remember "a course is all about learning"; not just collecting information. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to get any extra books.
Q. How do I contact a tutor during my course?
A. Email, write, or phone the school. We have tutors on duty 5 days a week, who can answer most questions straight away. If an appropriate tutor is not on duty; we will take a message and arrange for someone to phone back within 24 hours (normally much faster). If they cannot get you on the phone, they will write or e-mail back - whatever suits you.
Q. What do I get as a student?
A. All the information necessary to learn, a carefully conceived pathway to follow, and lots of guidence from expert tutors. You need to understand that a course is "an experience that makes you into a different (more capable) person". If a course does it's job properly; you will graduate with a different mind set, and a different perspective on the subject you studied.
To bring about these changes involves presenting you with information of course; but it's a great deal more than that. Some people enter study, thinking it's all about collecting information; but that's not study (that's building a library).
As a student, we provide you with things to read, selected information about the subject - but not too much information for the duration of the course. If we gave you too much, the important things could not be emphasised as easily and you could not experience the reinforcement and reflection which is critical to a learning experience.
We also guide you through experiences, whether observation and reflection; research; or practical tasks. These experiences are designed with input from highly experienced psychologists and educators; to achieve the learning which we aim to develop. We believe an important part of this whole learning process is to provide support; whether through automated services and extra resources or through generous access to academic specialists who can guide and mentor the student as needed.
Your fees are paying not only for a set of notes; but for a whole process of learning to be designed, maintained and supported by having resources standing ready to support you whenever we detect you straying off course; or whenever you approach us seeking assistance.
Q. How important are qualifications?
A. Do not make the mistake of pursuing qualifications first and learning second. If you want to be successful; get the best learning ....that is what will make the big difference throughout your career.
Qualifications you pick up along the way are secondary to that. Not as important as most people think. Country Life Magazine in the UK (Aug 25, 2010, pg 31) commented:
" We have too many under educated students at too many second rate universities." "For years now, we have subscribed to the myth that at least half the population needs a university education. Yet, in the real world, employers long ago discounted degrees from many institutions..."
Q. How does recognition of the school compare with other colleges?
A. Exceptionally well; but different. We have a reputation for putting learning first; and that has resulted in our graduates doing exceptionally well. We do have a range of different accreditations; but avoid government accreditations (as they increase costs greatly and limit the emphasis we can place on learning) We are internationally recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council (IARC).
Q. What do people think of the courses? Here are just a few of the many unsolicited comments on the courses received by the authors every year:
"Having completed the Advanced Hydroponics Course I have since gone on to open my own successful hydroponics retail shop, now in it's third year of trading." Ted,
"Thanks for the tips you gave me on the journalist job....I was given the job of writing an article....the experience was great, and at least I will be published for the first time." Gavin, studying Journalism.
"I complement you on the quality of the course. It has helped me immensely, already, in my job with the local council's parks & gardens department." Lester , studying Certificate in Horticulture-Landscaping.
"...it is very informative and worthwhile. I am glad I started the course. Of the many available from different schools, this offers the best value for money." Sonia, studying Human Biology .
"This course was one of the best." Rhonda, studying Garden Centre Management.