Approval Criteria

Your selection of modules must satisfy the following broad criteria:

  • The structured course must be seen to be teaching new knowledge and skills. Modules will not be approved where the student has undertaken similar studies in the same subject area elsewhere in the recent past (within 5 years). ACS does have a program whereby we will recognise your previous studies for credit towards one of qualifications (see below), but obviously studying the same material again is of little help to the student.
  • Modules selected must not cover the same topics excessively (e.g. Introduction to Computers and Computer Studies I are both introductory computing courses. Both would not be allowed; Agricultural and Horticultural Soil Management are too close to each other).
  • For Advanced Certificates and lower qualifications, all modules must bear a relationship to the title of the qualification.
  • For Associate Diplomas and above, 90% of modules selected must bear a relationship to the tile of the qualification (i.e. 10% can be non-related electives).
  • The selected combination must make sense, and have purpose.


ACS has a program whereby students can apply for credit towards our qualifications based upon previous studies or relevant experience. Credit may be granted on the basis of:

  • Past studies in a similar subject area. We will not grant more than 33% of a qualification on the basis of studies which have been used to gain credit in this or another institution.
  • Work experience, which can be proven to be significant and accurate, in its learning value. This proof may be verified through reputable references, or alternatively through sitting an examination, for which a fee, double that of the normal exam fee, will apply.
  • Not more than 66% of any ACS qualification will be granted by exemptions (i.e. both study and work experience should ever be credited this way), and rarely more than 50% if the case is exceptional.

Enrolment Application Procedure

Enrol in the same way that you would enrol for any other course, writing "Design Your Own..." where you are asked what you are enrolling in. Attach an explanatory letter to your enrolment form (or email us a letter as soon as you send the enrolment form). The letter should list the combination of modules, which you seek approval to study.

Your combination needs to be approved by a tutor, before the enrolment is accepted. If one or more subjects are not acceptable, the tutor will suggest other options.

If you are applying for exemptions based on prior work experience and/or study, then you will need to request an application for Recognition of Prior Learning from the School. This RPL form will need to be processed before your course program is approved. The enrolment will not be processed until you consider and accept any proposed options.


Standard Modules (100 hrs duration) have assignments (normally one per lesson), and one exam on completion of all assignment. All assignments, plus the exam must be satisfactorily completed, in order to gain a module credit (or pass). Special circumstances including overall interaction with tutors throughout the course are always taken into account for borderline cases. People who fail are given opportunity to reapply and sit a supplementary exam. Exam fees are additional to course fees.

Project and Research Work: Non Standard Modules such as Research Projects, Workplace Projects, Workshops and Industry meetings do not have an exam, but adequate and academically sound proof of completion of required work must be produced in order to achieve a pass in such modules

Non Standard Certificates Courses: A few courses have different requirements; for example a Certificate in Garden Design involves a set 30 lessons, rather than 6 modules. This certificate has only 4 exams for the entire certificate rather than the usual six.


Exams are compulsory for Proficiency Awards, Certificates and above. Student enrolling in single modules may elect to sit an exam or not. To read more about exams please view our exam information page under enrolment.

Exam Fees: please see fee schedule for exam fees.