Need Assistance? 01384 442752 (UK)


Duration (approx) 500 hours
Qualification Proficiency Award

Learn about Orchids - be conversant with the production and evaluation of plants and cropping systems.

  • Understand the plant naming and classification systems.
  • Gain an insight into the appropriate way to grow a range of different orchid species.
  • Learn about greenhouse management.
  • Study commercial and marketing techniques.
  • Study and advance your own career or gain the knowledge to set up your own business.








It's easy to enrol...

Select a payment plan:  

Select a learning method  


Study the Proficiency Award In Orchids and become an Orchid expert!

  • Learn more about orchid culture and cut flower orchids.
  • Then choose to study more about cut flower bulbs or Crops.
  • Increase your job and career prospects in the horticultural industry by becoming an expert in orchids.  
  • This could lead you to work in a variety of fields, such as garden centres, horticultural journalism and so on.
  • Improve your knowledge of how to grow and care for these beautiful flowers.
  • Course Duration: 500 hours of self paced study.  Start at any time, study when and where you want to.


The course requires the completion of two core modules:–

Cut Flower Orchids VHT240

Orchid Culture BHT232

You then choose one elective module from:–

Crops I BHT112
Cut Flower Bulbs BHT317

You are also required to undertake an industry related project or work experience.  

To pass the course, you need to complete an assignment at the end of each lesson. For example, Orchid Culture has eight lessons, so there are eight assignments.

You are also required to complete three exams and the industry project.


Orchid Culture
The Orchid Culture module is comprised of 8 lessons.  Students will learn about the different types and naming systems for orchids.  The module provides detailed sections on how to grow and propagate orchids which provide useful grounding knowledge for requirements such as soil type and nutrient requirements and will help develop the student’s ability to evaluate environments and the health of specific specimens.  Having considered general elements, the module then focuses on a selection of specific species of orchid, including Cattleyas and Dendrobiums.  The module is then rounded off with lessons concerning commercial and general uses of orchids.  Students will complete the module with a special project on production and harvesting.

Cut Flower Orchids
This is a 10 lesson module.  The module provides more detailed sections on the classification of plants, and the parts of the plants and flowers.  Lessons include the culture and propagation of orchids intended for use as cut flowers and consist of detailed content concerning the growth and management of plants within greenhouse environments, taking in vital factors such watering, ventilation and nutrition and what sort of controls can be used to appropriately regulate the environment.  Attention is given to all important elements such as pest and disease control, before the module turns to the harvesting and marketing of orchids.  Students will complete the module with a study on a particular species or group of orchids that they find of particular interest.

Students are to select one module from the options available.  A summary of each of the modules that may be selected is shown below.

Crops I

This is a 10 lesson module, which looks at the production of crops outdoors.  Different cropping systems are studied (such as broad acre cropping, row cropping, hedging, and hydroponics) and students will learn the most appropriate applications for given crop types.  It is important to understand the production of crops organically and students will learn about the requirements for organic certification in different countries.  With a good understanding of cropping systems and soil and nutrition requirements in such systems, the module then concentrates on specific crop types – tree fruit, soft fruits, vegetables, the production of cut flowers and other areas, including nuts and herbs.  The module is then completed with a lesson which looks at the risks involved with outdoor crop production and how these may be assessed.

Cut Flower Bulbs
The Cut Flower Bulbs module comprises 10 lessons.  Students will learn about the cultural practices for the production of different cut flower bulbs and the elements which form the basis of good horticultural practice – soils, soil types, nutrition requirements for different plants, how to manage weeds, pests and diseases.  Lessons then consider the aspects of growing crops in greenhouses and how the yields of these may be managed and harvested.  The module is completed with individual lessons on Gladiolus, Lilliums, Narcisssus, Iris and other bulbs.

Workplace Project

To complete the Proficiency Award, you are also required to complete a workplace project lasting 200 hours.  

There are 4 options available to you to satisfy this requirement.  The options will be different dependant upon whether or not you currently work within the industry.  Don’t worry if you are not sure how to proceed at this stage, as your tutor will be there to discuss how to proceed and help you every step of the way.

You can start studying the Proficiency Award in Orchids at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, online or by eLearning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home or wherever you choose. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Why Should You Study This Course?
This course offers you the opportunity to increase your knowledge of orchid care and production and use that knowledge to improve your job and career prospects.

  • Gain a good foundation knowledge in the different types of cropping.
  • Understand good horticultural practices and environmental requirements for a wide variety of crops.
  • Advance your own career, or learn to produce and market your own crop.
  • Become an orchid expert.

So why delay? Enrol today!






Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.


Get Advice –  Email us at  OR

Use our FREE COUNSELLING SERVICE to contact a tutor

                                        CLICK TO CONTACT US




Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 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.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.

Check out our eBooks

Growing & Knowing Flowering BulbsContaining 187 pages of great facts on growing bulbs and stunning colour pictures, the Growing and Knowing Flowering Bulbs ebook is an essential read for students, professional horticulturalists, hobby gardeners and anyone who is interested in knowing more about flowering bulbs.
Growing and Knowing NutsDiscover the many different varieties of nuts that you many not have ever heard of. Learn unique ways of using nuts and cooking with nuts.
Getting Work in HorticultureExplore what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse this industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
Commercial HydroponicsThe Commercial Hydroponics ebook is ideal for students, professional horticulturalists and those who want to build a strong foundation knowledge in hydroponics. The commercial hydroponics ebook explains how to set up a commercial hydroponics system, including growing techniques and equipment that you will need. The topics covered in this book include an introduction to hydroponics, site considerations, alternatives, plant nutrition, nutrient film technique culture, rockwool culture, aggregate culture, other techniques, hydroponics equipment, greenhouse operation, plant culture in hydroponics, Vegetable crops, berry and other fruit crops, flower crops, other crops, managing a commercial hydroponic farm and a troubleshooting guide.