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Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate


This Advanced Certificate is designed to develop skills required to work in or manage recreation facilities or services (eg. Community centres, youth services, sporting clubs, tourist parks, camp grounds, municipal recreation services, supervised children's playgrounds, social clubs, etc). This is a good starting point for a career which might eventually lead to a position in management.

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  • Professional Development for anyone working in the leisure industry
  • Training for a career or business in recreation management
  •  Self paced study; start any time, study from anywhere

Course Structure

There are 4 core units common to all streams of this Advanced Certificate, VBS001. These involve 400 hours of study in total three recreation units involve another 300 hours of study. A workplace project on the recreation industry involves the final 200 hours of study.


Totaling 400 hours. All four of these modules must be studied and passed.

1. Office Practices

Develops basic office skills covering use of equipment, communication systems (telephone, fax, etc) and office procedures such as filing, security, workplace organisations, etc.

2. Business Operations

Develops knowledge of basic business operations and procedures (eg. types of businesses, financial management, business analysis, staffing, productivity, etc) and the skills to develop a 12 month business plan.

3.  Management

Develops knowledge of management structures, terminology, supervision, recruitment and workplace health and safety.

4. Marketing

Develops a broad understanding of marketing and specific skills in writing advertisements, undertaking market research, developing an appropriate marketing plan and selling.

 Stream Units

There are eight lessons as follows:
1. Introduction To Recreation
2. Nature & Scope Of Recreation
3. History Of Recreation
4. Leadership
5. Planning For Recreation Facilities
6. Parks & Playgrounds
7. Special Populations
8. Tourism

There are eight lessons as follows:
1. Introduction To Fitness
2. Fitness Testing
3. Exercises & Developing An Exercise Program
4. Sports
5. First Aid
6. Stress Management
7. Sports & Fitness Events
8. Camping

There are eight lessons as follows:
1. Planning Recreation Programs
2. Play leadership
3. Crafts
4. Gardening & Recreation
5. Photography
6. Environmental Activities
7. Youth Leadership
8. Organising An Exhibition Or Festival


This is normally done after completing all of the other modules. It is intended as a "learning experience" that brings a perspective and element of reality to the Modules you have studied. The school is very flexible in terms of how you achieve this requirement, and can negotiate to approve virtually any situation which can be seen as "learning through involvement in real life situations that have a relevance to your studies"

Some of the options, for example might be:

Option 1. Work Experience

This involves working in a job that has relevance to what you have been studying. For some students this may be a job they already have. (In some instances, credit may be even granted for work prior to studies). In other instances, this may be either paid or voluntary work which is found and undertaken after completing the other modules. Proof must be provided, and normally this is done by submitting one or more references or statements from an employer. It may also be satisfied by a discussion between the employer and the school in person or on the phone. The must be an indication that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Option 2. Project

This project may be based on applications in the work place and specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.

Students will design this project in consultation with a tutor to involve industry based activities in the area of specialized study which they select to follow in the course. The project outcomes may take the form of a written report, folio, visuals or a mixture of forms. Participants with relevant, current or past work experience will be given exemption from this project if they can provide suitable references from employers that show they have already fulfilled the requirements of this project.

Students will be assessed on how well they achieve the goals and outcomes they originally set as part of their negotiations with their tutor. During a project, students will present three short progress reports. These progress reports will be taken into account when evaluating the final submission. The tutor must be satisfied that the work submitted is original.

Other Options

Workplace learning hours may also be satisfied through attending or being involved with meetings conducted by industry bodies such as professional associations; or attending seminars which are attended by industry professionals. Any opportunity for observation and networking may be seen as a valid option.

Managing Leisure Risks
Risk management is an important part of any recreation managers job. 
  • Risks to Clients and Staff -accidents, injury 
  • Risks to the Business - physical damage, robbery, breakdowns, fire, flood, etc
  • Financial Risks - increased competition, diminished clientèle, loss of income
  • Weather -events cancelled due to wet weather
These are only a few examples of things that can go wrong. 
Publicly attended events are often conducted in public buildings under the jurisdiction of government.
Negligence is one of the most commonly litigated torts. A 'tort' is simply a civil "wrong". Courts will look at such things as, how any equipment is installed, how it is maintained, how it is used, and whether proper consideration was given to the range of people who are likely to use the facility and/or equipment. Councils are liable to damages in the same way as an ordinary individual. They are also liable for negligent omissions, being the failure to act by employees and agents. This responsibility in law of a council or similar body is called vicarious liability.
The employer will be vicariously liable in three circumstances:-
a) Where it is proved that there is a master/servant relationship between the employer and the employee.
b) The servant, that is the employee, was acting in the course and the scope of their duties as an employee, and
c) The employee was not in breach of any statutory duty.
In general, any liability arises where a duty to exercise reasonable care is owed by one person to another. Anyone exercising that duty should know that a failure to do so will result in loss or damage to another person. When a claim for negligence is made it is up to the plaintiff to prove (establish) on what is known as the "balance of probabilities" (that it was more likely than not) five things. 
1. The first is that there is a duty of care owed by the defendant (e.g. the council) to the plaintiff.
2. This establishes a requirement to conform to a certain standard of conduct for the protection of others against unreasonable risks.
3. The third thing which the plaintiff must prove is that the defendant breached that duty of care, at the appropriate standard of conduct, (by failing to take reasonable steps to avoid risk, injury or damage occurring.
4. The fourth thing which the plaintiff needs to prove is that they have suffered material injury, loss or damage as a result of the breach of duty to take reasonable care.
5. The fifth thing is that the damage, etc, sustained was not too far removed from the original breach of duty - that is, it was not too "remote" from the failure to take care.
Type of Premises
The type and extent of the danger which might arise from the state or condition of the premises;
  • How the claimant became exposed to the danger;
  • The age of the claimant and the liability of the claimant to appreciate the dangers of the premises;
  • Whether and to what extent the occupier (in this case council) was aware of the danger and/or the presence of the claimant on the premises;
  • What steps where taken to eliminate, reduce or warn of the danger;
  • Whether (and to what extent) it was reasonable to expect the occupier to take measures to eliminate, reduce or warn against danger; and
  • Any matter that the court thinks relevant".
Minimising Liability 
1. Take precaution, do your job well; be well trained.
Or in other words "an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure". Ensuring that the risks of injury are minimised, and establishing measures to ensure quick action should injury occur will give you the basis for a solid legal defense.
2. Be properly insured.
With insurance the group or person insured is indemnified by the insurer against its liability in law to pay damages in respect of claims for accidental bodily injury (including death) and accidental damage to property. Suitable insurance (adequate amount and scope of coverage) is absolutely essential these days. For recreation enterprises liability insurance transfers the risk of any high damages settlement from the individual, group, or association responsible for the individual to a professional risk bearer (the insurer) who is financially able to bear the potential economic loss.
It is important that the person or group seeking insurance coverage (e.g. council, club, association, recreation provider) carry out an audit of possible risks associated with proposed or existing facilities, equipment or activities, and deal with each one accordingly. When submitting a request for insurance to an insurance broker, it should be clearly specified what has been undertaken to reduce the risk involved.
3. Ensure that your club or association (if applicable) is an incorporated body.
Incorporation under relevant companies legislation or the more simple Association Incorporation Acts protects the individual members of such clubs or associations by enabling the club or association to be sued and be liable its own separate name, and apart from the names of its individual members. The liability of members is limited to their subscriptions, while the cumulative liability of the group is limited to the value of the property and assets jointly owned by the group or company. If these assets are small, the moral dilemma of being unable to meet large damage pay outs makes it very important for sporting associations to have suitable insurance. Such insurance contracts can only be entered into if the sporting or recreation group, or other relevant body; has a separate legal existence such as being a company or association.
4. Aim for something that is achievable with regard to standards and expense. So that workers are not forced to take short cuts and end up with unsafe and shoddy work.
Security lighting will deter unwanted visitors from a site when it is not in use, and for larger and longer events, it is generally considered a necessity. 
Types of Security Lighting 
  • Street lighting
  • Lighting paths and driveways
  • Lighting potential hiding places
  • Flood lighting
How Much Light?
Flood lighting can turn whole areas of the site into almost daytime conditions but it can be overkill and expensive to run.
On the other hand, low voltage lighting can make an intruder visible without affecting the whole neighbourhood. The main thing is to think about how much light you need and the impact it will have.

Controlling Lighting 

Some lighting may need to be on all the time, particularly if you are not on site. The lights can be controlled manually (you switch it on and off) or automatically (using time clocks or sensors).
How does a sensor light work?
When movement is sensed, the light switches on.
  • You can adjust the period it stays on
  • You can adjust the distance that it senses movement
Some problems that can occur with sensor lights:
  • If movement is too far away or to the side of the sensor, the light might not switch on.
  • The burglar can cover the sensor so it will not switch back on after switching off once.
  • It can sense things like moths or possums and switch on and off all night long …when it is finally activated by a burglar, you think it’s just an animal on the prowl.
  • The sensor might be knocked during the day and be sensing from the wrong direction
A timer can be set to switch lighting on and off at certain times of the day or night.
The problem is that dusk and dawn are continually changing throughout the year; so if you set a timer to switch on at dusk in winter, it will be switching on and running the lights throughout a long period of daylight during summer. The only way around this is to change the settings every month or two.
The Downside of Security Lighting
  • It can keep you awake at night (but people do tend to get used to it).
  • It uses more electricity so your bills go up.
  • Burglars are, on balance, discouraged but in hidden parts of a site, lighting can actually help the burglar see.
What about solar lights?
It can be expensive to run power cables into a site. Self-contained solar lights are sometimes an answer. They charge up from the sun during the day then can be switched on at night. Most of these have a limited life span though.
1st: Identify the most dangerous parts of your site.
2nd: Determine the exact spaces that need to be illuminated (length, width and height).
3rd: Consider the most appropriate lighting (where lights should be located – high, low; how strong the light should be etc.).
4th: Draw a plan showing what lights you think need to go where.
5th: Consider shadows; try to identify potential blind spots, and then adjust your plan.
Consider vulnerability of lights to damage or intentional breaking by a burglar.
What areas need the most security lighting?
  • Places where someone might hide, e.g. behind bushes, fences, walls, mounds, buildings.
  • Entry and exit points – doors and gates.
  • Potential property entry/exit points, e.g. gates, gaps between plants, easy to climb fences/walls.
  • Roofs, windows etc where they might enter a building. 





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Meet some of our academics

John MasonMr Mason has worked 45+ years in Writing, Education, Horticulture and Recreation. His experience in both public & private sectors is extensive; particularly across Australia and England.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Peter Douglas Over 50 years experience in Agriculture and wildlife management. Former university lecturer, Wildlife park manager, Animal breeder, Equestrian. Peter has both wide ranging experience in animal science, farming and tourism management, and continues to apply that knowledge both through his work with ACS, and beyond.
Bob James B.Sc.,M.Env.Mgt.Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC, M.Enviro.Mgt.

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