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Proficiency Award in Self Sufficiency with Specialism in Mushrooms VSS113

Duration (approx) 500 hours
Qualification Proficiency Award

Become self sufficient - live a healthier and more natural life.

  • Learn about self sufficiency - living off the land, producing your own food.
  • Learn about living a more natural and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
  • Specialise in the cultivation and production of mushrooms.
  • Our Proficiency Awards include Workplace Projects which give you the opportunity to put what you have learned into practice.




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Be self sufficient - live naturally and specialise in growing mushrooms - full of flavour and highly nutritious.

  • Learn about self sufficiency - living off the land, producing your own food.
  • Learn about living a more natural and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
  • Specialise in the cultivation and production of mushrooms.
  • Our Proficiency Awards include Workplace Projects which give you the opportunity to put what you have learned into practice.


The Proficiency Award in Self Sufficiency with a Specialism in Mushrooms is a 500 hour course comprising three Core Modules plus a Workplace Project.

This well structured course will take you through the aspects of becoming self sufficient, developing your knowledge and showing you how to live off your own produce. The module on Mushroom Production will expand your knowledge on what mushrooms are, how to grow them, harvest them and how they are sold. The Workplace Project gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a practical capacity.

The modules for the Proficiency Award are shown below with listings of the lesson content.

Mushroom Production
Study all things mushroom! With this 8 lesson module you will learn all about these healthy and nutritious fungi - the types, cultivation, harvesting, and marketing of them.

The 8 lessons are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Mushroom Culture
  3. Spawn Production and Spawning
  4. Making and Casing Beds
  5. Growing Conditions for Mushrooms
  6. Pests, Diseases and Growing Mushrooms Outside
  7. Harvesting, Storing and Using Mushrooms
  8. Marketing of Mushrooms and Special Assignment

A 10 lesson module, helps you to a greater depth of understanding how mushrooms grow.

  1. Scope and Nature of Microbiology
  2. Microscopes
  3. Cultures
  4. Microbial Taxonomy
  5. Bacteria
  6. Viruses
  7. Other Microbes - Protists, Fungi, Helminths
  8. Immunology
  9. Applied Microbiology

Self Sufficiency II
Self sufficiency II has 10 lessons looking at diet and nutrition, how to be a vegetarian, living a well balanced life, establishing a kitchen garden, biodynamic growing, no dig growing, vegetables, fruit, establishing an orchard, cutting propagation, bottling, jam and jelly making, freezing and drying, harvesting and preserving, producing milk and eggs, poultry, herb growing, storage and harvest, egg and cheese cookery, grain types, and using grains.

The 10 lessons are:

  1. Diet and Nutrition
  2. Establishing a Kitchen Garden
  3. Vegetables
  4. Fruit
  5. Bottling
  6. Freezing and Drying
  7. Producing Milk and Eggs
  8. Growing & Cooking with Herbs
  9. Egg and Cheese Cookery
  10. Grain


Workplace Project
To complete this qualification, 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 dependent upon whether or not you currently work within the industry. The project can be work experience, voluntary experience, a project you carry out, other training you have already undertaken and there are other options. 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.

How the Proficiency Award is Assessed

The Proficiency Award requires 500 hours of study. It is made up of three 100-hour modules and a workplace project.

To pass the course –

  1. Pass all assignments on the three 100-hour modules. There will be an assignment at the end of each lesson to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback.
  2. Pass three examinations – one on each module. These are usually taken at the end of the module and can be arranged at a time and location to suit you.
  3. Complete a Workplace Project. The project should last around 200 hours. There are four options available to you to satisfy this requirement. Don’t worry if you are not sure at this stage, your tutor will be there to help you every step of the way. This includes evidence of work experience or other studies or workshops, a research project or completion of Workshop I.

Change your life today - start studying the Proficiency Award in Self Sufficiency with Specialism in Mushrooms. If you have any questions or want to find out more, please do get in touch with our specialist tutors using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.

  • Start your studies at any time.
  • Study where and when you want to.
  • Study around your existing work-life and commitments.
  • We offer the options of studying online or by eLearning and as the course is self-paced there is no time limit on our tutor support, so it is up to you how long you take to complete your studies.

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Meet some of our academics

Bob James (Environmental)Bob has a unique set of qualifications and experience having worked in applied biological and environmental sciences for more than 50 years. He holds a string of tertiary qualifications in animal, plant and environmental sciences; including a Masters Degree in Environmental Science. He has worked as a tutor with ACS since 1995. Bob has worked as a teacher, research scientist and consultant for both government and private enterprise undertaking jobs ranging from environmental surveys to waste disposal.
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.

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