ACS has been established since 1979, and has established a high level of respect in academic circles within a range of disciplines, in the UK, Australia and beyond.  

Staff include world renowned academics from several countries, and it maintains active partnerships (affiliations) with respected institutions in several countries including England, Ireland, Australia, N.Z., Singapore and France.

The founder and principal John Mason, is a prolific writer, with over 150 books and 4,000 articles published across a career spanning 5 decades. He has been elevated to the distinguished level "fellow" by three professional associations, two Australia and one in the UK. Mr Mason has served on many industry bodies over his career, and is currently  president of the International Accreditation and Recognition Council, and board member, representing education, on the Australian Garden Council.

COMMENT FROM ACS STUDENT who previously completed University Bachelors degree.
"The main difference between my experience of studying at University and studying with ACS is that at University you're basically regurgitating text books. In contrast ACS assignments can be quite involved requiring hands-on application of principles, creative thinking and analysis." Dennis - Certificate in Garden Design graduate

The school’s credentials are varied, and include:

ACS is recognised by IARC. You can see the standards they endorse and adhere to on the IARC site: click here

  • ACS is affiliated with a group of around a dozen other colleges, located in Australia, the UK, USA, New Zealand, Phillipines, France and Ireland (see Educational Affiliates). Many of these colleges hold government accreditations and offer articulation for ACS graduates into accredited qualifications. Affiliates in the UK include Warwickshire College, ADL, YesLearnFast, and Warnborough College.
  • Working in Partnership with businesses and industry more broadly. Over the decades, ACS has developed many courses with input from industry organisations ranging from accreditation bodies to professional associations and businesses.
  • ACS is accredited by the Accreditation Board of the Maldives
  • ACS was classified as a preferred member training provider by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
  • Articulation pathways have been established with affiliates in both Australia and in the UK to allow graduates of our Fitness Leaders Certificate to obtain additional accredited fitness industry standard qualifications.
  • ACS is a College Member of Complementary Medicine Assoc. assessed to teach a range of areas incl. Counselling, Nutrition, Natural Therapies. ACS students can join NOW. Find out how you can be a member here.
  • Selected Health Science courses articulate into diploma and degree level qualifications at government recognized Australian institutions.

ACS and its staff are members of many UK and overseas industry bodies, including :  

Institute Of Training And Occupational Learning (ITOL) (UK)

Complimentary Medicine Association (UK)

Institute of Horticulture (UK)

Institute of Horticulture (Australia)

Australian Nursery Industry Association

International Herb Association

Association for Coaching (UK) Organisational Member (OMAC)

Alternative Technology Association

The Permaculture Association

Study Gold Coast

Further Information

ACS has held various other formal accreditations (including government agency recognition in more than one country) in the past, however many of these accreditations were found to add significant cost to courses, without providing any significant benefit to graduates.

ACS believes that the most ethical and efficient approach for us to take is to focus our primary attention on our courses and our students. We have found over several decades that this has resulted in a high level of satisfied graduates who have a much higher success rate in industry than if we focus more heavily on accreditation and recognition.uhuhh

If your main reason for studying is to learn and increase your capacity to function within your chosen discipline, this could be an ideal college for you.

Recognition is an extremely complex issue. There are hundreds, or possibly thousands of awarding and certification bodies around the world,  which makes it very difficult or impossible to map any course or qualification into a systems which is a worldwide standard.

For students today, we are please to say there has been a shift to recognise all forms of learning - that is all short courses and training events completed or attended over years of an academic career, may now be included in formal RPL applications. Students no longer need years of degree or postgraduate studies to be deemed educated, skillful or knowledgeable.

So NFIFL, an abbreviation coined by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, need to be respected in everyone’s educational or academic career. Thankfully, we see micro-credentialing and ‘enrichment learning’ gaining the attention of trade, education, and political departments. A move in the right direction for anyone passionate about learning. 








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