Frequently Asked Questions

Building Biology Frequently Asked Questions

Building biology is the evaluation of health hazards like allergens, toxicants and electromagnetic fields in the built environment, and provides strategies to address exposure and/or source control and abatement.

Can I do the entire course online?

No. Most of the course is conducted online, however you will be required to attend live zoom sessions and 3 days of field training. There are 8 subjects that are available online, which you can start at any time of the year. Subjects that involve live zoom sessions that you need to book into are: Mould Testing, Electrobiology and Sampling Methods. Subjects that involve face to face field training are Mould Testing (one day field training) and Electrobiology (two days field training). Click HERE for the timetable.

Where is the field training conducted?

The field training for the Mould Testing subject and Electrobiology subject are held in Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast in a person’s home. Homes are specifically selected where the occupants are unwell who are currently living in water damaged properties and/or properties with elevated electromagnetic fields. This ensures students gain practical skills required to assess a property.

Sydney field trips are generally conducted within a 30 minute drive from Sydney Airport. Melbourne field trips are conducted in the Eastern Suburbs.

What support will I receive during my training?

You will have access to a trainer for the duration of the subject (12 weeks). How frequently you engage with the trainer is up to you, however if the trainer has not heard from you within a set period, they will touch base to see how you are progressing with the subject. Furthermore, we have a trainer permanently on staff who is available at the college during business hours who you can talk to.

We recommend you join the Australasian Society of Building Biologists as a student member to keep abreast of upcoming expos, events, and the latest news.

Are there any prerequisites to do the course?

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to study our courses.

Most of our students are aged between 25 and 60 and do not have a science, health or building background. Whilst candidates are not required to have any formal qualifications or relevant vocational practice to do the course, they are expected to have a high level of language, literacy and numeracy skills, sufficient to analyse and interpret documents, comprehend video lectures, participate in practical workshops, adapt spoken language to a range of clients, analyse laboratory reports, conduct research online, good computer skills to prepare written reports and provide precise meaning which meets audience purpose, use scientific terms and symbols, interpret graphs and tables, and use computer software. Many of these skills will be taught in the course.

Can I do a subject out of interest rather than enrol in the entire course?

Yes. You can do whatever subject you like (providing there are no prerequisites) and are not required to submit any assessments, however you will not receive a Statement of Attainment or formal qualification.

Do I need to buy equipment or books?

Comprehensive course manuals, videos of the lectures and access to peer-reviewed papers are provided in most subjects. You will be required to purchase three books:

  • Electrical Principles (Peter Philips),
  • Healthy Home Healthy Family (Nicole Bijlsma),
  • IICRC S520 Standard AND Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.

Whilst the course will provide all of the equipment to undertake field training, you will be responsible to purchase your own full-face respirator that has been fit tested to be able to attend the Mould Testing subject.

How much homework is involved?

Students should set aside around 10 to 12 hours of homework per week to complete each subject within a 12-week time frame. If you enrol in two subjects, expect to set aside three days per week to complete them.

I have not studied for many years. Will I be able to cope?

We attract mature age students many of whom have not studied for many years, or even decades. We have addressed this issue by providing you with guides and videos on How to Reference and How to do Research. Writing essays and referencing can be challenging the first-time round, so students are encouraged to discuss any concerns with their trainer. With each subject, you will be assigned a trainer with whom you can ask questions.

Remember we are here to help you succeed!

Do I need computer skills?

This is a combined online and on-campus training program. Seven subjects are completed online and you will be given a Username and Password to access the course material. The assessments will involve using a computer to develop questionnaires, checklist, reports, essays and complete online quizzes. You will be required to upload these online. We assume that you are familiar with word documents and basic computer knowledge in order to be able to successfully complete this course. If you are not familiar with how to use a computer, we suggest you do a course at a Tafe or Neighborhood house before you enrol in the course.

Can I apply for credits for prior learning?

Students who have completed the unit BSBESB401 Research and develop business plans OR BSBSBM404A Undertake business planning from a TAFE or recognised training provider, may receive an automatic exemption from the Business Skills subject at no cost.

Students who have studied business related subjects at a Tafe or University OR have run their own small business AND can supply a comprehensive business plan, are welcome to apply for a Recognition of Prior Learning.

Students who have a background in building or architecture may want to apply for an exemption from the building design subject if they can provide as evidence a building project that specifically addresses the health hazards in the home.

Electricians and electrical engineers may want to apply for an exemption from the Electricity Fundamentals subject and maybe required to do some tutorials as evidence of their knowledge / experience.

For more information about Recognition of Prior Learning, click HERE.

How does this course compare to other building biology courses?

The Advanced Diploma of Building Biology is the most comprehensive undergraduate building biology course in the Southern Hemisphere (2,100 hours), and the only government accredited building biology course of its kind in Australasia. In addition, we only employ staff who have a formal teaching qualification in adult education AND run successful business’ with extensive field experience.

The course was developed in consultation with experts in the field of electrical engineering, medicine, industrial hygiene, chemistry, building and allied health. Incorporating the latest scientific knowledge of health hazards in the built environment and the latest technologies, students gain the knowledge and the skills to conduct assessments in electromagnetic fields, mould and toxicants.

Our graduates have been used as expert witnesses in legal disputes and were instrumental in establishing the Australasian Society of Building Biologists (they were recently involved in the Parliamentary Inquiry into Biotoxin Illnesses in 2018). Furthermore, graduates of the college receive a formal government qualification that is recognised in a court of law, by ASQA the Australian national regulator for vocational education and training, and by all tertiary institutions Australia wide. Lecturers and tutors are industry experts with formal teaching qualifications. Students are provided with extensive field training to complement the theory which stands us apart from our competitors. Students are eligible to join the Australasian Society of Building Biologists.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions regarding any aspect of our training or courses please call us (1300 889 845) and we will be happy to help you with your query!