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?
Whilst seven subjects in the Advanced Diploma of Building Biology course can be completed online, four subjects need to be completed on campus which will be held as two one-week workshops in Melbourne. Most online subjects come with a comprehensive manual, videos of the lectures, access to peer reviewed papers and a tutor (email support).
Is the practical intensive held in any other city apart from Melbourne
No, however mould testing is available in other states.
What support will I receive during my training?
You will have access to a tutor for the duration of the subject (12 weeks). This is largely self-directed – you will initiate contact as the need arises. Some students choose to contact their tutor on a regular basis, whilst other students only make contact when they submit their assessments. Our administrative staff will touch base during your studies to see how you are progressing with the subject. In addition, we recommend that 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?
You are required to be at least 18 years of age to study our courses. Apart from that, there are no prerequisites to do the course however basic mathematics of at least year 10 standard is helpful (but not necessary) to do the calculations in the air sampling subject. Students will be provided with the appropriate learning tools and plenty of case studies to ensure they are competent to analyse laboratory findings. Students should be motivated and willing to put the time required to successfully complete their studies.
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 four books Electrical Principles (Peter Philips), Healthy Home Healthy Family (Nicole Bijlsma), and the IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. Whilst the course will provide all of the equipment to undertake the training, you will need to purchase your own full face respirator that has been fit tested to be able to attend the Mould Testing subject, and purchase a cheap hygrothermometer for the Air Pollution subject (~$40) available online or an electronic store like Jaycar or Dick Smith.
How much homework is involved?
Students should set aside around ten hours of homework every week to complete each subject within a 12 week time frame. Therefore if you enrolled in two subjects, you will need to set aside around three days per week to complete them so please take this into consideration when enrolling.
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 a Student Handbook, 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 lecturer or tutor. With each subject, you will be assigned a tutor 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 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. Contact administration for an RPL form and send it along with your documentation along with a $250 fee. This is non-refundable regardless of the outcome.
How does this course compare to other building biology courses?
This program is not only the most comprehensive undergraduate building biology course in the world (1800 hours), it is the only government accredited building biology course of its kind in Australasia. Our staff not only have a formal teaching qualification, they are researchers that are leaders in their field that have published peer review scientific papers, and technicians who work full time conducting assessments in mould, toxicants and electromagnetic fields who will inspire and change the way you see the built environment. Incorporating the latest scientific knowledge of health hazards in the built environment and the latest technologies, you will 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.
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!