Welcome to the Australian College of Environmental Studies (ACES)
In order to ensure you receive the highest level of training possible, you will be provided with the best level of service, support and training available.
The Australian College of Environmental Studies is privileged to have teaching staff with excellent qualifications and extensive industry experience. They are well networked and can provide students with useful resources and contacts. Please familiarise yourself with the information on this page, in addition to the Student Handbook, prior to enrolling in a course.
How to Enrol
Once you have read this page and the information about the course you are interested in, complete the enrolment form (HERE). Once the college has received these forms, we will contact you to confirm how much time you have available on a weekly basis to devote to studies, determine your digital literacy (use of a computer…), and organise payment for your first subject. You will then be provided with the login details to access the subject.
Hours of Operation
Office hours are between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and we are closed on public holidays. During the Xmas period, we will be closed from 24th December and reopen on 10th January 2023. Field training is conducted between 9am and 5pm anytime of the week, and live ZOOM classes are scheduled on weekdays between 6pm and 9.30pm (AEST).
Students must be at least 18 years of age to enrol in our courses. Candidates are not required to have any formal qualifications or relevant vocational practice to enrol in any of our courses. In relation to the Building biology course, candidates are expected to have a high level of language, literacy and numeracy skills, sufficient to analyse and interpret complex documents, use specialised vocabulary appropriate to the building biology environment, comprehend video lectures, participate in practical workshops, adapt spoken language to a range of clients, analyse statistical and laboratory reports, prepare written reports to provide precise meaning which meets audience purpose, use scientific terms and symbols, interpret graphs and tables, and use computer software.
ACES does not accept upfront payment for an entire qualification, however we do require payment for the subjects that you enrol in (fee for service). For a full list of fees involved for each course including set texts and equipment, refer to the Statement of Fees HERE. We accept credit card over the phone and direct deposit. Feng Shui students maybe eligible to obtain Austudy (contact Centrelink). Building Biology students enrolling in the Mould Testing, Electrobiology or Sampling Methods subject will be required to provide a $1495 deposit (we are unable to accept payments in excess of $1500). The remaining amount of $500 will be required before the first live ZOOM session.
Part payment options
Students who are unable to pay for a subject upfront, may choose to pay over several payments using a valid credit card on the following conditions:
- For a subject valued at $795, a $200 upfront deposit is required and then a weekly payment of $65 for ten consecutive weeks. This includes a $55 processing fee.
- For a subject valued at $1995, a $500 upfront deposit is required and then a weekly payment of $160 for ten consecutive weeks. This includes a $105 processing fee.
- Where a payment is declined, a $20 processing fee will be charged and the student notified by text. Another transaction will be attempted the next working day.
- If a payment is missed for more than 6 days or payment is declined on more than 3 occasions, the student will be withdrawn from the subject.
- Students who withdraw from the subject who have already accessed the course materials for more than 7 days, will not be eligible to enrol into another subject or the same subject, until the entire debt has been paid.
- Students must provide a valid credit card to accept this option (other payment options not available).
- Students must agree to these conditions and sign the ‘Payment Agreement Form’
Students are given ten weeks from the commencement of the unit to finalise payment when paying by instalment. Where approval has been given for a student to pay by instalment, ACES is responsible for the collection of outstanding fees and charges. Fair and adequate recovery procedures are in place to manage the collection and recovery of monies. Students who have fallen behind in their payments will not be enrolled in additional subjects until payment is received.
Our Fee and Refund Policy is available HERE.
Refunds & Withdrawals
Online subject: Once you have received your login details, you have up to seven (7) days from the date of the email to notify the college in writing (email) why you wish to withdraw from the subject/course. Subject to the withdrawal being in line with Australian Consumer Rights for cancelling a service, you will receive a refund for the subject minus a $150 enrolment cancellation fee (per subject). Beyond the seven days from the date of the email, no refund will be given. Students who have only partially paid for a subject and wish to withdraw, are liable for the entire cost if they have accessed the course materials for more than 7 days.
Online live ZOOM sessions: If you wish to withdraw from a subject that involves live ZOOM sessions, that you have paid for and notify the college in writing, you will receive a refund under the following conditions providing you have not accessed the online materials for more than 7 days:
- If three or more weeks’ notice is given before a zoom class begins, a full refund will be given minus the non-refundable deposit of $150.
- If less than three weeks’ notice is given before a scheduled zoom class or field trip begins, then a 50% refund applies.
- Fees are strictly non-refundable and non-transferable once the zoom class or field trip begins, or you have accessed the online materials for more than 7 days.
- Transferring the funds to another subject maybe negotiated providing the withdrawal occurs at least 7 days before the zoom class/field trip begins and will incur a $150 transfer fee.
- Students who have only partially paid for a subject and wish to withdraw, are liable for the entire cost if they have accessed the course materials for more than 7 days.
Withdrawals must be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
ACES reserves the right to change, cancel or postpone any of its courses or subjects at any time. Enrolled students will be given at least seven (7) days notice in the event of a course being postponed or cancelled. In the event of a subject or course cancellation, students will be given the option to transfer the fees to another subject, or may discontinue the subject and receive a full refund (which will be processed within 2 weeks). ACES will not be liable for any travel or accommodation costs incurred by a student in the event a subject is cancelled.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) enables student’s skills and knowledge that they have obtained through training, work experience and/or life experience to be formally recognized and validated within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). RPL focuses on the outcomes and assessment requirements rather than the location, length and the process of learning previously undertaken. Receiving a qualification via RPL is not a ‘soft’ option as you will be expected to demonstrate the same level of competence as any candidate undertaking the course work for the qualification. For more information regarding applying for RPL and fees involved, click HERE.
Credit Transfer relates to formal qualifications or units of competencies that have been gained from the previous study at a recognised training organisation (RTO) or TAFE that are the same as the units delivered at ACES (see below). As part of this application, you need to supply a ‘Statement of Attainment’ which has been certified by the appropriate authority. Fees do not apply for this application. Building biology students who have completed the ‘BSBSMB404 Undertake small business planning’ OR ‘BSBESB401 Research and develop business plans’ from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or TAFE will be granted a Credit Transfer for this unit. Download the Credit Transfer Form HERE.
There are currently no vaccine mandates required for students enrolled in our courses. Whilst students attending onsite (field training) are not required to show evidence that they have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination, they are encouraged to practice social distancing (1.5m), regular handwashing and use of sanitiser, and take regular breaks outside. In the likelihood this changes due to State and Federal Government directions, students will be immediately notified. QR Code check-in requirements are no longer required however trainers will continue to complete class rolls for field training. Staff and students are no longer required to wear masks. For more information, refer to our COVID Policy.
Language, Literacy & Numeracy
ACES is committed to ensuring its courses have wide accessibility. We recognise that literacy or numeracy problems may not, in themselves, preclude a person from successfully acquiring the competencies associated with any of our courses. Every effort will be made to assess a candidate’s ability to carry out all the learning tasks and demonstrate mastery of the course competencies. Where possible, the learning activities may be modified to assist students who have literacy or numeracy skills needs.
Learning & Support Services
ACES provides services to assist and support students including IT support for login and use of the online portal, how to reference using the Harvard Referencing System, tips on how to write reports, disability assistance as well as language, literacy and numeracy assistance. Upon enrolment you will be advised how you can take advantage of these services.
On campus field training is conducted during the day at a client’s home. Every effort is made to ensure parking is available at or near the venue.
Student Guidance Services
ACES recognises that a significant aspect of quality of training relies on effective support and management of student and staff welfare. Considering this, the college is committed to providing both students and staff with adequate access to:
- Educational and vocational, counseling services
- Guidance and support with financial requirements specifically related to our courses and education at the college
- Vocational and industry relevant information and referrals
- Information relating to occupational health and safety, equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination policies as is appropriate and relevant and,
- In the event that required support extends beyond the college’s capabilities, the college will source/give referral information for relevant organisations that supply required support services.
Complaints & Appeals
Any person with a grievance pertaining to the college may exercise their right to raise that grievance and expect that every effort will be made by the College to resolve it promptly, objectively and without prejudice or fear of reprisal or victimisation. This can be service related e.g. our marketing or pre-enrolment information; communications with staff, training or assessment related; safety or health related; or dissatisfaction regarding our policies, procedures or services in general.
The college has a documented process for lodging a formal complaint/appeal which is available on our website. If you have a need to make a complaint, please contact the college in the first instance to discuss the matter before lodging a formal written complaint. All formal written complaints lodged will be brought to the attention of the CEO and will be acknowledged by the CEO within five (5) business days of being received. The complaint will be investigated and the complainant notified in writing of the outcomes/decision within fifteen (15) business days.
ACES will ensure that as far and as fairly as possible, the individual making the complaint is satisfied with the investigation and outcomes. Complainants have the right of appeal within 20 business days of the receipt of the decision. Where ACES considers more than 60 calendar days are required to process and finalised the complaint or appeal, the CEO will inform the complainant in writing, including the reasons why more than 60 calendar days are required and regularly update the complainant on the progress of the matter.
ACES adheres to the principles of adult learning, and a learning environment which facilitates the learning of all students without interference or disturbance from others and encourage students to respect and protect the rights of others. We encourage students and staff to uphold the standards of the college when they are engaged in in all learning activities including field trips. Misconduct means any conduct that is prejudicial to the good order and good name of the college. The following forms of misconduct will not be accepted: wilful damage or removal of property, assault or harassment (physical or verbal), cheating or attempting to cheat or assisting any other student to cheat by any means, negligent or disorderly conduct towards a staff member or student, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, smoking in the building, infringing copyright of college material or logo, using college resources for educational purposes and financial gain, allowing others not enrolled in the course to participate in zoom sessions, and consistently attending classes late. Trainers and college staff have the authority to ask a student to leave field training where their conduct is not appropriate for an adult learning environment. Students not adhering to college behaviour guidelines will face disciplinary action which may result in being withdrawn from the course and expelled from the college. Student suspension or cancellation will not result in a refund of fees.
Flexible Learning & Assessment
Courses are delivered in a range of ways to allow for the various adult learning styles to be accommodated. These include self-directed online learning using Moodle our software platform, live zoom sessions and field training conducted in a client’s home. A range of assessment tasks are used to assess competence, from online quizzes to questionnaires, checklists and reports, simulated and scenario activities, essays, and practical demonstrations. In the event that a student is unable to meet the assessment criteria, ACES will attempt to provide alternative learning and assessments options based on each individual’s needs. Whilst the college will make every effort to accommodate the special needs of individuals, as a matter of ethical conduct it will not enrol or continue a student in a course if it is clear or becomes evident that it would be impossible for the student to successfully complete a particular course.
Results and Certification
Students who fully complete one of our nationally accredited courses under the Australian Qualifications Framework will receive a Nationally Accredited Qualification and Statement of Attainment. Students are entitled, at no additional cost, to a Statement of Attainment on withdrawal, cancellation or transfer, prior to completing the qualification, provided the student has paid in full the fee related to the units of competency successfully completed. Non-accredited courses will result in a Statement of Completion. Please contact ACES in writing to notify us of your cancellation or withdrawal and request your Statement of Attainment. The cost to re-issue a Certificate or Statement of Attainment is $150.
Access, Equity & Anti-discrimination
ACES will not engage in discrimination towards any group or individual in any form, inclusive of; gender, race, nationality, religion, physical or intellectual disability, age, or physical ability where there is no risk to others. This policy applies to all services and operations of the company, including recruitment, enrolment, training and assessment, and customer services. ACES will attempt to provide services to assist the training outcomes of people with special learning needs, or those facing particular difficulties. If it becomes apparent that the student will not be able to successfully complete a course due to a special learning need after the student has commenced a course of study, the college will provide a refund of the full fee less any costs incurred.
Access to Your Records
Students can access their personal and study progress records at any time. Students are given access to their online portal where they can see their personal learning and assessment progress records. Access to personal details or other information held by ACES will be provided upon a signed written request from the student. However please keep in mind that records that have been securely archived may take longer to access. With regard to access to your records by other people, please read the important paragraphs on privacy and confidentiality rules below.
ACES follows strict confidentiality policies and we do not discuss or disclose any information about a participant’s situation that relates to their participation in our training courses. In the event that a participant discloses any information about a particular situation they might be facing we keep this information confidential and do not discuss or disclose this information to others without the participants consent.
We are subject to a variety of legislation related to training and assessment as well as general business practice. This legislation governs our obligations as a Registered Training Organisation, our obligations to you as our clients, and relates to the industry that we are conducting training for. This legislation is continually being updated and all staff are made aware of any changes. Current legislation is available online at http://www.austlii.edu.au. ACES operates under the Australian Skills Quality Authority and is subject to the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.
More detail about college policies and procedures are available in ACES Student Handbook. If you have any questions regarding any aspect of our training please call us (1300 889 845 / 61 417 310002) and we will be happy to help you with your query!