About this course

Register your interest in the program now for Feb 2022 enrolment and commencement.

Implementing better conservation and ecosystem management strategies helps manage the natural environment and sustain it for future generations. Let Tocal set you on the right path by enrolling in this program to develop professional skills and knowledge according to Industry best practice in environmental management.

The AHC51120 Diploma of Conservation and Ecosystem Management is ideal for people working in technical or operational management positions in the land management sector such as ecosystem restoration, rehabilitation and renewal. You will develop knowledge and skills in:

  • designing plans for managing and restoring sites
  • developing and demonstrating natural resource management skills for sustainable land use
  • managing weeds and pests in the landscape
  • the legal and policy framework for environmental and natural resource management.

At a glance:

Course duration: Maximum of two (2) years
Start date: Register your interest now. Enrolments anytime from 1 February 2022.
Number of units: 10
Indicative fees: $5,250 ($525 per unit of study)
Accredited Course: Yes


The benefit of studying this course is that it is fully online and you don’t have to schedule your time to attend face-to-face classroom sessions. You can study in your own home or anywhere that suits your learning style.

You must complete ten (10) units to gain the Diploma of Conservation and Ecosystem Management.

There are no core units. You do need to select:

  • A minimum of four (4) units from Group A.
  • A minimum of four (4) units from Groups A or B.
  • A maximum of two (2) units may be selected from the elective list of a Certificate IV or above of this or any other endorsed Training Package or Accredited Course. Selected units must be relevant to job outcomes in Conservation and Ecosystem Management and must be chosen to ensure the integrity of the qualification outcome at AQF level 5.

You must complete ten (10) units of study to gain this qualification. For details of these units and packaging rules see https://training.gov.au/Training/Details/AHC51120.

Tocal College suggests you select the program below with three (3) foundation subjects (comprising four units of competency) be completed before selecting four (4) electives. It is then recommended that students complete the two (2) concluding subjects.

Please note some subjects listed below include multiple units of competency and the units of competency offered may be subject to change.


1. Describe a landscape

  • AHCILM501 Conduct field research into natural and cultural resources (Group A)
  • AHCWRK513 Write and present reports (Group B)

2. Collect and classify plants

  • AHCPCM510 Collect and classify plants (Group A)

3. Define the pest problem

  • AHCPMG413 Define the pest problem (Group A)


(A maximum of 2 relevant units may be selected from the elective list of a Certificate IV or above of this or any other endorsed Training Package or Accredited Course.)

4. Develop a pest management plan

  • AHCPMG412 Develop a pest management plan (Group B)

5. Plan prescribed burning

  • AHCFIR503 Plan and evaluate burning for fuel, ecological and cultural resource management (Group A)

6. Design a restoration project

  • AHCECR503 Design an ecological restoration project (Group A)

7. Plan river restoration works

  • AHCECR505 Plan river restoration works (Group A)

8. Develop sustainable land use strategies*

  • AHCECR506 Develop and implement sustainable land use strategies (Group A)

*To complete this subject, you must have access to land that is used for agricultural purposes.


9. Develop a management plan for an area of land

  • AHCLPW506 Develop a management plan for a designated area (Group A)

10. Monitoring biological indicators

  • AHCECR502 Conduct biological surveys (Group A)

Updated 09/2021

Possible job roles for this qualification may include:

  • Project officer
  • Senior Weed or pest officer
  • Agency Field officer
  • Natural resource management officer.

Tocal College prefers that students have either attained a Certificate III in CEM or have sufficient industry experience.

Students must have:

  • access to land that is used for agricultural purposes to some complete assessment tasks
  • Australian citizenship, permanent residency or New Zealand citizenship
  • adequate language, literacy and numeracy skills to complete the course
  • basic to intermediate computing skills, and reliable internet speed.

You will have two (2) years to complete the course. There is no minimum timeframe for completion. To complete the course in two (2) years, you will be required to do 10 to 15 hours of study per week, and complete one (1) unit every eight (8) weeks. To complete the course in one (1) year, you will be required to do 20 to 30 hours of study per week, and complete one (1) unit every five (5) weeks.

If you are already employed or have experience in natural resource management or CEM, you may be eligible to gain part or all of this qualification based on skills or experience you already have. See Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for more information.

Your skills and understanding will be assessed for each unit through a variety of tasks. All assessments are marked within five (5) working days, following the day you submit your work. You have four (4) attempts for each task to achieve a competency result, and your assessor will provide detailed feedback following each submission.

Support is available via:

  • email and phone – refer to the contact details listed within your course
  • face-to-face mentoring sessions on-campus – you can book an appointment with your trainer
  • Canvas (the online learner management system).

  • Indicative fee: $5,250* ($525 per unit)
  • You can pay as you go (pay for two (2) units at a time).
  • If you are a resident of NSW, you may be eligible for a training subsidy under Smart and Skilled.
  • Please see the fee schedule (PDF, 283.22 KB) for more information.

*A merchant surcharge applies to payments on credit cards, and fees are subject to change.

Additional Information

For information on students' rights and responsibilities, and the Tocal College Code of Practice, see Industry qualification student policies.

This qualification leads to opportunities for further study. Universities throughout Australia offer articulation towards a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science, granting credit on a case-by-case basis towards degree qualifications.

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