About this course

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 to develop skills and knowledge according to Industry best practice.

The AHC51120 Diploma of Conservation and Ecosystem Management is ideal for people working in technical or operational management positions in the land management sector. 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 managements

At a glance:

Course duration: Maximum of two (2) years
Start date: Enrol anytime
Number of units: 10
Indicative fees: $6,000 ($600 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. AHCECR308 Conduct a site inspection for ecological restoration
  2. AHCWRK513 Write and present reports
  3. AHCPCM510 Collect and classify plants
  4. AHCPMG413 Define the pest problem
  5. AHCPMG412 Develop a pest management plan
  6. AHCECR503 Design an ecological restoration project
  7. AHCECR505 Plan river restoration works
  8. AHCECR506 Develop and implement sustainable land use strategies
    AHCWRK520 Develop workplace policy and procedures for environment and sustainability -
    AHCFIR503 Plan and evaluate burning for fuel, ecological and cultural resource management
  9. AHCECR502 Conduct biological surveys
  10. AHCLPW506 Develop a management plan for a designated area

Updated 27/3/2024

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 suitable with native vegetation to develop natural area restoration projects (approx 10 acres or greater)
  • access to land that is used for agricultural purposes if choosing AHCECR506 Develop and implement sustainable land use strategies, as an elective
  • 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.
  • basic tools and PPE for self guided field work.

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: $6,000* ($600 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.

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

Additional Information

For information on students' rights and responsibilities, see External/online student policies and the Tocal College Trainer and Assessor Code of Conduct.

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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