Course Description

The AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture is delivered by industry experts and will give you the fundamental horticulture skills you’ll need to succeed in the industry, as well as teach you the specialist skills that are in demand by organisations who create and maintain large open spaces, including parks, sporting fields, playgrounds and other public spaces.

The AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture  will teach you:

  • How to recognise plants, prepare plant specimens and plant trees and shrubs.
  • The fundamentals of installing and maintaining plant displays and nursery plants.
  • The implementation of soil improvements for plant and turf areas, and plant nutrition programs.
  • How to conduct site inspections and operational inspections of park facilities.
  • Methods to control weeds, plant pests, diseases and disorders.
  • How to implement a grassed area maintenance program.

This is an online course with work-based projects. This means that you will complete your knowledge and basic skills development through online learning. You will need to complete workbased projects in a workplace setting in order to successfully complete your assessments (e.g. a local council, golf course, park, sporting field or resort).

Potential career outcomes

  • Community Facilities Landscape Assistant
  • Horticulturalist
  • Landscaping Assistant
  • Open Space Horticulturalist
  • Parks and Gardens Team Member
Course number E1214
Qualification name AHC30716 Certificate III in Horticulture
Course duration Maximum 24 months
Delivery Method Online
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Demonstrations, Knowledge tests, Presentations, Projects
Awarded by
  • TAFE NSW North Region (Provider number: 90010)


There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18 your enrolment form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software.

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Equipment and tools

You will need to have access to specific tools and equipment for this course. Click here to view the complete list of materials, equipment and tools required for this course.

Physical requirements

Physical requirements for this course include manual dexterity (use of tools and equipment), as well as the ability to lift and carry equipment, in order to meet performance criteria and achieve a competent result.

Video assessments

As part of the assessment for some units, you will be required to produce a video of yourself performing certain tasks. Some of these videos may involve another person.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Once you are enrolled in this course, you will receive access to the first Study Period, which contains the first set of units for the course. When you have successfully completed those units, you'll be given access to the next Study Period. Study Periods 1 to 6 have been released and are available. The subsequent Study Periods will be released on the following dates:

  • Study Period 7: October 2017
  • Study Period 8: October 2017
Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Note: Courses offered by Open Colleges on behalf of TAFE NSW North Region may include Units of Competency that are graded by TAFE NSW.

Horticulture foundations

You will be introduced to important knowledge and skills of a Horticulturalist, including how to recognise plants, including common weeds, and how to collect and press dry plants to create your own personal herbarium. You will also be introduced to planting trees and shrubs which is an important skill, especially when working in open spaces, such as public parks and sporting areas.

  • Prepare for plant recognition
  • Recognise specified plants
  • Update the reference collection
  • Collect specimen
  • Press plants
  • Record data
  • Prepare for planting operations
  • Prepare trees and shrubs for planting
  • Inspect plants and report problems
  • Install trees, shrubs and/or other plants

Plant installation

You will learn how to install and look after permanent plant displays for parks or gardens or temporary displays, such as a garden show. Many organisations, including councils and organisations that manage open spaces, will have nurseries. You will learn how to maintain nursery plants and be introduced to basic irrigation concepts.

  • Assess requirements for plantscaping
  • Install containerised and direct planted specimens
  • Maintain plants
  • Prepare to work
  • Monitor and maintain the nursery environment
  • Determine daily water requirements
  • Promote plant growth by intervention
  • Complete work

Work health and safety

Work health and safety is critical. Study Period 3 provides a broad overview of WHS in the workplace and what expectations employers will have of you when it comes to contributing to WHS. For example, writing up hazard and incident reports and participating in consultative meetings. Your later modules will look at specifics of WHS related to, for example, planting trees and shrubs or controlling weeds.

  • Apply work health and safety policies and procedures
  • Assist in workplace hazard identification and risk control
  • Observe safe practices during work operations
  • Participate in arrangements for maintaining the health and safety of all people in the workplace

Share plant information

You will learn how to use your communication skills to assist clients and provide information to help them solve their horticulture problems. These skills are relevant to all sectors including retail nurseries, landscaping and in relation to open spaces, such as gardens, sporting facilities, and parks.

  • Identify the issue
  • Decide on preferred solution
  • Provide the preferred solution


You will build on the skills and knowledge learnt in Study Period 2: Installing Plants. You will gain more knowledge about plant botany and physiology. You will also gain practical skills in recognising nutritional problems, monitoring soil fertility and implementing soil improvements for garden and turf areas, including estimating application rates for fertilizers.

  • Prepare and collect soil samples for testing
  • Determine physical characteristics of sample
  • Determine chemical characteristics of sample
  • Prepare soils for planting or replanting
  • Prepare for implementation of the plant nutrition program
  • Monitor soil pH
  • Determine nutritional problems in plants
  • Prepare to use fertilisers
  • Prepare application equipment
  • Apply specific products at appropriate rates

Plant health and biosecurity

You will practice the skills to control weeds, plant pests, diseases and disorders. You will develop your skills in recognising the most common symptoms of affected plants, as well as how to select and apply treatments. Environmental sustainability is important in this study period and you will learn a how to incorporate IPM (integrated pest management) principles into your work.

  • Assess weed infestation
  • Plan control measures
  • Implement weed control
  • Monitor control measures
  • Identify current practices in relation to resource usage and sustainability
  • Contribute to the review of workplace environmental sustainability practices
  • Apply improvement strategies
  • Record and report on work practices
  • Assess pests and disease infestation
  • Plan the implementation of management measures
  • Implement management measures
  • Monitor management methods

Working in the industry

In Study Period 7 you'll learn and practice skills specific to maintaining park and open space facilities (e.g. play areas, benches etc). You will coordinate a small project such as paving a small area. You will also learn how to conduct a site inspection, including how to verify a location, ownership, orientation and boundaries of a site. This will also include how to estimate dimensions and gradients.

  • Prepare for work site activities
  • Organise resources
  • Coordinate and report on activities
  • Collect information
  • Prepare for a site visit
  • Conduct site inspection
  • Document information

Park facilities

In Study Period 8 you will continue to develop skills in open space management, especially parks and large grassy areas. You will learn to check equipment and recreational facilities and prepare inspection reports. You will work on a small project and strengthen your knowledge of basic irrigation.

  • Prepare for operational inspection
  • Undertake operational inspection
  • Finalise the park inspection
  • Prepare for grassed area maintenance work
  • Maintain and repair grassed areas
  • Coordinate and report on grassed area maintenance activities



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Find out more

Open Colleges offers this qualification in association with TAFE NSW North Region (Provider number: 90010). The testamur will be issued by TAFE NSW North Region.

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Weekly and fortnightly payment plans are also available when you pay online.

Click Enrol Now and choose a payment plan or call an Education Advisor on 1300 161 345 for more details.