Accreditation and Recognition

Accreditation and recognition is an complex issue, given that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of accreditation bodies around the world, and no course is ever going to be accredited or recognised everywhere. The important thing is that you choose education that is going to be meaningful for what you need.


Forbes magazine questioned the value of post secondary qualifications on 5/2/2014!
This article reinforced the notion that: "The value of qualifications is questionable"

On Dec 10, 2014, A NCVER (Australian) report showed "just 13.6% of graduates from government funded private providers reported they had moved into higher skilled employment" after their training. It clearly showed that less than 50% of graduates from vocational courses found employment as a result of their studies. 

This hasn't changed much since then. Today, similar studies across the developed world have shown at best, weak correlation between qualifications and employment; but at the same time, much stronger correlation between learning and employment. It is what you learn that really counts.

WE ARE DIFFERENT -Helping You beyond Learning

We know from research that success in industry depends upon knowledge, but also attitude (eg. passion, positive motivation), experience and networking (ie. who you know and are connected with).  We develop courses with all of this in mind. 
It is not just about learning the information that is dished up, but also facilitating and encouraging development of positive attitude, contacts within industry and opportunities for valuable experiences. 
Passing exams is secondary to developing a capacity to succeed. 

We develop and deliver of courses, to affect the student's attitude, experiences and the interactions they have with other people - just as much as expanding the information they know and understand.


Do not under rate the value of learning!
Learning is all important in today's world. Colleges and students need to focus more on the learning. Simple. If we focus less on the qualification and even less on any course endorsement or formal accreditation, we are really focusing inwards, on the learning we can achieve as individuals. 
When you learn, you are more capable and more aware - and it is that which make a difference. When you are qualified and accredited in some way, it simply means that someone in "officialdom" has given you their seal of approval. Remember, those people change, those standards change and those systems which recognised you also change. 



The staff of ACS include a lot of highly respected professionals and highly credentialed academics from across the world. Many work in or have worked for well known universities or industry bodies. Books written and published by ACS and our staff are/or have been, used as texts in university and other college courses in Australia, America, the UK and other countries. 

We understand that anyone enrolling with us needs some reassurance that they are dealing with a credible and respected institution. At the same time you should also understand that there is always a cost to colleges achieving formal accreditations; and that cost is commonly and ultimately, going to be passed on to their students. We believe it is more ethical to spend your money on providing you with a better learning experience, than it would if spending it on buying endorsements from a series of accrediting bodies.



ACS has been established since 1979, and has established a high level of respect in academic circles within a range of disciplines in the UK, Australia and beyond. We have always sought to achieve credibility through high quality education. Formal recognition has always been of secondary concern.
Staff include world renowned academics from several countries, and it maintains active partnerships with respected institutions in several countries including Ireland, Australia and Singapore. Many of these affiliates are formally recognised by government education authorities in their respective countries. ACS is affiliated with a group of around a dozen other colleges, located in Australia, the UK, Singapore, France and Ireland (see Educational Affiliates). Many of these colleges hold government accreditations and offer articulation for ACS graduates into accredited qualifications. Affiliates in the UK include Warwickshire College (incorp. Pershore College) in the Midlands and Warnborough College in Kent. Warnborough College offers a range of degrees in Psychology and other subjects. Find out more here.

The school’s credentials are varied, and include:




International Approval and Registration Centre 

 ACS is recognised by IARC. You can see the standards they endorse and adhere to on the IARC website here.

Institute of Horticulture

Institute of Horticulture (UK)
Principal John Mason is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture.

Complementary Medicine Association

Complementary Medicine Association
College Member of Complementary Medicine Association assessed to teach a range of areas including Counselling, Nutrition, Natural Therapies.

ACS Global Partners Network
Member of ACS Global Partners Network – committed to Ethical Education.

Over 20 colleges, spread across 7 countries are part of this network of colleges.


ACS and its staff are members of many UK and overseas industry bodies, including

  • Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (UK)
  • Complimentary Medicine Association (UK)
  • Institute of Horticulture (UK)
  • Australian Nursery Industry Association
  • International Herb Association
  • Association for Coaching (UK) Organisational Member (OMAC)
  • Alternative Technology Association
  • The Permaculture Association
  • Study Gold Coast
  • UK Register of Learning Providers - UK PRN1000112

Further Accreditation

ACS has held various other formal accreditation (including government agency recognition in more than one country) in the past, however many of these accreditations were found to add significant cost to courses, without providing any significant benefit to graduates.

ACS believes that the most ethical and efficient approach for us to take is to focus our primary attention on our courses and our students. We have found over several decades that this has resulted in a high level of satisfied graduates who have a much higher success rate in industry than if we focus more heavily on accreditation and recognition.

If your main reason for studying is to learn and increase your capacity to function within your chosen discipline, this could be an ideal college for you.

There are literally thousands of bodies around the world that grant accreditation; so if your main purpose is to obtain some type of formal endorsement from a particular organisation or government authority, then you will need to be sure about which authority you would like to be endorsing your course, and then seek a college that has that particular endorsement (or accreditation).

Many of the courses we have developed are offered by affiliate institutions who have government accreditations. If you must have more formal recognition than what we offer, ask us to recommend one of our affiliates.



This is a common question for students and colleges and not always so simple to answer.

When asked, people may be asking any one of a multitude of different things. For some, recognition is about “endorsement”, while for others it is to do with “credibility”, and yet others, “how useful the course might be”.

If you look at dictionary definitions of recognition, you see thinks like “being acknowledged”, “a growing realization”, “acceptance of something being true” or even “understanding”.

Recognition of education is in fact a complex and multi faceted property.  Recognition is in fact made up of a number of components; and education that is recognised in one way, is not necessarily recognised in other ways.

What then are some of the components of recognition?

Usefulness – What is the purpose of the course and how well does it serve that purpose. What are  the capabilities of graduates a year or two after graduating. A course that passes students is only useful if the students do not forget what they have learnt a year or two after graduating. Some courses can implant temporary skills, while others can implant more permanent skills

Understanding  - Is there a clear understanding of what the course involves. If the course outlines & documentation are unclear or scant; there can be uncertainty about whether understanding is strong.

Visibility – How visible is the course? What people are aware of it’s existence, and where are those people? Are they locals only, or spread around the world?

Acknowledgement – Who acknowledges the course? Who endorses it, not only formally but informally? Also who criticizes it? While courses might be supported by some, they can also be criticized by others. If you only become aware of one group, you cannot form a balanced understanding of it’s worth.
These may be…. Employers, Academics, Individuals, Professional bodies, Politicians, Government bureaucrats, Experts in the field, etc.

How well does someone understand this question when they ask it?

Over 40 years of involvement in post secondary education, I have come to conclude that most people don’t really appreciate what they are asking.
Most people have a subconscious desire to feel that a course they enter is safe and appropriate, and are looking for a yes or no answer.
Most colleges are looking to be able to give a yes or no answer; because that makes selling a course easier.

At the end of the day though; you can never accurately and clearly say that a course is or is not recognised without qualifying that answer.
To be ethical and honest, you should say such things as who it as and is not acknowledged by, and how well the course is both understood and visible by the world at large, etc.

How Well then Are ACS Courses Recognised?

The short answer is that our courses are more useful than many if not most of a similar duration; highly visible (you will see that from our web profile); endorsements are mixed as is the case with almost every course on the planet; and as far as understanding -you need to read our outlines and judge that for yourself.


Contact us today

Find out more about ACS and our courses - get in touch with us today

Phone us on (UK) 01384 442752, (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752

or email us at

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