It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method


£890.00 Payment plans available.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!
Please note that if you choose the 'e-learning' (course on USB) method, be aware that due to current covid-19 restrictions there are some countries we can not send USB sticks to.

We recommend you choose the online learning method as all online courses provide access to download course notes to access offline or print. If you do require your course to be supplied on USB stick then please contact us first to check availability for your country.

Qualification - Proficiency Award in Self Sufficiency (with specialism in Mushrooms)

Course CodeVSS113
Fee CodePA
Duration (approx)500 hours
QualificationProficiency Award

Learn About Growing Sustainable Food Produce for Home or Market

This course is for those who wish to manage sustainable farm production or become more self-sufficient.
Whether you want to start your own business, enhance and existing one or just lead a more self-sufficient lifestyle, this course has something to offer you. 

The specialism in growing mushrooms could also open doors for business or pleasure. This online course blends practical advice and theory. Learn more about producing optimum levels of crops through providing the best environment to grow them. 

The course consists of three core modules:

Self Sufficiency I
Self Sufficiency II
Mushroom Production

There is also a 200-hour research project where you can get to explore your own ideas. Alternatively, those with relevant industry experience may have this requirement waived.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Proficiency Award in Self Sufficiency (with specialism in Mushrooms).
 Industry Project BIP000
 Industry Project II BIP001
 Self Sufficiency I ASS100
 Self Sufficiency II ASS101
 Mushroom Production BHT310

Note that each module in the Qualification - Proficiency Award in Self Sufficiency (with specialism in Mushrooms) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

How the Proficiency Award is Assessed

The Proficiency Award requires 500 hours of study. It is made up of three 100 hour modules and a workplace project.

Workplace Project

To complete this qualification, you are also required to complete a workplace project lasting 200 hours.   There are 4 options available to you to satisfy this requirement.  The options will be different dependent upon whether or not you currently work within the industry. The project can be work experience, voluntary experience, a project you carry out, other training you have already undertaken and there are other options. Don’t worry if you are not sure how to proceed at this stage, as your tutor will be there to discuss how to proceed and help you every step of the way.

Meet some of our academics

Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Yvonne SharpeRHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.
Timothy WalkerB.A.(Botany), RHS.M. Hort., P.G.Dip.Ed.

Check out our eBooks

Organic GardeningCreate a healthy, well-balanced garden. Attract abundant beneficial insects to pollinate your plants. Have healthy, fertile, organic soils teeming with life. Use this book as a guide to establish lush gardens laden with fruit, vegetables, herbs and ornamentals - without the use of chemicals. The ebook covers: soils and nutrition, pest and disease, natural weed control, conservation and recycling. 179 pages, 170 colour photos
Fruit, Vegetables and HerbsHome grown produce somehow has a special quality. Some say it tastes better, others believe it is just healthier. And there is no doubt it is cheaper! Watching plants grow from seed to harvest and knowing that the armful of vegies and herbs you have just gathered for the evening meal will be on the table within an hour or two of harvest, can be an exciting and satisfying experience.
Plant Pests & DiseasesThis is a great guide to understanding, identifying and treating problems in your garden. Discover how to systematically examine and determine what is wrong with plants. Read about all of the main types of pests, diseases, and other problems that can occur, from frost damage to viruses. 197 pages
MushroomsOut of all the edible fungi throughout the world, Agaricus bisporus and its various strains, the button mushroom (also known as the champignon), is one of the most cultivated and consumed species world-wide. This book focusses (in the main) on growing button mushrooms but once you have acquired this knowledge it can be applied to many other edible species. A great book that covers all the fundamental aspects needed to grow your own mushrooms or to start a small mushroom farm.