Member's News

Date Added: 08/09/2022

Diverse Voices Lead to Great Things 

At each annual general meeting of the Centre, members of the Board must retire from office, but are eligible, on nomination, for re-election. 
Should you wish to:
  • nominate a member into their previous position,
  • take up a position on the Board yourself,
  • or nominate someone from your organisation...
please complete the online nomination form as soon as possible.  Click here for an online nomination form. 


Nominations for the 2022-2023 Board Members will close on Thursday 22 Sept 2022. 

Nominations remain open and will be taken from the floor at the meeting!

If you would like more information on what is involved in holding a position on the Committee, please ask! 


Annual General Meeting 2022

The AGM is an opportunity for our members to convene and conduct the Centre’s formal business. It also provides an opportunity to informally connect with like-minded individuals.

As a valued Organisational Member, we welcome you to take part in the General Meeting. Register your attendance here. 

For those who wish to meet in person on the Gold Coast, this is warmly encouraged and we ask that you register your attendance here. Online attendance via zoom is appreciated by those not able to visit the Gold Coast for this event. 

If you are not able to attend in person or online, it is a formal obligation of membership to submit your vote by proxy.

Click here to submit your vote by proxy. 

Thank you!


On joining, IARC members have proven the ability to adhere to sincere and competitive quality standards. They’ve also strategised leadership which demonstrates how private education enterprise doesn’t need to be restricted in ways seen in the accredited sectors worldwide. Non-formal, non-accredited and alternative education programs, courses, and training can and do deliver on point knowledge, skills and capabilities craved by employers and businesses.


I’m a senior course content writer for ACS Distance Education – a job I love! Since 2009, I’ve observed the school keep up with trends and industry demands whilst still offering markedly different approaches to online learning. For ACS I have the advantage of some serious inside scoop on how those courses and products are aligned with standards and industry norms in (online) education... for over a decade I’ve also worked for IARC.  This mix of experience and awareness, and the back-and-forth ritual of responsibility, brings precision to my development work with ACS and IARC. Being close to the experiences, challenges and achievements of students, keeps me connected to what really matters to them. 

Before I get into the grit of my message, the next few lines share a little info on IARC… The association is headquartered in Queensland, Australia, with a modest and thriving membership of 80+ education providers. IARC has a formidable team residing in the United Kingdom who make up the regional committee. This geographical breadth gives IARC leverage to operate on a global platform, with members from all corners of the globe. Members bring forth their own education culture and diverse viewpoints, which in turn gives IARC enhanced insight into learning expectations worldwide. 

The Centre, founded in 1999, was originally built on the philosophy of ethical education with the concept of accreditation central to the founding vision. Although IARC has formally moved away from course specific accreditation today, in its place the Centre focuses quality assurance efforts on the theory and assets of credibility. The basis of what accreditation symbolises - credibility - is now at the core of IARC’s constitutional objectives and quality standards.

Standards are palpable requirements that are central to education products and services and how they are delivered. 

 The standards are the experiences that learners deserve from education. 

 They are what consumers expect and what industry demands.

Standards produced by IARC are developed from 

 industry input,

 consultation with the members,

 from feedback – formal or informal,

 through evidence based research.

Revised by IARC a few years ago, our standards shifted the focus of quality from course function, curriculum, and delivery, to reflect a broader system of education delivered via a range of business models. Those business models commonly differ, but one thing remains constant, each has proven the ability to design, deliver and service students for competitive academic or vocational outcomes.

IARC’s standards today reflect:  the professionalism of staff, and the experiences of enrolled or graduated students.

IARC has combined these principal areas and they are strands within our quality framework – The Framework for Excellence

Why has education and training been built around the concept of quality assurance, or recognition, or accreditation, or some form of official endorsement, in almost every world nation?

Formal recognition is the outcome of the process of assessment against a defined set of standards, benchmarks, learning intentions, objectives or aims. So, by having standards, therein lies the obligation of accountability, and ultimately improved academic quality where otherwise it may be lacking.

Credibility comes from something broader than this. Although perceptible, credibility is seen in systems, in companies, in business operations, in human resources, in feedback opportunities, in connection with industry, in highly regarded safe and secure tech, in solid customer experiences, in strong policy and governance and in authentic learning. For our members, credibility takes precedence over accreditation. The best indicators of credibility are the skills and qualifications of staff, the testimonials from students, and the background of partnered institutions, and the testimonials from employers who have employed course graduates.

Our members recognise the market demand for credible education.

Students don’t believe in a course unless the see value in it. The don’t apply themselves to it, so they don’t want to pay for it either. The product – including all the services that come with a course or training program – the entire package in other words, must be worthwhile.

IARC standards provide a framework for people to see where or how a course is worth it. What it offers them, and, if they comprehend the standards deeply, they also see why it matters. Admittedly, some learners don’t pay close attention to what criteria exist in any given quality framework – they simply want to know a school, a college or an online provider has been assessed and deemed reputable to some degree, by whichever reputable organisation or system of endorsement. For many that reassurance is enough. We get it. 

Schools and Colleges approach us when they’ve been let down by a system which doesn’t provide the learning industry demands.

Members strive to deliver authentic real-world learning which involves applied experience. To be provider whose standard of educational product and service matters, many members choose to circumvent government systems that doesn’t fit their market or, frankly, restricts their ability to offer learning which has depth and robustness. Many of our members are leaders in the alternative education space. Our members create and deliver courses and study materials which are valuable for those able to see it. Employers don’t simply hire staff who have a certain stamp on a piece of paper… Employers want staff who demonstrate:

  • tangible capabilities,
  • established soft skills (often arising from independent learning),
  • knowledge which can be readily applied,
  • deep synthesis of subject matter,
  • a willingness to grow and innovate.

Members listed today on have proven the ability to adhere to IARC standards. They’ve also strategised leadership which demonstrates how private education enterprise doesn’t need to be restricted in ways seen in the accredited sectors worldwide. Non-formal, non-accredited and alternative education programs, courses, and training can and do deliver on point knowledge, skills and capabilities craved by employers and businesses.

To find out more about partnering with any of our members, start by clicking to join the Centre. There are advantages in networking. Or if you’d like to connect with me to find out more click here to book a free consultation.  

By Jade Sciascia, IARC International Business Manager & ACS Distance Education Senior Content Writer




2021-22 Q4 Newsletter.pdf

News Contents 

Quarter 4 Meetings and Motions

Invitations for Membership Renewals

Professional Development Awards for Courses

Video Files for Use

Warm welcome to our newest members 



2021-2022 Q3 Newsletter.pdf

News Contents 

Quarter 3 Meetings and Motions

What can still be achieved this year?

Conflict is crucial for outstanding Schools

Warm welcome to our newest members

Final words



2021-2022 Q2 Newsletter.pdf

News Contents

Elections 2021-2022

Executive Board President's Report 2021

Warm welcome to our newest members

Forthcoming Quarter 3 Projects and Events

Merry Christmas from all at IARC

Date Added: 08/10/2021



John Mason, IARC President, shares his own views and predictions amidst a world of change. 

Read more.

President's Report Oct 2021



September 2021 News Your Voice Matters.pdf 

News Contents

Organisational Membership Renewals

Annual General Meeting 2021

Elections & Nominations for the 2021-2022 Executive Board

New Membership and Student Enquiries

Legislation Changes Affecting the Non-profit Sector

Warm welcome to our newest members

Forthcoming Quarter 2 Events

Say Something Kind



2021-2022 Renewal Email Newsletter.pdf

Jade Sciascia, IARC's International Business Manager, reflects on change readiness and continuous improvement as members approach renewals. The whole college community must focus on managing quality as defined by our standards, which are central to driving productivity and student success.


On reviewing recent articles relating to the UK Higher and vocational education sectors, I was not surprised to read many university graduates (over 50%) in a lot of cases are not securing graduate (related) employment, even up to 15 months post-study. 

This is symptomatic of some underlying problems in both the higher and vocational education. Over recent years, there has been a trend to a higher proportion of people studying at post-secondary level (perhaps there’s more competition for some high level jobs), and a decrease in duration of qualification. 

Course duration is affected by two factors as far as I can see – one quantity of learning, the other quality.

1. Quantity can perhaps be understood as “pieces of knowledge or learning” such as the number of plant names learned.

2. Quality can perhaps be understood as depth or strength of learning e.g. The number of times a plant name is revisited through encounters in different contexts, over time. The more times it is encountered, the more it is strengthened in long term learning (and in memory).

The only way I can see that a course can be shortened would be to reduce the strength of learning or reduce the quantity of learning.

With diplomas that are perhaps 25% less learning than I personally experienced in the 1970’s, when I undertook a diploma of more than 4000 hours duration, it would stand to reason that we have either a 75% weakening on the strength, or of the quantity, or perhaps a combination both factors. 

Perhaps if graduates are learning at a lower level, their capabilities are lower than what their employers experienced when they studied. The qualifications have similar names, but employers are not seeing similar capabilities in the graduates they interview today.

The problem seen today in horticultural education may have more to do with broader issues in education than just issues in horticultural education specifically.

If the broader issues of quality and quantity are not dealt with, any other schools and colleges make may just be tinkering at the edges of a far more pervasive problem.

I suspect if we were to single out one issue that needs most attention, it would be to build greater depth of learning, by bringing a focus back on reinforcement in the way we develop and deliver education.

I have been increasingly committed to reviewing our courses so that we better reinforce learning in experiential learning activities, self-assessment tests and tutor reviewed assignments, to ensure students revisit and strengthen learning. This is a strong point in the courses my writers develop and is a key point of difference between ACS courses, and those in other institutions. The students of ACS Distance Education and those of affiliated schools, partnering through the Accredited Global Partners network, will benefit. 

If students have deeper learning experiences, they have stronger, more persistent capabilities, and ultimately, that means greater job success. This is what I wish for graduates of all member schools and colleges. 

John Mason 
President IARC 

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