Frequently Asked Questions
Do these courses appeal to me? Is this for me?
YES, if you are:
- A working construction specialist in the built environment sector or similar, related environment, at an operational level [drafting, detailing], and are looking to advance your skills to the next level and enhance your career prospects.
- A working construction specialist in the built environment sector or similar, related environment, at any level with substantial experience but little formal qualifications, and wish to formalize your experience, expertise, knowledge and skills.
- Already in possession of component elements of these qualifications, or similar elements from like qualifications, and wish to complete the outstanding elements, in order to gain a formal award
- An existing construction professional and wish to update your skills with CAD-led training using up-to-date industry standard, computer-aided-design software packages
- Someone with ‘generic’ CAD skills which you wish to apply to the specific discipline areas of the built environment (structural, construction, building technologies, building services, architectural).
- Someone with existing CAD skills which require upgrading/updating with the latest techniques in BIM technology and wish to obtain a nationally recognised qualification.
- Looking to obtain a recognised, formal qualification and gain formal and professional recognition as a construction specialist.
- Looking for CPD [continuing professional development] opportunities which will satisfy your continued success in the industry and with your current and future employers.
- Considering building a new career in the built environment disciplines and wish to take advantage of the most up-to-date and relevant training.
- Someone with a passion for, or a strong interest in, graphical communication, design, architecture, structures, construction or building technologies.
- Any of the above, and are looking for the most flexible option, allowing you to pace your own learning around your existing personal and professional commitments.
What does online learning involve?
- Largely, you will work at your own discretion, managing your study time around your personal and professional commitments.
- It is expected that you will need to study an average of 8 to 10 hours per week, but it is entirely up to you how and when this is structured.
- Throughout your learning experience, you will be supported in a number of ways, and will have regular access to an online academic via phone, email, web conferencing and a virtual learning environment (VLE).
How do I Learn? What format is the teaching material provided in?
- A variety of material will be made available to you, including, but not limited to: traditional text documents, graphic files and video tutorials, with ongoing online support.
- Further guidance on extended learning techniques, time and learning management will also be provided by your tutors.
- On reaching certain standards and milestones, you will then, by agreement with your learning centre, request the appropriate assessment material.
- The majority of assessments tasks and activities are based on continuous assessment principles, with little or no end of course examinations required.
What resources will I need to undertake these courses? What software would I be using?
- You will need a reasonably good specification PC with a Windows operating system capable of supporting CAD software packages (provided).
- You will also require a range of ‘standard’ office packages like MS Word and Excel. Freeware equivalents of these can also be provided if required.
- More information on PC specifications are available in the Student Handbook.
- All CAD / BIM software will be provided free under educational license rules to all enrolled academic students, and will typically include:
- and / or similar products
- You may have additional, modest outlay in the purchase of text books and other learning materials, though this is kept to a minimum where practical.
I am not an Australian resident - is the course still appropriate to me?
- Support can be made available to those learners with Language, Literacy and Numeracy [LLN] issues. Contact the course tutor for further information.
- Nationally approved qualifications such as ours should be recognised wherever you go [sometimes with local conditions or adjustments].
- It is not unusual for distance learning students to be significantly remote from the learning centre.
- The awards delivered by Digital Construction Academy are established and approved awards, fully supported by national lead body institutes, trade councils and state/federal government education departments, where appropriate.
Can I study completely at my own pace?
- To some extent, you can, and within reason are able to ‘accelerate’ or ‘decelerate’ your pace of learning.
- You may choose to reduce the number of units undertaken in one period, for example, when other commitments dictate.
- You may also have the opportunity to take on more units in a given period, subject to agreement by us.
- You can control and dictate your own timetable within the delivery ‘window’ of any given unit on a programme of study, and structure your learning hours to suit your own situation.
- You will need to, however, adhere to a delivery structure led by the learning centre – certain units, for example, have in-built prerequisites, which require the completion of related units before the commencement of another.
- You will also need to comply with assessment target dates on a routine basis in order to successfully move on from one unit to another.
- There will also be fixed and regular opportunities for you to interact with your tutor online. These times are prescribed, bearing in mind time zone differences, and the differing needs of different types of learners.
- There are, therefore, a number of simple rules and controls, which need to be adhered to, to facilitate an efficient online service, but on the whole, you will effectively manage your own learning, at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home, office, or other location.
What is the Certificate IV in Residential Drafting
- The Certificate IV in Residential Drafting is the default entry point for newcomers to the Building Design arena – aimed towards those looking for an entry level award relevant to the needs of a draftsperson specialist within the realm of architecture and associated industries.
- This award would suit the aspirational aims of someone looking to gain entry into the building design sector, and is specifically targeted towards developing professionals skills and knowledge for the residential drafting market sector.
- Suitable employment can be found at the junior Operator level, and would also provide appropriate formal recognition for those at this level already working in industry without formal qualifications.
- The Certificate award comprises 10 academic units, including 7 core and 3 elective units, and is used as a pre-entry pathway requirement into the Diploma level qualification.
What is the Diploma of Building Design?
- The Diploma of Building Design is the default academic recognition requirement for those professionals who are seeking to follow a route towards achieving a Building Designer license within their state [see individual State requirements where needed]
- The Diploma of Building Design is a Level 5 qualification, and is aimed towards those looking for a higher level of award, befitting that of individuals operating at Technician / Technologist level, and is suitable for those working in, or aspiring to work in the building design sector where the emphasis of design is focused on architectural principles.
- The award suits the needs of those working across related sectors of the AEC industries, including architecture, construction management, building services and other disciplines, who would be looking to enhance their knowledge and skills with a formal qualification in architectural design.
- The newly revised Diploma award comprises 12 academic units, including 9 core and 3 elective units, and could be used as a pathway into higher level qualifications, and used for other professional recognition purposes.
What is a ‘unit’?
- A unit (also known as a unit of competency) is the term used to describe an individual subject component of an overall award. Some institutions refer to these as ‘modules’.
- Typically, units are prescribed with a ‘notional’ length. This is intended to convey the typical time that should be taken to complete the unit in full, including any assessment.
- All of the courses advertised here have a combination of unit lengths – most units are 40 or 60 hours in length, with a few smaller and larger units on occasion.
- Typically, a full Diploma of 21 units, comprises a total of approximately 1000 hours of structured study.
What qualifications do I need to gain entry to these courses?
- Access to all courses is at the discretion of the delivering centre. There are no significant barriers to entry to any of the programmed awards.
- Typically, completion of Year 12 secondary education would be viewed as a minimum requirement for most courses, but additional factors related may also be considered. Some Certificate III awards allow access with Year 10 completion minimum.
- Non-certificated applicants are also routinely accepted, and experience, maturity and other factors are taken into consideration. In all instances, you should take the opportunity to discuss your situation with the delivery centre in the first instance.
How flexible are the courses? Can I ‘drop out’ and re-enrol later?
- As learners enrol for fixed numbers of units at a time, it would be perfectly possible to extend the break periods between enrolled sessions, and re-engage with the programme further down the line, provided the ‘academic vacation’ was not too long.
- A structured delivery timetable is used by the delivery centre, so it would be important to understand where you are at any given time within the learning cycle, and that you would need to stream back into this at an appropriate point.
What about qualifications I might already have? Can they contribute towards these qualifications?
- These can, where they are actual credits from the programme you have gained in other academic awards, or at other institutes provide for direct credit transfer, as they are ‘like for like’ – no need to take (or pay) for the unit / subject again. We charge a very small admin fee for processing these.
- Units from another institute you have done from a ‘similar’ programme which are not ‘like for like’ may also be used to gain RPL (recognition of prior learning), where this is appropriate.
- In any instance, you would be required to present such evidence to verify your previous academic attainments, and where appropriate entitlement is applicable, would be applied accordingly.
- In this way, it would be possible to reduce the total number of hours required, and shorten your overall study period.
What does credit transfer mean?
- Credit transfer is used to provide automatic credit where the content of one previously attained unit corresponds directly and exactly with the content of a required unit.
What is RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)?
- This system is used to provide exemption to a required unit, or units, where the candidate’s current skills and experience can be recognised.
- Typically , candidates need to provide relevant portfolio evidence which satisfies the requirements of said units, and this could be in the form of:
- previous formal or informal training
- existing academic qualifications
- industrial and / or life experiences
- testimonials / references
- portfolio material (graphic, written, AV, other …)
- For RPL purposes, whole competency rules apply – ALL aspects of units must be satisfied.
- RPL applications are charged at a per unit fee rate of 60% of normal unit cost.
I have extensive experience in industry, but no formal qualifications. Is there a way for this to be recognised in some way?
- This is an opportunity for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning).
Are there options to accelerate through the course units quickly, if I feel I am able to do so?
- It is possible to facilitate this in a number of ways:
- by obtaining credit transfer and reducing the total number of units required
- by obtaining RPL and reducing the total number of units required
- by requesting an assessment-only approach to selected units
- by taking on more units than ‘normal’ in a given semester period (subject to approval with us)
What does an assessment-only approach mean?
- By selecting an assessment only approach to a unit, you are declaring that you feel you are already in possession of the required knowledge and skills, and require no learning support.
- You are provided with the assessment material only, and are required to adhere to the normal assessment policy rules.
- No online tutorial or academic support is available for assessment only, other than for general administration.
- Assessment only is only available by consultation with, and at the discretion of, the delivering centre.
- There is a significantly reduced fee rate for assessment only – normally approximately one third of full unit cost.
Do I have to pay for the full course in advance?
- If self funding, NO, you will only pay for your units on a block by block progression, as you move through your programme. We will provide a Payment Plan schedule at the outset of your studies.
Will I have to attend a local college or other venue for any assessment?
- NO, all programmes and awards are fully delivered and assessed by Digital Construction Academy.
- The majority of assessment is based on a continuous progressive attainment, and no formal examinations are required.
- There is currently no requirement for you to make arrangements with any local centre for assessment purposes.
When can I start the course?
- The timetabling and scheduling for all programmes has been designed to allow both the newcomer and the experienced students to begin their studies at negotiable points throughout the year – we normally take new students once a month, effectively an immediate, or near immediate start is generally always available.
- The timetabling schedule for the delivery of units runs on 12, 18 or 24 week academic semesters, or ‘blocks’, within which you will study towards and complete a specified number of units in each block (usually 2 to 4).
- Subject to successful completion which allows for onward progression, you will continue to re-enrol for each group of new units on a rolling semester cycle.
- Short administrative breaks between each semester blocks will occasionally occur, in order to allow efficient processing, administration and verification of results.
- Failure to submit assessment material within the time parameters, and to agreed dates, could prevent a barrier to progression and the repetition of units, before onward progression may be permitted.
What if I don’t complete the course? Do I achieve anything?
- If, for personal or other reasons, you need to take a substantial break from the course, you will receive a Record of Attainment, which clearly shows which units you have completed and passed, and may be used upon return to your studies with us, or elsewhere, for further progression of your ambitions and aspirations.
What happens when I complete the course? What will I receive?
- When you have completed all required elements of your course, you will receive the relevant Parchment for your qualification.
My circumstances are unusual. I have additional questions.
If you have any further queries, or would like to discuss your details in person, please Click here to speak to us directly, and in confidence.