How the Program is Organised

Each Management Skills module can be taken on its own as a standalone course, or can be taken as part of the full Certificate Program.

The full Certificate Program requires participants to spend approximately 200 hours studying and completing various tasks. This total is broken down as follows:

  1. Each participant must take any six of the nine online course modules (or 5 modules plus a guided individual project). The modules they select are based on their personal interests and training needs. There are no ‘core’ and ‘elective’ courses and modules do not need to be taken in a specific order, but some modules require participants to have previously completed one of the other modules (see Learning Outcomes page for details). The time required to complete each module varies, but the average is 40 hours per module
  2. If participants prefer, a supervised individual project can be carried out in place of one of the course modules. This will require approximately 40 hours of work. Learners wishing to do an individual project will be paired with an instructor and will personally have access to 5 hours of the instructor’s time for guidance, feedback and grading of the project. The supervising instructor and learner can communicate via email, telephone, Skype or other suitable methods. Some typical topics for individual projects are: creating a plan for implementing new equipment within the learner’s manufacturing plant; creating a business plan; carrying out research to drive new product development; revising plant layout for better efficiency, etc.
  3. Certificate Program participants do not have to fulfil all of the requirements in a single year, but it is recommended that a maximum of three years is taken to complete the program.

1. Online Learning Modules

The course modules are taught online so that participants will have the flexibility to choose the times and days that they study, and will not have to travel away from home and their workplaces to attend the course. Each online course will be run over six weeks and will require an average of 35-45 hours of study time, meaning that learners are recommended to set aside around 6 hours per week reading the online course notes, completing assignments and communicating with their tutor and fellow learners. Learners will be asked to follow a timetable, completing certain activities by a prescribed date, but will have flexibility in terms of what times and days each week they choose to study (i.e. some learners may find time at work during lunch hours or before or after work, while others may study at home during weekends or evenings). The online learning portion should not be considered to be independent study however. Learners will exchange opinions and experiences with each other via online discussions, and will be asked to contribute to the course and share information and original work with tutors and fellow learners in various ways. As such, it is important that each learner keep up with the study timetable and submit assigned work in a complete and timely manner. The resulting learning experience will be richer due to the active participation of the group, and the unique perspectives and experiences that each learner brings.

Learners who have never taken an e-learning course before can be reassured that general familiarity with a computer, email and the Internet are the only requirements – participants will quickly become accustomed to the user-friendly course website and all of its features.

The program is based on active learning modes and problem-based learning, and involves learners working on carefully constructed practical assignments drawn from the wood products industry. The course tutors act more as facilitators than instructors, helping learners to solve the problems. However, the requirements will always be clearly explained, and help is always available just a phone call or email away.

2. Individual Guided Project

The guided project can be taken as an alternative to one of the course modules to fulfil the requirements of the Certificate Program. The purpose of the guided project is to let participants integrate the new skills and knowledge they have gained in the course modules and apply them to an authentic business challenge or scenario. Participants can choose from a number of scenarios such as developing and launching a new product, implementing new production systems or methodologies, introducing a new training and development strategy, or adding major new production capacity to a manufacturing facility. For their chosen scenario, participants must create an operations plan that specifies the impacts and actions that will be taken across a range of functional areas, such as Human Resources, Accounting, Purchasing, Production, Engineering, Sales and Marketing, and Distribution. Each participant will be assigned an Advisor (normally one of the course tutors or an instructor from one of the participating educational institutions) who will be available by telephone and email to provide guidance and support during the project and review and comment on drafts. The completed project will be graded by the advising instructor.

3. Wrap-up Meeting

Please note that the requirements to obtain the Certificate have changed, and there is no longer a need to attend a face-to-face wrapup meeting.

Entrance Requirements and Prerequisities

The Management Skills Training Program is a professional development program; it has been designed for workplace learners and emphasises the acquisition and practice of management skills. There are no formal academic requirements for entry into either the Certificate Program or any individual course module. However, participants are expected to have reasonable communication skills, English language proficiency, and numeracy (basic mathematics) skills. In addition, certain modules require that a previous course in the program has been completed first, and some modules specifically require participants to be familiar with the use of spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel.

Should you be concerned about your ability to successfully complete the course requirements, the Wood Manufacturing Council has created a set of Essential Skills tests and exercises to help you determine your strengths and weaknesses. These can be obtained by contacting the Wood Manufacturing Council or by emailing CAWP at You can also simply call CAWP and talk to us about it.