Tue 10 Nov 2020 - Thu 10 Dec 2020

13:30 - 17:00

10 Sessions
20 spots remaining.

This course has been run annually since 2013 as a face-to-face professional development course. In 2020, the course has been re-worked so that it will run online.

Environmental accounting is increasingly being used to support the development and analysis of government policy. Environmental accounting shows how different sectors of the economy affect the environment and vice versa. As the understanding of environment-economy interactions increases, the appropriate policy and business responses should become clearer. This professional development short course is designed to support those in government, business or NGOs interested in developing, implementing or using environmental accounts.

The course draws on expertise from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian National University and other institutions. It covers the theoretical and practical fundamentals of environmental accounting and places this into the public policy framework and other decision-making processes. Examples are drawn from around the world, and information resources are discussed and explored in practical workshops. Participants will have the opportunity to share experiences and are invited to use their own data for shaping into accounts.

Requisite Knowledge

No specific prior knowledge is assumed, but it is expected that participants have worked professionally in disciplines related to environmental accounting, including environmental science, ecological economics, natural resource management, national accounting or statistics.

Teaching Staff

  • Michael Vardon, PhD (ANU), M. Envi. and Dev. (ANU), Grad. Dip. Res. Man. (ANU), BEd (Melb)
  • Peter Burnett, ANU Law School
  • Steve May, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Carl Obst, Institute for Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting. Former head of ABS national accounts. SEEA Editor.

There will also be a range of guest lectures. 

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing of the course participants will be able to:

  1. explain the key features of environmental accounting
  2. understand the range of information sources needed to compile accounts
  3. identify issues to which environmental accounts could be applied
  4. populate basic accounting tables with existing information
  5. know where to find help and additional information on the concepts, data sources and methods.

In addition to knowledge of the accounts and their uses, course participants will develop the skills needed to manage a team with diverse knowledge and experience that is needed to produce and use environmental accounts


All learning outcomes are addressed by each assessment task. Assessment takes 4 (four) forms:

  1. on-going assessment of class activities
  2. report on field exercise
  3. 90-minute written test
  4. group assignment - short presentation and briefing note.


  • In-person online contact - 30 hours
  • Private study - 8 hours
  • Assessment - 4 hours.

Prescribed text or other pre-course materials

There are two course references, both are available online:

  • System of Environmental Economic Accounting Central Framework
  • System of Environmental Economic Accounting Experimental Ecosystem Accounting

Other reference materials, including items like journal articles and account publications, will be provided as links or in electronic formats.


Upon receiving a passing grade in the course assessments, students will receive an ANU Certificate of Completion to be provided by the Fenner School of Environment and Society.

Is the course for credit at ANU?

Completion of this professional short course does not provide ANU course credit or an ANU transcript.

Fees, associated costs,cancellation advice and refund policy

The fee for course is A$3,900. This cost is inclusive of:

  • Tuition fee
  • Academic activities

Cancellation: The Australian National University reserves the right to cancel the course or change course title, content, dates and venues. We also reserve the right to decline registrations where registrations exceed capacity or cancel the course due to insufficient registrations.In the event of cancellation, two weeks will be provided to students registered for the course.

Refunds: Under the circumstances outlined below, students may be eligible for a full refund of their fees.

  • If ANU is unable to offer the course.
  • If a student’s visa application is refused. Evidence of refusal is mandatory and students must provide the decision record from the Department of Home Affairs in the case of a visa refusal.
  • If a student cancels their place in the course in writing at least six weeks before the course start date.

No fees will be refunded if the student withdraws from the course within two weeks of the course start date.