Certificate IV in Understanding and Negotiating Sustainability Issues (52358)

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2 Garden Street,
Swanbourne Western Australia 6010

Phone: +61 8 9384 2136
Fax: +61 8 9384 2136
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Online Training Facility

What's covered in the course?

The course has nine units overall.

Unit 1:  Break complex sustainability issues down
Unit 2:  Indicate the stakeholders in sustainability issues

Units 1 and 2 deal with the first component of this course. They focus on understanding sustainability issues. These units together develop a framework for thinking about what sustainability means, how it relates to specific issues and how various people, groups and organisations all bring influence to bear on a specific issue

Unit 3:  Indicate third parties who assist stakeholders negotiate sustainability issues
Unit 4:  Indicate how communications problems exacerbate sustainability issues
Unit 5:  Indicate the characteristics of different types of negotiations
Unit 6:  Indicate ways stakeholders can negotiate about factual information
Unit 7:  Indicate the importance of stakeholders accommodating diverse values
Unit 8:  Indicate influences on stakeholders’ capacity to negotiate
Unit 9:  Summarise capacity to understand and negotiate sustainability issues

Units 3, 4, 5 6, 7 and 8 deal with the second component of the course. They focus on matters relating to negotiating sustainability issues. These units develop a framework for considering how diverse individuals, groups and organisations could possibly engage in dialogue, decision-making or problem-solving with one another to best effect. The insights and skills you gain in these units that are to do with resolving conflict, alleviating conflict and keeping negotiations on track are invaluable life skills.

Unit 9 is your opportunity to show how you bring together the themes and ideas developed in each of the previous units.

Click here to read a general description of the course [pdf]

What makes this course unique
This course will allow you to attain a qualification signifying that you have committed time and effort toward extending your capacity to be both practically and psychologically prepared for negotiating sustainability issues. These are particularly vital skills if stakeholders’ cultural and lifestyle differences suggest there will be competing or conflicting interpretations of a situation to take into account. One of its most unique features of the course is the way it draws on the lessons we can learn from conflict resolution practitioners, and use them in a timely way to avoid difficult stakeholder relations going from bad to worse. These insights and skills are presented to you in a way that will increase your personal capacity to cope with and hopefully play a role in alleviating some of the communication traps that can undermine collaborative decision-making or problem-solving. The training will develop your capacity to evaluate whether a consultative or negotiation process is working effectively and, if not, how it might get back on track.

We are all aware that to understand the way our ‘official’ decision-making and problem-solving processes work can involve many years of formal study coupled with practical experience. Even though more informal processes of consultation and negotiation don’t have to follow strict rules of procedure, we still need some basic knowledge about their general characteristics and what factors in a particular type of negotiation process is likely to make it a viable alternative to more formal proceedings. This course has been developed to meet a need for training that offers a general framework to prepare for stakeholder engagement to address sustainability issues. A repository of resources will be made available to you that put you in touch with this knowledge base and increase your capacity to convey ideas about the virtues and the pitfalls of opting for negotiation as a way to find solutions to problems that all parties can live with.

You could think of the outcome of this second component of the course as a framework for thinking about alleviating a particular kind of risk – one that has its own distinct properties. This risk, that most people are not trained to prepare for negotiating their way through a sustainability issue, or even to consider what might be the most appropriate way such negotiations might be conducted, has a huge impact on decision-making or problem-solving and undeniably incurs its own kinds of costs. Such costs include wasted time and money, mis-spent energy, a questionable reputation for certain participants, a breakdown in communication and heightened distrust and animosity between the parties. But perhaps the greatest risk of all is that negotiations that fail to bring about mutually satisfactory outcomes leave local communities cynical and unconvinced that people and organisations can work together when they need to find sustainable solutions.