ACA Essentials Certificate


Over eight self-paced modules, course participants gain valuable insights into the industry’s essential disciplines, with the course delivered by prominent leaders in Australian advertising via pre-recorded video lectures. At the end of the course, participants take an exam in order to receive certification.


To provide new entrants to Australian advertising with a contemporary insight into the roles and disciplines within the industry, and the processes involved in developing brand communications.

This course is self-paced (members only).
Exam dates: 31 January, 30 June, 30 November 2022

MEET Your lecturers
Mark Green
Co Founder Group CEO The Monkeys; Lead Accenture Interactive ANZ (& ACA Chair)
Michael Rebelo
CEO, Publicis Groupe Australia & NZ
Paul Coles
Owner & National Managing Director, DO. Agency
Nick Hand
Finance Director & Management Consultant
Kate Smither
Owner, The Tall Planner
Ant Melder
Co-founder/Creative Partner at Coffee Cocoa Gunpowder
Ciaran Park
Executive Technology Director, R/GA
Alexandra Hay
EP / Partner, Rabbit and Thumper Pictures
Alex Connell
Communications Planning Director, CHE Proximity
What to expect

This course, delivered by current leaders in the Australian advertising industry, offers participants the opportunity to get a practical and diverse understanding of the variety of skills, processes and people in the industry today. 

Over eight modules, participants will gain an insight into the key disciplines and areas within the industry, including: Account Management, Strategic Planning, the Creative Process, Agency Finance, Production, Customer Experience, and Media.

Each speaker will deliver an overview of their topic, followed by their Top 5 Tips for their area of expertise. 

Content is delivered via video lectures which participants can watch at their own pace, with a final exam based on all content to be completed before Certification is awarded.

This course is available for members only.

Who’s it for?

ENTRY LEVEL, 0-1 years
Anyone with less than a year’s experience in an advertising, marketing or communications role. From recent graduates to people entering the industry from another profession.

Course Content

MModule 1: Australian Advertising
Lecturer: Mark Green, Co Founder Group CEO The Monkeys, Lead Accenture Interactive ANZ (and ACA Chair) & Michael Rebelo, CEO, Publicis Groupe Australia & NZ

  • The role of advertising in business & culture
  • The role of agencies
  • Iconic campaigns in Australian advertising 
  • Industry opportunities

Module 2: Account Management
Lecturer: Paul Coles, Owner & National Managing Director, DO. Agency
(formerly General Manager, BMF Advertising)

  • The role of leadership and account management
  • Building great client relationships
  • Working with creative, strategy & finance
  • Identifying and creating business opportunities

Module 3: Strategic Planning
Lecturer: Kate Smither, Owner, The Tall Planner

  • The role of strategic planning
  • What’s an insight? (and where to find them)
  • Writing great briefs

Module 4: The Creative Process
Lecturer: Ant Melder, Co-founder/Creative Partner, Coffee Cocoa Gunpowder

  • The process involved in developing great creative work (from a creative’s point of view)
  • How all roles within agencies can add value to the creative process
  • What helps and hinders great creativity

Module 5: Finance
Lecturer: Nick Hand, Finance Director & Management Consultant
(formerly Chief Financial Officer, Host/Havas Australia)

  • Agency finance structures
  • Pricing creativity & various pricing strategies
  • The language of value

Module 6: CX Essentials
Lecturer: Ciaran Park, Executive Technology Director, R/GA

  • Top 5 tech innovations relevant to advertising today
  • Why are they important?
  • Best ways to stay technologically informed

Module 7: Production
Lecturer: Alexandra Hay, EP / Partner, Rabbit and Thumper Pictures

  • From agency to producer – the process
  • Keeping the idea alive
  • Budgets and timelines
  • Key considerations

Module 8: Media
Lecturer: Alex Connell, Communications Planning Director, CHE Proximity
(formerly Client Director, UM Australia)

  • The modern Australian media landscape
  • Media throughout the creative process (and how creative and media agencies can work best together)

This members only course is self-paced.

Partcipant Feedback

I really enjoyed the breadth of topics covered from a range of perspectives.
This course gave a really great overview of the industry as a whole for someone who is new to it all.

2022 Participant

What I commend most about this course was how the lecturers were very engaging. Throughout every lecture I felt deeply engaged and interested in all that was mentioned.

2022 Participant

I loved the convenience of 8 video modules, self paced, and a simple exam.
2021 Participant