Training Academy

The ABSA Training Academy brings together professional development opportunities for all staff working in boarding and is designed to provide a clear pathway to ensure the highest standards in the boarding sector. It is modelled on the BSA Training Academy in the United Kingdom.

Academy training may be accessed in person, at a workshop or seminar, on-line through a webinar or conference or though an accredited training course. Entry-level training is available through the online Induction course and the Duty of Care Certificate Course, either in workshop format or self-paced workbooks. Further training is available online via our webinar programme or through our online learning platform.

Our work is delivered throughout the Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and worldwide and all training can be delivered in your school setting.

Your Professional Journey in Boarding

How will the ABSA Training Academy help me to develop personally and professionally?

You will:

  • be able to evaluate and have a clear appreciation of the personal and professional needs and skills involved in a boarding role
  • develop greater knowledge and understanding of the issues facing boarders and the boarding sector
  • develop the ability to reflect critically on work and evaluate the need for change or action
  • be able to communicate and defend views and opinions orally and in writing
  • develop a clear vision of the school’s management strategies for providing good pastoral care
  • satisfy the requirements of the Boarding Standard for Australian Schools and Residences
  • develop study and time management skills and an ability to analyse reading and a wide range of reference sources
  • give boarding staff a development pathway to build professional competence and confidence
  • professionalise your career in boarding school pastoral care.

Advice and Guidance

Supporting our academy training program, ABSA uses a network of professionals to deliver expert guidance on the issues that boarders, staff and parents face daily.

This support can be accessed via phone or email and aims to support boarding staff to confidently provide support to the whole boarding school community.

Guidance and publications on specialist subjects are accessible via the ABSA members’ area of the website.

Your Journey



Introductory Courses

At the introductory level, the ABSA Training Academy offers essential training in the skills required to work in a boarding environment. The ABSA Online Induction Program and the Duty of Care Essential Knowledge and Duty of Care Fundamentals of the Boarding Program Workshops are seen as major components in this section, helping boarding staff and the wider boarding community to gain a critical understanding of the skills necessary to work effectively and safely with boarders.


For those not able to attend a workshop the Duty of Care workbooks are also available.









Ongoing Learning

ABSA runs a multitude of learning opportunities for staff working in the front line of boarding. A range of webinars are offered throughout each term and a suite of online courses is available through the ABSA website. These will allow participants to obtain Continuing Professional Learning points, ensuring the requirement of the Boarding Standard for Australian Schools and Residences to take part in continuous boarding specific leaning can be tracked. A personalised Professional Learning Certificate will be issued at the end of each year.

Certificate Courses

As part of the professional learning opportunities offered by ABSA there is a range of certificate courses specifically aimed at professionals working in boarding schools. These certificates will concentrate on one key aspect of learning and will provide those undertaking the courses with in-depth knowledge of the topic.

These will also allow participants to obtain Continuing Professional Leaning points, ensuring the requirement of the Boarding Standard for Australian Schools and Residences to take part in continuous boarding specific leaning can be tracked. A personalised Professional Leaning Certificate will be issued at the end of each year.


ABSA has partnered with the BSA (UK) and the University of Buckingham to provide a Master’s in Residential Education. The course is aimed at experienced practitioners from Australia, the UK and overseas who wish to undertake a Master’s degree. The course is built around an introductory study day at the University of Buckingham (which can be done online), followed by expert support from the University and ABSA.

Course Outline

This course takes 12-14 months and starts with an induction day. Full details of the course and syllabus may be found on the University of Buckingham school of education website.

Why should you do this course?

  • it is an important form of professional development for all who work in boarding schools
  • it is a unique course, specifically geared to those interested in pastoral care
  • it is far cheaper than most other Master’s courses
  • it does not require you to miss any days of work
  • you are encouraged to pursue your own particular interests through the research dissertation
  • you will have access to tutors who have experience with working in boarding schools.
  • you will add to the boarding research pool available

Course Assessment

The heart of the MA is a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation. You will learn research methods and be expected to read widely.


Download the ABSA Training Academy brochure




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