First candidates commence the Diploma in Golf Club Management

Marking the culmination of two years of planning, the first candidates to enroll on the brand new ASQ Level 5 Diploma in Golf Club Management attended the initial induction day at The PGA National Training Academy on Wednesday 19 October 2016.

Having launched in August, interest has been high, with nearly 200 expressions of interest – a number of which have already committed to one of the four available qualifications. The next induction day will take place on Tuesday 29 November.

The initial intake came from a diverse variety of backgrounds, including serving managers and assistants, club professionals and golf operations managers. Two attendees were also working in unrelated roles, but looking to move into the industry.

The induction day marks the first step in a journey that will most likely take candidates enrolled on the ASQ L5 Diploma between eighteen months and three years, whilst the three ASQ L5 Certificates can be completed in between four and eighteen months.

GCMA CEO Bob Williams, who welcomed delegates alongside BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton and PGA Executive Director – Education & Global Development Kyle Phillpots, explained the significance of the day:

The launch of the Diploma and Certificates marks a landmark moment for the Golf Club Managers’ Association. The association’s Introduction to Golf Club Management training course has been a vital stepping stone for managers since 1991, but with the increasing professionalisation of the industry, it became clear that a new generation of managers were demanding an accredited, academic qualification to take themselves, and the industry, to the next level. We have been delighted by the level of initial interest, and look forward to seeing these managers take their learning and expertise into the industry.

After two years of exhaustive discussions, planning and preparation, I’d like to thank the people who have been involved in putting these qualifications together. When we embarked on this journey I am not sure any of us quite anticipated what a mammoth task we had ahead, but I hope I speak for everyone that seeing those first delegates attending today was hugely satisfying, and we look forward to welcoming many more onto the qualifications.

Joshua Moses, Assistant General Manager at Sunningdale Ladies Golf Club said:

I’m looking to further my career development, they are very supportive at the club. I’ve always been interested in golf, and management is certainly an area of the golf industry I am particularly interested in and I thought where else is better to go than GCMA, PGA and BIGGA and this diploma.

Looking at all the nine units involved, being nine separate ones, they are all really important areas of golf management and golf clubs and how they are run which I’m looking forward to taking back and putting into practice.

Created by the Golf Club Management Partnership – GCMA (the lead body), PGA (the delivery centre) and BIGGA – the ASQ Level 5 Diploma in Golf Club Management represents a fundamental shift in the approach to professional education in golf club management.

Suitable for, and open to, all levels of skills and experience, this accredited golf-specific qualification is perfectly suited for existing managers, and those looking to move into the profession, perhaps from related roles in the golf industry – including club professionals and greenkeepers of all levels.


The Diploma can be studied at the learner’s own pace, to accommodate the varying schedules of working managers, or aspiring industry professionals. With an emphasis on flexible learning it will be delivered through a combination of online and face to face workshops.

Training and education that has been previously undertaken, and is relevant to this new qualification, can be recognised through a formal process in order that course work is not unnecessarily repeated. The Diploma covers all the core skills required to manage a golf club, and notably will be an ASQ externally quality assured qualification, visible on the framework of regulated qualifications.

The nine units that comprise the qualification, whilst being specific to the Golf Industry, contain some practical skills and competencies that compare to other Level 5 business and management general units.

The units have been developed by, and based on SFEDI business and enterprise National Occupational Standards and are detailed below:

  • Leading and Managing People in a Golf Club
  • Managing Change in a Golf Club
  • Managing The Operations of a Golf Club
  • Marketing of a Golf Club
  • Managing The Finances of a Golf Club
  • Understand Personal and Enterprising Behaviours and Skills
  • Keeping Up to Date With Legislation of a Golf Club
  • Developing and Managing a Socially Responsible Golf Club
  • Managing Innovation and Growth in a Golf Club

For anyone looking to specialise in a particular area of the industry, or to supplement existing experience, there will be an option to complete pre-defined, individual ASQ Level 5 Certificates (Golf Operations and Management of People; Finance, Legislation and Marketing in Golf; and Enterprise, Innovation and Management of Change in Golf) within an 18 month period.  If all three Certificates are successfully completed, learners will be awarded the Diploma in Golf Club Management.


The qualification has been developed in partnership by the Golf Club Managers’ Association (GCMA) the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), and the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), alongside the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative, (SFEDI). The Diploma and Certificates are awarded via the Associated Sports Qualifications (ASQ) awarding body.

For more information, or to apply, visit

By Mike Hyde

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