GCMA Accreditation: ‘We’ve created a model that aims to capture experience, skills, and knowledge’

GCMA Accreditation

Board member Andrew Rankin explains the genesis of the association’s new programme and the importance of education and development…

The team that developed GCMA Accreditation wanted an open system that would “capture a wide variety of knowledge and experience,” association board member Andrew Rankin has revealed.

Explaining how the flagship programme, which launches on August 17, was put together, Rankin, course leader and senior lecturer at Buckinghamshire New University, explained some of the details around the months of planning and work that went into the scheme.

GCMA Accreditation aims to ensure that excellence in golf club management is measured and recognised by the industry.

The new programme will recognises skills, achievements, and professional development and give you the chance to be rewarded through a series of Accreditation levels.

“It’s actually been quite a challenge – but an interesting one,” Rankin said of the process of developing the programme. 

“A journey we’ve been on is this modernisation and professionalisation and improving the service offering to our membership. Strategically, we’ve agreed as a board that education development is a key area – both personal and professional. The challenge is, where do you start?

“What struck me when I looked at it, in terms of trying to provide a solution, was that we needed an open system. Tom [Brooke, GCMA chief executive] has alluded to being able to capture a wide variety of knowledge and experiences and that’s not easy. 

“My first point of call was then just to check the professions, accountancy for example, and look at the career path that people take. 

“All the established professions are clearly mapped out – you do a university degree and then you get professional training. That’s quite different to practitioners in many walks of life.”

Rankin added he had taken aspects from a variety of influences to find the best practice solutions for GCMA Accreditation, shared them with the board, and been involved in at length discussions to design the system that will open to members next month. 

He explained: “The focus on experience was a really important anchor point – in terms of conceptually with the programme. 

“So we’ve created a model, which attempts to capture both experience, skills, and knowledge.

“What we’ve been able to do then is reflect on the kind of categories and create a pathway that people can develop themselves through.”

To hear more from Andrew Rankin and the development of GCMA Accreditation, listen to him on the Golf Club Talk UK podcast here


GCMA Accreditation is a flexible, inclusive, and rewarding Accreditation pathway designed to represent YOU and YOUR VALUE to the industry – focusing on your skills, your achievements and your development.

  • It is accessible – open to any full member of the GCMA who is in an active role within golf club management.
  • It is inclusive – designed to value and recognise the wide range of backgrounds, skills, knowledge, experience, learning and qualifications that contribute towards being a successful golf club manager
  • It is flexible – not limited to any one set pathway or series of qualifications. Recognition is given to a balance of experience, skills and knowledge, qualifications and CPD
  • It is aspirational – providing a clear and achievable pathway for developing your skills, knowledge and career opportunities.

And it is based on existing best practice and comparable industry standards in CPD, career pathway and accreditation frameworks.

Why should I become GCMA Accredited?

  • When applying for a job, it will differentiate you from other candidates
  • It demonstrates that you keep your knowledge and skills up to date through continuous learning and development
  • It demonstrates eagerness to learn which indicates future potential
  • It will help to boost career progression and salary prospects
  • It provides recognition of your skills, knowledge and achievements by your peers and the golf industry

How does GCMA Accreditation work?

GCMA Accreditation recognises your experience, skills, knowledge and achievements as well as your learning and qualifications and ongoing commitment to your own personal and professional development.

Your application will need to include:

  • Career history and summary of roles within the golf industry
  • An up-to-date record of learning, development and qualifications 
  • Evidence of ongoing commitment to professional and personal development
  • A summary of your knowledge, responsibilities and achievements in golf club management 

What are the GCMA Accreditation Levels?

GCMA Aspiring Manager

Suitable for anyone employed in a Management position within a Golf Club (Department Head, Deputy Manager or a new GC Manager) with aspirations for career progression and professional development

GCMA Accredited Manager (Level 1)

Suitable for anyone employed in a position of GC Management at a small to medium sized club, able to demonstrate the effective management of a Golf Club and normally with a minimum of three years’ experience within the industry

GCMA Accredited Manager (Level 2)

A highly proficient and knowledgeable Golf Club Manager, at a medium to larger sized club, normally with a minimum of five years’ experience within the industry

GCMA Accredited Manager (Level 3)

Recognised as a highly experienced and accomplished Golf Club Manager demonstrating continued success at medium or larger sized clubs, normally with a minimum of 10 years’ experience within the industry

GCMA Senior Leader/Master Manager

This status will be open for applications from 2025. Available to GCMA Level 3 Accredited Managers able to demonstrate outstanding leadership and contribution to the golf industry and within the Association.

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By GCMA Content Team

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