‘It gives you credibility with the committee and your peers’: Why golf club managers are flocking to sign up for GCMA Accreditation

James Levick

We catch up with a member who has just gone through the Accreditation process to see how it has benefited both them and their team.

This article is part of GCMA Insights – topical content for golf industry professionals, discussing the things that matter to those who work in golf clubs.

It was a ground-breaking enterprise – an industry first attempt to ensure excellence in golf club management could be measured and recognised by the entire industry.

GCMA Accreditation has proved a huge success, with dozens of golf club managers having their skills, achievements, and personal development recognised.

Open to any GCMA member active in a golf club management role, the scheme provides a clear route to develop, encourages applicants to be introspective about what they’ve achieved in their careers, and rewards efforts to enhance the CPD of both them and their teams.

By completing a complete career history and a summary of roles undertaken, along with an up-to-date record of qualifications and learning, applicants could apply for one of four GCMA Accreditation Levels ranging from Aspiring Manager to Level 3 Accredited Manager.

One of the first intake of accredited members was St Austell General Manager James Levick, who achieved Level 2 status.

As the GCMA prepares once more to receive completed submissions for a fresh intake, we caught up with James to find out what it took to be accredited, how it is helping to shape his career, and how it has also benefited his relationship with his team…

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To join the GCMA, click here, or to organise a call with a member of the GCMA team, just complete the form below.

Do you think GCMA Accreditation will help your career? What were your reasons for getting involved?

I wanted to have something measurable – that backed up what I’d achieved, the skill set I’d learned, and my experiences over the years.

There wasn’t really anything out there before that would say, ‘you can do your job to this level, and you have experience of doing all these different things’.

It can only be good to have that and it does give you credibility with the committee and with your peers. 

It’s one thing to put your achievements down on CV, but another to have them recognised by your professional association…

Absolutely. Golf club management is a profession and GCMA Accreditation recognises that. In a lot of other careers, you must do certain qualifications, and this is a way of proving that you know what you’re talking about!

You’ve been professionally accredited – someone has looked at your career and your achievements – and you’ve reached a certain level.

Can you explain the process to me?

It’s an online application and you list your skills, your knowledge, and experience. It covers every area of the golf business – from customer service, to members, dealing with queries, health and safety, training, and recruitment. You explain how you’ve dealt with situations, what you could have done better, and what you’ve learned along the way.

It was a lot of work. It wasn’t a simple tick-box exercise and a lot of thought needed to go into it. 

We don’t often have time to reflect on what we’ve done because we’re always thinking about moving forwards. This gave me a chance to stop and reflect. 

You also need to detail your CV, training, and then back that up with CPD points. That covers a wide range of things: attending conferences and meetings, listening to certain podcasts on business and golf, and so on. 

I liked that part of the process. Although the points awarded were obviously smaller for things like listening to podcasts, it did take that into account. You can pick up a lot of information through that, from a variety of different industries, that are transferable to golf.

GCMA Accreditation

It’s a very introspective process. Did you find it worthwhile?

Definitely. You just don’t remember all the things you’ve achieved. There were some leading questions: ‘Can you give examples of how you’ve dealt with this?’

At St Austell, we have changed our committee structure. We’ve gone through a lot of change in processes and systems and building up our relationships with members, as well as developing the golf club over the last couple of years through Covid.

It was great to reflect on that and think about what we’ve achieved, especially with such a small team.

You take that for granted. You just come to work and don’t always think about the things you’ve done to get to the point where you are today. 


Membership of the GCMA unlocks a network of like-minded professionals, provides you with support in your professional and personal development, and provides you with a multitude of benefits. Whether that’s the tools that will help you to excel in your profession, or a wide range of services to support your wellbeing, signing up to the GCMA is joining a community. 

You’ve achieved GCMA Level 2 Accredited Status and we assume you’ll look to achieve Level 3. How do you think it will help your career in the years to come?

It’s a great personal accolade. It confirms I can do what I say I can and that I’ve gone out of my way to achieve it. To be part of the first intake was very important. It shows that I am proactive. 

It helps to keep a track of CPD and I plan to work more on that over the coming years. I always make sure I attend as many meetings and conferences as possible, but I also plan to invest some time in SkillGate, and the many other courses out there, to improve my knowledge for the betterment of the golf club. 

Has it helped you support the CPD of your team?

I am a big believer in investing in education and training for the team and, following our team members’ appraisals, we use this information to look at ways we can further their education. That investment in the team pays off with an enhanced level of service for members and guests – as well as a higher level of job satisfaction for the team.

What advice would you give to fellow golf club managers who may be considering applying?

Just go for it. The process can only be positive for everyone’s personal development, and I’d set aside the time to do it. I learned a lot along the way. 

To learn more about GCMA Accreditation, and how to apply, visit the association’s dedicated webpage.

This article is part of GCMA Insights – topical content for golf industry professionals, discussing the things that matter to those who work in golf clubs.

Get involved in the debate. To join the GCMA, click here, or to organise a call with a member of the GCMA team, just complete this form and we’ll be in touch!


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