GCMA, PGA & BIGGA collaborate to launch new flexible Golf Club Management qualification

Representing a fundamental shift to the approach to professional education in golf club management, the Golf Club Management Partnership – GCMA, PGA and BIGGA – is delighted to announce the launch of a new ASQ Level 5 Diploma 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. Registration opened on 1 August, and the first induction days will take place in October 2016.

GCMA Chief Executive Bob Williams said:

“This is a professional, flexible and accessible qualification, available to those working in golf clubs and management positions in relevant industries, which will add value to a manager’s career and their golf club business.

The launch of this qualification is a huge step forward in the Association’s objective to professionalise the golf club management industry. The Diploma and its associated certificates will offer golf club managers a way to gain formal recognition for their extensive skills, and offer a clear route into the industry for prospective managers. For the first time, managers have the option to undertake a golf specific qualification to enhance their role at the heart of the golf club.”

The Diploma can be studied at the learner’s own pace, up to a maximum of three years, 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 competences 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.

PGA Executive Director – Education & Global Development, Kyle Phillpots, said

“The need to recruit and retain golfers in the face of increasing competition from work and other leisure activities, has meant that golf clubs have had to professionalise their operations. This qualification is designed to reflect the demands placed on the golf club as a business and equip managers with the skills, knowledge and behaviours they will need to manage a successful club and to develop their careers.”

Jim Croxton, CEO of BIGGA, explains:

“Education has always been central to the greenkeeping profession and BIGGA has worked incredibly hard over the years to ensure the qualifications that greenkeepers attain are given appropriate respect within the club structure. Greenkeeping and greenkeepers have made extraordinary progress over the last 30 years or so based on the twin pillars of education and passion for the craft.

I am delighted therefore that we have been involved from the very start with the Diploma in Golf Club Management. It will enable the profession of club management to progress on similar lines, and will give many talented current managers the opportunity to demonstrate their competence while attracting a highly-educated new generation to join the industry.  Among them will be ambitious and professional greenkeepers who have made the transition into a management role. This can only be a good thing for golf club businesses and the golf industry as a whole.”

The collaborative development of the Diploma builds on the increasingly close relationship between the three organisations, reflecting how successful golf clubs usually have an effective and cohesive team – Manager, Professional and Head Greenkeeper – at the heart of the business.

Last year, the GCMA Club Management Awards recognised the value of successful teamwork with the inaugural Team of the Year award, won by High Post GC.

The qualification has been developed in partnership by the Golf Club Management 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 the Education area of the website.

By Mike Hyde

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