GCMA SkillGate: ‘It will be an integral part of everything we do’

GCMA SkillGate launched in February promising a world of education and development opportunities. How has it been received? It put more than 1,000 courses immediately in the hands of golf club managers. Whether it was a half hour quick tutorial, or a certificate-based qualification that gained CPD points, GCMA SkillGate launched with great fanfare back in February – and you’ve embraced it in your numbers.  “We’ve certainly had a big take up,” said Association professional development manager. “It can be quite addictive. It’s almost like Netflix for education.  “You go in and do a course, think ‘that was quick and easy’ and then you do another one and another one.  “Obviously, over lockdown and if someone was furloughed, or didn’t have the same activity at the club they normally would have over the winter, they took full advantage of that.”  SkillGate was brought in as a key part of Tom Brooke’s 2021 vision to transform the way national membership was perceived and to increase the value offering to managers.  Over the last eight months, it has pinpointed possible training needs for members through its weekly headlines email, allowed users to bring their qualifications all under one roof through the My Record function and helped cherry-picking managers keep a tab on their progress through My Plan.  But key for Robinson was the depth of content, and ensuring it was at a level that satisfied an already well-informed group.  “It was borne out of conversations from the Board to talk about the continued professionalisation of golf club managers, their own professional and personal development, and how we could help them do that outside of the formal education processes that we have with the Diploma, the Degree or the Principles course,” he said of SkillGate’s inception.  “For our members who are in post, it was to give them the opportunity to continually invest in their own education.  “Our managers, in general, are very well educated. A large percentage of them would have degree standard – which is Level 6 – education. So getting the right level for them was important.  “Having courses that were current, relevant, up to date and highly consumable is really the major benefit from what we find with SkillGate.”  He added: “It's fair to say the majority of our managers are full members who have been in post for a number of years.   “They don't really want to go back and do a qualification to tell them something they already know – perhaps the Diploma or, certainly, the entry level Principles.  “It was about recognising that they are experienced professionals within their roles and, through SkillGate, they can keep up to date with what's going on, continually learn, brush up in areas and fill any knowledge gaps.”  Those of you who have delved into what SkillGate term the ‘infinite library of content’ might have been surprised by the depth that’s on offer.  Whether it’s looking at Finance, IT Skills, Managing Busines and People, Sales and Service or Wellbeing and Communication, it’s likely many of you still haven’t really scratched the surface.   “The courses are so consumable. That’s one of the really big things we like most about it. You can tune in for 15...
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