GCMA Accreditation: Official recognition of experience and expertise in golf club management

The association’s new programme ensures that excellence in golf cub management is measured and recognised by the industry

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.

GCMA Accreditation provides evidence of expertise throughout your career as a golf club manager.

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

The product of months of planning and research, the programme has been hailed by chief executive Tom Brooke as “a huge step forward for our association and the value that we offer to our members”.

GCMA Accreditation is open to any GCMA member who is in an active golf club management role.

It provides a clear route to develop and be recognised for your continued learning and professional development.

“Our vision for GCMA Accreditation is about modernising and professionalising the role of golf club management and supporting and rewarding the professional and personal development of our members,” said Brooke.

“It’s about capturing the value of the individual and it will inform the industry, and inform employers and clubs, about the quality of that individual.”

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A straightforward, but detailed, online form will capture your experience, skills, knowledge, and achievements along with an ongoing commitment to personal and professional development.

By providing a complete career history and a summary of roles undertaken in the golf industry, along with an up-to-date record of qualifications, professional development and learning, you can apply for one of four GCMA Accreditation Levels:

  • GCMA Aspiring Manager is suitable for those new to the profession, or currently in a position as a Department Head or Assistant Manager and keen to develop their careers
  • GCMA Accredited Manager (Level 1) is aimed at those with a minimum of three years’ experience in a golf club management position and typically at a small to medium-sized club
  • GCMA Accredited Manager (Level 2) will be suitable for those managers at medium to larger sized clubs with five or more years’ industry experience
  • GCMA Accredited Manager (Level 3) will recognise those highly experienced and accomplished managers who have been in the role for 10 years or more
  • A further level, GCMA Senior Leader/Master Manager, will open for applications from 2025

Crucially, GCMA Accreditation will not discriminate on where your qualifications and professional development were obtained or how you have chosen to develop yourself professionally. 

Any relatable industry qualification or certificate, plus degrees and higher education courses, will all be recognised through a comprehensive points matrix. 

Learning of a more informal nature will also be captured within the programme, whether that be attendance at GCMA regional meetings, industry conferences, webinars, online learning or any number of other learning and development experiences. 


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. 

“The programme is flexible and it’s inclusive,” added Brooke. “We all come from hugely different backgrounds and found our routes into golf club management and it has evolved considerably as a career over the past 20 years in particular. Up until now, there has been no one way of capturing that and of accurately informing the employer and the industry of what that individual is capable of and what they’ve achieved.”

An annual review process will encourage accredited managers to build their skills and keep them up to date with their own professional and personal development, as well as industry best practice.

Brooke said: “I’d like to think our programme is unique. There are some fantastic accreditation programmes already out there. Our point of difference is that we are looking to capture that full range of skills, knowledge, and experiences and offer a full accreditation pathway.

“But, equally, with the way the CPD points matrix works, there’s a way of capturing not just GCMA-led education and professional development but anything you do that can relate to one of the five professional practice standards categories that we’ve included as part of the accreditation framework.

“Anything around those business skill sets that you can relate to your role in golf club management we will look to capture within that CPD matrix and that will all help towards your accreditation.” 


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.

To learn more about GCMA Accreditation, visit the dedicated webpage here. You can also find an overview of the programme, check out the CPD Points Guide, and browse a selection of frequently asked questions.

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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