New qualification launched

The Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC) has released information about a new qualification that they say will provide golf greenkeepers and other sports turf apprentices with "advanced knowledge" as they work to produce exceptional playing surfaces from grassroots through to professional levels.
The Level 3 Advanced Sports Turf Technician apprenticeship has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) and is now available for delivery.
Sponsored by the Department of Education, IfATE is an employer-led organisation that supports employer groups in the development of apprenticeships and technical education systems. During 2020, IfATE undertook a review of apprenticeship standards within associated industries. The Advanced Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship had been approved for delivery in January 2020 but as a result of the review, the Greenkeeper Trailblazer and Sports Turf Trailblazer groups were approached by IfATE to develop a Level 3 Standard and End-point Assessment Plan (EPA) that could sit across both disciplines.
Trailblazer groups are responsible for developing a new apprenticeship for an occupation and then revise the apprenticeship as needed. Both groups understood it would be challenging to develop an apprenticeship that aligns comfortably across greenkeeping and the various other sports turf disciplines, but after many months of discussions between employers, training providers and IfATE, the Level 3 Advanced Sports Turf Technician apprenticeship has been produced and approved.
Improvements to the apprenticeship include more comprehensive assessment of knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs), which are undertaken through a written test, the creation of a project that must then be presented and a professional discussion and facility walk.
The Standard and End-point Assessment Plan can be accessed on the IfATE website.
Les Howkins MG is chairperson of the Golf Greenkeeping Trailblazer Group. He said, “It is great that we have been able to come together and work with the Sports Turf Trailblazer Group to develop a comprehensive Level 3 apprenticeship that we feel works across all disciplines within the sports turf sector and provides a career progression from the well-established Level 2. Following a lot of hard work alongside the Sports Turf group, we believe the Advanced Sports Turf Technician apprenticeship delivers what employers and apprentices in our sector need.”
Delivery director at IfATE, Robert Nitsch, said, “We are pleased to announce that the Advanced Sports Turf Technician Level 3 apprenticeship has been approved for delivery. The Sports Turf and Golf Greenkeeping Trailblazer groups have worked together to develop a standard suitable for sports turf technicians across a wide range of settings. This apprenticeship will form part of a suite of sports turf and golf greenkeeping apprenticeships and will provide a progression route for those previously achieving Level 2 qualifications. The apprenticeship will become the recognised standard for all advanced sports turf technicians.”
The Advanced Golf Greenkeeper apprenticeship will continue to be offered until it is decommissioned in 2023. The latest start date for apprentices will be 31 August 2023. There is no impact on those already registered on that standard.
The following employers all contributed to the creation of the new standard, along with support from training providers and End-point Assessment Organisations: British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), Crosfields School, Edgbaston Stadium, England Golf, Frilford Heath Golf Club, the GTC, Gaudet Luce Golf Club, Grounds Management Association, Highfield Sports Ground, Leicester City FC Sports Turf Academy, Leyland Golf Club, Portmore Golf Centre, The Richmond Golf Club, Trentham Golf Club, Myerscough College, Kings School, Nottingham University, Oaklands College, Whitgift School.

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