Frequently Asked Questions

What does the role of a Golf Club Manager involve?

A Golf Club Manager manages a business that predominantly seeks to attract and retain customers who wish to play golf on an occasional, monthly or weekly basis, paying anything from a one off, daily rate all the way through to an annual membership fee.

As well as using the golf course (for recreational/competitive purposes), those customers will, to a greater or lesser extent, take advantage of any activities/services provided through the golf shop, range or practice area, restaurant & bar, and other closely related areas (e.g. gym, spa, crèche, etc.).

Those activities/ services will be provided by individuals (primarily Head Greenkeeper, Professional, Steward / Caterer/ Food & Beverage Manager) with their own level of operational expertise, and the manager’s role will be to ensure that those individuals work together as a cohesive team with common objectives towards the overall financial objectives of the golf club, delivering an appropriate customer experience along the way. 

Why has the Diploma in Golf Club Management been created?

Most occupations of the magnitude of a Golf Club manager have qualifications that are reflective of the job role and context in which the role is undertaken. These qualifications are usually underpinned by National Occupational Standards and related to an Educational Framework.

National Occupational Standards provide benchmarks of good practice for tasks and responsibilities of the job role (in a wide range of occupations), and Educational Framework’s help ensure that the knowledge and understanding, skills and competencies that are assessed are appropriate to the level of responsibility faced by the individual in the workplace.

To date Golf Club management has not put that type of qualification in place in the same way as other industries have, particularly the leadership and management sector. The GCMA recognises the need to professionalise the management role as the industry, and golf clubs themselves, evolve.  This view is supported by other governing bodies within golf including the R&A, home unions and associated golf organisations such as PGA and BIGGA.  Indeed, within golf greenkeepers, golf professionals and golf coaches all have qualifications based on this premise. As such, in developing this set of qualifications, we are following a tried and tested methodology, recognised across a broad section of workplaces in industries across GB&I.  

The second reason we chose to develop the qualification in this manner, is that we identified a need to recognise that learners are coming into management from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of experiences, qualifications and levels of work based learning. As such we have built a qualification that is flexible to the needs of the learner allowing a wide range of suitable candidates, whether in post or aspiring to be so, to study the role and demonstrate their aptitude, knowledge and skill.

What is the Diploma in Golf Club Management?

Created and delivered by the three partner organisations of the Golf Club Management Partnership – GCMA, BIGGA and PGA – the Diploma in Golf Management is a new nationally recognised and accredited  golf management qualification.

With an emphasis on flexible learning, the Diploma covers all the core skills required to manage a golf club, and notably will be an externally Quality Assured qualification, regulated by Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) whose role is to maintain standards and confidence in qualifications.

The Diploma, the only industry focused qualification of its type, is available to Members of all three organisations and will be predominantly delivered online, with optional supplementary face to face workshops. Study will be aided by workbooks and case studies written by industry experts and serving golf club managers.

Representing a fundamental shift to the approach to professionalism and education in golf club management, the three bodies that represent those who run and manage golf courses and clubs have combined forces to create a golf specific qualification. Suitable for various levels of skills and experience, the Diploma is aimed at existing managers, and those looking to move into the profession, perhaps from related roles in the golf management industry.

The Diploma is a natural progression to the GCMA Introduction to Golf club management course and will be formally launched on 1st August with a start date of late October 2016.

The units of the Diploma qualification are:

  • Legislation
  • Understanding Personal and Enterprising skills
  • Finances
  • Marketing
  • Managing the Operations of a Golf Club
  • Managing Change
  • Leading and Managing People
  • Managing Innovation and Growth
  • Socially Responsible Business
Do I have to do the entire diploma or can I just do part of it?

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
  • Enterprise, Innovation and Management of Change in Golf

Each certificate has an 18 month registration period.  If all three Certificates are successfully completed you will be awarded the Diploma in Golf Club Management.

In addition we envisage opening up the 1 day workshops to GCMA, PGA and BIGGA members for CPD if there is space. It is estimated that each of these can be completed  within an 18 month period.  If all three Certificates are successfully completed you will be awarded the Diploma in Golf Club Management.

Why Is the GCMA doing this?

Most occupations of the magnitude of a Golf Club manager have qualifications that are reflective of the job role and context in which the role is undertaken. These qualifications are usually underpinned by National Occupational Standards (NOS) and related to an Educational Framework (EF).NOS’s provide benchmarks of good practice for tasks and responsibilities of the job role (in a wide range of occupations), and EF’s help ensure that the knowledge and understanding, skills and competencies that are assessed are appropriate to the level of responsibility faced by the individual in the workplace.

To date Golf Club management has not put that type of qualification in place in the same way as other industries have, particularly the leadership and management sector. The GCMA recognises the need to professionalise the management role as the industry, and golf clubs themselves, evolve.  This view is supported by other governing bodies within golf including the R&A, home unions and associated golf organisations such as PGA and BIGGA.Indeed within golf, greenkeepers, golf professionals and golf coaches all have qualifications based on this premise. As such, in developing this set of qualifications, we are following a tried and tested methodology, recognised across a broad section of workplaces in industries across GB&I.The second reason we chose to develop the qualification in this manner, is that we identified a need to recognise that learners are coming into management from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of experiences, qualifications and levels of work based learning.

As such we have built a qualification that is flexible to the needs of the learner allowing a wide range of suitable candidates, whether in post or aspiring to be so, to study the role and demonstrate their aptitude, knowledge and skill.

How does it differ from the CMAE CCM route?

This is a different learning experience as it is remote supported by workshops which are discretionary but recommend.  Students can study at their own pace at any time.The MDP programme is made up of several residential week long courses, which does create a element of ‘community’ of the students, but adds to the cost of the MDP route. Currently anyone entering the MDP programme has to start at MDP1 – regardless of any prior learning or professional qualifications.

The diploma will take prior learning into consideration, which is unique within the industryDiploma will be formally accredited and awarded by ASQ and is on the England education framework ‘Regulated Qualifications Framework’ (RQF). The qualification is a regulated qualification in England, Ireland and Wales, and  has been recently submitted to the Scotland regulators for approval here too.It is a business qualification but focused on the golf industry – as is the MDP programme.

The content, such as the Social Responsibility, Innovation and Personal Enterprise modules, is very much forward looking and fit for the 21st century. We envisage that this will create a clear pathway to a Masters Degree in the future.

How much does it cost and is there a payment scheme?

There is a payment structure spread over six months, and you can view the pricing structure here.

Do I have to be a member to do this?

All learners on the qualifications have a GCMA affiliation. For those who are not already a GCMA member, they must enrol as an Associate member (prior to their induction day) for the duration of the Diploma for a one off price of £135.  This will give you access to the library, the GCMA monthly magazine, weekly emails and other membership benefits.

When does it start?

The first induction days are 19 October 2016 and 29 November 2016 with further days scheduled depending on demand.

Do I have to be employed at a Club to do this?

This is primarily aimed at anyone wishing to work in Golf Club Management. Whether they be managers in post, club managers, course managers or PGA professional, however this is not a limiting factor.  It is envisaged that any student competing the diploma may have to have access to Golf Club information, such as HR records or strategic plans, therefore it may be useful to have a Club sponsor such as a President or Club Captain.

What is the professional qualification?

ASQ Accredited Level 5 Diploma or ASQ Accredited Level 5 Certificate.

Is it industry recognised?

It is. As well as being recognised by the education bodies in GB&I and being aligned with the Home Unions and recruitment companies, it is envisaged that this will become a pre-requisite for future employment in the role of Golf Club Manager.

How long will it take to complete?

This depends on the previous knowledge & understanding, experience and successes that a learner brings with them to the first day of the qualification. Those with the appropriate level of  knowledge and understanding of the subject areas will be better placed to complete the qualification in a shorter space of time. The period of maximum registration for the Diploma is 3 years, and for a certificate 18 months.

Will I get CPD credits?

Yes, the PGA and GCMA will allocate 300 CPD credits to anyone successfully completing the diploma.  BIGGA will allocate 72 credits.The Certificates will attain 150 credits for PGA and GCMA members and 24 credit for BIGGA members.The 1 day workshops will attract 25 credits for PGA and GCMA and 1 credit per hour for BIGGA members.

Is this a Pass/Fail or graded qualification?

Pass/fail only.

What if I fail this?

You can re-submit any relevant course work and have this re-assessed – but there will be a small admin charge of £60 per unit when  work is re-assessed.

Will it help me get a job in Golf Club Management?

We believe so, but obviously there are no guarantees.  The ultimate goal of the GCMA is to have professional qualifications as a recognisable recruitment requirement and tool within the industry, therefore having completed the qualification should be a major career progression step.

Is there any recruitment help?

From April 2017 the GCMA will be able to support a recruitment process via its new magazine.

How do I submit my course work?

Via a web based system : Onefile.  Use of this system will be explained in detail at the Induction day and will be monitored throughout the term of the course.

Are the workshops mandatory?

They are not mandatory but highly recommended.  You can pay for all 9 workshops upfront for £450 or just pay for specific one you wish to attend at £95 each.

Who will be running the workshops & where?

Leigh Sear of SFEDI, who helped the partner organisations to create the diploma.  They will be held at the PGA National Training Academy at The Belfry, Birmingham.

What does ASQ stand for?

Associated Sports Qualification.  It is an accreditation body in which GCMA, PGA & BIGGA have a vested interest.  It is independent of any other body and meets all regulatory assessment criteria and standards which enables it to award education qualifications.

What does Level 5 mean? How does this equate to education standards?

This equates with a Foundation degree course.  The formal award is either a Certificate of Diploma dependent on the number of units completed.

Can I start the Diploma before attending the Induction day?

All students MUST attend the induction day prior to starting the diploma.

It will:

  • Set expectations of the student
  • Help them understand the systems, process, timescales, requirements and standards expected.
  • Aid with consistency between learners and learning experience
  • Help develop peer groups who can offer mutual support whilst completing the assignments
How does this sit with the Introduction to Golf Club Management course?

The Diploma is seen as the next step in the GCMA education pathway.  The Intro course is not a pre-requisite to taking the Diploma however it will be of great help if you have already completed this 1 week residential course.

I completed the BNU Certificate in Golf Club Management a few years ago – how does the diploma fit in?

The new Diploma is a natural progression from the Certificate course and having completed this it will stand you in good stead to complete the diploma.

The diploma takes prior learning into consideration and it is possible that previous coursework from the BNU certificate maybe relevant to the Diploma assignments and could therefore be submitted.  If your knowledge has extended enough, you may be able to complete some of the workbooks without attending the workshops, however only the student can determine this.

How do I apply for the diploma?

You will need to complete the form on the GCMA website with your details.  On receipt you will be sent a Pre Admission Review (PAR) form for completion which allows you to detail your experience around the 9 modules of the Diploma.  Assuming you meet the criteria, then you will be eligible for the course and your place will be secured on payment of the course fee.

www.gcma.org.uk/education/diploma/apply-now

What is the Eligibility criteria?
  • Learners must be at least 19 years old.
  • Educated normally to a standard of QCF/RQF Level 3 or equivalent. i.e. GCE AS or A-Level
  • Vocational experience is desirable, not essential.
  • A commitment to attend specified induction dates.
  • Member or Associate Member of Golf Club Managers Association.
  • Regarding access to the qualifications it is the Approved Centre’s responsibility to ensure that;
  • They are made available to everyone who is capable of reaching the required standards.
  • There should be Equal opportunities for all wishing to access the qualifications.
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