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GTC Trailblazer Apprenticeship updates

Download 6:Your guide to who does what in the apprenticeship process. To download more information sheets use this link00134 GTC & L&D Apprenticeship Graphic from Magazine 2

Are you a parent wishing to find out more about apprenticeships?   As a parent, guardian or carer, you play a key role in guiding your child as they take their next step:

If you’re an employer with operations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you may also want to contact your apprenticeship authority:

The Greenkeepers Training Committee Trailblazer Apprenticeships

Level 2 Apprenticeship: The new Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship, also known as the Level 2 Certificate in Golf Greenkeeping (0143) has been developed by the GTC in consultation with Employers, Training Providers and the Golf Industry.  As a programme of learning and education the certificate is designed to promote a more rounded greenkeeper qualification and incorporates some of the Work Based Diploma Level 3 elements such as soil science, irrigation and drainage.  A Trailblazer Apprentice can be any age and recent education reforms ensure that the new Golf Greenkeeping Apprentices are fully competent in the complete range of knowledge, skills and behaviours required to be a qualified Golf Greenkeeper.

Level 3 Apprenticeship: The NEW Advanced Golf Greenkeeper Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard is approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education for delivery.  

The Advanced Golf Greenkeeper apprenticeship is designed to provide the greenkeeper with the skills and knowledge to operate at an advanced level where supervisory and/or specialist technical and agronomic skills are required. Upon completion the advanced greenkeeper will have the necessary skills to supervise the greenkeeping team and the maintenance of the golf course, in the absence of the Head Greenkeeper/Golf Course Manager, and will assist in the planning, supervising and implementing the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course in line with the employer’s requirements.

Level 5 Apprenticeship: The NEW Golf Course Manager Apprenticeship (Level 5) has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.  

A Golf Course Manager, (sometimes employers prefer to title the job Head Greenkeeper) is required to have excellent management skills as well as a high level of technical, agronomic and mechanical knowledge and skills.

A Golf Course Manager is responsible for the management of the golf course, resources and staff, on behalf of their employer. They plan and implement maintenance schedules for the golf course and equipment and are responsible for the allocation of work, recruitment of staff to the greenkeeping team and will implement human resource polices within their team. They will implement strategic and budgetary plans. It is their job to oversee the production of quality playing surface and ensure the course offers a consistent challenge and an enjoyable experience for golfers.

This Standard includes the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are required to become a competent Golf Course Manager and reflect the diversity of the occupation.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a genuine job with paid wages.  The Golf Greenkeeper Apprentice can be an existing or new employee at the Golf Club and through their apprenticeship they will gain wider skills and knowledge to progress within their chosen greenkeeping career.  The Apprentice must spend at least 20% of their time on off-the-job training - this training must be provided by a Training Provider and be directly relevant to the apprenticeship.


  • The employer through negotiation with the chosen Training Provider will decide on how the training is to be delivered. This can be a mixture of on-site training and part time study at college. The level 2 qualification will take between 18 - 24 months, although it can be obtained in a minimum of 15 months; the Apprentice has to go through the full seasonal year. The process starts with registering with a Training Provider and the Employer negotiates the package and delivery to suit. 
  • Employers, Course Managers and Turf Tutors from GTC Approved Training Providers continue to be involved, working in partnership as the Apprentice moves through their apprenticeship to help build their evidence portfolio, the GTC Training Manual. When the apprentice is ready they will take an End-point Assessment (EPA), which consists of an on-line test, a trainee statement and 6 practical end-point assessments.  The EPA will be carried out by an Independent End-point Assessor who will visit the golf course on an agreed date for the Apprentice to go on a course walk and be assessed on selected tasks.  Download our guide to the Golf Greenkeeper EPA.
  • Two further Standards at Level 3 and Level 5 for the jobs/occupations beyond Golf Greenkeeper have been approved by Government.  The materials for these new levels have been developed by the GTC. The standards can be downloaded using the links opposite.
  • Employing an apprentice is very simple. The National Apprenticeship Service can provide all the information you need to know in order to employ an apprentice.
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