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The GTC Guide to Qualifications in Britain

There are two pathways of training available to gain qualifications within the greenkeeping profession; work-based and work-related.  A greenkeeper can criss-cross these education routes to find the best fit for his/her career aspirations.

  • Work-based qualifications

Work-based Diplomas and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ's) are achieved through training and assessment. Assessment is usually carried out through on-the-job observation and questioning. Assessors may be the course manager or a deputy in the workplace or one appointed by an approved Assessment Centre.  Candidates build a portfolio of evidence to show that they are competent to meet the standards. Assessors test the candidates' knowledge, understanding and work-based performance to make sure that they can demonstrate competence in the workplace. Assessors sign off units when the candidate proves competence to the national occupational standards.

Training is provided by a qualified trainer (who may be the course manager) or by a Training Provider who will also teach the underpinning knowledge required.


Recent education reforms have been introduced to simplify the whole process and to increase the quality of apprenticeships.  New changes ensure apprentices are fully competent in the complete range of skills, knowledge and behaviours required to be a qualified Golf Greenkeeper. Read more about the Golf Greenkeeper Apprenticeship available in England. 

For Golf Club Employers, apprenticeships are a great way of ensuring their entry-level staff are engaged and committed to their fledgling careers, while also gaining the knowledge they need to become outstanding members of the greenkeeping team.

Work-Based Qualifications

Suitable For:

Certificate in Golf Greenkeeping
(England only) Level 2

 School Leaver, Trainee/Apprentice, or employee (of any age) with 2yrs prior experience


Work Based Diploma Level 2 Sports Turf 

SVQ Level 2 Sports Turf

 Trainee/Apprentice, or employee with 2yrs prior experience


Advanced Golf Greenkeeper apprenticeship 
(England only) Level 3

Work Based Diploma Level 3 Sports Turf 

SVQ Level 3 Sports Turf

 First Assistant, Head Greenkeeper/Deputy Course Manager


Level 5 Golf Course Manager Apprenticeship

(England only)

 Head Green Keeper/Golf Course Manager

  • Work-related qualifications

Some Golf Club employees and other people wanting to learn about the greenkeeping industry may wish to undertake work related Further Education.   Work-related qualifications are based in college and can be studied either full or part time.  Qualifications available to study are:

  • Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Golf Course Management
  • Higher National Diploma (HND) in Golf Course Management
  • Foundation Degree (FD) in Sports Turf & Golf Course Management
  • BSc in Turfgrass Science
  • MSc in Sports Turf Surfaces

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  • GB-Logo-999x661

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