About the Apprenticeship
This occupation exists to ensure that public and private sports facilities are available for use by the public and ensures facilities are available to support the Government policy of increasing physical activity.
A Sports Turf Operative is responsible for the maintenance and renovation and overall appearance of one or more sports turf surfaces in accordance with the needs of the particular sport. It is their job to maintain an appropriate quality playing surface that reflects the carrying capacity of that surface to ensure that a sustainable playing surface is provided.
The career as a Sports Turf Operative can be quite varied, potentially working across a wide range of different sports and venues, including athletics, bowls, cricket, croquet, football, hockey, horse racing, rugby league and union, tennis and ranging from general parks type sports surfaces up to first-class stadia. Working in the outdoor environment is a healthy and therapeutic activity, which contributes to the well-being of employees as well as users of sports surfaces. With the vast range of natural or artificial turf pitches available, throughout the UK and worldwide, now is an excellent time to join this well-established and dynamic profession.
Entry requirements will be determined by individual employers but typically potential apprentices will have English & maths GCSE at Grades A-C (4-9) or other equivalent vocational qualifications. Employers, who recruit apprentices without the above levels of qualifications, will have to ensure they achieve Level 1 in English and maths as part of their Apprenticeship.
This standard is recognised by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG), the Professional Body for Sports Turf Operatives, and others working in the grounds care industry. Upon achievement of this standard, the apprentice will be eligible to join the IOG register of Turf Management Professionals.
There are no tuition fees to you as the apprentice. The fees will be paid by your employer. 16-18 years olds will be free unless your employer has 50+ employees when they need to pay 5% of the costs. Aged 19+ then there is a 5% course fee or the levy charge associated with the particular apprenticeship.
Requirements – Knowledge:
- Compliance with environmental and health and safety legislation and regulations
- Compliance with policies and procedures – company, client, health and safety risk
assessments, rules of the game from the different Governing Bodies of Sport
- The identification and correct application of materials, tools, equipment and machinery used
in maintenance and renovation activities
- Identification and understanding of different grasses, soil types, weeds, pests, diseases, turf
disorders, artificial surfacing material, underlays, infill material, turf and soil reinforcement
material, line marking materials
- The principles of photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration in the growth and development
- The impact of weather, ground conditions and usage on pitch quality and playing quality
- The different Performance Quality Standards for a range of different sports turf surfaces
- How to minimise waste and reduce environmental impacts
- How to monitor, record and report basic grounds maintenance findings.
Requirements – Skills:
- Maintain and renovate turf surfaces in a safe and appropriate way to ensure games can take place which provide for a fair, safe and exciting contest for players. This will include the safe use of a range of equipment and machinery, such as mowers, scarifiers, aerators and other specialist turf care equipment, covering hand tools, as well as pedestrian operated, ride-on and tractor mounted implements
- Correctly calibrate equipment for material requirements and apply at the correct rates a range of materials, including grass seed, fertiliser and bulky top-dressing
- Use integrated prevention and control methods to reduce the incidence of diseases, disorders, pests and weeds on turf
- Set and mark out sports areas in accordance with the Laws of the Governing Bodies of Sport
- Maintain tools, equipment and machinery used for maintenance and renovation activities to ensure their effective use
Maintain and conduct basic routine servicing and repairs to drainage and irrigation systems
- Effectively communicate with others and provide an excellent level of customer service
- Work safely, efficiently and effectively at all times, whether under supervision, as an
individual, or in a team.
Requirements – Behaviours:
- Safety orientation
- Positive work ethic
- Quality focused
- Team player
- Contributor to sustainability
The End Point Assessment forms 100% of the assessment of the apprenticeship. The final assessment will contain two components:
- Synoptic knowledge assessment
- Synoptic practical assessment