Deciding to become a Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) can be a big step in the career of a superintendent. It’s not to be taken lightly. GCSAA and the Certification Committee just completed an update to the program which should make becoming a CGCS more attractive. The biggest change was removing the portfolio requirement and adding a new Leadership & Communication requirement. In addition to GCSAA’s CGCS program, GCSAA now has the Assistant Superintendent Certificate Series (ASCS) and the Equipment Manager Certificate Program (EMCP). As the value of continuing education increases, there will be a plethora of opportunities for local chapters to step up to meet the needs of members embarking on these programs.
To maintain Class A status, the superintendents must now earn 5 total points (3 Education Point minimum) within each 5-year renewal cycle. To maintain CGCS status, the superintendent must now earn 15 total points (9 education points minimum). The remainder of the points for each can be education or golf-centric service points. In addition to education points, both the Class A and the CGCS must also maintain a pesticide license. Education points can easily be earned by attending the GCSAA Conference & Trade Show each year, but unfortunately, not all golf courses have the budget for that. This means education must be sourced virtually through GCSAA’s webinar platform or locally at the chapter level.
With so much emphasis on education, it is important for the chapter to provide regular and up-to-date education for the superintendent to maintain either their Class A or CGCS status. I know a few executives who record their member's points following each event by simply having a sign-in sheet at the registration desk then recording them online. This is a great service to the members and can avoid losing track of event codes and forgetting to log them in. Even if the event is only golf and networking, members can obtain 0.1 service points. You can find out what type of activities qualify for points with the New Education and Golf-Centric Service Points chart.
With the addition of the ASCS and the EMCP programs, this too will open up some opportunities for chapters to provide additional education. If your chapter doesn’t have a Class C or Class EM membership classification, this might be something to consider. The need to develop upcoming superintendents and EM’s has never been so great. Chapters are now holding stand-alone events geared exclusively for Class C’s and EM’s. Education can be tailored to fit the need of each member and will help them become stronger assets to their facilities. It may even help prepare them for the certificate programs if they are so inclined.
At the end of the day, providing more opportunities for engagement with your members is a win for the membership and a win for the chapter's relevance. It will drive attendance which will then increase revenue. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your GCSAA field staff for trends in education and chapter events.
NW Field Staff