Welcome to BIGGA's Learning and Development area

BIGGA offers a wide range of learning and development opportunities for its members. The greenkeeping world is changing rapidly and whether via in-person events, online resources or access to the brightest minds in modern agronomy, there's no better place to develop your abilities and keep up with the industry than by utilising your BIGGA membership.

People with access to learning and development programmes have the edge in comparison to others in the industry – and companies who acknowledge and challenge their staff through training opportunities find that employees have more job satisfaction and add more value to the company.

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Deb Burnett

Learning and Development Manager

Contact Deb

Deb is responsible for the organisation and operation of BIGGA’s learning opportunities throughout the year, including the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme, the Future Turf Managers Initiative (FTMI) and Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year, alongside countless other activities. She also is responsible for the production of the Continue to Learn programme and delivery each year.

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Janette Pascall

Learning & Development Administrator

Contact Janette

Call +44 (0) 1347 666 591

Janette supports BIGGA members to offer help and advice with all aspects of their membership, with a particular focus on the Continue to Learn programme and wider Learning & Development activities.

 Alternatively, email [email protected]

Greenkeepers are incredibly skilled professionals!

Learning and Development opportunities

Educational and networking

Continue to Learn

BIGGA's world-renowned programme of educational classes, seminars and conferences that takes place each January as part of the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition. The event provides an opportunity to learn from industry experts and to discover new techniques and technologies.
Continue to Learn offers over 250 hours of education across four days, covering a wide range of topics. The event is designed to help attendees develop their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry.
The Continue to Learn programme is launched each October and can be viewed on the BTME website.

Other learning opportunities

Throughout the year, BIGGA members host countless learning opportunities for their colleagues and peers. Whether hosting course walks or organising visits to other venues, turf management is a close-knit community that supports each other at every opportunity. On a local level, the key learning opportunity hosted by BIGGA is our annual Conference programme, taking place each autumn in each of BIGGA’s five regions.

Head to the regional pages on the BIGGA website or talk to your membership services manager for more information.

Master Greenkeeper Certificate

The pinnacle of BIGGA’s Continuing Professional Development scheme is the Master Greenkeeper Certificate. This is a professional designation awarded by BIGGA to experienced golf course professionals who have demonstrated a high level of expertise in the field of golf course management.

To qualify for the Master Greenkeeper certificate, a candidate must have at least 10 years’ experience working as a greenkeeping including three years as a head greenkeeper, course manager or superintendent with two years at their current golf course.

BIGGA has awarded 89 Master Greenkeeper certificates since 1991 and you can find out more about them here.

Learning resources

Online resource library

The BIGGA website features more than 500 resources for members to download on topics relating to all aspects of their role. Find out more here.

Highlights include selected Continue to Learn sessions recorded every year since 2017. These are available to watch free of charge to all BIGGA members.

BIGGA and EIGCA Lending Library

More than 2,600 books can be borrowed for up to six weeks at no additional cost. Available to members of BIGGA and the EIGCA, available titles can be viewed and requested on the BIGGA website.

On Course Field Guides

Available to every greenkeeper member, these can be downloaded from the BIGGA website or a physical copy can be requested by emailing [email protected] or calling 01347 833 800.

There are six Field Guides available:

  • Major Diseases and Pests of Fine Turf
  • The Identification of Golf Course Grasses
  • The Identification and Uses of the Main Grasses Found in Golf Course Rough
  • The Identification of Damage Caused by Mammals and Birds
  • A Guide to the Legislation and Recognition of Protected Habitats and Species

How To... Guides

Short, handy downloadable guides providing practical, step-by-step guidance on a range of human resources subjects. Find out more here.

The How To… Guides answer questions such as:

  • How do I conduct a one-to-one meeting?
  • How do I conduct a team briefing?
  • How do I prepare for an appraisal?
  • How do I recruit the right staff?
  • How do I write a job description?

Additional resources available to BIGGA members

Monthly subscription to Greenkeeper International

Access to the Turfgrass Information File from Michigan State University Libraries, which contains the most comprehensive collection of turfgrass educational materials in the world

Downloadable information posters

Access to the Agrovista Academy



BIGGA members are eligible to apply for funding to support their learning and development activities following two years’ continuous membership.

Refund of Fees Scheme supported by Baroness

BIGGA members who have paid for their own relevant education or training can apply for an 80% refund up to a maximum of £500 to contribute towards education and course costs. Application forms are available from the BIGGA website. Find out more here.

Higher Education Scholarship supported by Jacobsen

Designed to help BIGGA members move into higher education, a scholarship of up to £1,000 may be awarded to those studying towards:

  • N/SVQ Level 4
  • Higher National Certificate
  • Foundation Degree/HND
  • BSc Turf Management

More information is available here.

ICL Continue to Learn Scholarship

ICL appreciates that the valuable career development opportunities provided by Continue to Learn at BTME are not available to every greenkeeper and the scholarship provides access to ambitious BIGGA members who would otherwise miss out.

More information is available here.


Career defining initiatives

As BIGGA members progress through their careers, BIGGA and the association’s Premium Partners provide exciting opportunities to gain experience and recognition that can propel your career to the highest levels. Head to the Members Opportunities page in the members’ area of the BIGGA website to find out more and apply.

BIGGA Delegation to the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show sponsored by Bernhard and Company

Held every two years, 10 full BIGGA members are selected to attend the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in the United States, the biggest single event in the turf management industry. Hosted since 2001, the BIGGA Delegation is among the most respected initiatives in the greenkeeping profession. Members receive return flights, accommodation and access to education events, in addition to visiting famous golf facilities in the vicinity. Find out more here.

Future Turf Managers Initiative with Jacobsen

FTMI is presented in partnership with Jacobsen and provides members with practical tools and guidance that helps candidates pursue their career ambitions. Twenty BIGGA members are selected for this annual opportunity for BIGGA members who are looking to take the step into management roles. Working with professional trainers and experience turf managers acting as mentors, candidates leave FTMI with a clear understanding of what the future holds. Find out more here.

John Deere TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Programme

One full member from each of BIGGA’s five regions plus an overseas member are invited to be involved in the hosting of THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Accommodation, food and uniform are provided for the duration of the 10-day stay in America and this is a wonderful opportunity to play an active role in the hosting of a major PGA Tour event. Find out more here.

Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards

An annual competition that recognises the achievements of students studying turf management and greenkeeping in the UK. The competition is open to those undertaking work-based learning Levels 2 and 3, with the awards sponsored by Toro and Reesink UK.

There are two categories, a ‘senior’ award and a ‘young’ award and incredible prizes await the successful candidates, with the finals taking place in person each September. Find out more here


Continuing Professional Development

BIGGA provides opportunties to develop new skills and knowledge, which ensure our members remain at the forefront of education and training provision for turf professionals. Well-qualified, confident and accomplished greenkeepers are key to our collective ambition to achieve greater respect for the profession.

BIGGA's CPD scheme is a programme where members record their learning and work towards Approved status and CPD Milestones. By committing to CPD, BIGGA members identify themselves as competent and motivated turf professionals.

CPD is a benchmark for:

  • Professionalism
  • Maintaining, improving and broadening your knowledge and skills
  • The development of personal qualities that you will need to be successful throughout your carer

Every BIGGA member is automatically enrolled onto the BIGGA CPD programme. Your CPD account can be accessed via the BIGGA website and will become Active as soon as you claim your first credit.

CPD credits can be gained on a massive range of activities, many of which you'll already be doing without realising. You could be reading Greenkeeper International, playing in a golf day or learning a new language; all these and more are opportuntiies to log CPD credits that will set you on your way to achieving CPD Approved status, meaning you have logged 60 credits within a three-year cycle.

Head to the Continuing Professional Development pages for more information and to access the CPD Handbook, which offers more information and details many of the activities you can undertake to claim CPD credits.

Learning and Development Fund

The Continuing Professional Development and world class education we provide would not be possible without the assistance of our BIGGA Business Affiliates. Ensuring our members stay at the forefront of the turf management industry takes considerable investment, and we are hugely grateful to them for their ongoing support.

Individual contributors: Steven Tierney MG, Chris Lomas MG, Andrew Campbell MG CGCS, Richard McGlynn, Jaey Goodchild, Frank Newberry, Greg Evans MG, Jon Kiger


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