Course at a glance
An apprenticeship is a job with training. The job must have a productive purpose and should provide the apprentice with the opportunity to embed and consolidate the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need for their immediate job and future career.
Individual employers will set their own selection criteria.
Apprentices should have or be able to complete Level 1 Maths and English, equivalent to GCSE Grade 2 (old GCSE Grade E) or above, plus suitable and relevant employment. Apprentices will be expected to work towards Level 2 Maths and English where this has not been achieved.
Cost for students aged Under 19
For students over the age of 19 please contact us
A Sports Turf Operative, which is also known as a Groundsperson or Grounds Maintenance Operative, is involved in maintaining and renovating sports surfaces to make sure that public and private sports facilities are available for use.
This does not include golf greenkeeping, for which there is a separate apprenticeship standard.
This job role involves ensuring 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 which 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 world-wide, now is an excellent time to join this well-established and dynamic profession.
This apprenticeship is the starting point for those wishing to work directly in the industry. On completion, further career progression can be achieved through training. Up to date information on these opportunities is available from the Grounds Management Association.
Through your daily work with your employer and your training sessions with the college, you will learn the requirements of preparing and maintaining sports surfaces competently including:
- Correctly calibrating equipment for material requirements and applying at the correct rates a range of materials, including grass seed, fertiliser and bulky top-dressing
- Using integrated prevention and control methods to reduce the incidence of diseases, disorders, pests and weeds on turf
- Setting and marking out sports areas in accordance with the Laws of the Governing Bodies of Sport
- Maintaining tools, equipment and machinery used for maintenance and renovation activities to ensure their safe and effective use
- Maintaining and conducting basic routine servicing and repairs to drainage and irrigation systems
- Effectively communicating with others and providing an excellent level of customer service
- Working safely, efficiently and effectively at all times, whether under supervision, as an individual, or in a team
On successful completion of the training period, you will move through End Point Assessment Gateway and be in a position to undertake the assessments required in order to achieve your apprenticeship.
The End Point Assessment will only start once the employer is satisfied that you are consistently working at or above the level set out in the occupational standard, the pre-requisite gateway requirements have been met and that they can be evidenced to an End Point Assessment Organisation.
The End Point Assessor will be appointed by the EPAO and will be entirely independent to the college.
For this apprenticeship the End Point Assessment will include:
- Knowledge exam, usually taken at college
- Practical assessment of tasks in your workplace
Your apprenticeship will be graded Fail, Pass, Merit or Distinction.
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.
The duration of the apprenticeship is based on a skills analysis and the development opportunities within the business.
The maximum duration for this apprenticeship training period is 18 months, with up to a further 6 months to undertake the End Point Assessment.
This could be reduced where an apprentice holds previous experience.
Individual employers will set their own selection criteria.
Apprentices should have or be able to complete Level 1 Maths and English, equivalent to GCSE Grade 2 (old GCSE Grade E) or above, plus suitable and relevant employment.
Apprentices will be expected to work towards Level 2 Maths and English where this has not been achieved.
Employers pay for apprenticeship training, where fees are applicable. We will discuss this with your employer when we complete a set-up with them.
The fees charged for the apprenticeship include any awarding body registration costs, all on-programme teaching, assessment and support delivered by the college, support materials, access to college facilities such as the Learning Resource Centre, Student Moodle, and access to wider college student support services where required.
Employers must pay apprentices at least the minimum rate set out by current National Minimum Wage Legislation. This includes payment for all off-job learning and any associated costs such as travel and accommodation.
Information about the National Minimum Wage can be found at:
Your employer must enable you to spend a minimum of 20% of your usual work hours undertaking off-job learning. This is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads towards the achievement of the apprenticeship. This can include training that is delivered at your normal place of work but must not be delivered as part of your normal working duties, and must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard.
Off-job learning could include the following:
- Teaching of theory such as lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning or manufacturer training
- Practical training such as shadowing experienced staff or mentoring, industry visits and attendance at competitions
- Study support and time spent writing assessments/assignments
Your employer must commit to supporting you in the workplace, participating in progress review meetings, providing use of ICT facilities so you can access your e-portfolio and agreeing/ensuring your readiness for the End Point Assessment. They may be required to provide further supporting evidence/endorsements about your performance, which form part of the End Point Assessment.
Further details of the End Point Assessment will be made available to you during your induction.
We will support you through regular Apprenticeship Progress Review meetings with you and your manager, provide well planned vocational training and theory delivery by block release model and support your theory learning in the workplace with a range of learning materials.
This programme is delivered at our York Campus on Block-release.
How to apply
Applications should be made using the college application form or via the college website.
This form can be found at: https://www.askham-bryan.ac.uk/application/register.
Upon receipt of your application you will have an interview with the Course Manager
Further information about the apprenticeship standard is available on:
Further information about the industry is a available at:
Or, for more information, contact the Apprenticeship Admin team on:
York is one of the College's two residential campuses and is located just four miles from York city centre. At York we offer a full range of subject areas and levels including Apprenticeships, Level 1-3 Diplomas, Foundation, Top Up and BSc Honours Degrees.
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