PGMS: Attaining Proper Certifications
As the grounds management field continues to evolve, manager who continue to learn and earn certification can better benefit their facility.
With new and evolving challenges, trends, and practices, it is important for employers to identify opportunities to further educate employees to anticipate issues, improve operations, and stay current. Professional certification programs provide a narrowed scope of knowledge to help bridge knowledge gaps.
Traditional four-year degrees provide theoretical knowledge and are often complemented by professional certifications, which are more hands-on. Professional certifications go beyond academic training. They test management skills and professional knowledge gained through experience. Completing a professional certification signifies competency against recognized standards. Continuing education to maintain a certification requires individuals to remain up to date in their fields.
The Green Industry offers a plethora of professional certifications. For individuals specializing in sports fields, the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) offers its Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM) certification. The Irrigation Association’s Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA) targets individuals whose work includes analyzing landscape water use.
The Certified Grounds Manager (CGM®) program from the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) has been the premiere program of its type for more than 30 years. The certification is an extensive two-part process. Part one, the application test, covers multiple facets of grounds management. Part two, the Professional Grounds Manager Evaluation (PGME), is an extensive portfolio in nine specific areas including turf management, budgets and finance, and irrigation.
For areas an applicant might not actively manage, the PGME aids in learning the technical aspects, which in turn allows for successful hiring and supervision of a project. The PGME takes about a year to complete and serves as a working document for the candidate and the institution. For more information, visit pgms.org.
Stephanie Bruno is executive director of the PGMS, an individual membership society of grounds professionals advancing the grounds management profession. www.linkedin.com/groups/4173565; www.facebook.com/ProfessionalGroundsManagementSociety