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Earning a professional certification is a career achievement, and the Certified Grounds Manager (CGM) certification from the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) is no different. While many professionals have completed this program, many others have yet to take the leap. Let’s look at one CGM’s experience to understand the process.
Brad Barbee, CGM and grounds manager at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Ga., found the program while searching for professional associations. He reached out to colleagues to learn more and took the hardest step, sending in his application.
Soon, he was approved to take the application test. The Professional Grounds Manager Evaluation (PGME) is an extensive presentation of the applicant’s body of work.
A mentor guides applicants through the process. Brad’s final presentation served as a manual for maintaining the college’s grounds at a top level. All the unwritten methods and procedures of maintaining the campus were now written down.
To ensure all material was at the expected level, his mentor had to approve the evaluation before it could be sent for grading. The time between submitting and hearing results can be nerve-racking. Depending on the project’s complexity, it can take weeks for results.
Brad became CGM #158 after submitting his PGME and looks back at the process as a defining moment in his career. Like many CGMs, his advice to aspiring certified grounds managers is to jump in. You cannot succeed if you do not apply.