Land

Sports Turf Operative - Level 2 Apprenticeship

Writtle University College are excited to be rolling out the new Sports Turf Operative Apprenticeship Standards, which has been specifically designed by employers to meet the needs of industry and provide you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in your industry.

The Apprenticeship provides a blend of practical hands on experience with the underpinning knowledge. At the end of the Apprenticeship you will be required to complete an independent End-Point Assessment to prove you have gained the required skills to achieve the Apprenticeship.

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.

You will:

  • Work in your chosen industry for a minimum of 30 hours per week.
  • Get paid a minimum of the Apprenticeship Wage (gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates).
  • Study in a flexible way - students attend College one day a week and work with their employer for the rest of the week.
  • Be assessed and graded with either a pass, merit or distinction at the end of your programme by an Independent Assessment Organisation.
  • Complete Functional Skills in English and Maths or there is the option to study for Maths and English GCSE (depending on previous qualifications)*.
  • Complete work-related tasks and assessments.
  • Receive mentoring visits in your workplace from your Writtle University College Training Officer, who will provide support, assess and review your progress.
  • Gain a City & Guilds accredited and nationally recognised qualification.

Course Content

Knowledge

The knowledge which underpins the required skills will allow a Sports Turf Operative to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the principles of the maintenance and renovation requirements of different sports turf surfaces which are appropriate to their level of apprenticeship and the specific needs of the industry sector. These are:

  • Compliance with environmental and health and safety legislation and regulations.
  • Compliance with policies and procedures - company, client, health and safety risk assessments, rules of the game from the different Governing Bodies of Sport.
  • The identification and correct application of materials, tools, equipment and machinery used in maintenance and renovation activities.
  • Identification and understanding of different grasses, soil types, weeds, pests, diseases, turf disorders, artificial surfacing material, underlays, infill material, turf and soil reinforcement material, line marking materials.
  • The principles of photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration in the growth and development of plants.
  • The impact of weather, ground conditions and usage on pitch quality and playing quality.
  • The different Performance Quality Standards for a range of different sports turf surfaces.
  • How to minimise waste and reduce environmental impacts.
  • How to monitor, record and report basic grounds maintenance findings.

Skills

The Sports Turf Operative must be able to apply the knowledge and skills in a logical and systematic approach and demonstrate a positive work ethic in achieving the desired outcomes from the sports surfaces being maintained.

In order to do this they will need to be capable of the following:

  • Maintain and renovate turf surfaces in a safe and appropriate way to ensure games can take place which provide for a fair, safe and exciting contest for players. This will include the safe use of a range of equipment and machinery, such as mowers, scarifiers, aerators and other specialist turf care equipment, covering hand tools, as well as pedestrian operated, ride-on and tractor mounted implements
  • Correctly calibrate equipment for material requirements and apply at the correct rates a range of materials, including grass seed, fertiliser and bulky top-dressing
  • Use integrated prevention and control methods to reduce the incidence of diseases, disorders, pests and weeds on turf
  • Set and mark out sports areas in accordance with the Laws of the Governing Bodies of Sport
  • Maintain tools, equipment and machinery used for maintenance and renovation activities to ensure their safe and effective use
  • Maintain and conduct basic routine servicing and repairs to drainage and irrigation systems
  • Effectively communicate with others and provide an excellent level of customer service
  • Work safely, efficiently and effectively at all times, whether under supervision, as an individual, or in a team

What are the progression options?

After completing an Apprenticeship at level 2, the natural progression route would be to progress on to the level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, after which the option for continuing study would be to progress in to Higher Education or alternatively the Apprentice can progress in to full time employment within the industry.

How do I apply?

An apprentice needs to be in paid employment, so whilst you can apply for the Apprenticeship before you find an employer, you'll need to be employed before you can start the course. Many of our Apprentices already worked or volunteered for the companies who then decide to support them through their Apprenticeship. Our employers range from large local authorities and national contractors to micro companies. We are always happy to provide your employers with the information they need regarding potentially employing an Apprentice and can offer advice, however small or large businesses may be.

I don't have an employer

If you are interested in becoming an Apprentice, but don't have an employer please visit our website for tips on how to find an employer and to see a list of our current Apprenticeship vacancies.

I have an employer

If you have secured or are already in relevant paid employment with an employer willing to support you through the apprenticeship please complete the application form.