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Advanced sports turf technician

Key information

  1. Status: Approved for delivery
  2. Reference: ST1323
  3. Version: 1.0
  4. Level: 3
  5. Typical duration to gateway: 24 months
  6. Typical EPA period: 4 months
  7. Maximum funding: £8000
  8. Route: Agriculture, environmental and animal care
  9. Date updated: 04/11/2022
  10. Approved for delivery: 11 October 2022
  11. Lars code: 689
  12. EQA provider: Ofqual
  13. Example progression routes:
  14. Review:

    This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Print apprenticeship summary

Apprenticeship summary

Overview of the role

Ensure that public and private sports turf surfaces meet the requirements of the sport.

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a wide range of relevant venues, for example, athletics, bowls, cricket, croquet, football, golf, hockey, equestrian events, rugby league and union, and tennis. Venues include public parks, sports clubs, schools, first class stadia, training facilities and golf courses including links, parkland and heathland. Facilities can range in size and stature, from international stadia and championship golf courses that host big events through to smaller, local venues serving the local community. 

The broad purpose of the occupation is to ensure that public and private sports turf surfaces (including hybrid but not fully artificial surfaces) meet the requirements of the sport and are available for use at all levels from amateur to professional sport. They supervise the staff and the maintenance of the sports turf surfaces. They supervise the planning, maintenance, care, and overall appearance of surfaces in line with the employer’s requirements and the requirements of the sport’s governing body. They may lead, support and supervise renovation and associated projects and typically have responsibility for maintaining wider facilities.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. They might typically report to a manager, deputy manager, general manager, owner or a committee. On a daily basis, they may interact with visitors, the general public, players, coaching staff, and other turf management/greenkeeping colleagues. They may also be required to liaise with suppliers and delivery personnel.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for ensuring that the playing surfaces are suitably prepared. They will also have responsibilities across the wider facility. They supervise staff or volunteers and are responsible for ensuring that the playing surface is suitably prepared and maintained in line with the rules of the relevant sport. They will have responsibility for the safe use and maintenance of irrigation, drainage, equipment, and machinery used by operatives. They must adhere to relevant health and safety and environmental legislation and present a professional image. They would not necessarily have direct responsibility for budget control but would be expected to advise their manager and colleagues on the correct use and deployment of resources.

Typical job titles include:

Advanced golf greenkeeper Advanced sports turf technician Assistant head grounds person Deputy course manager Deputy head greenkeeper Deputy head grounds person First assistant greenkeeper Pitch manager Senior greenkeeper Senior grounds person Skilled grounds person

Duties

  • Duty 1 Supervise and undertake the preparation and maintenance of the playing surface in accordance with governing bodies requirements, rules and regulations.
  • Duty 2 Evaluate performance and agronomic data of playing surfaces (e.g. weather data, soil conditions, performance quality standard). Recommends improvements to turf health and playing surface conditions.
  • Duty 3 Monitor and control threats to turf health and apply sustainable integrated pest management practices (encompassing weeds, pests, and diseases).
  • Duty 4 Supervise and implement processes, procedures and strategies for the effective usage of irrigation and drainage systems to maximise sports turf health and surface performance.
  • Duty 5 Prepare sports turf machinery and supervise maintenance programmes for equipment and machinery.
  • Duty 6 Agree the specification and implement resource and budget requirements for sports turf projects.
  • Duty 7 Supervise and mentor operatives and report on staff performance.
  • Duty 8 Supervise the adoption of sustainable and environmentally friendly working practices.
  • Duty 9 Ensure a safe working environment and the adoption of legal working practices including the reviewing of risk assessments.
  • Duty 10 Maintain own personal development by keeping up to date with current industry practices.
  • Duty 11 Communicate with stakeholders on the factors affecting the condition of the sports turf and manage expectations.
  • Duty 12 Plan, prepare for and supervise the construction or renovation of the sports turf facilities.

Apprenticeship summary

ST1323, advanced sports turf technician level 3


This is a summary of the key things that you – the apprentice and your employer need to know about your end-point assessment (EPA). You and your employer should read the EPA plan for the full details. It has information on assessment method requirements, roles and responsibilities, and re-sits and re-takes.

What is an end-point assessment and why it happens

An EPA is an assessment at the end of your apprenticeship. It will assess you against the knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSBs) in the occupational standard. Your training will cover the KSBs. The EPA is your opportunity to show an independent assessor how well you can carry out the occupation you have been trained for.

Your employer will choose an end-point assessment organisation (EPAO) to deliver the EPA. Your employer and training provider should tell you what to expect and how to prepare for your EPA. 

The length of the training for this apprenticeship is typically 24 months. The EPA period is typically 4 months.

The overall grades available for this apprenticeship are:

  • fail
  • pass
  • merit
  • distinction

When you pass the EPA, you will be awarded your apprenticeship certificate.

EPA gateway

The EPA gateway is when the EPAO checks and confirms that you have met any requirements required before you start the EPA. You will only enter the gateway when your employer says you are ready.



The gateway requirements for your EPA are:

  • achieved English and mathematics qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules
  • for the project, presentation and questions, the project's title and scope must be agreed with the EPAO and a project summary submitted

  • for the professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk, you must submit a portfolio of evidence

  • passed any other qualifications listed in the occupational standard

For the advanced sports turf technician, the qualification required is:

Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Pesticides (PA1) along with either PA2 (Boom Sprayer) OR PA6 (Handheld Applicators) or equivalents shown at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/resources/R/Recognised_certificates.pdf



Assessment methods







Short and long written test


You will complete a test requiring long and short written answers. It will be closed book, meaning you will not have access to any books or reference materials.
 In the the test you can have:

Calculator

The test will have 14 long and short response written questions. You will have 120 minutes to complete it.









Project with report



You will complete a project and write a report. You will be asked to complete a project. The title and scope must be agreed with the EPAO at the gateway. The report should be a maximum of 3000 words (with a 10% tolerance).

You will have 8 weeks to complete the project and submit the report to the EPAO.




You need to prepare and give a presentation to an independent assessor. Your presentation slides and any supporting materials should be submitted at the same time as the project output. The presentation with questions will last at least 30 minutes. The independent assessor will ask at least 5 questions about the project and presentation.




Professional discussion




You will have a professional professional discussion with an independent assessor. It will last 120 minutes. They will ask you at least 8 questions. The questions will be about certain aspects of your occupation. You need to compile a portfolio of evidence before the EPA gateway. You can use it to help answer the questions.






The EPAO will confirm where and when each assessment method will take place.

Who to contact for help or more information

You should speak to your employer if you have a query that relates to your job.



You should speak to your training provider if you have any questions about your training or EPA before it starts.

You should receive detailed information and support from the EPAO before the EPA starts. You should speak to them if you have any questions about your EPA once it has started.


Reasonable adjustments


If you have a disability, a physical or mental health condition or other special considerations, you may be able to have a reasonable adjustment that takes this into account. You should speak to your employer, training provider and EPAO and ask them what support you can get. The EPAO will decide if an adjustment is appropriate.


Professional recognition

This apprenticeship aligns with British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) for full member

Please contact the professional body for more details.

Print occupational standard

Details of the occupational standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a wide range of relevant venues, for example, athletics, bowls, cricket, croquet, football, golf, hockey, equestrian events, rugby league and union, and tennis. Venues include public parks, sports clubs, schools, first class stadia, training facilities and golf courses including links, parkland and heathland. Facilities can range in size and stature, from international stadia and championship golf courses that host big events through to smaller, local venues serving the local community. 

The broad purpose of the occupation is to ensure that public and private sports turf surfaces (including hybrid but not fully artificial surfaces) meet the requirements of the sport and are available for use at all levels from amateur to professional sport. They supervise the staff and the maintenance of the sports turf surfaces. They supervise the planning, maintenance, care, and overall appearance of surfaces in line with the employer’s requirements and the requirements of the sport’s governing body. They may lead, support and supervise renovation and associated projects and typically have responsibility for maintaining wider facilities.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. They might typically report to a manager, deputy manager, general manager, owner or a committee. On a daily basis, they may interact with visitors, the general public, players, coaching staff, and other turf management/greenkeeping colleagues. They may also be required to liaise with suppliers and delivery personnel.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for ensuring that the playing surfaces are suitably prepared. They will also have responsibilities across the wider facility. They supervise staff or volunteers and are responsible for ensuring that the playing surface is suitably prepared and maintained in line with the rules of the relevant sport. They will have responsibility for the safe use and maintenance of irrigation, drainage, equipment, and machinery used by operatives. They must adhere to relevant health and safety and environmental legislation and present a professional image. They would not necessarily have direct responsibility for budget control but would be expected to advise their manager and colleagues on the correct use and deployment of resources.

Typical job titles include:

Advanced golf greenkeeper Advanced sports turf technician Assistant head grounds person Deputy course manager Deputy head greenkeeper Deputy head grounds person First assistant greenkeeper Pitch manager Senior greenkeeper Senior grounds person Skilled grounds person

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Supervise and undertake the preparation and maintenance of the playing surface in accordance with governing bodies requirements, rules and regulations.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K10 K11 K12 K15 K16 K18 K19 K20 K21

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S9 S11 S15 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9

Duty 2 Evaluate performance and agronomic data of playing surfaces (e.g. weather data, soil conditions, performance quality standard). Recommends improvements to turf health and playing surface conditions.

K2 K3

S5 S8 S9

Duty 3 Monitor and control threats to turf health and apply sustainable integrated pest management practices (encompassing weeds, pests, and diseases).

K3 K4 K9 K12

S2 S4 S9

B2 B8 B9 B10

Duty 4 Supervise and implement processes, procedures and strategies for the effective usage of irrigation and drainage systems to maximise sports turf health and surface performance.

K1 K3 K4 K6 K7 K15 K18 K19

S1 S2 S7 S11 S12 S14 S15 S18 S19 S23

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 5 Prepare sports turf machinery and supervise maintenance programmes for equipment and machinery.

K1 K6 K7 K9 K13 K14 K15

S1 S2 S5 S13 S14

B8 B9

Duty 6 Agree the specification and implement resource and budget requirements for sports turf projects.

K16

S15

B2 B7

Duty 7 Supervise and mentor operatives and report on staff performance.

K1 K18 K19 K20 K21

S1 S18 S19 S20

B1 B2 B3 B6 B7 B8

Duty 8 Supervise the adoption of sustainable and environmentally friendly working practices.

K4 K5 K11 K18 K19 K20 K21

S1 S10 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B7 B8

Duty 9 Ensure a safe working environment and the adoption of legal working practices including the reviewing of risk assessments.

K11

S1 S10

Duty 10 Maintain own personal development by keeping up to date with current industry practices.

K22

S14 S22

B4 B10

Duty 11 Communicate with stakeholders on the factors affecting the condition of the sports turf and manage expectations.

K3 K8 K9 K17 K18 K19

S14 S15 S18 S19 S21

B3 B6 B7 B8 B10

Duty 12 Plan, prepare for and supervise the construction or renovation of the sports turf facilities.

K1 K9 K13 K15

S2 S11 S16 S17


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Relevant health, safety, environmental legislation, and regulations to ensure a safe environment including their impact and benefits on the business and sport turf surfaces (including but not exclusively, the Health and Safety at Work Act, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, principles of risk assessment, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, and the Noise at work regulations). Back to Duty

K2: Common aspects of plant, soil science and plant growth regulators to promote best practice and sustainable sports turf surfaces (for example, photosynthesis, nutrient assimilation, calculating/modeling plant growth, abiotic and biotic stressors, and root zone principles). Back to Duty

K3: The importance of collecting and evaluating agronomic data to ensure sustainable quality playing surfaces and how it can be used to improve the future turfgrass condition and playability. Back to Duty

K4: How to evaluate fertilisers and bio-stimulant formulations (for example, soluble, liquids, straight, compound, slow-release, controlled-release, chelates, homogenous, nutrient take up and nutrient cycles, granular (prill size), and organic-derived). Back to Duty

K5: The principles of surfactants for maintaining sports turf. Back to Duty

K6: The principles of fault-finding minor repairs and basic design layouts of irrigation and drainage systems. Back to Duty

K7: Methodology for calculating precipitation rates and run times. Back to Duty

K8: How to operate information technology to ensure effective communication and record keeping (for example, irrigation controller, software packages and mobile technology). Back to Duty

K9: How to plan and implement maintenance, improvement and renovation programmes making the optimum use of human and physical resources available. Back to Duty

K10: Governing bodies rules and regulations. Back to Duty

K11: Environmental and ecological best practice to maintain a sustainable surface and facilities. Back to Duty

K12: How to manage weeds, pests, diseases, disorders, their life cycles and the most effective treatment method and the importance of record keeping. Back to Duty

K13: How to plan and implement machinery and equipment maintenance programmes and their impact on turf maintenance. Back to Duty

K14: Mechanical principles and potential fault-finding techniques (for example, combustion engine, electrical systems, and hydraulic systems). Back to Duty

K15: How to estimate resource requirements and programme work in line with budget restraints. (For example, specification of works, bills of quantities, sequence of works, cost benefit analysis). Back to Duty

K16: How to gather information for acquiring resources using qualitative and quantitative sources in order to make recommendations. Back to Duty

K17: How to identify the appropriate form of communication (including, written, verbal, electronic) and evaluate the best solution for different circumstances. Back to Duty

K18: The importance of maintaining relationships, needs of others and equality and diversity. Back to Duty

K19: How to prepare and host team meetings and the key fundamentals of effective presentations. Back to Duty

K20: Employment legislation including data protection and equality. Back to Duty

K21: Coaching and mentoring methodologies and how to contribute or carry out staff appraisals. Back to Duty

K22: The principles and methods of personal and professional development. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Promote, monitor and maintain health, safety and security of self, team and others. Implement safe working practices in accordance with statutory legislation and regulations (including carrying out risk assessments). Back to Duty

S2: Allocate work and supervise staff in accordance with agreed maintenance plans. Back to Duty

S3: Oversee the preparation of playing surfaces in accordance with relevant governing body rules/regulations. Back to Duty

S4: Monitor sports turf surfaces and oversee the control of weeds, pests, diseases and disorders to an agreed plan. Develop a basic Integrated Pest Management plan. Back to Duty

S5: Develop a basic maintenance plan for the facility, for a determined time period (for example, preparation for key competitions or events). Back to Duty

S6: Apply a range of turfgrass growth and plant protection products (pesticides) in line with the agreed plan. Back to Duty

S7: Set run times and precipitation rates (irrigation) and drainage fall. Back to Duty

S8: Apply a range of techniques to gather agronomic and playability data by recording, interpreting and communicating in suitable formats (for example, electronic soil moisture, salinity, pH probes, soil sampler, thermometer, surface firmness testing equipment and playability testing). Back to Duty

S9: Evaluate sports turf surfaces and make recommendations for improvements based on findings. Back to Duty

S10: Promote environmental best practice and sustainable working practices. Back to Duty

S11: Estimate and programme resource requirements to meet the scope of the turfgrass maintenance plan. Back to Duty

S12: Oversee the preparation, general maintenance and storage of machines for use. Back to Duty

S13: Apply basic fault finding techniques in order to identify problems with powered machinery and equipment. Back to Duty

S14: Source information from suppliers/distributors/dealers to inform selection or tender services and or resources. Back to Duty

S15: Contribute to the development and implementation of the maintenance budgets. Back to Duty

S16: Identify, evaluate, plan and prepare sites for renovation. Back to Duty

S17: Supervise and monitor the renovation or establishment of a sports turf facility. Back to Duty

S18: Communicate information to stakeholders utilising formal and informal methods. Back to Duty

S19: Supervise meetings and brief colleagues. Back to Duty

S20: Assist with the training and mentoring of staff. Back to Duty

S21: Use information technology to assist with effective communication and record keeping. Back to Duty

S22: Manage own Continuing Professional Development, keeping up to date with working practices, environmental developments and advances in technology. Back to Duty

S23: Oversee and undertake the operation, maintenance and servicing of irrigation or drainage systems, including minor repairs and problem solving issues. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Ensure a strong work ethic including pride in work, attention to detail, integrity and good time management. Back to Duty

B2: Have a flexible, positive attitude to work. Back to Duty

B3: Team focussed and works effectively with colleagues, others and also has an ability to work alone. Back to Duty

B4: Sources solutions and seeks to continuously improve and develop. Committed to keeping up with industry developments and best practice. Back to Duty

B5: Puts safety first for themselves and others. Back to Duty

B6: Respectful of others. Back to Duty

B7: A clear and effective communicator who can use a variety of communication methods to give/receive information accurately and in a timely and positive manner. Back to Duty

B8: Represent the employer in a professional manner. Back to Duty

B9: Ability to use own initiative and is aware of limits of responsibility. Back to Duty

B10: Able to adapt to change in conditions, technologies, situations and working environments. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Pesticides (PA1) along with either PA2 (Boom Sprayer) OR PA6 (Handheld Applicators) or equivalents shown at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/resources/R/Recognised_certificates.pdf

Level: 2

If your job involves applying pesticides in a commercial role then you are legally required by the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations (2012) to hold a certificate of competence.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) for full member
Print EPA plan

End-point assessment plan

V1.0

Introduction and overview

This document explains the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the advanced sports turf technician apprenticeship. End-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) must follow this when designing and delivering the EPA.

Advanced sports turf technician apprentices, their employers and training providers should read this document.

An approved EPAO must conduct the EPA for this apprenticeship. Employers must select an approved EPAO from the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s Register of end-point assessment organisations (RoEPAO).

A full-time apprentice typically spends 24 months on-programme (this means in training before the gateway) working towards competence as a advanced sports turf technician. All apprentices must spend at least 12 months on-programme. All apprentices must complete the required amount of off-the-job training specified by the apprenticeship funding rules.

This EPA has 3 assessment methods.

The grades available for each assessment method are:

Assessment method 1 - written test:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Assessment method 2 - project, presentation and questions:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Assessment method 3 - professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk:

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

The result from each assessment method is combined to decide the overall apprenticeship grade. The following grades are available for the apprenticeship:

  • fail
  • pass
  • merit
  • distinction

EPA summary table

On-programme (typically 24 months)
The apprentice must complete training to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) of the occupational standard.

The apprentice must complete training towards English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

The apprentice must complete training towards any other qualifications listed in the occupational standard.

The qualification(s) required are:

Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Pesticides (PA1) along with either PA2 (Boom Sprayer) OR PA6 (Handheld Applicators) or equivalents shown at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/resources/R/Recognised_certificates.pdf

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence.

End-point assessment gateway
The employer must be content that the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard.

The apprentice’s employer must confirm that they think the apprentice:

  • is working at or above the occupational standard as a advanced sports turf technician
  • has the evidence required to pass the gateway and is ready to take the EPA

The apprentice must have passed any other qualifications listed in the advanced sports turf technician occupational standard ST1323.

The qualification(s) required are:

Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Pesticides (PA1) along with either PA2 (Boom Sprayer) OR PA6 (Handheld Applicators) or equivalents shown at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/resources/R/Recognised_certificates.pdf

The apprentice must have achieved English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.

For the project, presentation and questions, the apprentice must submit the following supporting material: project title and scope requirements. To ensure the project allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade, the EPAO should sign-off the project’s title and scope at the gateway to confirm it is suitable.

For the professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk the apprentice must submit a portfolio of evidence.

The apprentice must submit any policies and procedures as requested by the EPAO.

End-point assessment (typically 4 months)
Grades available for each method:

Written test

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Project, presentation and questions

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk

  • fail
  • pass
  • distinction

Overall EPA and apprenticeship can be graded:

    • fail
    • pass
    • merit
    • distinction
Professional recognition
This apprenticeship standard aligns with British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) for full member. The experience gained and responsibility held by the apprentice on completion of the apprenticeship will either wholly or partially satisfy the requirements for registration at this level.
Re-sits and re-takes



  • Re-take and re-sit grade cap: pass
  • Re-sit timeframe: typically 3 months
  • Re-take timeframe: typically 4 months

Duration of end-point assessment period

The EPA will be taken within the EPA period. The EPA period begins when the EPAO confirms the gateway requirements are met and is typically 4 months from that date.

The expectation is that the EPAO will confirm the gateway requirements are met and the EPA begins as quickly as possible.

EPA gateway

The apprentice’s employer must confirm that they think their apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard. The apprentice will then enter the gateway. The employer may take advice from the apprentice's training provider(s), but the employer must make the decision.

The apprentice must meet the gateway requirements before starting their EPA.

These are:

  • achieved English and maths qualifications in line with the apprenticeship funding rules.
  • achieved Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Pesticides (PA1) along with either PA2 (Boom Sprayer) OR PA6 (Handheld Applicators) or equivalents shown at https://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/resources/R/Recognised_certificates.pdf
  • for the project, presentation and questions the apprentice must submit: project title and scope
  • for the professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk the apprentice must submit: portfolio of evidence

Portfolio of evidence requirements:

The apprentice must compile a portfolio of evidence during the on-programme period of the apprenticeship. It should only contain evidence related to the KSBs that will be assessed by this assessment method. It will typically contain 20 discrete pieces of evidence. Evidence must be mapped against the KSBs. Evidence may be used to demonstrate more than one KSB; a qualitative as opposed to quantitative approach is suggested.

Evidence sources may include:

  • workplace documentation and records, for example:
  • workplace policies and procedures
  • witness statements
  • annotated photographs
  • video clips (maximum total duration 10 minutes); the apprentice must be in view and identifiable

This is not a definitive list; other evidence sources can be included.

The portfolio of evidence should not include reflective accounts or any methods of self-assessment. Any employer contributions should focus on direct observation of performance (for example, witness statements) rather than opinions. The evidence provided should be valid and attributable to the apprentice; the portfolio of evidence should contain a statement from the employer and apprentice confirming this.

The EPAO should not assess the portfolio of evidence directly as it underpins the discussion. The independent assessor should review the portfolio of evidence to prepare questions for the discussion. They are not required to provide feedback after this review.

The apprentice must submit any policies and procedures as requested by the EPAO.

Assessment methods

The written test is to be taken first.

This is to ensure that the apprentice can demonstrate the underpinning health and safety knowledge required before proceeding to the subsequent methods. The remaining assessment methods should be carried out consecutively as they are assessing different KSBs. It is envisaged that the presentation and questions and professional discussion and facility walk will be carried out on the same day.

Written test

Overview

A test is an assessment method for asking questions in a controlled and invigilated environment.

Rationale

This EPA method is being used because the criteria may not naturally occur during everyday business activities and it is important to demonstrate knowledge recall. The method will effectively test higher-order reasoning, and critical thinking. It will ensure consistency and enables direct comparisons between apprentices. The written examination is reliable and affordable to deliver and mark.

Delivery

This method must be appropriately structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this EPA method to the highest available grade.

The written test can be computer or paper based.

The written test will consist of 14 short and long written response questions. There must be 10 short written response questions and there must be 4 long written response questions. Long and short answer questions need a written response.

10 short answer questions in relation to:

  • Health and safety
  • Maintaining records and effective communication in the workplace
  • Employment legislation
  • Irrigation and drainage

4 long answer questions covering the following:

  • Health and safety
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Working relations

Short answer questions need either a written response of typically 1-2 sentences, around 25 words or calculations including workings and a final answer, or diagrams in order to cover the scope of the KSBs.

Long answer questions need a written response of typically 2-3 paragraphs, around 300 words.

The written test must have at least one question for each theme (see mapping of KSBs to themes). A question bank must be used (see question and resource development section), though the combination of questions should vary from version to version to mitigate from predictability. EPAOs must ensure that this is effectively managed and tracked.

Each test paper should have 65 marks in total.

The allocation of marks for each question type should be in line with the following parameters:

· short answer questions must be awarded between 1-5 marks each

· a long answer question must be awarded between 8-12 marks.

· each question should clearly state the marks available.

Whilst EPAOs may vary the marking allocation for the questions, they must ensure that each version of the test paper is of comparable challenge.

Individual marks can be awarded for partial responses. Half marks are not permitted. Where there is insufficient evidence to award any marks in a response, a zero mark must be given. Marks will be awarded in line with the EPAOs mark scheme. The grading descriptors must inform the mark scheme.

Apprentices must be given at least 14 days notice of the date and time of the written test.

Test administration

Apprentices must have 120 minutes to complete the test.

The written test is closed book which means that the apprentice cannot refer to reference books or materials whilst taking the test.

The following equipment is allowed to be used during the written test:

Calculator

The written test must be taken in the presence of an invigilator who is the responsibility of the EPAO. Specialised (proctor) software can be used if the test can be taken on-line, to ensure the security of the test.

The EPAO must have an invigilation policy setting out how the written test must be conducted. It must state the ratio of apprentices to invigilators for the setting and allow the test to take place in a secure way.

The EPAO must verify the identity of the apprentice.

The EPAO is responsible for the security of the written test including the arrangements for on-line testing. The EPAO must ensure that their security arrangements maintain the validity and reliability of the written test.

Marking

The written test must be marked by independent assessors or markers employed by the EPAO. They must follow a marking scheme produced by the EPAO. Marking by computer is allowed where question types support this.

The EPAO must develop a marking scheme based on the grading descriptors for this assessment method. The EPAO is responsible for overseeing the marking of the written test. The EPAO must ensure standardisation and moderation of the written response tests.

Assessment location

Apprentices must take the written test in a suitably controlled and invigilated environment that is a quiet room, free from distractions and influence. The EPAO must check the venue is suitable.

The written test could take place remotely if the appropriate technology and systems are in place to prevent malpractice. EPAOs must verify the apprentice’s identity and ensure invigilation of apprentices for example with, and not limited to, 360-degree cameras and screen sharing facilities.

Question and resource development

EPAOs must write a test specification and question bank. The specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs shown in the mapping. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. EPAOs should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting employers. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this. The test specification and questions must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.

EPAOs must develop purpose-built question banks and ensure that appropriate quality assurance procedures are in place, for example, considering previous item performance data, item analysis, standardisation, training and moderation. EPAOs must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard.

EPAOs must ensure that apprentices have a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

EPAOs must produce the following materials to support the written test:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • test specification
    • sample test and mark schemes
    • live tests and mark schemes
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and employer

Project, presentation and questions

Overview

A project involves the apprentice completing a significant and defined piece of work that has a real business application and benefit. The project must start after the apprentice has gone through the gateway.

The project, presentation and questions must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this EPA method to the highest available grade.

The project must meet the needs of the employer’s business and be relevant to the apprentice’s occupation and apprenticeship. The EPAO must confirm that it provides the apprentice with the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this EPA method to the highest available grade. The EPAO must refer to the grading descriptors to ensure that projects are pitched appropriately. The EPAO must confirm the project title and scope within 1 week of gateway.

This EPA method includes 2 components:

  • a project report
  • presentation with questions and answers

The project and any components must be assessed holistically by the independent assessor when they are deciding the grade for this EPA method.

Rationale

This EPA method is being used because it enables a defined piece of work to be undertaken after the gateway to demonstrate particular aspects of the occupation. The project reflects the approach taken to collect agronomic data and produce a maintenance plan when operating in the field. Other methods such as a practical observation would not be possible as it would take too long and not be practical to schedule alongside existing work. This occupation requires the presentation of recommendations to colleagues and therefore reflects the requirements of the role. The questioning enables underpinning knowledge and understanding to be assessed. This method enables synoptic assessment of knowledge, skills, and behaviours.

Component 1: Project report

Delivery

Apprentices must complete a project encompassing the following:

  • data collection and analysis
  • weeds, pests, diseases and disorders
  • plant and soil science
  • sustainability
  • preparation of a maintenance plan
  • renovation recommendations
  • irrigation and drainage
  • communication

The project and maintenance plan may typically be based on preparations required for a:

  • seasonal event or tournament
  • or a sports turf problem
  • or a renovation project

To ensure the project allows the apprentice to meet the KSBs mapped to this EPA method to the highest available grade, the EPAO should sign-off the project’s title and scope at the gateway to confirm it is suitable.

The project must be in the form of a report.

The apprentice must start the project after the gateway. They must complete and submit the report to the EPAO within 8 weeks from when the project title has been agreed. The employer should ensure the apprentice has the time and resources within this period, to plan and complete their project. The apprentice must complete their project and the production of all its components unaided.

The apprentice may work as part of a team which could include technical internal or external support. However, the project report must be the apprentice’s own work and will be reflective of their own role and contribution. The apprentice and their employer must confirm that the project report is the apprentice’s own work when it is submitted.

The report must include at least:

The collection and analysis of agronomic data in order to prepare a sports turf maintenance plan.

The maintenance plan will need to cover a determined time period for key competitions/ events, a sports turf problem, or a renovation project. It must consider the management of weeds, pests, diseases, and disorders and make recommendations in order to maximise the condition of the playing surfaces.

The project report must include:

  • objectives
  • introduction
  • data collection and analysis
  • key findings
  • maintenance plan
  • monitoring schedule

The project report has a maximum word count of 3000 words. A tolerance of 10% above or below the word count is allowed at the apprentice’s discretion. Appendices, references, photographs, tables, and diagrams are not included in this total. The project report must map, in an appendix, how it evidences the relevant KSBs mapped to this EPA method.

Component 2: Presentation with questioning

Delivery

This is a formal presentation where the apprentice will present to an independent assessor on a set subject. The independent assessor must ask questions. Apprentices must prepare, submit and deliver a presentation. The presentation is restricted to the KSBs allocated to this EPA method as shown in the mapping section of this document.

The presentation and questioning must typically last 30 minutes. This will include a presentation of 15 minutes maximum and questioning lasting a maximum of 15 minutes.

The independent assessor must ask at least 5 questions. They must use the questions from the EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in-line with the EPAO’s training. Follow up questions are allowed where clarification is required.

The presentation will provide an overview of the apprentice’s project and consist of presentation with questions and answers. Independent assessors will ask questions after the presentation. All presentations must include at least:

  • an overview of the project
  • the project scope (including key performance indicators)
  • summary of actions undertaken by the apprentice
  • rationale for recommendations

The apprentice must prepare and submit their presentation to the EPAO at the same time as the report which is a maximum of 8 weeks from when the project title has been agreed and after gateway.

The apprentice must notify the EPAO, at the submission of the presentation, of any technical requirements for the presentation. For the presentation, the apprentice can have access to:

  • audio-visual presentation equipment
  • flip chart and writing and drawing materials
  • computer
  • any other requirements as previously notified to the EPAO

The independent assessor must have at least 2 weeks to review the project output(s) and presentation before the presentation is delivered by the apprentice, to allow them to prepare appropriate questions.

Apprentices must be given at least 1 weeks' notice of the date and time of the presentation with question and answer session.

Assessment location

The presentation with questioning must take place in a suitable venue selected by the EPAO for example the EPAO’s, training provider's, or employer’s premises.

The presentation with questioning should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence.

The presentation with questioning can be conducted by video conferencing. The EPAO must have processes in place to verify the identity of the apprentice and ensure the apprentice is not being aided.

Question and resource development

EPAOs must write an assessment specification and question bank. The specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs shown in the mapping. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. EPAOs should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting employers. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this. The assessment specification and questions must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.

EPAOs must develop purpose-built question banks and ensure that appropriate quality assurance procedures are in place, for example, considering standardisation, training, and  moderation. EPAOs must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard.

EPAOs must ensure that apprentices have a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

  • The EPAO must produce independent assessor EPA materials. This should include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and employer

Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk

Overview

In the discussion, an independent assessor and apprentice have a formal two-way conversation.

The apprentice can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate their competency across the KSBs mapped to this EPA method.

Rationale

This EPA method is being used because it allows the holistic assessment of KSBs. It enables the independent assessor to draw on examples of work carried out by the apprentice. The use of the portfolio and facilities walk will assist the candidate to amplify their examples and to demonstrate the work carried out. The assessor will be able to test underpinning knowledge and understanding.

Delivery

The professional discussion must be structured to give the apprentice the opportunity to demonstrate the KSBs mapped to this assessment method to the highest available grade.

An independent assessor must conduct and assess the professional discussion.

The purpose of the independent assessor's questions will be to test knowledge and understanding of the themes mapped to this method.

The professional discussion, including the facility walk, will last 120 minutes and consist of 2 parts. The first part will take place in a room free from distractions and the second part will take place alongside a facility walk. Travel time between locations will not count towards the total duration; the clock will be stopped. This length of time should allow for all relevant parts of the facility to be visited.

The independent assessor will have reviewed the portfolio to determine an outline of the areas of the facility they need to visit.

Part 1

In the first 30 minutes of the assessment, the independent assessor will conduct the discussion in a room free of distractions and allow the apprentice to refer to their portfolio.

This aspect of the discussion will focus on:

  • maintaining records and communication
  • career and professional development
  • resource requirements

They will also discuss and agree on a route through the facility in preparation for the facility walk.

Part 2

In the final 90 minutes of the professional discussion, the independent assessor will conduct and assess the apprentice whilst walking around the pre-selected areas of the facility on a one-to-one basis (it is not necessary to visit the whole facility). This will enable the KSBs associated with the following areas to be assessed:

  • how the venue has been set up in accordance with governing body rules and regulations
  • irrigation and drainage
  • machinery and equipment
  • plant and soil science
  • areas of renovation

The EPAO must give an apprentice 14 days notice of the professional discussion.

The independent assessor must have at least 2 week(s) to review the supporting documentation.

The apprentice must have access to their portfolio of evidence during the professional discussion.

The apprentice can refer to and illustrate their answers with evidence from their portfolio of evidence however the portfolio of evidence is not directly assessed.

The professional discussion must last for 120 minutes. The independent assessor can increase the time of the professional discussion by up to 10%. This time is to allow the apprentice to respond to a question if necessary.

The independent assessor must ask at least 8 questions. Follow-up questions are allowed where clarification is required. The independent assessor must use the questions from their EPAO’s question bank or create their own questions in-line with the EPAO’s training.

The independent assessor must make the grading decision. The independent assessor must keep accurate records of the assessment. They must record:

  • the apprentice’s answers to questions
  • the KSBs demonstrated in answers to questions
  • the grade achieved 

Assessment location

The professional discussion must take place in a suitable venue selected by the EPAO (for example the EPAO’s or employer’s premises).

The professional discussion should take place in a quiet room, free from distractions and influence. Additional venue requirements include:

The EPAO will be required to put protocols in place to ensure that disruptions from any external parties during the professional discussion are minimised.

Question and resource development

The EPAO must develop a purpose-built assessment specification and question bank. It is recommended this is done in consultation with employers of this occupation. The EPAO should maintain the security and confidentiality of EPA materials when consulting employers. The assessment specification and question bank must be reviewed at least once a year to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose.  

The assessment specification must be relevant to the occupation and demonstrate how to assess the KSBs mapped to this assessment method. The EPAO must ensure that questions are refined and developed to a high standard. The questions must be unpredictable. A question bank of sufficient size will support this.

The EPAO must ensure that apprentice has a different set of questions in the case of re-sits or re-takes.

The EPAO must produce the following materials to support the professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk:

  • independent assessor assessment materials which include:
    • training materials
    • administration materials
    • moderation and standardisation materials
    • guidance materials
    • grading guidance
    • question bank
  • EPA guidance for the apprentice and the employer

The EPAO must ensure that the EPA materials are subject to quality assurance procedures including standardisation, training, and moderation.

Grading

Written test

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Grade boundaries
K1 K6 K7 K14 K17 K18 K20

Pass - 39-48 marks

 

Distinction 49-65 marks

Project, presentation and questions

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Plant and soil science
K2 K4 K5

Outlines common aspects of plant, soil science, and plant growth regulators and explains how these can be used to promote best practice and sustainable sports turf surfaces, supported by relevant examples. (K2)

Explains the principles of surfactants, turf nutrition, and bio-stimulants and how to evaluate fertiliser formulation types for maintaining sports turf. (K4, K5)

 

 

Justifies their decisions and choices of surfactants, turf nutrition, bio-stimulants, and fertiliser formation types for maintaining sports turfs. (K5)

Data collection and analysis
K3 S8 S9 S21 B5

Collects and records agronomic data using a range of techniques in a manner that puts safety first for themselves and others in order to ensure the sustainable quality of playing surfaces. (K3, S8, B5)

Interprets agronomic data and utilises findings to evaluate the sports turf surface to make recommendations for improvements, using information technology to record and communicate findings. (S9, S21)

Justifies their recommendations to improve the sustainability and quality of the playing surface, supported by relevant examples of their interpretation of agronomic data. (K3, S8, S9)

 

Renovation and sustainability
K9 K11 S10

Applies and promotes environmental, ecological and sustainable working practices to plan the implementation of a maintenance, improvement and renovation programme to maintain sustainable surface(s) and facilities. (K9, K11, S10)

 

 

Justifies the use of human and physical resources available and how this has informed the maintenance, implemention and renovation programme. (K9)

 

 

Weeds, pests, diseases and disorders
K12 S4

Applies appropriate treatment methods and record keeping to develop a basic Integrated Pest Management plan for sports turf surfaces that manages and oversees the control of weeds, pests, diseases or disorders and their life cycles. (K12, S4)

 

Justifies why the selected treatment methods are the most effective for managing weeds, pests, diseases and disorders. (K12)

 

Maintenance plan
S5 B7

Develops a basic maintenance plan for the facility (covering a defined period of time) and explains its key features using a variety of communication methods to give/receive information accurately in a clear and effective manner. (S5, B7)

 

 

N/A

Irrigation and drainage
S7

Applies appropriate formulas and methodologies to set run times, precipitation rates (irrigation), and drainage fall. (S7)

N/A

Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk

Fail - does not meet pass criteria

Theme
KSBs
Pass
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors
Distinction
Apprentices must demonstrate all the pass descriptors and all of the distinction descriptors
Irrigation and drainage
S23 B9

Describes how they undertake and oversee the operation, maintenance and servicing of irrigation or drainage systems, supported by specific examples, including where problem-solving and minor repairs have been required. (S23)

Explains the importance of using their own initiative whilst recognising the limits of their own responsibility, supported by a specific example. (B9) 

 

 

 

 

Justifies their approach to problem solving when undertaking either a minor repair or maintenance and servicing (of an irrigation or drainage system), supported by a specific example. (S23)

Maintaining records and communications
K8 K19 K21 S18 S19 B6 B8

Describes how they prepare for and supervise team meetings and presentations, including how they operate information technology and apply effective communication to brief colleagues and record outcomes. (K8, K19, S19)

Explains how they are respectful of others and represent the employer in a professional manner when applying formal and informal communication methods with stakeholders. (S18, B6, B8)

Describes how they have contributed to, or have carried out staff appraisals. Explain how they may apply relevant coaching and mentoring methodologies. (K21) 

 

N/A

 

Rules and regulations
K10 S3

Explains how governing bodies rules and regulations (appropriate to the sports setting) were complied with when overseeing the preparation of playing surfaces, supported by relevant examples. (K10, S3)

N/A

Machinery and equipment
K13 S1 S12 S13

Describes the impact on turf maintenance of a machinery maintenance programme they planned and implemented. (K13)

Explains how they oversee the preparation, general maintenance, and storage of machines including how they promote, monitor, and maintain safe working practices (including carrying out a risk assessment), supported by relevant examples. (S1, S12)

Explains how they applied fault finding techniques to identify problems with powered machinery and equipment. (S13)

 

 

Justifies their selection of fault-finding techniques for the powered machinery or equipment that presented a fault. (S13)

Career professional development
K22 S20 S22 B1 B2 B4 B10

Explains how they apply the principles and methods of personal and professional development (including sourcing their own solutions) to manage their own development and keep up to date with working practices, industry, environmental and technological developments. Describes how they have demonstrated a strong work ethic, taken pride in their work, paid attention to detail, demonstrated integrity, and displayed good time management. (K22, S22, B1, B4)

Describes how they behave flexibly and adapt to a change in conditions, technologies, and working environments, in a positive way. (B2, B10)

Explains how they assist with training and mentoring staff, supported by specific examples. (S20)

 

 

N/A

Resource requirements
K15 K16 S2 S11 S14 S15 B3

Explains how they gather information to acquire resources using qualitative and quantitative sources in order to make recommendations and estimate resource requirements for turfgrass maintenance, to meet scope and budget restraints. (K15, K16, S11)

Describes how they contribute to the development and implementation of the maintenance budgets and source information to inform the selection of tender services or resources, supported by specific examples (S14, S15)

Describes how they work effectively with colleagues, allocate work and supervise staff in accordance with maintenance plans, are team-focused, and also work alone, supported by specific examples. (S2, B3)

 

Justifies their recommendations for turfgrass maintenance using qualitative and quantitative information. (K16)

Plant and soil science
S6

Describes how they apply a range of turfgrass growth and protection products in line with the agreed plan(s), supported by specific examples. (S6)

Justifies why they selected specific turfgrass growth and protection products in line with the agreed plan. (S6)

Renovation
S16 S17

Describes how they identify, evaluate, plan and prepare sites for renovation, supported by specific examples that explain their decision-making, rationales, processes, and outcomes. (S16)

Explains how they supervise and monitor the renovation and/or establishment of a sports turf facility, supported by specific examples. (S17)

Justifies why a site was appropriate for renovation, supported by a specific and relevant example. (S16)

 

Overall EPA grading

The EPA methods contribute equally to the overall EPA grade.

Performance in the EPA will determine the apprenticeship grade of:

    • fail
    • pass
    • merit
    • distinction

Independent assessors must individually grade the: written test, project, presentation and questions and professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk according to the requirements set out in this EPA plan.

EPAOs must combine the individual assessment method grades to determine the overall EPA grade.

Apprentices who fail one or more assessment method will be awarded an overall EPA fail.

Apprentices must achieve at least a pass in all the EPA methods to get an overall pass. In order to achieve an overall EPA ‘merit’, apprentices must achieve a pass in one assessment method and a distinction in the other two assessment methods. In order to achieve an overall EPA ‘distinction’, apprentices must achieve a distinction in all three assessment methods.

Grades from individual assessment methods should be combined in the following way to determine the grade of the EPA as a whole.

Written test Project, presentation and questions Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk Overall Grading
Fail Any grade Any grade Fail
Any grade Fail Any grade Fail
Any grade Any grade Fail Fail
Pass Pass Pass Pass
Pass Pass Distinction Pass
Pass Distinction Pass Pass
Distinction Pass Pass Pass
Pass Distinction Distinction Merit
Distinction Pass Distinction Merit
Distinction Distinction Pass Merit
Distinction Distinction Distinction Distinction

Re-sits and re-takes

An apprentice who fails one or more assessment method(s) can take a re-sit or a re-take at their employer’s discretion. The apprentice’s employer needs to agree that a re-sit or re-take is appropriate. A re-sit does not need further learning, whereas a re-take does.

An apprentice should have a supportive action plan to prepare for a re-sit or a re-take.

The employer and EPAO agree the timescale for a re-sit or re-take. A re-sit is typically taken within 3 months of the EPA outcome notification. The timescale for a re-take is dependent on how much re-training is required and is typically taken within 4 months of the EPA outcome notification.

If the apprentice fails the 1st component (project report) of the Project, presentation and questions assessment method, they will be required to amend the project report in line with the independent assessor's feedback. The apprentice will be given 3 weeks to rework and submit the amended report.Component 2 (Presentation and questions) should then be undertaken.If the apprentice fails component 2 then usual re-sit conditions apply as they will have been deemed to have failed the assessment method.

Failed assessment methods must be re-sat or re-taken within a 6-month period from the EPA outcome notification, otherwise the entire EPA will need to be re-sat or re-taken in full.

Re-sits and re-takes are not offered to an apprentice wishing to move from pass to a higher grade.

An apprentice will get a maximum EPA grade of pass for a re-sit or re-take, unless the EPAO determines there are exceptional circumstances.

Roles and responsibilities

Roles Responsibilities

Apprentice

As a minimum, the apprentice should:

  • participate in and complete on-programme training to meet the KSBs as outlined in the occupational standard for a minimum of 12 months
  • complete the required amount of off-the-job training specified by the apprenticeship funding rules and as arranged by the employer and training provider
  • understand the purpose and importance of EPA
  • meet the gateway requirements 
  • undertake the EPA  

 

Employer

As a minimum, the apprentice's employer must:

  • select the EPAO and training provider 
  • work with the training provider (where applicable) to support the apprentice in the workplace and to provide the opportunities for the apprentice to develop the KSBs
  • arrange and support off-the-job training to be undertaken by the apprentice 
  • decide when the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard and is ready for EPA 
  • ensure that supporting evidence required at the gateway is submitted in line with this EPA plan 
  • liaise with the training provider and EPAO to ensure the EPA is booked in a timely manner

Post-gateway, the employer must: 

  • confirm arrangements with the EPAO for the EPA (who, when, where) in a timely manner (including providing access to any employer-specific documentation as required, for example company policies)
  • ensure that the EPA is scheduled with the EPAO for a date and time which allows the opportunity for the apprentice to be assessed against the KSBs 
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA
  • ensure the apprentice is given sufficient time away from regular duties to prepare for, and complete all post-gateway elements of the EPA, and that any required supervision during this time (as stated within this EPA plan) is in place
  • where the apprentice is assessed in the workplace, ensure that the apprentice has access to the resources used on a regular basis 
  • pass the certificate to the apprentice upon receipt from the EPAO

EPAO

As a minimum, the EPAO must:  

  • conform to the requirements of this EPA plan and deliver its requirements in a timely manner 
  • conform to the requirements of the register of end-point assessment organisations (RoEPAO) 
  • conform to the requirements of the external quality assurance provider (EQAP) for this apprenticeship 
  • understand the occupational standard 
  • make the EPA contractual arrangements, including agreeing the price of the EPA 
  • develop and produce assessment materials as detailed for each assessment method in this EPA plan 
  • appoint qualified and competent independent assessors in line with the requirements of this EPA plan to conduct assessments and oversee their working 
  • appoint administrators (and invigilators where required) to administer the EPA  
  • provide training for independent assessors in terms of good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and grading 
  • provide information, advice, guidance and documentation to enable apprentices, employers and training providers to prepare for the EPA 
  • confirm all gateway requirements have been met as quickly as possible 
  • arrange for the EPA to take place, in consultation with the employer 
  • ensure that the apprentice has access to the required resources and liaise with the employer to agree this if necessary, where the apprentice is not assessed in the workplace 
  • develop and provide assessment recording documentation to ensure a clear and auditable process is in place for providing assessment decisions and feedback to stakeholders 
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider in all instances; there must be no conflict of interest 
  • have policies and procedures for internal quality assurance (IQA), and maintain records of IQA activity and moderation for external quality assurance (EQA) purposes 
  • deliver induction training for independent assessors, and for invigilators and markers (where used) 
  • undertake standardisation activity on this apprenticeship for an independent assessor before they conduct an EPA for the first time, if the EPA is updated and periodically (a minimum of annually) 
  • manage invigilation of the apprentice to maintain security of the assessment in line with the EPAO’s malpractice policy 
  • verify the identity of the apprentice  
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard 

Independent assessor

As a minimum, an independent assessor must: 

  • have the competence to assess the apprentice at the level of this apprenticeship and hold any required qualifications and experience in line with the requirements of the independent assessor as detailed in the IQA section of this EPA plan 
  • understand the occupational standard and the requirements of this EPA 
  • have, maintain and be able to evidence, up-to-date knowledge and expertise of the occupation 
  • deliver the end-point assessment in-line with this EPA plan 
  • comply with the IQA requirements of the EPAO 
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider; in all instances; there must be no conflict of interest 
  • attend induction training 
  • attend standardisation events when they start working for the EPAO, before they conduct an EPA for the first time and a minimum of annually for this apprenticeship  
  • assess each assessment method, as determined by the EPA plan  
  • assess the KSBs assigned to each assessment method, as shown in the mapping of KSBs to assessment methods in this EPA plan  
  • make the grading decisions 
  • record and report assessment outcome decisions, for each apprentice, following instructions and using assessment recording documentation provided by the EPAO, in a timely manner 
  • use language in the development and delivery of the EPA that is appropriate to the level of the occupational standard 
  • mark open (constructed) test answers accurately according to the EPAO’s mark scheme and procedures 

Training provider

As a minimum, the training provider must: 

  • work with the employer and support the apprentice during the off-the-job training to provide the opportunities to develop the KSBs as listed in the occupational standard 
  • conduct training covering the KSBs agreed as part of the Commitment Statement or the Individual Learning Plan 
  • monitor the apprentice’s progress during any training provider led on-programme learning 
  • advise the employer, upon request, on the apprentice’s readiness for EPA 
  • remain independent from the delivery of the EPA 

Marker

As a minimum, the marker must:

  • attend induction training as directed by the EPAO 
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider in all instances 
  • mark test answers in line with the EPAO’s mark scheme and procedures 

Invigilator

As a minimum, the invigilator must: 

  • attend induction training as directed by the EPAO 
  • have no direct connection or conflict of interest with the apprentice, their employer or training provider in all instances 
  • invigilate and supervise apprentices during tests and in breaks during assessment methods to prevent malpractice in accordance with the EPAO’s invigilation procedures 

Reasonable adjustments

The EPAO must have reasonable adjustments arrangements for the EPA.

This should include:

  • how an apprentice qualifies for reasonable adjustment
  • what reasonable adjustments may be made

Adjustments must maintain the validity, reliability and integrity of the EPA as outlined in this EPA plan.

Internal quality assurance (IQA)

Internal quality assurance refers to how EPAOs ensure valid, consistent and reliable EPA decisions. EPAOs must adhere to the requirements within the roles and responsibilities section and:

  • have effective and rigorous quality assurance systems and procedures that ensure fair, reliable and consistent EPA regardless of employer, place, time or independent assessor
  • appoint independent assessors who are competent to deliver the EPA and who have current occupational competence as a sports turf technician/ sports turf manager or have recent relevant experience of the occupation or sector to at least occupational level 3 gained in the last 3 years.
  • operate induction training for anyone involved in the delivery and/or assessment of the EPA
  • provide training for independent assessors in good assessment practice, operating the assessment tools and making grading decisions
  • provide ongoing training for markers and invigilators
  • provide standardisation activity for this apprenticeship standard for all independent assessors:

1. before they conduct an EPA for the first time

2. if the EPA is updated

3. periodically as appropriate (a minimum of annually)

  • conduct effective moderation of EPA decisions and grades
  • conduct appeals where required, according to the EPAO’s appeals procedure, reviewing and making final decisions on EPA decisions and grades
  • have no direct connection with the apprentice, their employer or training provider. In all instances, including when the EPAO is the training provider (for example a higher education institution)

Value for money

Affordability of the EPA will be aided by using at least some of the following:

  • completing applicable assessment methods online (for example computer-based assessment)
  • utilising digital remote platforms to conduct applicable assessment methods
  • using the employer’s premises
  • conducting assessment methods on the same day

Professional recognition

This apprenticeship standard is designed to prepare successful apprentices to meet the requirements for registration as a:

British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) full member

Mapping of KSBs to assessment methods

Knowledge Assessment methods
K1

Relevant health, safety, environmental legislation, and regulations to ensure a safe environment including their impact and benefits on the business and sport turf surfaces (including but not exclusively, the Health and Safety at Work Act, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, principles of risk assessment, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, and the Noise at work regulations).

Back to Grading
Written test
K2

Common aspects of plant, soil science and plant growth regulators to promote best practice and sustainable sports turf surfaces (for example, photosynthesis, nutrient assimilation, calculating/modeling plant growth, abiotic and biotic stressors, and root zone principles).

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K3

The importance of collecting and evaluating agronomic data to ensure sustainable quality playing surfaces and how it can be used to improve the future turfgrass condition and playability.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K4

How to evaluate fertilisers and bio-stimulant formulations (for example, soluble, liquids, straight, compound, slow-release, controlled-release, chelates, homogenous, nutrient take up and nutrient cycles, granular (prill size), and organic-derived).

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K5

The principles of surfactants for maintaining sports turf.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K6

The principles of fault-finding minor repairs and basic design layouts of irrigation and drainage systems.

Back to Grading
Written test
K7

Methodology for calculating precipitation rates and run times.

Back to Grading
Written test
K8

How to operate information technology to ensure effective communication and record keeping (for example, irrigation controller, software packages and mobile technology).

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
K9

How to plan and implement maintenance, improvement and renovation programmes making the optimum use of human and physical resources available.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K10

Governing bodies rules and regulations.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
K11

Environmental and ecological best practice to maintain a sustainable surface and facilities.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K12

How to manage weeds, pests, diseases, disorders, their life cycles and the most effective treatment method and the importance of record keeping.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
K13

How to plan and implement machinery and equipment maintenance programmes and their impact on turf maintenance.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
K14

Mechanical principles and potential fault-finding techniques (for example, combustion engine, electrical systems, and hydraulic systems).

Back to Grading
Written test
K15

How to estimate resource requirements and programme work in line with budget restraints. (For example, specification of works, bills of quantities, sequence of works, cost benefit analysis).

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
K16

How to gather information for acquiring resources using qualitative and quantitative sources in order to make recommendations.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
K17

How to identify the appropriate form of communication (including, written, verbal, electronic) and evaluate the best solution for different circumstances.

Back to Grading
Written test
K18

The importance of maintaining relationships, needs of others and equality and diversity.

Back to Grading
Written test
K19

How to prepare and host team meetings and the key fundamentals of effective presentations.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
K20

Employment legislation including data protection and equality.

Back to Grading
Written test
K21

Coaching and mentoring methodologies and how to contribute or carry out staff appraisals.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
K22

The principles and methods of personal and professional development.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
Skill Assessment methods
S1

Promote, monitor and maintain health, safety and security of self, team and others. Implement safe working practices in accordance with statutory legislation and regulations (including carrying out risk assessments).

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S2

Allocate work and supervise staff in accordance with agreed maintenance plans.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S3

Oversee the preparation of playing surfaces in accordance with relevant governing body rules/regulations.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S4

Monitor sports turf surfaces and oversee the control of weeds, pests, diseases and disorders to an agreed plan. Develop a basic Integrated Pest Management plan.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S5

Develop a basic maintenance plan for the facility, for a determined time period (for example, preparation for key competitions or events).

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S6

Apply a range of turfgrass growth and plant protection products (pesticides) in line with the agreed plan.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S7

Set run times and precipitation rates (irrigation) and drainage fall.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S8

Apply a range of techniques to gather agronomic and playability data by recording, interpreting and communicating in suitable formats (for example, electronic soil moisture, salinity, pH probes, soil sampler, thermometer, surface firmness testing equipment and playability testing).

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S9

Evaluate sports turf surfaces and make recommendations for improvements based on findings.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S10

Promote environmental best practice and sustainable working practices.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S11

Estimate and programme resource requirements to meet the scope of the turfgrass maintenance plan.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S12

Oversee the preparation, general maintenance and storage of machines for use.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S13

Apply basic fault finding techniques in order to identify problems with powered machinery and equipment.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S14

Source information from suppliers/distributors/dealers to inform selection or tender services and or resources.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S15

Contribute to the development and implementation of the maintenance budgets.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S16

Identify, evaluate, plan and prepare sites for renovation.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S17

Supervise and monitor the renovation or establishment of a sports turf facility.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S18

Communicate information to stakeholders utilising formal and informal methods.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S19

Supervise meetings and brief colleagues.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S20

Assist with the training and mentoring of staff.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S21

Use information technology to assist with effective communication and record keeping.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
S22

Manage own Continuing Professional Development, keeping up to date with working practices, environmental developments and advances in technology.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
S23

Oversee and undertake the operation, maintenance and servicing of irrigation or drainage systems, including minor repairs and problem solving issues.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
Behaviour Assessment methods
B1

Ensure a strong work ethic including pride in work, attention to detail, integrity and good time management.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
B2

Have a flexible, positive attitude to work.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
B3

Team focussed and works effectively with colleagues, others and also has an ability to work alone.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
B4

Sources solutions and seeks to continuously improve and develop. Committed to keeping up with industry developments and best practice.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
B5

Puts safety first for themselves and others.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
B6

Respectful of others.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
B7

A clear and effective communicator who can use a variety of communication methods to give/receive information accurately and in a timely and positive manner.

Back to Grading
Project, presentation and questions
B8

Represent the employer in a professional manner.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
B9

Ability to use own initiative and is aware of limits of responsibility.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk
B10

Able to adapt to change in conditions, technologies, situations and working environments.

Back to Grading
Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk

Mapping of KSBs to grade themes

Written test - TestExamination

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Grade boundaries
K1 K6 K7 K14 K17 K18 K20

Relevant health, safety, environmental legislation, and regulations to ensure a safe environment including their impact and benefits on the business and sport turf surfaces (including but not exclusively, the Health and Safety at Work Act, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, principles of risk assessment, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, and the Noise at work regulations). (K1)

The principles of fault-finding minor repairs and basic design layouts of irrigation and drainage systems. (K6)

Methodology for calculating precipitation rates and run times. (K7)

Mechanical principles and potential fault-finding techniques (for example, combustion engine, electrical systems, and hydraulic systems). (K14)

How to identify the appropriate form of communication (including, written, verbal, electronic) and evaluate the best solution for different circumstances. (K17)

The importance of maintaining relationships, needs of others and equality and diversity. (K18)

Employment legislation including data protection and equality. (K20)

N/A

N/A

Project, presentation and questions - Project

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Plant and soil science
K2 K4 K5

Common aspects of plant, soil science and plant growth regulators to promote best practice and sustainable sports turf surfaces (for example, photosynthesis, nutrient assimilation, calculating/modeling plant growth, abiotic and biotic stressors, and root zone principles). (K2)

How to evaluate fertilisers and bio-stimulant formulations (for example, soluble, liquids, straight, compound, slow-release, controlled-release, chelates, homogenous, nutrient take up and nutrient cycles, granular (prill size), and organic-derived). (K4)

The principles of surfactants for maintaining sports turf. (K5)

N/A

N/A

Data collection and analysis
K3
S8 S9 S21
B5

The importance of collecting and evaluating agronomic data to ensure sustainable quality playing surfaces and how it can be used to improve the future turfgrass condition and playability. (K3)

Apply a range of techniques to gather agronomic and playability data by recording, interpreting and communicating in suitable formats (for example, electronic soil moisture, salinity, pH probes, soil sampler, thermometer, surface firmness testing equipment and playability testing). (S8)

Evaluate sports turf surfaces and make recommendations for improvements based on findings. (S9)

Use information technology to assist with effective communication and record keeping. (S21)

Puts safety first for themselves and others. (B5)

Renovation and sustainability
K9 K11
S10

How to plan and implement maintenance, improvement and renovation programmes making the optimum use of human and physical resources available. (K9)

Environmental and ecological best practice to maintain a sustainable surface and facilities. (K11)

Promote environmental best practice and sustainable working practices. (S10)

N/A

Weeds, pests, diseases and disorders
K12
S4

How to manage weeds, pests, diseases, disorders, their life cycles and the most effective treatment method and the importance of record keeping. (K12)

Monitor sports turf surfaces and oversee the control of weeds, pests, diseases and disorders to an agreed plan. Develop a basic Integrated Pest Management plan. (S4)

N/A

Maintenance plan

S5
B7

N/A

Develop a basic maintenance plan for the facility, for a determined time period (for example, preparation for key competitions or events). (S5)

A clear and effective communicator who can use a variety of communication methods to give/receive information accurately and in a timely and positive manner. (B7)

Irrigation and drainage

S7

N/A

Set run times and precipitation rates (irrigation) and drainage fall. (S7)

N/A

Professional discussion supported by a portfolio of evidence and facility walk - Discussion

KSBS GROUPED BY THEME Knowledge Skills Behaviour
Irrigation and drainage

S23
B9

N/A

Oversee and undertake the operation, maintenance and servicing of irrigation or drainage systems, including minor repairs and problem solving issues. (S23)

Ability to use own initiative and is aware of limits of responsibility. (B9)

Maintaining records and communications
K8 K19 K21
S18 S19
B6 B8

How to operate information technology to ensure effective communication and record keeping (for example, irrigation controller, software packages and mobile technology). (K8)

How to prepare and host team meetings and the key fundamentals of effective presentations. (K19)

Coaching and mentoring methodologies and how to contribute or carry out staff appraisals. (K21)

Communicate information to stakeholders utilising formal and informal methods. (S18)

Supervise meetings and brief colleagues. (S19)

Respectful of others. (B6)

Represent the employer in a professional manner. (B8)

Rules and regulations
K10
S3

Governing bodies rules and regulations. (K10)

Oversee the preparation of playing surfaces in accordance with relevant governing body rules/regulations. (S3)

N/A

Machinery and equipment
K13
S1 S12 S13

How to plan and implement machinery and equipment maintenance programmes and their impact on turf maintenance. (K13)

Promote, monitor and maintain health, safety and security of self, team and others. Implement safe working practices in accordance with statutory legislation and regulations (including carrying out risk assessments). (S1)

Oversee the preparation, general maintenance and storage of machines for use. (S12)

Apply basic fault finding techniques in order to identify problems with powered machinery and equipment. (S13)

N/A

Career professional development
K22
S20 S22
B1 B2 B4 B10

The principles and methods of personal and professional development. (K22)

Assist with the training and mentoring of staff. (S20)

Manage own Continuing Professional Development, keeping up to date with working practices, environmental developments and advances in technology. (S22)

Ensure a strong work ethic including pride in work, attention to detail, integrity and good time management. (B1)

Have a flexible, positive attitude to work. (B2)

Sources solutions and seeks to continuously improve and develop. Committed to keeping up with industry developments and best practice. (B4)

Able to adapt to change in conditions, technologies, situations and working environments. (B10)

Resource requirements
K15 K16
S2 S11 S14 S15
B3

How to estimate resource requirements and programme work in line with budget restraints. (For example, specification of works, bills of quantities, sequence of works, cost benefit analysis). (K15)

How to gather information for acquiring resources using qualitative and quantitative sources in order to make recommendations. (K16)

Allocate work and supervise staff in accordance with agreed maintenance plans. (S2)

Estimate and programme resource requirements to meet the scope of the turfgrass maintenance plan. (S11)

Source information from suppliers/distributors/dealers to inform selection or tender services and or resources. (S14)

Contribute to the development and implementation of the maintenance budgets. (S15)

Team focussed and works effectively with colleagues, others and also has an ability to work alone. (B3)

Plant and soil science

S6

N/A

Apply a range of turfgrass growth and plant protection products (pesticides) in line with the agreed plan. (S6)

N/A

Renovation

S16 S17

N/A

Identify, evaluate, plan and prepare sites for renovation. (S16)

Supervise and monitor the renovation or establishment of a sports turf facility. (S17)

N/A

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association, Crosfields School, Edgbaston Stadium, England Golf, Frilford Heath Golf Club, Greenkeepers Training Committee, Gaudet Luce Golf Club, Grounds Maintenance Association, Highfield Sports Ground, Leicester City Football Club Sports Turf Academy, Leyland Golf Club Ltd, Portmore Golf Club, Richmond Golf Club, Royal Birkdale, Sunningdale Golf Club, The London Club, Trentham Golf Club, Myerscough College, Kings School, Nottingham University, Oaklands College, Whitgift School.

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 11/10/2022 Not set Not set

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