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Sports Turf Operative Level 2 Standard


Approx. duration: 18 months

Start date: Anytime

Attendance: All assessment and training is undertaken in the workplace with occasional visits to college

Entry requirements: Entry onto the apprenticeship is subject to a thorough initial assessment to clarify course suitability. You may be required to come for an interview and assessment. Entry onto the Apprenticeship is subject to 4 GCSE including Maths and English 9-3/A-E or a commitment to undertake Level 2 Maths and English. Apprentices need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week and have a contract of employment.

On-programme learning: 

  • Sports Turf Operative Standard
  • English and Maths (if required) Level 2

End-point assessment: Delivered by Lantra

Progression: Head Groundskeeper

Course Summary: Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the need of both the Apprentice and their employer.

This occupation is found in a wide range of different sports and venues, for example, athletics, bowls, cricket, croquet, football, hockey, equestrian, rugby league and union, and tennis. The role will primarily be carried out in an outdoors environment and sites will range from general grass root sports surfaces, sports clubs, schools, up to international stadiums and training facilities. Employing organisations may be of varying sizes depending on the geographical coverage of the organisation. However, sports turf operatives are required in all locations. Employers vary from small niche organisations to larger ones including Local Authorities and professional facilities.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to assist in the day-to-day preparation, maintenance, and upkeep of grounds and sports pitches to the highest possible standards. This includes both public and private sports facilities that are available for use at all levels from grass roots to professional sport and ensures facilities are available to support the Government policy of increasing physical activity. A sports turf operative will assist in various tasks including the preparing and renovation of sports surfaces, creating, marking out, and preparing sports turf playing surfaces for use, and will use machinery and equipment when required. They will also apply irrigation to sports turf surfaces and ensure maintenance of drainage. They ensure that safe working practices and health and safety legislation and regulations are complied with at all times.

These will all be done whilst ensuring carrying out safe working practices at all times and ensuring health and safety legislation and guidance is adhered to. Most of the work will be done in an outdoor environment, and duties will depend on the seasonality of the relevant sports throughout the year. There may be a requirement to work additional hours leading up to the start of a season or event.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with colleagues within their respective Grounds Maintenance department including a higher-level manager who they would report to. They would also liaise with other employees at their establishment of work such as maintenance staff, gardeners, or estate workers. They may also be required to have some customer-facing tasks dealing with members of the public, sports personnel, players, or coaching staff.

An Apprentice in this occupation will be responsible for reporting to their appropriate line manager to ensure they can carry out their own work to specific plans and within agreed deadlines. They are required to ensure all their actions are carried out in line with current health and safety legislation. They are also responsible for the maintenance, renovation, and overall appearance of one or more sports turf surfaces in accordance with the needs of the particular sport. Maintaining an appropriate quality playing surface that reflects the carrying capacity of that surface to ensure that a sustainable playing surface is provided.

Institute for Apprenticeships