Grounds Management Association launches online training and offers membership fee deferral for those impacted by Covid-19

  • Grounds Management Association offers Coronavirus-affected members a three-month deferral on membership fees
  • The not-for-profit organisation continues to network with Perennial and Law Express for additional member support
  • It also launches new online training to help boost the nation’s grounds care skills
  • New online learning available for professionals and volunteers, from just £25

Grounds Management Association, the leading not-for-profit organisation for grounds professionals and volunteers, announces further support for its Individual, Organisation and Corporate members during the Coronavirus outbreak.

This news follows its latest Covid-19 guidance for the sector, and Grounds Management Association (GMA) is offering payment deferral on membership fees for up to three-months. Any new members signing-up by direct debit before July will also receive a three-month deferral.

On 5 May, GMA launches its new online learning courses boosting the nations grounds care skills to get the best results out of sport surfaces, which can be put into play as soon as normal working resumes. The training covers the maintenance of sport surfaces and facilities at grassroots level – which allows the opportunity to enhance practical skills with a sound understanding of turfgrass basics.

Level 1 training is suitable for both professionals and volunteers, and the courses include cricket, football, rugby league and rugby union. Each participant will receive a certificate upon completion and be signposted to practical videos to use after the session.

The training aims to help build a cohort of skilled grounds staff and volunteers and make sport possible across the nation, helping to increase the number of games played on natural turf pitches, resulting in even better user experiences.

The online courses follow the theory content of the traditional course and the online learning allows participants to join a virtual community, receive remote mentoring, and enhance career prospects.

GMA is also developing a progressive online training package of courses for both professionals and volunteers, including Level 2 and 3 to compliment the skills required beyond Level 1.

Geoff Webb, CEO at Grounds Management Association said: “We know our member’s lives are impacted at the moment. In difficult times, it’s positive to know that we have a really strong community and we want to ensure our services and benefits support our members in a variety of ways.”

Jason Booth, Director of Technical and Learning: “This month, we’ve seen the community spirit of groundspeople strengthen and grow more than ever before.

“We have an amazing industry that thrives when working outdoors, and I hope our online learning helps keep professionals and volunteers motivated about their passion and career progression. We’re dedicated to skills development and have quickly adapted our leading learning modules to give members the digital access they’re calling for.”  

GMA is also in regular discussion with sport NGBs to provide latest sport-specific guidance regarding the outbreak of Coronavirus, which will be updated monthly and published online.

Sign-up here for Grounds Management Association’s new online learning – learning@thegma.org.uk (phone 01908 552982), or for membership, including to make a claim for a deferral please email membership@thegma.org.uk.

In addition, GMA is networking closely with Perennial – a free and confidential support service for individuals working in horticulture. It also extends to spouses, partners and children, supporting on mental health, bereavement and financial affairs. Members can also access Law Express for free and impartial personal, or business legal advice.

Julia Hayne, Director of Services at Perennial, says:
“We know people are worried; it’s only natural to be concerned about your own health, your ability to continue working and to support your family. We are all facing unprecedented challenges as we adjust to new ways of working and Perennial is determined to remain available and active for everyone.”

Members can access Perennial’s free support line on 0800 093 8543, or visit perennial.org.uk, and Law Express services can be accessed via the Grounds Management Association’s member portal.

For further information, please contact:
Miri Buac
(07821 691 931 / mbuac@thegma.org.uk)

About the Grounds Management Association
The Grounds Management Association is the leading not-for-profit membership organisation representing grounds managers, grounds personnel, grounds maintenance managers, greenkeepers and all others involved in the management of sports pitches, landscape and amenity facilities in the UK.

As well as maintaining the Grounds Management Association Performance Quality Standards and providing a consultancy service for sports grounds, lawn maintenance and amenity horticulture, the Grounds Management Association’s extensive Training and Education programme includes cricket, football, tennis, horseracing, bowls, artificial surfaces, turf science and many other specialist subjects.  It also stages the annual Grounds Management Association SALTEX exhibition, Europe’s leading show for the open space profession.

For more information visit https://thegma.org.uk/covid-19-0