Recognition for New Zealand Sports Turf Institute

Lindsay Robertson

Palmerston North, New Zealand: The New Zealand Sports Turf Institute (NZSTI) has welcomed the confirmation of its Category 1 status as a registered training provider following an External Evaluation and Review (EER) by New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) independent evaluators.

“Category 1 is the highest quality assurance rating and we are delighted to have the evaluation findings confirmed by NZQA,” said Lindsay Robertson, NZSTI’s Training Manager.

He added: “This shows we have continued to develop successfully since our last EER in 2015, where we were also awarded a Category 1 rating. The training landscape – and NZSTI – has changed significantly in that time, and we have worked hard to meet the challenges associated with those changes.

“It is encouraging to know that NZQA is highly confident in our organisation’s educational performance and self-assessment abilities.”

A relatively small Private Training Establishment, NZSTI specialises in providing New Zealand-wide and international consultancy services and training programmes that cover traditional sports turf as well as synthetic and hybrid surfaces.

“Our team of consultants is made up of qualified agronomists and researchers, who are out in the (sports) field on a daily basis, which ensures their technical currency remains cutting edge. Our training team is also made up of specialists with wide experience across the training sector,” said Robertson.

The Asian Golf Industry Federation has called on NZSTI’s expertise to develop a Certificate in Greenkeeping (CIG) programme that is aimed at improving the professional knowledge of greenkeeping staff and providing an educational framework for the golf greenkeeping industry in the region. The initiative is backed by The R&A.

The programme focuses on the core knowledge and skills required to operate safely and efficiently as a greenkeeper on a golf course, and in a way that protects the turf, prevents damage to the reputation of the course and improves productivity.

The CIG is a 12-month programme with five modules.

Teeing-off proceedings for 2019 was the CIG Malaysia Progression Course which took place at Kuala Lumpur’s Kota Permai Golf & Country Club in April. A CIG Thailand Introductory Course was held at Bangkok’s Summit Windmill Golf Course last month.

New Zealand Sports Turf Institute Managing Director Olivier Ducrocq (left) and Asian Golf Industry Federation President Richard Walne.

“Kudos to the fantastic trainers from our education partners at NZSTI. Translated materials and training all went smoothly,” said Richard Walne, AGIF President, adding that Johor Bahru’s Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club will be the venue for a second CIG Malaysia Introductory Course from July 29 to August 2.

Olivier Ducrocq, Managing Director of Labosport Asia and NZSTI, said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to showcase our expertise in the delivery of sports turf management for the betterment of the golf industry in Asia.”

Established in 1949, NZSTI has continued to develop its specialist expertise, and continues to be well-regarded in the sports turf industry because of its close connection with current and emerging science and technologies, and its emphasis on the workplace applicability of taught skills.

By linking with Labosport in 2018, NZSTI has benefited from having access to a multi-disciplinary team with internationally-certified expertise in chemistry, engineering, agronomy, sports performance, and materials science.

“Labosport had long recognised NZSTI has the expertise, experience, and responsiveness to be able to help us develop our services for the sports surfaces industry in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Ducrocq.

“Training and education are strategically vital to NZSTI and Labosport. NZQA’s recent endorsement of our training quality will further underline the value of our work in this area,” added Ducrocq.

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