AHC31319 – Certificate III in Sports Turf Management











Course Overview

The AHC31319 Certificate III in Sports Turf Management is designed for individuals looking to enter or advance in the sports turf management industry. This nationally recognised qualification provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to maintain and manage sports turf facilities to a professional standard.

Throughout this workplace-based traineeship course, students will learn about various aspects of turf management, including soil science, turf cultivation, pest and disease management, irrigation systems, and turf establishment and renovation. Students will also gain practical skills in operating and maintaining turf management equipment, as well as conducting turf assessments and implementing turf management plans.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be equipped to work in a range of sports turf management roles, such as a groundskeeper, turf technician, or field manager. Graduates will have the skills and knowledge to ensure sports turf facilities are maintained to a high standard, meeting the needs of athletes and enhancing the overall playing experience

Course Description

Individuals with the Certificate III in Sports Turf Management perform tasks autonomously involving a broad range of skills that are applied in a wide variety of sports turf facilities and workplaces. They exercise discretion and judgement in planning tasks, selecting and operating equipment, coordinating resources and applying contingency measures during work.

Participants may select to undertake this Course in either of the following delivery models, or a combination of the two, as required:

  • Blended : Self-paced online learning and assessment tasks + workplace-based training and assessment tasks + workplace employer/supervisor mentoring.
  • Workplace : Self-paced printed workbook learning and hand-written assessment tasks + workplace-based training and assessment tasks + workplace employer/supervisor mentoring.


This Course is designed primarily for Participants that are eligible for a Training Contract and employed as an apprentice or trainee in a horticulture enterprise, specifically:

  • Persons pursuing a career as an employee in a Horticulture-based enterprise or organisation, and/or
  • Persons working in the AHC industry who are seeking a formal qualification, and/or
  • Graduates of AHC-related qualifications at the Certificate II-level who are upskilling or articulating from previous studies.


This Course is also suitable for Participants under a South Australian VET for School Students program, who may continue with this Course post school completion.

The onus is on the Applicant to arrange their own access to an actual horticulture workplace or enterprise to undertake learning and assessment tasks and activities, if they wish to enrol in the Course where they are not currently employed in a horticulture enterprise.



Where Participants are not eligible for a Training Contract or a Skills SA Training Account they may seek enrolment into the Course under a fee-for-service basis if they are employed in a suitable horticulture workplace or enterprise and only if they and their employer enter into a Workplace Training Agreement (WTA) with ARO College.

SA WorkReady

Eligible South Australian participants may have this course partially subsidised through the Government of South Australia’s WorkReady initiative. Check your eligibility here:

ARO College is an approved provider of WorkReady funding for this qualification. Eligible Participants who live or work in South Australia may receive subsidised training in this course under a Training Contract.


What is a Training Contract?

A training contract is a legally binding document that is agreed between the employer, and a trainee which includes a nominated RTO to deliver the program. It must be signed by a parent or legal guardian if the trainee is under 18. It covers:

  • the length of the traineeship
  • details of the registered training organisation (RTO) delivering the training
  • the qualification to be obtained
  • employment arrangements and industrial award


The training contract must be lodged with an Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP). The ANP can help with preparing the training contract as well as other paperwork.

Click here to find your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider


Duration and Intakes


The nominal study load to complete this course is 1420 hours over approximately 138 weeks duration. This nominal duration may vary considerably for each participant depending on their existing knowledge and skills and the level of support the participant receives from their workplace, and/or if they successfully obtain recognition for previous learning or study.



There are no scheduled intake dates, cohorts or classes for this qualification. Participants may commence the Course at any time provided there is an Apprenticeship Training Contract or Workplace Training Agreement in place with the participants employer.


Course Version

AHC31319 – Certificate III in Sports Turf Management (Release 1)

This version released with AHC Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management Training Package Version 4.0.

Units of Competency & Tuition Fees

23 units of competency must be satisfactorily completed by participants to achieve a AHC31319- Certificate III in Sports Turf Management. The 23 units of competency are comprised of: 18 core units, plus 5 elective units. The 5 elective units selected by ARO College are guided by advice provided by consultation with industry and on the qualifications and expertise of ARO training and assessment staff.

Participants are not provided access to all units of competency (UOC) in the qualification simultaneously. The learning and assessment resources are released at nominal 6-week intervals. Each unit is attempted in the order presented in the Delivery Schedule table below.



Participants are charged Tuition fees in advance for each individual unit as enrolled via the student portal or provided in person as printed workbooks. The Delivery Schedule table below indicates the fees charged per unit. A single Registration Fee will be invoiced upon enrolment. Please refer to the Charges Table in our Fees, Charges and Refunds Policy.


Customised Delivery Schedules

ARO College will liaise with each participant’s employer to align the workplace’s business activities with the most relevant unit of competency.


Delivery Schedule


Unit # Code Title Participant Fee
(fee for service)
Participant Fee
(SA subsidy)
Core AHCMOM304 Operate machinery and equipment $930.91 $250.00
Elective AHCPGD310 Implement a landscape maintenance program $1,320.00 $250.00
Core AHCWHS301 Contribute to work health and safety processes $736.40 $250.00
Core AHCCHM304 Transport and store chemicals $734.00 $250.00
Core AHCCHM307 Prepare and apply chemicals to control pest, weeds and diseases $1,037.30 $250.00
Core AHCSOL304 Implement soil improvements for garden and turf areas $1,192.80 $250.00
Core AHCIRG345 Install pressurised irrigation systems $1.068.80 $250.00
Core AHCIRG346 Operate pressurised irrigation systems $1,246.00 $250.00
Core AHCIRG347 Maintain pressurised irrigation systems $1,005.30 $250.00
Core AHCDRG305 Install drainage systems $1,128.00 $250.00
Core AHCTRF308 Establish turf $1,192.80 $250.00
Core AHCPMG302 Control plant pests, diseases and disorders $1,322.00 $250.00
Core AHCPMG301 Control weeds $1,037.30 $250.00
Core AHCTRF306 Prepare sports turf surfaces for play $1,440.40 $250.00
Core AHCTRF307 Construct turf playing surfaces $1,564.20 $250.00
Core AHCTRF310 Monitor turf health $1,192.80 $250.00
Core AHCTRF311 Renovate sports turf $1,192.80 $250.00
Core AHCWRK309 Apply environmentally sustainable work practices $838.00 $250.00
Core AHCPCM301 Implement a plant nutrition program $1,051.20 $250.00
Elective AHCTRF309 Implement a grassed area maintenance program $1,192.80 $250.00
Elective AHCWRK305 Coordinate worksite activities $993.20 $250.00
Elective AHCPCM303 Identify plant specimens $1,251.60 $250.00
Elective AHCSOL401 Sample soil and interpret results $1,014.00 $250.00
$25,682.61 $5,750.00




Participants that complete all 23 units of competency satisfactorily will be awarded a Testamur certificate and a statement of results for the Course.


Academic Pathways

Graduates of this Course may articulate to a range of qualifications in the AHC Training Package at the Certificate IV and Diploma levels, such as:

        • AHC52021 Diploma of Landscape Construction Management
        • AHC50422 Diploma of Horticulture Management
        • AHC51019 Diploma of Sports Turf Management
        • AHC40422 Certificate IV in Horticulture


Occupational pathways

Graduates of this Course are ideally placed to maintain or seek employment in the AHC sector in roles such as:

        • Groundsperson
        • Turf racetrack worker
        • Cricketground curator
        • Sports turf trades person
        • Greenkeeper


Exit Opportunities

Participants have the opportunity to exit the Course prior to completion at any stage. Participants will be issued a Statement of Attainment certificate for any UOC completed.

Entry Requirements

Upfront Assessment of Need (UAN)

To ensure Participants receive the support they need to successfully complete the Course, an upfront assessment of need (UAN) process is undertaken before enrolment is confirmed. All individuals who are seeking access to a fee-for-service or subsidised training place, regardless of prior educational attainment, employment experience or employment status, are required to participate in the UAN process. The UAN process includes an assessment of the participant’s suitability, support needs and literacy and numeracy capabilities via a Language Literacy and Numeracy assessment (LLN).



All applicants into this Course must arrange and provide their own access to an actual horticulture workplace or enterprise to enable the attempting of practical/performance-based training and assessment activities. Applicants will require a Training Contract or a Workplace Training Agreement (WTA) to be executed prior to an application for enrolment will be offered.


Workplace Training Agreement

Where a Training Contract does not exist, for example under a fee-for-service enrolment, Participants should nominate their current place of employment, if it is an appropriate facility.  ARO will engage with the nominated workplace, prior to enrolment being confirmed, to ensure that the workplace can provide a suitable environment to gather practical experience across all tasks outlined in all UOC’s. If approved, ARO will offer a WTA to the employer and the Participant to sign and execute.



All applicants into this course will need:

  • A Unique Student Identifier #
  • A mobile phone or other hand-held device that is: web-browser-enabled; can access the Participants personal email account (eg: Gmail); and has a calendar App or functionality (eg: Google Calendar) and has photo and video recording capabilities
  • An active personal email address
  • Government-issued photo identification inclusive of Date of Birth
  • Evidence of personal place of residence address such as a Driver Licence or Utilities/Bank Statement


Persons attempting the Course online in aXcelerate will need to provide their own:

  • Internet and data
  • Laptop or personal computer or tablet-style device with web-browser software, Gmail or similar email platform, and other general MS Office software such as; Word, Excel, VideoPlayer, PowerPoint and Adobe PDF reader
  • Access to a printer/scanner or other mechanism to print or scan forms and templates for assessment tasks and activities

Course Delivery


ARO College uses the aXcelerate Student and Learning Management System to facilitate the administration and training and assessment activities of this Course.


All Participants, regardless of delivery mode, once enrolled in the Course are invited by email to access the aXcelerate Learner Portal.

  • Login Username – will be the Participants email address
  • Login password – will be set by Participant on first login


From the Learner Portal, all Participants can:

  • Download their Certificates when available
  • Email their trainers/assessors and study coaches
  • Update their personal details (email, phone)
  • Access their Course Calendar and Workplace Workshop schedules
  • Access additional course-specific learning resources and tools and general RTO resources such as forms and templates.
  • Undertake online assessment tasks and activities


Provision of learning and assessment resources:

  • Participants that are not attempting the Course online via aXcelerate are provided with printed and bound Workbooks for each Unit of Competency as they progress through their Training plan and as they are assessed in the Workplace
  • Participants that are attempting the Course online via aXcelerate are provided with e-learning, digital and web-browser-accessible copies of their learning and assessment resources for each Unit of Competency as they are enrolled in each Unit in the LMS
  • Trainers/assessors will print their own copies of any practical demonstration/observation and assessment resources to each workplace Workshop assessment


Either way, the default release of learning and assessment resources online or at a Workplace Workshop coincides with the participants delivery schedule of one Unit commencing and one Unit being assessed, every 6 weeks, where possible noting that some UOC’s will require observation assessments to be conducted over a period of time in excess of the 6-week cycle.


There are 3 assessment Tasks that Participants must achieve a satisfactory result for, to be deemed competent in each unit of competency:

Knowledge questions – 20-40 questions which assess the Performance Criteria and Knowledge Evidence requirements of each Unit.

Workplace Practical Tasks – which are on-the-job project activities using actual equipment and tools, that the Participants undertake in their workplace or simulated workplace or role-play.

Case study and/or project(s) – requiring self-directed research and medium-long-answer written responses which requires the participant to apply theory and practice such as action research, experiment, impact studies, planning for a complex professional task, field work etc.

Third Party Report (Supplementary) – allows for a Workplace Supervisor to provide feedback on the skills and knowledge of the Participant to capably complete the specific tasks in the workplace on multiple occasions consistently.