AHC51019 – Diploma of Sports Turf Management











Course Overview

The AHC51019 Diploma of Sports Turf Management is designed for experienced sports turf individuals seeking to expand their knowledge and skills in the sports turf management industry. This diploma program is ideal for those looking to advance their career and take on leadership roles in the management and maintenance of sports turf facilities.

Throughout this 14-Unit course, students will examine advanced topics in sports turf management, including turf construction and renovation, sports turf nutrition, turf grass science, and environmental management practices. Students will also learn about strategic planning for sports turf facilities, budgeting, financial management, as well as staff supervision and training.

The AHC51019 Diploma of Sports Turf Management equips students with the expertise to effectively manage and maintain sports turf facilities to a high standard. Graduates will be prepared to oversee all aspects of sports turf management, ensuring the quality, safety, and playability of sports fields and surfaces.

Upon successful completion of the AHC51019 Diploma of Sports Turf Management, students will possess the skills and qualifications needed to succeed in roles such as superintendent, assistant superintendent grounds manager, turf consultancy specialist, sports turf facility coordinator, or sports turf operations manager. This diploma program opens up diverse career opportunities in sports turf management, providing graduates with the expertise to excel in this dynamic and specialised field.

Course Description

Individuals with the Diploma in Sports Turf Management manage others performing a broad range of skills that are applied in a wide variety of sports turf facilities and workplaces.

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 a supervisor in a sports turf enterprise, specifically:

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


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 1605 hours over approximately 84 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

AHC51019 – Diploma in Sports Turf Management (Release 3)

This version released with AHC Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation and Land Management Training Package Version 6.2

Units of Competency & Tuition Fees

14 units of competency must be satisfactorily completed by participants to achieve a AHC51019 – Diploma in Sports Turf Management. The 14 units of competency are comprised of: 10 core units, plus 4 elective units. The 4 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)
Elective AHCWHS503 Manage work health and safety processes $1,000 $400
Elective AHCDES509 Assess landscape sites $1,000 $400
Elective AHCLSC505 Manage landscape projects $1,000 $400
Core AHCBUS511 Manage enterprise staff requirements $1,000 $400
Core AHCBUS518 Prepare and monitor budgets and financial reports $1,000 $400
Elective AHCIRG508 Design irrigation system maintenance and monitoring programs $1,000 $400
Core AHCTRF508 Manage sports turf facility assets $1,000 $400
Core AHCCHM501 Develop and manage a chemical use strategy $1,000 $400
Core AHCIRG507 Audit irrigation systems $1,000 $400
Core AHCPCM501 Diagnose plant health problems $1,000 $400
Core AHCTRF505 Plan the establishment of sports turf playing surfaces $1,000 $400
Core AHCTRF506 Manage sports turf renovation programs $1,000 $400
Core AHCTRF507 Develop sports turf management programs $1,000 $400
Core AHCPCM402 Develop a soil health and plant nutrition program $1,000 $400
$14,000 $5,600



Participants that complete all 14 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 choose to undertake another related qualification in the AHC Training Package at Diploma levels, such as:

  • AHC50422 Diploma of Horticulture Management


Occupational pathways

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

  • Golf course or turf wicket curator
  • Bowling greenkeeper
  • Sporting venue groundskeeper or consultant
  • A consultant, specialising in maintenance of recreational turf, preparation of sports playing surfaces or recreational and sports turf facility management


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 sports turf 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.

To commence this qualification an individual must have:

  • completed a Certificate III in Sports Turf Management or an equivalent turf management trade-level qualification


  • a certificate III level qualification in amenity horticulture combined with two years current work experience in a trade-level role at a sports turf facility.


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 – 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.