The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) launched a new and upgraded online virtual learning environment (VLE) training and education programme - IOG Campus - enabling students to complete IOG training courses remotely.
The new system replaces its previously-used online system for turf maintenance and management qualifications.
Completely re-written and updated and provided on a new operating platform, IOG Campus is easier to access, understand and use, quicker and more efficient than its predecessor the IOG said.
It also enables students to learn and qualify ‘remotely’ from home, in the workplace or at specialised training centres.
IOG Campus currently offers a range of online training courses, including QCF Levels 2 and 3 in Sports Turf Maintenance & Management. However all IOG short courses are now being added.
In addition, a video-based training courses will be offered, and will be used by the IOG to underpin its apprenticeships programme, using an E-portfolio system.
IOG Campus is accessed via a password-protected portal (www.icampus.ac/iog) to provide students with IOG facilitators/mentors and discussion groups as well as full access to learning resource information.
IOG head of professional services, Ian Lacy, said:
"The IOG is the only organisation in the groundscare industry that provides a holistic training and education programme that guides students through the complete range of skills and knowledge required for turf management and maintenance.
"Now, with our new IOG Campus virtual learning environment, we are taking the accessibility and ease of use of online learning one step further – improving what we already had, which regularly gained plaudits from around the world, and creating a system that means students can access and use learning materials in an easy-to-follow way and with minimal clicks of the mouse."
He added: "We now have a range of international students accessing VLE from countries such as Denmark, Finland, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe, as well as many UK-based students."
Grounds professions likely to be main users of the new programme include:
- Local authorities - the demise of training following CCT has highlighted the need for qualified staff;
- Individuals who find it difficult or inappropriate to attend college, especially those employed in a small business;
- Colleges and other training organisations;
- Community and volunteer organisations wanting trained and qualified staff for specific sports pitches (especially as a requirement of a funding bid);
- Students on an amenity horticulture/similar course with optional or compulsory turf units.
IOG chief executive Geoff Webb said:
"The IOG continues to push the boundaries of education and training. IOG Campus has limitless potential both domestically and internationally, provided in a fresh and modern way using the flexibility that online learning provides in the modern-day workplace."