The PGA of Austria, PGA of Canada, PGA of Czech Republic, PGA of Hungary, and PGA of Switzerland are the latest PGAs of Europe Member Countries to achieve European Education Level System (EELS) recognition of their PGA education programmes.
After extensive periods of analysis and assessment, five further PGAs of Europe Member Country PGAs have had their Professional Education Programmes leveled within the system.
The PGA of Austria, PGA of Canada and PGA of Switzerland achieved the ‘PGA Professional Level’, the PGA of Hungary achieved the ‘PGA Coach Level’, and the PGA of Czech Republic achieved the ‘Initial Professional Education (IPE) Level’.
The system has been in place since 2013 and seeks to recognise Member Countries’ education programmes for their curriculums (breadth and depth), delivery (quality of education materials / workshops by Tutors or Trainers), the learning environment and methods of assessment (type and robustness).
Focusing on the three domains of teaching and coaching, the game and the industry, the system allows programmes to be mapped against 72 agreed Learning Outcomes (LOs). The number and areas in which these LOs are currently met determines what level of recognition their programme achieves, with the ‘PGA Professional Level’ meeting all 72 LOs, the ‘PGA Coach Level’ meeting 38 specific LOs, and the ‘IPE Level’ meeting all 13 IPE-specific LOs.
The system ensures that PGAs are recognised for what they can do, unlike the pre-existing binary system of recognition in which many PGAs were unable to achieve recognition regardless of the quality and relevancy to market of the education in their programme.
“These five countries have worked diligently on the detailed mapping and analysis of their programmes,” said Director of Education & Membership for the PGAs of Europe, Tony Bennett.
“As we discovered a number of years ago, a single European education programme was not feasible as the markets and requirements vary so widely across our Member PGAs. EELS now allows their programmes to be bespoke and unique to their requirements, whilst meeting the standards that we uphold for programmes across our membership.
“They also now have clear pathways to progress their programmes over time by increasing the number of LOs that the programmes meet. Through the Association’s guidance, Tutor Training and Mentoring programmes, and direct delivery of the IPE programme, we are able to foster this development across our entire membership.”
Representatives from the five PGAs were presented with certificates during the 2017 Annual Congress at Costa Navarino in Greece, after which they took part in a revealing panel discussion about the process involved, the concept of EELS in general, and what it meant to their respective PGAs to be recognised within the system.
“It could not have come at a better time really as we were undergoing a transition within our PGA so it was an opportunity to reflect on what we were doing, and whether our training model reflects what our members actually need and what the industry needs,” said PGA of Canada Managing Director of Education, Matt Allen, during the panel.
“We identified important areas of our programme that were missing and now I am happy to say that in the past 12-months we have become one of the leading organisations in Canada in certain aspects of this training with new procedures and support mechanisms in place.”