The European Institute of Golf Course Architects is to make its education programme available to a wider audience from 2013.
The EIGCA Vocational Qualification in Golf Course Design - which replaced the open diploma programme formerly run by the institute - will now accept applicants who are able to secure an attachment to a practice with an EIGCA member, as well as those who are working with a member full time.
EIGCA views promoting and maintaining high standards of golf course design and professional expertise as a major part of its role. By offering a qualification in golf course architecture, EIGCA aims to ensure potential new golf course architects are properly trained, the institute said. The aim of the vocational course, which started in 2011, is to aid the development of students through a mixture of online learning, biannual workshops and assignments. During work days students assist an EIGCA member in all aspects of golf course design and get practical experience of the job prescribed areas of work experience.
EIGCA education committee chairman Gary Johnston said: "This new Student Attachment programme offers students the opportunity to get hands-on work experience in a practice, but without giving the EIGCA member employment concerns - it's a contractual internship for a fixed number of days over a two year period. This approach slightly widens the entry criteria into the profession and allows students to take some part-time paid work to help cover their course fees and living expenses."