Agrovista Amenity’s online Academy has shown significant growth with over 9,000 CPD points awarded so far, and the company believes that it is just the start of something special.
The Agrovista Amenity Academy is an online learning resource with courses and lessons created on a range of areas of turf management and for all products sold by Agrovista Amenity.
“It has grown bigger than we ever expected it to,” said Karl Parry, the founder of the education platform. “The amount of CPD points we have awarded really is quite phenomenal.”
The portal consists of videos, case studies, MSDS, labels and technical specifications which have been designed so that turf managers can fully understand and get maximum benefits from the products they use. This will, in turn, lead to healthier, better performing turf.
Furthermore, the Academy website boasts a highly sophisticated weather system which helps people make better decisions for the week ahead.
Launched in 2017, the Academy was the result of a need to provide a platform which suited both the learner and the employer – according to Neil Pullen, Agrovista Amenity Business Development Manager.
“The thinking behind the Academy was to provide education that was open to everybody,” he said. “Not just for those at the top, but more a vehicle for people who were new to the industry or part qualified, to further their education with a desire to become a course manager, or a head groundsperson for example.
“It progressed from there and then two years ago we sat down with BIGGA to discuss their education programme. It was apparent that golf clubs were paying for their staff to complete BIGGA courses, but it meant that the staff would need days off to do them. There was also an issue with the employers paying for their staff to be educated only for the staff to leave once they were qualified.
“So, you had a frustrated employee wanting to further their CPD education with BIGGA but struggling to do it because nobody wanted to pay for it, and nobody wanted to give them the time off. This was where the Academy really progressed because individuals can get the CPD points they need without it having an impact on their employers. Each course can be done at home and there is no cost. Now, a lot of BIGGA members come directly through the Academy.”
The Agrovista Amenity Academy, which is free to sign-up to, provides in-depth knowledge on Agrovista Amenity’s market leading products (Product Courses), as well as a wide range of areas in turf management such as turf disease, chemical, product application, seed and turf pests (Knowledge Courses).
The Product Courses have been designed so that the individual can fully understand and get maximum benefits from the products they purchase. With Product Courses and Knowledge courses being added on a regular basis, Academy students are guaranteed to have a wide variety to choose from.
“I think that the Product and Knowledge portfolios that we can build is endless,” said Karl. “Agrovista has an incredible number of resources combined with highly knowledgeable and experienced professionals. Both sections will continue to expand and will push the amenity standard forward.”
BIGGA allocates up to 4 points for all successfully completed Knowledge and Product Courses and can vary depending on content and length. To date, the Academy has awarded 9,499 CPD points to over 3,000 individuals. While it is evident that the wider industry is indeed seeing the benefits from using the Academy, so too is Agrovista Amenity.
“Internally, having that platform to train the team has been invaluable and we have seen improved sales results,” said Neil. “We now insist that all members of staff pass the courses because it teaches them about the products – how it works, why it works, how to apply it, what rates – absolutely everything.
“At the end of the day, we feel that we have a responsibility to make sure that customers understand everything they need to know about the products – so stewardship wise it is important too.”
The Academy has inevitably seen an increase during the pandemic with more people either being furloughed or working from home, but both Karl and Neil are confident that it will continue to grow, especially with the plans that are already in place.
“I would like to see a deeper integration with BASIS and FACTS and we have already spoken about some exciting new content for best practice,” said Karl. “We are also looking forward to continuing to support BIGGA and I feel that is a partnership which will develop even further. We have so many more courses to publish and I would just like to see the Academy continue to grow.”
“Further down the line I would like to see the Academy spilt into different sections to cater for individual sports,” added Neil. “At some point we are planning on having a golf academy, a football academy, a cricket academy, and a rugby academy, for example, to make it even more specific.
“We would also like to have courses for different abilities – so a foundation, intermediate and a professional course. We’ve got so much planned and while we are not quite there yet – we certainly are not far away.”