Program Structure, Policies and Procedures

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Program Overview
The PGA Training Academy is based off world-leading industry research on the needs, roles, and expectations of golf professionals in Canada from stakeholders, employers, and members themselves. 

All courses, policies, learning outcomes, and the structure of the PGA of Canada Training Academy are a direct result of this extensive research – all in an effort to better align member training with the realities of the golf industry and to provide a relevant and learner-centred approach.
visionPGA of Canada Training Academy Presented by Titleist and FootJoy Vision, Mission, & Values
Transition from PACE Program
Former Candidates for Membership (CFM) already working towards their requirements in PACE will be automatically transitioned into the PGA of Canada Training Academy. They will be given legacy credits that are of equal value to the weight they carried in PACE. 

Credits from PACE to PGA of Canada Training Academy will be as follows:
*Credits  for Formal Education were awarded for based on the fulfilment of the PACE requirement:

A 3 year Business diploma (including PGM) from a recognized college or a University degree
with a business major
PATH B: University degree other than Business, 3 year diploma in any discipline other than business,
or 2 year diploma in any discipline. *PATH B requires an additional 1 year business certificate
from an accredited college or the Diploma in Business of Golf and Resort Management at McMaster University.

If you have a degree/diploma outside of the above requirements, you may be eligible to earn credits in the Training Academy. For more information, refer to the "Formal Education" policy towards the bottom of this page.
Requirement of Core Courses

Any (former) CFM who has achieved under seven legacy credits will be required to complete Core Credits as part of their 30 credits.  

Any (former) CFM who has achieved over seven legacy credits is exempt from completing the Core Credits, with the exception of the following courses: Rules of Golf Level 1, Instructor of Beginner Golfers Certified Status (In-person and Evaluation) and Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders

Your Training Academy Credit Tracker will indicate whether or not you are required to complete core in the Training Academy.

Please see below for an example:
Credit Tracker if you are required to complete core
(If you're viewing on a mobile device, click here)
Credit Tracker if you are required to complete some core courses
(If you're viewing on a mobile device, click here)
Credit Tracker Core Required
Credit Tracker Exempt From Core
Any CFM who wishes to stay in PACE to complete their training can contact   
Admission Requirements
• 18 years old 
• Highschool diploma 
• Employed in golf industry 
• Pass Playing Ability Test (PAT) 
• Sterling Background Check 
Registration & Playing Ability Test (PAT)

The Playing Ability Test is standardized testing all applicants must pass in order to be eligible to apply for membership.

Registration costs $325 plus tax and includes your 1st PAT attempt. Registration is valid for 1 year from the date of registration. The PAT's are conducted by the Zones, each additional PAT attempt costs $150.00 plus tax.

PAT Target Score

  • 1 round PAT
  • No maximum number of attempts per year
  • All PAT’s are open to all applicants
  • For Men, 49 years of age and under, the course rating plus 9
  • For Men, 50 years of age and older, the course rating plus 11
  • For Women, 49 years of age and under, the course rating plus 13
  • For Women, 50 years of age and older, the course rating plus 15 

PAT Exemptions
To learn about PAT Exemptions, please click here 

For the schedule of PAT events (posted by April 1st) and online registrations for PAT's, click here

Terminology Defined

Apprentice Professional – are individuals who have successfully applied for membership with the PGA of Canada and are in the training stages in the PGA of Canada Training Academy to achieve their Class “A” status.

Class “A” – Class “A” status signifies the completion of all required training. Once Class “A” is achieved, members no longer have deadlines or mandatory continuing education points and credits required. 

Specialization – specializations can be achieved by Class “A” members in one of four categories: 

1) Teaching 
2) Coaching 
3) Golf Operations 
4) Management and Leadership. 

These specializations are aimed at supporting PGA members, through collaboration with hiring managers, the NGCOA – Canada, and the PGA of Canada’s Right Fit project to encourage ongoing professional development by PGA of Canada Class “A” members and to provide the platform for the right PGA professional in the right job. Specializations, although completely optional, are subject to re-certification over a five-year time period. Refer to Re-Specialization tab for information on maintaining specialization.

Specializations are achieved by obtaining a minimum of 10 Training Academy credits in that respective specialization area.

Program Structure
To reach Class “A” status, members must complete a total of 30 credits over a maximum of six years. The minimum number of credits that must be achieved each year is 5 by December 1st.

The 30 credits are broken down into 15 Core Credits and 15 Elective Credits. The core courses are mandatory for all PGA of Canada Associate Professionals to reach Class “A” status. Exceptions may apply for members who joined the Association prior to 2019, for more information please refer to the 'Transition from PACE' policy.

In the first year, the following courses are required:
Instructor of Beginner Golfers Workshop
Respect in Sport Activity Leader
History & Background of the PGA of Canada
Career Literacy Part 1: Map Your Career Path

The additional 10 Core Credits and 15 Elective Credits can be achieved at any point over the six-year tenure.

Remaining Core Courses:
Career Literacy Part 2: Get Your Goal Job
Nurture A Growth Mindset
Marketing Fundamentals for Golf Professionals
Business Fundamentals and Communication
Rules Academy Level 1
Instructor of Beginner Golfers Evaluation

Elective Streams:
Elective credits can be earned by taking any course in any stream.

The program highly recommends individuals who do not have a specific career path to take a generalized training program to gain experience and knowledge in a variety of topics relevant to the roles of a PGA of Canada professional. 

If desired, Apprentice Professionals can earn specializations. See the "Specialization" section of the website for more information OR "Specializations/Re-Specializations" for the associated policies and procedures.
Training Academy Courses, Delivery Method, Credit Allocation, and Cost

To download a copy of the course catalogue, click here.

Specializations & Re-Specialization

To achieve a Class “A” specialization in one of the elective categories, 10 credits must be achieved in that specified category.
Specializations are valid once Class “A” status is achieved.

The Specialization in Management and Leadership is only available once an individual has achieved their Specialization in Golf Operations. 

Grandfathering of Specializations
As of February 28th, Class “A” members will be grandfathered based on the below member categories.

Head Professional – Golf Operations
Head Teaching Professional/Teaching Professional – Teaching
Any member with NCCP Certification in the Competition Stream - Coaching
Executive Professional/Master Professional – Golf Operations and Management and Leadership.

Class “A” members who have achieved one (or more) of the four specializations will be required to re-specialize in the given area given the below parameters. The purpose of re-specialization is to ensure Class “A” professionals who have a specialization have committed themselves to ongoing development in that field and to ensure employers and stakeholders hiring for a given area are hiring individuals committed to that field. 

To re-specialize, a Class “A” member will be required to achieve the following professional development points over a five year time period, from the date they achieved their specialization:
Teaching 20 points 
Coaching 20 points
Golf Operations 20 points
Management and Leadership & Golf Operations  30 points


First Year Deadlines
New members are not required to meet any deadlines for education during the year they become an Associate Professional. The first deadline will be December 1st of the following year.

For example, if an individual passed the PAT in May 2020 and completed all application criteria, the first deadline will be December 1st, 2021.
Yearly Deadlines
To maintain active status, Associate Professionals in the PGA Training Academy must complete a minimum of five credits each year. The deadline to complete a minimum of five credits is December 1st.

If an active member completes 9 credits in one year, those will count towards the following year, and only one additional credit will be necessary to maintain active status in the following year.

A maximum of six years will be allotted for an Associate to achieve Class “A” status.
Active Member Policy
Membership will remain active until one of the following deadlines is not met.
active memberIf a member completes 15 credits in their first year and stops completing courses, they would maintain their active status until their year four deadline. 
  *The first year required courses (totaling 5 credits) must be complete in order to maintain an active membership. 
Inactive Membership
Associate Professionals failing to meet the minimum credit value or required courses in a given year will become an inactive member, not in good standing.

As an inactive member you will not have access to the website beyond the Training Academy login and will not have access to any member benefits other than insurance. You will also be ineligible for all PGA of Canada National and Zone tournaments, and you will not appear on the PGA of Canada’s public database of members (Find a Pro). You will continue to pay dues, as you are still a member, and there is no fee associated with getting back to active status.

To return to active, you must complete the minimum of five credits from the previous year. The additional five credits for the current year’s deadline are still required. 
Recommendation Timelines
The following graphic provides the number of credits that must be completed in order to reach Class “A” status in the number of years listed above. 
timelinePGA of Canada Training Academy Presented by Titleist and FootJoy Completion Timelines
Final Program Deadline
After six years, if the Associate Professional has not completed their 30 credits and achieved Class “A” status, their membership will be suspended. This deadline is final, and there is no inactive membership period following the six-year completion deadline.
Extension Requests
Part of any professional designation and career comes responsibility and commitment to meeting deadlines. The PGA of Canada Class “A” status is renowned both globally and domestically as ‘best in class.’ This designation opens career opportunities unique to PGA of Canada members because of the association’s world class education program and exhaustive research to understand the responsibilities of a PGA Class “A” member. While we understand Associate Professionals are busy and manage many different responsibilities, only medical and extreme extenuating circumstances will be considered.  

Process for requesting an extension:

Send a email to Matt Allen, Chief Innovation Officer ( outlining the following:

- a letter outlining the basis for the extension ask (medical/extenuating circumstance), when you are requesting the extension until and what your commitment will be to achieving the outstanding credits.

- If the request is for medical purposes, we will need a doctors note

Please allow 5-10 business days for your request to be processed.

Suspended Membership/Reinstatement
If an Associate Professional fails to return to an active status within one year as an inactive member, they will become suspended.

Once suspended, the Associate Professional is no longer considered a member of the PGA of Canada and will be required to reinstate their membership to return to the association with additional fees subject to reinstatement.

Individuals reinstating back into the association will be subject to an individual course audit and may be subject to the loss of credits previously attained for any courses that have been updated since the individual left the association.

Any former member who is reinstating their membership after a 5+ year leave is eligible for an internal audit of previously completed training plus the submission of previous workplace experience and education.  The submission will be $300 and conducted by a task-force committee.

Steps to initiate the process;
Please email a detailed resume of your education, workplace, and volunteer experience with a specific focus on business to Matt Allen ( in order to get the process started.

Course Structure
Each course within the PGA Training Academy will be delivered in a different and unique learning platform. A passing grade within the PGA Training Academy will be a minimum 70%, or in some cases, 100% for specific click through modules. This form of evaluation may be different for each course and learners are encouraged to review the learning outcomes and evaluation methods before registering to ensure it aligns with their time commitments, methods of preferred learning, and priorities at the given time. 
"Not Yet" Policy
Each course within the PGA Training Academy may have different course passing grades, different evaluation methods and as such, learners are encouraged to review this before registration. Any learner who does not meet the equivalent passing grade, does not meet the late policy, resubmission policy, missed time policy or contravene the Academy Integrity policy in a given course will receive no credit ("Not Yet") for that course.

Any learner that receives a "Not Yet" grade and is choosing/required to re-take the course will be able to do so at 50% cost of the course registration fee.
Course Assignment Resubmission

Learners have a maximum of three resubmissions per assignment, project, or knowledge check to achieve a course's passing grade. A missed deadline is considered an attempt.

After receiving a 'Not Yet' grade for an assignment, the learner has a maximum of 2 weeks to resubmit the assignment. If the course passing grade is not achieved after the 3rd attempt, the learner will receive a grade of "Not Yet" and not receive credit for this course.

Late Policy/Missed Time Policy for Workshops and Live Instructed Courses

Early departures for in-person workshops are not permitted. To obtain your Training Academy credits, individuals must be present for the entirety of the scheduled agenda. Individuals who depart earlier than the allotted time for a workshop may be subject to re-taking the workshop and not receiving Training Academy credits. 

Live instructed online courses:
Learners will only be permitted one missed class per course. If this total is exceeded, the learner will receive a not-yet grade for the course.

Degree/diploma programs outside of the programs offered at Georgian College, Humber College, McMaster University or any of the formerly recognized institutions will not receive equivalencies or exemptions for any courses within PGA Training Academy. This is based off industry research from stakeholders and employers to ensure all Associate Professionals have relevant education, training, and experience to what is needed in the ‘real world’.    
Individuals who have experience or education in similar courses to the PGA of Canada Training Academy, are encouraged to take courses in other areas that may be of a benefit or interest to them. 
Course Revision Cycle
Courses will be reviewed on a one to three-year basis based on the revision cycle to ensure the most up-to-date and relevant content is being delivered to the membership. Once the content of a course has been replaced, credit will no longer be given to non-members wishing to reinstate once six years has passed from the date the course was taken.  
Course Expiration
This section is only relevant to members who have been suspended and not met their six-year deadline or have resigned and reinstated after their six-year deadline has passed. This same process is applied to specializations, however, though credits counting towards specializations can expire, your Class “A” status will not be rescinded.

Courses will be valid for a minimum of six-years once they are completed. If a former member reinstates, all courses that were completed over six-years prior will be audited and if updates have been made to the content and learning outcomes, no credit will be given. All courses with the same content and learning outcomes will remain valid for longer than six-years, until content is updated.
Once Class “A” status is achieved, the credits will not expire; however, Class “A” members are encouraged to continue taking credits as they pertain to their career, as well as retaking updated courses.

Development of New Courses

The PGA of Canada will continue to research the industry and identify the most relevant topics to employers. Courses will be added and removed as the ever-evolving golf industry develops new best practices.

Courses proposed for development beyond 2020:

new coursesHave a course that should be included? Contact
Course Refund Policy
Online Courses – Asynchronous:
Within 7 days of registration – full refund 
Within 30 days of registration – half refund of the course 
After 30 days of registration - $0 refund

Online Facilitated Courses:
Within 7 days of registration – full refund (minus $25 administrative fee)
Within 30 days of registration – half refund of the course (minus $25 administrative fee)
After 30 days of registration - $0 refund

Live Instructed Course:
After registration – full refund (minus $25 administrative fee)
After the first class – half refund of the course (minus $25 administrative fee)
After second class – $0 refund

Mentorship Program:
After registration – full refund (minus $25 administrative fee)
After the first touchpoint – half refund of the course (minus $25 administrative fee)
After second touchpoint – $0 refund

Cancellations before the registration deadline will receive a full refund, no cancellation fee.
Cancellations after the registration deadline but before the first day of the workshop will receive half the refund of their registration fee and minus a $75 cancellation fee.
Cancellations on day one of the workshop (or absentees) will not receive any refund of their registration fee.

*any member who is 50% or more through a PGA Training Academy course will receive a $0 refund. 
*any failing grade for a course will receive a $0 refund.
Academy Integrity

In accordance with the PGA of Canada Code of Professional Practice, any forms of plagiarism will be managed accordingly and the PGA member may be subject to a “Not Yet” grade in that course with no refund.

Any breach of Academic Integrity will be managed by the PGA of Canada Education staff and will be communicated with the PGA member individually.

Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:

  • claiming, submitting or presenting the words, ideas, artistry, drawings, images or data of another person, including information found on the Internet and unpublished materials, as if they are one’s own, without appropriate referencing;
  • claiming, submitting or presenting someone else’s work, ideas, opinions or theories as if they are one’s own, without proper referencing;
  • claiming, submitting or presenting another person’s substantial compositional contributions, assistance, edits or changes to an assignment as one’s own;
  • claiming, submitting or presenting collaborative work as if it were created solely by oneself or one’s group;
  • submitting the same work, in whole or in part, for credit in two or more courses, or in the same course more than once, without the prior written permission of the instructor;
  • Minimally paraphrasing someone else’s work by changing only a few words and not citing the original source.
Any discipline as a result of a breach of the PGA of Canada Code of Professional Practice is subject to the PGA of Canada – Appeals policies. 
Formal Education Requirements

Formal education is not a mandatory requirement of the PGA of Canada. Formal education is strongly recommended based on the individual’s career path as an outcome in the career literacy course. 

Individuals who have completed their formal education will receive 3 -5 credits towards their Class “A” designation based on the following criteria:

3 credits – 3 year diploma from a recognized college
4 credits -- University degree or 3 year diploma with additional certificate/diploma program
5 credits – Masters or PhD 

Formal education submissions will be reviewed individually and must be related to the individuals’ career path in golf (example - business, commerce, marketing, communications, kinesiology or sport science, sport management). 

To complete the process of achieving credits for your formal education, click here to register to submit your transcripts.

PGA Recognized Programs
The PGA of Canada has partnered with the following three post-secondary programs.

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Golf Management) at Georgian College
Golf Facilities Operation Management at Georgian College
Professional Golf Management at Humber College
Business of Golf & Resort Management at McMaster University

Students who are enrolled in any of these programs will be able to complete courses with learning outcomes that match the PGA Training Academy. Upon completion of these courses and a minimum grade of 70%, the student (if a PGA of Canada member) will receive credit in the Training Academy for that course. It is the responsibility of the student to provide the PGA of Canada with updated transcripts annually in order to receive the equivalency credits. 

The PGA of Canada has identified these programs as the only in Canada to provide golf specific training that matches learning outcomes with what is being taught in the PGA of Canada Training Academy. The PGA of Canada will have access to audit course learning outcomes at Georgian College, Humber College, McMaster University.
LPGA Pathway

LPGA Class “A” members will be exempt from the Play Ability Test (PAT) and will automatically receive 20.0 of the 30.0 credits required to achieve Class “A” status with the PGA of Canada. A reference guide outlining course equivalencies and additional courses required to achieve Class “A” status is available below.

PGATA - LPGA-pathway
Humber College Pathway
Students enrolled in the Humber College Professional Golf Management program will receive equivalency for the following courses after achieving a 70% grade or higher for each of the courses allotted below. Associate Professionals will be required to submit Official Transcripts ONLY to the Education Department at the PGA of Canada to receive the allotted credits.
Georgian College Pathway
Students enrolled in the Georgian Golf Facilities Operation Management program will receive equivalency for the following courses after achieving a 70% grade or higher for each of the courses allotted below. Associate Professionals will be required to submit official transcripts  to Matt Allen ( to receive the allotted credits.
McMaster University Pathway

Students enrolled in the McMaster Business of Golf & Resort Management program will receive equivalency for the following courses after achieving a 70% grade or higher for each of the courses allotted below. Associate Professionals will be required to submit Official Transcripts ONLY to Matt Allen ( to receive the allotted credits.

Download McMaster Pathway

Audits for formerly recognized PGM Programs/Institutions

The PGA of Canada will provide an individualized course audit for any Apprentice Professional who completed or partially completed a PGM diploma at a formerly recognized institution.

The list of formerly recognized PGM programs are as follows:

Camosun College
Lethbridge College
Grant MacEwan
Holland College
Niagara College
St. Clair College

Any Apprentice Professional who wishes to have a course audit done will be required to sign up for the Post-Secondary School course (the fee is $50.00) and submit their official transcripts for review.