PGMS School of Grounds Management


The School of Grounds Management Certificate Program was developed to provide goal-oriented education opportunities for professional grounds managers attending the PGMS® School of Grounds Management classes, which are available twice a year in conference format and multiple times throughout the year as virtual webinars. Additional benefits of the program include educating attendees in the areas of competencies needed to prepare for entrance into the Certified Grounds Manager (CGM®) program.

To earn the certificate of completion for the School of Grounds Management (SGM), the student must complete a total of twenty-four (24) credit hours within four (4) years of enrollment. Of those twenty-four (24), a maximum of eight (8) credits can be earned by attending live PGMS®  virtual webinars. Additionally, a minimum of 4.5 credit hours must be earned in the following four (4) competency divisions:

The four (4) Core Competency divisions are as follows:

Sessions cover a variety of important topics dealing with human interactions that affect grounds professionals at all levels.

Topics may include: Customer Service, Leadership, Dealing with Different Personalities, Diversity/ADA, Motivation, Personnel Functions, Supervision and Scheduling, Time Management, and Team Building.

Sessions focus on up-to-date fiscal advice and experiences that enable managers along with their teams to continue as the service providers of choice.

Topics may include: Budget, Business Ethics, Contract Management, Marketing/Communication for Facilities Management, Networking, Production/Operations Management, Risk Management/Liability, Sales,
Information Technologies, and Organization Structure and Functions.

Sessions cover a variety of emerging issues and trends pertinent to the living environment.

Topics may include: Arboriculture, Seasonal Flower Displays, Green Roofs, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Perennials, Ornamental Grasses and Ground Cover Management, Plant Identification, Turf and Sports Turf Management, Urban Forestry, and Woody Plant Management.

Sessions focus on the sharing of ideas and strategic input for managing and maintaining landscape infrastructure that enhances the living environment.

Topics may include: Design and Build, Irrigation and Water Management, Landscape Management, Public Horticulture, Safety and Certifications, Snow and Ice Management, Sustainability/Biological Diversity, and Technology.


Educational Classes at the PGMS® School of Grounds Management

Each Educational class, for purposes of the SGM, consists of one and a half hours (1.5) credits of classroom instruction. One (1) credit equals one hour of instruction.


PGMS® Virtual Webinars (Live)

Each webinar consists of either a half hour (.5) credit or one hour (1) credit of live virtual instruction. (*Credits can only be earned by attending the live webinar. No credits are available for recorded webinars.)


Required Credits

The total of four and a half hours (4.5) credits will need to be completed in each of the four core competencies. A maximum of eight (8) credit hours can be earned by attending live webinars.

An additional six hours (6) credits will also need to be accumulated for the total of 24 hours/credits required by participating in the following:

  • The field trip associated with the PGMS® SGM (valued at 1.5 credit hours – 1/2 day field trip)
  • The PGMS® Summer Conference field trips (valued at 3 credit hours – full day field trip)
  • Additional core competency courses, elective classroom courses or live webinars.

Please note: SGM documentation confirming attendance on-site will be recorded and tracked through an official roster provided by PGMS® headquarters. SGM moderators and Regional coordinators will ask each student to sign off on this official roster at the conclusion of each class. Registration is a must for all online live virtual webinars.