PGMS School of Grounds Management

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 annual conference. 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) credits within four (4) years. Eighteen (18) of these credits must be completed at the SGM in the core competencies.

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.


1.  When registering for the PGMS® School of Grounds Management, select “School of Grounds Management (SGM)” either online or on the registration form. The fee is $25 and is good for four years.

2.  Select courses from the four (4) core competency divisions:

a. Core competency divisions:

(1) Human Resource Management

(2) Business and Financial Management

(3) Technical Management – Horticulture

(4) Technical Management – Non-Horticulture

b. Classes – Each “class” for purposes of the School of Grounds Management shall consist of 1.5 hours of classroom instruction. One credit equals one hour of instruction.

c. Required credits – Four and one half (4.5) credits (Three classes) will need to be completed in each of the four areas of core competence: Human Resource Management, Business and Financial Management, Technical Management – Horticulture, Technical Management – Non-Horticulture. All educational offerings will come under one of these four headings or be labeled “Elective.” The enrollee will be required to accumulate six (6) hours of additional credits to complete the 24 credit/hour requirement. These additional six (6) credits may be accumulated by participating in the field trip associated with the PGMS SGM (valued at 1.5 credit hours – 1/2 day field trip), PGMS Regional Seminar field trips (valued at 3 credit hours – full day field trip), core competency course or elective classroom courses. Documentation confirming attendance shall be recorded and tracked through utilization of the official roster form provided by headquarters to SGM classroom and field trip monitors and Regional Meeting coordinators. SGM moderators and Regional coordinators will ask each student to sign off on the official roster at the conclusion of each class or field trip.

Fee: There will be a one time charge of $25 for all SGM applicants (good for four years). Members that have already signed up do not need to pay any additional fees to continue in the program.

Questions: Contact PGMS at 443-966-3852 or

Click here for a list of SGM Certificate achievers.