The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) have signed ‘Heads of Agreement’ to investigate the merits of a strategic merger of the two organisations. The key aims of the ongoing discussions include:
- The provision of an improved, more comprehensive, service to members with enhanced benefits of membership;
- Increased membership numbers, which will lead to the development of greater influence commercially and politically;
- An increase in the skills, expertise and professional standards within the turf management sector through a wider ranging and more effective education and training programme;
- Increased professional status for all members;
- The development of strategic partnerships with related organisations and suppliers, for the benefit of members;
- Accessibility to sources of funding previously unavailable; and
- Increased opportunities for greater interaction between everyone employed in the turf management sector.
A steering group has been established and sub-groups are in the process of being established to investigate specific topics, such as organisational structure, education and training, membership, finance, marketing, sales and communications, and events and exhibitions.
“The signing of the Heads of Agreement is a major milestone and while there is a great deal of detail yet to be discussed there is a genuine wish by both bodies to reach agreement if at all possible,” said John Pemberton, BIGGA chief executive.
Geoff Webb, IOG chief executive, commented, “As the steering group moves forward and explores every avenue, it is clear that both the IOG and BIGGA are keen to investigate every opportunity that could benefit the members of both organisations. The fact that we have had two very successfully discussions, and with further talks planned, together with the signing of the Heads of Agreement shows the real potential for progress.”