Building a portfolio

The portfolio component is divided into three parts: work samples, skill statements, and case studies. These elements evaluate your knowledge and skills by testing problem solving techniques and by reviewing samples of the management principles, processes and tools you use.

Work Samples

Provide evidence of the tools and documents that superintendents use to manage human resources. Each of the required nine work samples represents an activity or management tool that every certified superintendent should have and use. The following list describes areas covered in work samples:

  • Job performance reviews
  • Job descriptions
  • Employee training plan
  • Planning a meeting
  • Your staff plan
  • Communication with the public on environmental issues
  • Communication within your golf course
  • Obtaining feedback from golfers or members
  • Oral presentation

Skill Statements

Are indicators of knowledge or abilities that a certified superintendent should possess whether or not he/she needs them in his/her current position. A total of 15 skill statements are required. The following list describes areas covered in skill statements:

  • Hiring Policies
  • Employee recognition
  • Staffing decisions
  • Staff leadership roles
  • Course soils
  • Effects on your course’s turfgrass
  • Water runoff issues
  • Nutritional requirements
  • Pest control
  • Use of technology
  • Inventory management
  • Teamwork
  • Management challenges
  • Mission statement
  • Local market place

Case Studies

Consist of a made up story about a superintendent on a golf course and a number of “scenarios” or circumstances that could potentially occur on the course. You will be asked to respond to several different scenarios that cover a range of human relations issues. You should assume that you are the superintendent in the story and apply your best management and problem-solving skills to describe an appropriate course of action for the scenarios. You will be asked to respond to a total of eight scenarios

You can begin working on your portfolio any time during your career, so at the time you qualify to apply to the program you will be ready to submit your completed portfolio with your certification application. As an applicant in the program, your portfolio will be submitted to a two-member team of judges for scoring.

When you are ready to begin building your portfolio, please contact GCSAA Certification Department at for complete portfolio assembly instructions and the assignment of your case study scenarios.

See how your portfolio will be graded by viewing the Scoring Rubric (PDF -- 206KB; 30 sec. on 56k modem) used by members of the Certification Portfolio Review Team




Have questions about the certification portfolio?

Your answers may lie here!
This resource provides you very helpful information on building your certification portfolio. Each of the three webcasts concentrate on a specific component of the portfolio (work samples, skill statements, case studies) and may be replayed whenever the need arises.


Portfolio Templates

Need a tool to help you develop your certification portfolio? Well here it is! This link will take you to templates for each cover page, all 9 work samples, the 15 skill statements, and a single template for use with the 8 case study scenarios. Save these Microsoft word documents to your own PC and then simply type in your responses where indicated.