Club Managers Association of Europe passes 10th anniversary milestone – with a remit to continue driving forward

The influential Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE), whose members are club managers at a variety of golf and sports clubs throughout Europe, celebrates its 10th anniversary.

The influential Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE), whose members are club managers at a variety of golf and sports clubs throughout Europe, celebrates its 10th anniversary.

The professional body is the authority for the industry-accredited Certified Club Manager (CCM) programme, designed to provide aspiring club managers with the education required to be more professional and knowledgeable club managers and certification to be able to prove that knowledge to peers and employers. The CMAE also supports the national club managers associations of its 22 member countries.

Jerry Kilby CCM, CMAE Chief Executive Officer, said: “When we began on April 23, 2001, at the Vauxhall Recreation Club in Luton, our objective was to create a certification programme that would allow our club managers to operate as competently and professionally as possible, as well as share best practice across Europe – and this ethos still holds good.”

In the years ahead, the CMAE will be looking to grow its membership base both across Europe and into other areas of sport, and further develop its CCM course.

Aside from golf, which accounts for 92 per cent of its 600-strong membership with many founding members representing the sector, the CMAE also serves tennis, sailing and health & fitness clubs based in 24 European countries.

“Three-quarters of our membership is situated beyond the shores of Great Britain and Ireland, which is a tremendous spread,” explained Jerry Kilby, who took up his current role in April 2007. “Indeed, our growth has trebled since 2007 – mainly due to our members wishing to embrace the CCM programme – which augurs extremely well for the future.”

He added: “Aside from actively growing our membership base and network of affiliate partners through our ongoing outreach programme, our main challenge is to develop a professional development pathway for club managers.

“This is an initiative focused on providing aspiring club managers with consistent, top-quality levels of education to assist them in passing the CCM examination that was established four years ago.”

Subjects that form part of the CCM’s ten core competencies include management, accountancy, finance and food & beverage.

One member who has recently earned CCM status is John Duncan, President of the CMAE from 2005-2007 and a founder member of the organisation. John, now retired, served as General Manager of Royal Dornoch Golf Club in Scotland for 16 years.

“John enjoyed an exemplary career in club management and has been a true driving force behind the growth of the CMAE – we congratulate him on achieving CCM status,” said Jerry Kilby.

John Duncan said: “After 16 years as a General Manager, I am very happy to join such a respected group of club managers, particularly in the year of the 10th anniversary of CMAE. And I am pleased that, at last, club managers have the opportunity to gain a recognised professional qualification.”

And assessing the growth of the CMAE since 2001, he commented: “It has taken 10 years to put in place the CCM and much has still to be done. But the fact that many European Club Manager associations agree with the aspirations of CMAE, and have affiliated to the Association to allow their members access to the educational programme leading to the exam, makes the efforts of past years seem very worthwhile.”

“The club industry faces many challenges in these current difficult economic times and the demands on a manager’s professional skills are ever increasing. Those managers who commit to ongoing professional development will certainly enjoy a competitive edge,” added Jerry Kilby.

So far, 16 members have achieved CCM accreditation and 100 club managers – each of whom need at least six years’ service as a club manager to be eligible for to apply to sit the exam – are currently studying hard ahead of taking the examination in the coming months.