GAI Student Stories

Bala Vignesh, DipGAI
Specifications and Openings Studio™ Consultant
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Middle East

I had been working in the door and ironmongery industry for eight years and wanted to get to grips with all the essentials of architectural ironmongery. I wanted to be able to walk into meetings with customers with confidence, knowing that everything I’m specifying is up to code and is the best choice of product. 

At the moment there are technical and regulatory changes everywhere. Locks are changing from mechanical to electrical, 2D drawings are becoming 3D models, and the way that we specify is also evolving. It is important that we stay up to date, and the GAI Diploma programme has prepared me for this.

Craig Birch, DipGAI
Category Manager – Cylinders and Padlocks 
ASSA ABLOY Door Hardware & Access Control Group

The GAI diploma has been so beneficial as it has allowed me to get a full understanding of architectural hardware through many components of a door set, along with standards and the requirements of all standard modern day specifications. The third and final year was a big step up as the requirements and expectations from the course were so much more demanding and It required even more hard work and dedication to ensure I had the best chance of passing the exam.

When I found out that I had passed, the overwhelming feeling of joy and relief took over – but being a medal winner meant I wouldn’t find out my actual result until the day of the awards which kept the anticipation high. On the day of the awards, it was great to meet back up with everyone who took the classroom training course and discuss with each other how they did and what they thought about the exam. The venue was buzzing with excitement for the presentations!

To receive the silver award was a great privilege and honour, but also to represent ASSA ABLOY at this prestigious event meant a lot to me. I was proud of everyone who had worked hard and passed the diploma – it will be a day I will remember for many years to come.


Emily Bernard, DipGAI
Project Manager
SDS London

By enrolling onto the GAI Education Programme I wanted to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of exactly what I am advising on and selling within the ironmongery industry. The programme gave me great insight and understanding of products and specifications and how best to advise on specific hardware.

Since completing my GAI Diploma I have progressed further in my career going from Sales and Estimator to Project Manager in Specification, which has given me great sense of achievement. The course helped me consolidate my learning at the same time as meeting other people in the industry.

Rav Jagdev, DipGAI
Sales Director

I decided to enrol for the GAI training course because I wanted to achieve a diploma in the field I work in so I can give confidence to my customers when dealing with me.

I completed the GAI diploma because it was much more educational than I expected and was a part of my goal in this industry.

Having completed my diploma, I feel much more knowledgeable and confident when speaking to or advising clients.

I have now enrolled for CPD because completing the diploma developed me and my understanding so much that I feel not continuing to develop would be a backwards step and this is a great way to keep up to date with advancements and changes in the industry.


Catherine Hughes, DipGAI 
Estimator | Doorsets

The decision to enrol onto the GAI training programme was made because I had moved to estimating and scheduling Ironmongery and wanted to increase my knowledge and understanding of the products I was dealing with on a daily basis. The GAI Education programme has helped me to better understand what I need to think about when scheduling a range of products that best suite a particular client requirement.

Once completing the GAI Diploma I felt a great sense of achievement in my job and felt that there is always potential for learning new skills.

Having completed the GAI Diploma it has enabled me to take a positive step towards estimating and scheduling ironmongery within my company, which then keeps us ahead of the game within the ironmongery industry.       

Reinke Massolle, DipGAI
Area Sales Manager

I decided to enrol for the GAI training course because At that time I was new to the door hardware industry and I wanted to gain professional knowledge as fast as possible to become an expert in my role as an Area Sales Manager. Since my company is an official member and there is no comparable programme in Germany, it was an easy decision.

I completed the GAI Diploma because the GAI Diploma is well known in the markets I’m responsible for, it’s an internationally recognised symbol of competence.

Having completed my Diploma, I feel very proud to have passed after 3 years of studying. I am also proud to be the first German having achieved this title.

Raj Jagdev, DipGAI
Commercial Director

I decided to enrol for the GAI training course because I wanted to extend my knowledge and learn about scheduling correctly, ensuring all standards and fire regulations were being met. I found the course helpful and areas I was unsure about were made clear in the course. I also believed obtaining this diploma would open new doors in the future for career progression.

I completed the GAI Diploma because I believe it is vital in the architectural ironmongery industry and recognized when discussing ironmongery with clients. In addition, upon achieving the diploma not only do customers, architects and clients feel more confident in working with me, I also felt more confident in myself.

On completing my diploma my company have given me more responsibility and opportunities to deal with various high end and complex projects, which I have found to be rewarding in many aspects.  

Having completed my diploma, I feel a sense of achievement and now a professional in the ironmongery industry.

I have now enrolled for the CPD because I was eager to go that extra mile to stand out from the crowd and become a RegAI, not only to enhance my knowledge further and keep up to date with new standards, but because I found the IAI meetings enjoyable and a great way to meet like-minded individuals within the industry.

Vidyakar Soudappan, DipGAI
Projects Specifier | Architectural Specifications

I decided to enroll GAI as my job demanded but after getting deep into the enriched content has really brought me immense knowledge and confidence. Such a plethora of wisdom is really hard to be gained from anywhere else and GAI has acted as a hub for me to understand each concepts and standards behind the hardware industry.  On completing my diploma I really feel proud that each product I specify stands for its standards and codes. Enrolling for CPD allowed me to meet organized people from different companies and exchange knowledge. Due to the digital transformation & IOT this industry is booming at a higher pace and keeping us updates is necessary.

Ferliyani Alkassa, DipGAI
Project Development Manager
ArtKEY - PT Anugrah Kunci Dwidaya

I am from Indonesia, a country with no clear regulations and standards on door hardware specifications. By enrolling on GAI Education Programme, I wanted to know the International Standard of Ironmongery Industry as this Industry keeps moving forward. The Programme gave me more than what I have expected; new knowledge of products, proper specification works, and new friends; great networking from the Industry.

On completing my Diploma, I feel it is not just beneficial for me but also for my company. Our team is now more confident in doing specifications, and new customers require us to be involved from the beginning of a project for specifications and estimator works (in the past we supply only). This gives benefit in educating Indonesia local market about proper ironmongeries. Through this, we are also push to get into project works as early as possible.

It is important for us to keep moving forward and facing forward in this Industry, for our new family GAI has prepared us for this. 

Bernadeth Prometidos, DipGAI
Project Specification & Estimation
Consort Architectural Hardware

When I made a career transition into ironmongery, I needed to fill in the technical gaps in my knowledge base. The GAI training program offered me a flexible learning environment to build the knowledge, skills, and confidence I needed to be successful. The Stage 3 was quite complicated and the final exam was extremely challenging. Now, all of the hard work has paid off and I am now proud Diploma Holder in Ironmongery.

Upcoming Event Stage 2 - ONLINE Student Forum (for 2021 Students only) 18 May 2021 @ 18:00 - 18 May 2021 @ 19:00
Upcoming Event Stage 2 - ONLINE Student Forum (for 2021 Students only) 18 May 2021 @ 18:00 - 18 May 2021 @ 19:00