By Robert Taylor
Why does the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery(GAI) Diploma benefit me?
It’s taken 4 long years but I have finally got my Guild of Architectural Ironmongery Diploma! The most obvious benefit is that the GAI Diploma is the most recognized Diploma in the Architectural Ironmongery industry(AI). But more than that; it is the foundation block to starting your career in AI, whether you work in sales or are part of the contracts team. In my role as a salesman, one of the most important skills is the ability to confidently speak about ironmongery solutions with architects and then putting that solution down on paper.
Has the Diploma made me better at my Job?
Yes, definitely. In a career as an Architectural Ironmonger, you gain experience as you progress your career - on the road, in the factory or where ever it may be. More often than not you learn through your mistakes, and learning not to make them again; “Practice makes perfect” (or so they say). The GAI Diploma deliberately puts you under pressure using case studies with demanding customers or obscure specifications. By doing this, you learn how to deal with those situations in a safe environment. To cap it off, you get partnered with a hugely experienced mentor - my mentor Clive Stephen got me through even if I might have been dragging my heels occasionally. Thank you, Clive!
Has GAI helped my understanding of products?
Ironmongery is complicated – the requirements from our customers can be obscure and there is often more than one solution to consider but the GAI Diploma is where you get the best technical understanding of ironmongery. This understanding has allowed me to better specify product more confidently and successfully for all types of projects.
How will it better develop my role within 3v?
It has, and will continue to, develop me into an all-round Ironmonger; giving me the ability to specify a complete ironmongery solution from traditional timber doors to modern automated doors (and all in between!). There is still a lot to learn but I am confident that this personal development will continue.
It has also allowed me to develop a close relationship with my architects and also with all the manufacturers involved helping me put together a complete ironmongery package.
Would I recommend the GAI Diploma Course?
Yes, I would!
At first it seems daunting, knowing you have 3 years’ worth of exams ahead of you, but to finally achieve that Diploma is very rewarding. As an architectural ironmonger, you must have the credibility and confidence to correctly specify and schedule projects. This is what our clients pay for. The GAI Diploma gives you that confidence you need.