Through its courses, qualifications and continuing professional development, the GAI has established an internationally recognised benchmark for ironmongery expertise and knowledge.  

The GAI education programme has been developed over 50 years, and is the only programme in the world that leads to qualifications in architectural ironmongery to British and European standards. 

The GAI programme provides those working in the architectural ironmongery profession all of the tools required to specify and schedule architectural ironmongery and access control for any project with complete confidence. 

Our courses and qualifications are suitable for a wide range of professionals working in, and with, the architectural ironmongery sector, including: 

  • Architectural ironmongers 
  • Locksmiths 
  • Architectural technicians 
  • Wholesalers 
  • Manufacturers 
  • Builders’ merchants 

The GAI education programme is built over three qualifications: 


FOUNDATION IN HARDWARE – an introductory online qualification for anyone beginning their career in, or working alongside, the architectural ironmongery sector. 

THE CERTIFICATE IN ARCHITECTURAL HARDWARE (CiAH) – a two-stage self-led online course providing a thorough understanding of products, standards and industry best practice. 

THE GAI DIPLOMA (DipGAI) – the qualification for professionals involved in architectural ironmongery scheduling, estimating and technical support.

Foundation in Hardware is an optional course for those needing the basics of architectural ironmongery product before starting The Certificate in Architectural Hardware.
The Certificate in Architectural Hardware educates on both product and product application, and is compulsory to complete before starting any Diploma courses.

Post-Diploma | The CPD Journey

On completing the Diploma qualification, the Diploma holder is then eligible to take part in our continuing professional qualification programme, working towards and maintaining their status as a Registered Architectural Ironmonger (RegAI).

REGISTERED ARCHITECTURAL IRONMONGER (RegAI) – a fully qualified architectural ironmongery professional, committed to maintaining the highest and most current skills and knowledge of legislation, industry standards and products.

The Challenge Exam

The GAI Challenge Exam allows former candidates to complete their qualification without having to start again from the beginning of the education programme.  

The Challenge Exam is designed for those who have taken a break during their studies of the GAI Diploma (stage 3) or the Certificate in Architectural Hardware (stage 1 or 2) training courses for three years or more. 

It consists of a short test covering all areas of the last stage of learning that they have passed. Online invigilation can be arranged for international students who would like to take the exam.  

Once the Challenge Exam has been passed, candidates can then progress to the next stage of the education programme without having to start at stage 1 again. See below for Challenge Exam dates for the year ahead, and email [email protected] for more information or to register your interest. 

    Key Dates for the Education Programme 2021-22 

21-23 February 2022
GAI Diploma (Stage 3) classroom training course in Wolverhampton
13-15 March 2022
GAI Diploma (Stage 3) classroom training course in Dubai
21-23 March 2022
GAI Diploma (Stage 3) classroom training course in London
30 April 2022
Block assessments deadline for Certificate in Architectural Hardware (Stage 1 & 2) and GAI Diploma (Stage 3)
01-31 May 2022
Stage 1 & 2 Mock Examinations
11 May 2022
Certificate in Architectural Hardware Stage 1 Online Students Evening
18 May 2022
Certificate in Architectural Hardware Stage 2 Online Students Evening
19 May 2022
GAI Diploma Stage 3 Online Students Evening
16 June 2022
Examination Day for Certificate in Architectural Hardware (Stage 1 & 2) and GAI Diploma (Stage 3)
22 June 2022
Education Taster Session (AM/PM)
10 August 2022
Challenge exam
10 August 2022
Education Taster Session (AM/PM)
26 August 2022
Results day for Certificate in Architectural Hardware (Stage 1 & 2)
26 August 2022
Results day for GAI Diploma (Stage 3)
01 September 2022
2022/23 Enrolment Opens for Certificate in Architectural Hardware (Stage 1 & 2) and GAI Diploma (Stage 3)
22 September 2022
Certificate in Architectural Hardware (Stage 1 & 2) exam retake
05 October 2022
Education Taster Session (AM/PM)
13 October 2022
Certificate in Architectural Hardware (Stage 1 & 2) exam retake
13 December 2022
Challenge exam
16 December 2022
2022/23 Enrolment Closes for Certificate in Architectural Hardware (Stage 1 & 2) and GAI Diploma (Stage 3)

Education Downloads 

The following documents provide background and further information relating to the GAI education and learning programmes.