GAI helps shape competency standards

Douglas Masterson, technical manager for the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers

The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) has joined two steering groups focussed on improving the competency of construction professionals that specify building products. In joining the Competence Steering Group’s Working Group 7 (WG7) and the PAS 8671 standard steering group, the GAI aims to give door and window hardware manufacturers a greater voice, and to help shape the competency frameworks for those working with fire safety products, including principal designers, architects and engineers.

Douglas Masterson, the GAI’s technical manager, said: “The potential introduction of a Change Control Plan, and ensuring that even the smallest specification change is documented, is something that will be welcomed by not just architectural ironmongers, but the whole building products industry. Being part of wider industry groups like PAS 8671 and WG7 allows the guild to raise awareness not only of the time and financial investment of the companies that write in-depth product specifications, but also the technical knowledge and experience of those producing specifications and schedules, only for them to frequently be changed and substituted with alternative products, that aren’t necessarily like-for-like, often due to last minute pricing decisions.

“The guild has worked hard to improve the wider construction industry’s understanding of the critical role of architectural ironmongery for over 60 years,” added Douglas. “Alongside our education programme, we’ve developed a series of free specifier’s guides and corresponding RIBA-approved continuing professional development initiatives, to cover a variety of specification scenarios, including fire safety, the internet of things, specialist applications, accessibility and security. Both products and standards are constantly evolving, so it is crucial that anyone working with architectural ironmongery is keeping their knowledge up to date with the latest best practice guidance.” Specifier’s Guides can be downloaded from gai.org.uk/GAISpecGuides.