e510aabb-a404-4664-89b8-1ddb0ce1d082 (11)

HAI Certificate in Hardware Retail and Merchanting

As the sector evolves it will require more people with problem-solving skills. In 2021 Hardware Association Ireland (HAI) launched the Certificate in Hardware Retail and Merchanting, a certificate programme for new employees in hardware retail/builders merchanting.

The mentor-based programme takes place over nine months with modules dedicated to key skill-sets in the hardware retail/merchanting environment.

Product Knowledge

A key element of the HAI Certificate in Hardware Retail & Merchanting, each module is followed by an in-depth Product Knowledge module, delivered by key industry experts in some of the top suppliers and manufacturers in the country.

Product Knowledge in 2023/2024 was supported by sponsors Octabuild and their members:

Benefits of the HAI Certificate

  • Structured Training for Employees in the Hardware Sector: With nine modules covering key disciplines in hardware/DIY retail/merchanting, students get an overarching view of their role and development opportunities. Each module is linked to the other encouraging continuous learning and reflection.
  • Define Your Career Path: Find your strength in your role, whether it’s Sales, Marketing, Finance, or Management, and start progressing through your organisation
  • Network with Industry Peers: Connect and network with fellow students, mentors, tutors and key industry suppliers and gain new insights, ideas and knowledge!
  • Mentoring Opportunity: Each student is assigned a mentor in their organisation for the duration of the course, who will oversee the student’s progression and development. This acts as helpful mentoring/management experience!
  • Industry-Specific Learning: All modules are tailored specifically to the needs of the hardware/building materials industry, and present strategies that can be applied in the retail/builders merchanting environment
  • Actionable Learning: All modules come with actionable learning outcomes that students can put into practice in their role straight away
  • Flexible Learning: All modules are delivered via half-day Zoom-based sessions, and are recorded for review
  • Product Knowledge: Detailed Product Knowledge modules are delivered after each session to give students the confidence through knowledge to interact with trade and DIY customers and their queries

Who Should Attend?

The course is designed to equip those new to the sector, and those who never did a course in it with a knowledge and skills base that will enable them to contribute to the business of their employer. It will also help employees build a career in the sector.


“I have learnt a lot, coming from a completely different industry, this has been very helpful to understand more of this industry. I have learnt how best to approach and deal with customers and how to make a sale and also know it is best to remember when working in the shop to think how the customer would think.”

HAI Certificate Student

“I think the mentoring is vital. It has given me an opportunity to sit down with my student and discuss opportunities with him on where he would like to grow/develop, such as shadowing others, etc. The process helps me define a path and structure for his career.”

HAI Certificate Mentor

“I have learned a lot from the course so far. Particularly how many areas in business are more closely tied together than people might expect. I have also found the product knowledge presentations on the course to be very useful.”

HAI Certificate Student

2022/2023 Graduating Class

Student of the Year: Tracy Walsh, Morris’ Builders Providers

High Achieving Student: Sarah Day, Morris’ Builders Providers

2021/2022 Graduating Class

Student of the Year: William Kenny, Lambert’s Hardware

High Achieving Student: Jamie O’Mahony, Wallace’s Homevalue Hardware

How to get started:

Contact aoife@hardwareassociation.ie if you have any queries about the HAI Certificate in Hardware Retail & Merchanting.

Click the image below to download the brochure for more information about our tutors and the 2024/2025 schedule.

Complete the form below to enroll.

Click the cover image to download the HAI Certificate Brochure

Become A Member