Susan MacDonald

Assistant Category Manager at PPG Architectural Coatings

"I think I can easily say that all my chemical background and knowledge comes from The Coatings Training Institute."

Modules Undertaken
  • L2

    201 General Overview of Coatings

  • L2

    206 Surface Preparation

  • L2

    209 Paint and Ink Application

When PPG’s Susan MacDonald and a colleague decided they needed more of a technical background for their work as category managers, not only did the management get involved in sourcing the right modules from The Coatings Training Institute, they also established a template for future employees’ training.

“One of our managers contacted The Coatings Training Institute and between them they came up with a three module course for us,” explains Susan. “Those three modules together now combine to make the Certificate in Coatings Technology for PPG – and the company uses it all the time now. That all started from us saying that we needed more. A full City & Guilds would have been too much for what we needed, but this was just perfect.”

Susan found that she immediately had a considerable amount of knowledge that she could apply to her daily work. “Because we had learnt, for example, how paints are made and how you should apply them, when a customer came forward with a problem – you know, that it has bubbled or the like – you can find out what the customer has done and work out where the issue is coming from.

“I think I can easily say that all my chemical background and knowledge comes from The Coatings Training Institute.”

For Susan, The Coatings Training Institute training modules opened up a whole world of understanding and paved the way for a few surprises – not least in terms of what she did next. When asked whether she would be studying any more with The Coatings Training Institute, she responded with a categorical ‘no’.

“I’ve moved over to the marketing department now and I am studying this at university, but if I’d stayed at the old job, I certainly would have done more. The guy who took my place as a category manager is now studying for the PPG Certificate I did and I can safely say that studying with The Coatings Training Institute helped me climb the ladder – just in a different direction than I thought.”

For her work on the modules she took (General Overview of Coatings, Surface Preparation, and Paint and Ink Application) Susan received straight distinctions in all three, which made her The Coatings Training Institute’s Student of the Year in 2011.

“I enjoy learning,” she said. “I have done it all my life, but these modules gave me a real confidence boost,” adding with a wry laugh: “Although I hope I haven’t set too high a benchmark for others.”