eNewsletter September 2015



Welcome Message

Learning and Development Needs

New Faces and Roles at GCA

GAC Leadership Development Programme Launch

Quality Statements

Feedback – Effective Presentations Skills Workshop

Oil and Gas Graduates

The Future of Corporate Universities

GAC Time Stories

Employment Engagement Survey (EES)


Welcome Message

It is with great pleasure that I share with you the GCA newsletter for Q3 2015.

The Learning and Development (L&D) forecasting process is now underway with forecasts due at the end of October. The results of the forecast will be compiled into the GCA Course Schedule for 2016. Vision Z-Global Performance (VZ-GP) is all about Performance, and the L&D Forecasting process is an important opportunity to improve the way we perform across the Group.

With learning and development one of our key measurements through CSF5, L&D Forecasting allows us to plan, set targets, and then measure our progress towards the achievement of these targets. It also allows us to test the interest for new courses and initiatives based on Group initiatives and interest from across the GAC World.

I am very pleased to share the following stories from across the GAC World demonstrating a range of stories and insights related to our learning and development activities.

Warm personal regards,

Patrik Halldén
Group Vice President
Chairman – GCA Governance Board





The Learning and Development (L&D) forecasting process is now underway for 2016.

Operating Companies will submit this at the end of October, and this in turn will become the GCA Operating Schedule for 2016.

L&D targets are set according to the L&D forecasts, hence accuracy at company level is important to the overall Group outcome.

Felicito Hernandez, GCA Customer Relationship and Quality Manager, oversees the L&D process.

“We are very grateful for the support from the GAC Operating Companies, enabling us to achieve the most accurate L&D in 2015. For 2016, we will endeavour to continue improving each of the operating companies’ L&D accuracy scores by developing sustainable relationships with GCA stakeholders.”

It is now time to start thinking about which courses fit with your own learning needs and those of your team. Take the initiative and speak to your GLO or Company Manager to register for the courses that you would like to participate in. The 2016 GCA Course Prospectus will be available from your GLO or can be found on the GCA Website.

Read our 2016 Course Prospectus.




As part of its ongoing commitment to organisational renewal, there have been a number of changes in the core management  team at GCA. With the recent departure of Waleed Jameel to pursue new endeavours in the United States, a number of new faces and new roles have been introduced in GCA’s core management team in Dubai from Q3.

GCA veteran Sherol Fernandes will assume the responsibility for leading all of GCA’s core operations. Sherol brings her extensive customer-facing experience in the GAC World into the inner workings of GCA technology and course operations.

The Customer Relationship function has been expanded to include ISO 29990 Quality operations, and Felicito Hernandez has been promoted to lead this new part of the business. New appointments to the customer-facing team at GCA include Human Resource Development Executives, Dianne Fernandez and Krisandra Villasfer. Rhea Espiritu will assume a new role in driving GCA’s ISO 29990 operations and aligning these with the performance management system.

For more about the GCA Team – Sherol Fernandes, Felicito Hernandez, Rhea Espiritu, Krisandra Villasfer, Dianne Fernandez.


Role Change:

Sherol Fernandes from Customer Relationship Manager to Operations Manager.


Felicito Hernandez from Customer & Quality Supervisor to Customer Relationship and Quality Manager.

New Appointments:

Dianne Fernandez — Human Resource Development Executive
Krisandra Villasfer — Human Resource Development Executive



The GAC Group Employee Engagement Survey (EES) has consistently pointed to enhanced leadership skills as an important priority for operating companies across the GAC World. In the MEA Region, Group Vice President Lars Bergstrom has commissioned the development of a specialised Leadership Development Programme (LDP) in partnership with GCA. The objective is to equip current and future GAC managers with the knowledge, skills and abilities to manage a performancedriven business culture in alignment with Vision Z – Global Performance (VZ-GP).

The three-stage programme will be launched in October this year, and is based on the universal competencies of a high-performing GAC manager:

1. Managing the GAC way
2. Business strategy
3. Commercial acumen
4. Financial acumen
5. Effective communication
6. Managing high-performance teams
7. Managing individual performance

LDP Level 1 – Foundations of Leadership Performance (FLP)

The foundation level of the LDP introduces the universal competencies of a high-performing GAC manager, linking individual performance with the business performance outcomes. It creates a detailed understanding of jobs and people in the organisation, leading performance driven behaviour, communication and the relationship between individual performance and financial results. Participants will learn practical skills at harnessing signature strengths of personnel and how to best develop these to ensure a dynamic and performance-driven business environment.

LDP Level 2 – Leading High-Performance Teams (HPT)

The advanced level of the LDP builds upon the competencies introduced in Level 1, and includes essential aspects of team leadership and team-based communication. This level presents a detailed understanding of the commercial acumen required to ensure profitable and sustainable business. It culminates in the competencies required to lead the process of business strategy development within the GAC context.

LDP Level 3 – Performance-driven Leadership (PDL)

The final part of the LDP is designed to bring the learning from the previous two levels together and provide an opportunity for participants to apply the learning in an action-based project that is aligned with a current regional priority. Participants will work in a high-performance team environment and demonstrate their performance-driven leadership capabilities.

For more information on the programme please click here.









In line with GCA’s ISO29990 accreditation, a GCA Course Quality Standard will be issued to each participant at the commencement of every GCA course. This standard outlines the expectations that the GAC Group has for each participant, and also what participants can expect through the duration of the course. The intention of this document is to clarify the expectations of various stakeholders involved in the learning process across the GAC World, and also to align with important GAC philosophies and values.

“Measurement, transparency and ethics are at the core of the GAC Spirit, and the GCA Quality Standard outlines the expectations of key stakeholders in the learning process. We want to ensure that our courses operate in line with best practice corporate vocational education standards. GCA’s ISO 29990 accreditation is the gold standard in corporate education, and we want the certifications issued by GCA to be a source of pride and credibility to course graduates across the GAC World.”

Damien O’Donoghue, General Manager, GAC Corporate Academy

To read the Quality Declaration Statements click here.



The latest Effective Presentation Skills (EPS) Workshop was held in May, and was led by Simon Wallace, a guest instructor for GCA.

We caught up with two of the participants, who felt that the course was of great value to them and greatly assisted them in giving presentations.

Stacey_DSC6881Stacey McEvoy | Communications Executive | GAC Bunker Fuels Limited

“The Effective Presentation Skills Workshop was a fantastic and worthwhile experience. Our instructor, Simon Wallace was a very a good teacher with a great personality. His teaching was very informative and I learnt many new things from the course on how to structure and present effectively.

Before the course I found it difficult to deliver presentations due to my nerves but now I feel much more confident. Simon’s teaching was very encouraging and he motivated everyone to grow in confidence. I have recommended the course to my other colleagues. It is informative, interesting and more importantly, teaches new skills with regards to giving effective presentations.”


Tania Andrade | Customer Service Administrator | Gulf Agency Company (Dubai) L.L.C

“The workshop helped managed the nervousness and anxiety, which is usually associated with presenting to a handful of unknown individuals, and assisted in reconstructing my confidence. It helped me implement techniques that went on to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of my presentation skills through valuable guidance in a short period of time. I robustly recommend others to partake in this workshop as they will benefit from it exponentially, enhance their presentation skills as well as boost their confidence. The workshop has been an incredible opportunity that has brought out the best of my abilities and I assure that it will do the same for others as well.”

If you wish to find out more about the Effective Presentation Skills Workshop, please visit our website here.



Bill-HillThe Oil and Gas Support Services (ONG) course was created to support the GAC Group’s priority to develop the oil and gas business. The first ONG pilot course has now concluded, and the feedback from participants and stakeholders alike indicates a successful outcome.

Bill Hill, Executive Vice President, Oil and Gas, stated:

“The creation and execution of the Oil and Gas Support Services courses through GCA is a vital part of our long term business strategy to ensure that all within the Group with a role to play in our oil and gas business have a strong foundation knowledge of the industry and how GAC operates within it.”

The course has also been a positive achievement for the Corporate Academy, with the design and development process engaging a wide range of subject matter experts (SMEs) across the GAC World. An innovative design process was implemented to extract tacit knowledge from SMEs and make this transferrable to current and future generations of GAC people.


The first participants graduated from the pilot course in June 2015. The top participants for the course were Steff Tan (GAC Singapore), Ashan Silva (GAC Oman) and Gavin Johnston (GAC UK) who all graduated with more than 95%. The highlight of the course was the active forum interaction between oil and gas colleagues from around the world, which is a key aspect and differentiator for GCA courses.

The course focussed upon the importance of a more integrated approach to the oil and gas business within the GAC Group. Many of these participants had not interacted before, despite some of them dealing with the same customers in different parts of the world. Discussions frequently illustrated how valuable it would be to have a shared pool of information on customers and their businesses, as well as some kind of network where oil and gas colleagues could interact.

The next course will be launched on 4th October 2015. For more information, please visit the GCA website.

“I sincerely thank GCA for conducting this six-week knowledge-rich course. I am also grateful to all my colleagues for putting up such valuable posts from which I have learnt so much and increased my knowledge trifold. It was an absolute pleasure for me to reflect and share some key issues of the Oil and Gas sector and how to develop GAC business in Pakistan.”

Mujtaba Hussain, GAC Pakistan

“This course has truly widened my perspective on the structure of the Oil and Gas business and the role that GAC plays in it. Having colleagues selflessly sharing their valuable knowledge and personal experience, was priceless. My only regret is I wish I had more time to immerse myself in the course work.”

Steff Tan, GAC Singapore





DonoghueGAC Corporate Academy has been recognised as a leader in the field of Corporate University accreditation and quality.

In the last four months, GCA has been invited to speak at the World Corporate University Conference, Dubai, April 2015 and at the 5th Annual Corporate Universities and Corporate Le@rning Summit, Amsterdam, June 2015.

Industry professionals from the Corporate University world as well as HR specialists were keen to hear from Damien O’Donoghue (GM of GAC Corporate Academy), who presented the “Challenge of taking Corporate University beyond training” and “Insights from our journey into: the world of accreditation” respectively.


Damien outlined GCA’s journey to accreditation following the GCA Governance board approval to investigate various accreditation models, explained how organisations can become accredited, and emphasised the need for participants to give greater value to course completion.

An extensive study into the world of accreditation was completed. Looking at various accreditation organisations from across the world caused GCA to pose the question: “Who accredits the accreditation organisations?” This in turn led to the question: “How valuable is an accreditation from each of these organisations?” Each organisation had limitations due to geographical reach and transferability.

After a great amount of research and discussion, it was decided that the ISO 29990 accreditation had the greatest global recognition. In the field of vocational training, it is of the best relevance to GAC because it transcends many industries. It offers participants greater value for their corporate learning qualifications, as these are well recognised in the vocational education sector.

Damien O’Donoghue, General Manager, GAC Corporate Academy



Hakan-WesterTHE COURSE: GAC TIME is the strategic management system of the GAC Group, and the abbreviation for Total Innovative Management Excellence. This course provides an understanding of the GAC TIME framework, and the culture of measurement and continuous improvement that is essential to our ongoing success. The course also focuses on the universal critical success factors (CSFs) across the GAC World, with simple and practical things that we can do to enhance all aspects of our business.


“GAC TIME has become the foundation of our strategic development. In order to move forward, one must be able to measure where we have come from and where we intend to go, hence the importance of GAC TIME. Luisa’s project and the submissions from participants over the lst few years is testament to the importance of translating the understanding of GAC TIME – into the field – through action learning.”

Håkan Wester, Group Vice President Business Control, GAC TIME Course Ambassador.


GAC Time – A Story from the Field. Making It Real.


The GAC TIME (GTM) course was launched in 2013 and since then more than 200 participants have graduated from the course. One of the modules included in the course is called “Making it Real”. The purpose of the module is to apply the philosophy of GAC TIME, by guiding participants to apply GAC TIME through an Action Learning context. Each participant investigates and presents a GAC TIME project. This could either be an investigation/report on a CSF in the business, or a proposal to enhance GAC TIME application in the business.

Luisa Holloway, based in Houston at GAC Brokerage, recently completed the GAC TIME Course and chose to create a proposal to enhance GAC TIME in her business.

Luisa describes her experience during the GTM course. “Through the GTM course, I had the opportunity to understand the concepts and philosophies of GAC TIME, and the interrelationships between all the Critical Success Factors (CSFs). The Action Learning project allowed me to investigate a CSF that was most relevant to my business, which is CSF5 – Motivated and Trained People. By looking at the measurements in our business, I was able to understand past trends, and where improvements could be made. As the process owner, I was able to set targets for staff and see how these could be used to motivate and measure the learning and development of my team. Having measurements has enabled me to justify the process to Human Resources and to demonstrate the value of setting targets. Our course facilitator, Mr. Ramachandran Nair provided a lot of motivating and encouraging words throughout the course. He was able to translate his experience with GAC TIME into the course and helped everyone to succeed.”

Luisa has taken steps to implement this project and we look forward to seeing the results.

For more invormation on our GAC TIME course pleae visit the website here.




6The Employee Engagement Survey (EES) has become an invaluable source of information about the level of engagement of GAC people and opportunities for organisational improvement. Over the past six years, the value of the EES can be seen through the significant rise in response rates, and the increased demand for management information across all facets of GAC’s business.

The EES was initially developed in 2009 around the learning and growth aspects of the Vision Y – Global Values (VY-GV) strategy. At the conclusion of last year’s survey, it was felt that it is time for the EES to evolve to better reflect the current and future priorities of today’s GAC World.

A new strategic framework for the 2015 EES is based on two contexts:

  • Outside-in: The European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) “fundamental concepts for achieving excellence in an organisation”, and
  • Inside-out: The GAC Universal Competency Framework, which has recently formed the basis of our performance management process.

By framing the EES around these two contexts, we can ensure better validity and reliability about how well GAC is performing from many perspectives. In practical terms, participants will see a brand new set of questions, including “narrative” questions that seek direct input on important issues.

Our new EES will produce a series of “insights” that will help guide our thinking on what needs to happen today to ensure we are building a sustainable and performance-driven GAC of the future. Please take the time to participate in the 2015 GAC Employment Survey and have your say.



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