1. Introduction

The Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI), are delighted to announce the opening of the fourth Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship competition which is open to ACOI members and the general public.

The Scholarship promotes the importance of further education and recognition of professional certification in the advancement of an individual in their career in Compliance. It is named the Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship in recognition of Niall’s contribution to the field of Ethics and Compliance, and in particular for his involvement in the formation and development of the ACOI. Niall was the founding Chairman of the ACOI and a career banker working for over 40 years in AIB plc until his retirement in 2008.

The original idea for the ACOI was that it would be a single entity covering all financial services run by practitioners for practitioners. Its principal objectives include the education, training and competency development of Compliance professionals in regulatory Compliance and business ethics and Niall was one of the architects and founders of the ACOI.

Niall is an Honorary Fellow of the ACOI and is a former Chair of the ACOI Ethics Committee.

We hope that this scholarship will assist the winners to realise their educational and career goals.

2. What is the Scholarship?

The Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship provides the 1st place winner with registration onto the academic programme Professional Certificate and Diploma in Compliance (PDC), which is considered the benchmark qualification in Compliance and is delivered by our educational partner the Institute of Banking, a recognised college of UCD together with ACOI membership for two years. On the successful completion of this academic programme the graduate will be eligible to apply for the Licentiate of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (LCOI) designation from the ACOI. 

3. More about the PDC programme and LCOI designation 

The PDC programme is a level 7 programme (20 ECTS credits comprising of 4 modules). It is a distance learning programme delivered through webinars. There are three exam sittings a year in January, May and September. The LCOI, is a professional designation awarded by the ACOI, and is only available to those who hold the Professional Diploma in Compliance (PDC) and agree to comply with the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) obligations associated with the designation (15 hours per annum). The LCOI designation is one of the recognised qualifications under the Central Bank of Ireland’s Minimum Competency Code.  LCOI designates are entitled to use the designatory letters ‘LCOI’ after their name.  


How do you enter?

Submit an essay of up to 1,500 words on the following:

“Compliance in an age of rapid technological change and artificial intelligence: The challenges ahead.”

Your essay should demonstrate:

  • Originality of thought – which will count for a significant proportion of marks. Candidates should avoid the overuse of quotations and references and should use practical examples or illustrations as appropriate.

  • Be your own work - if work is plagiarised, the essay will not be considered for the purposes of the scholarship (see Guidance on plagiarism below).

  • Coherence and structure - it should have a logical flow from description of each key point or argument through to examples and conclusion.


How to submit your essay

E-mail: education@acoi.ie

E-mail title: The Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship

Phone: 01-7790200

N.B. Receipt of essays will be acknowledged after the closing date.


What the scholarship includes?

There are three prizes:

1st Place: Registration on the PDC Programme & ACOI membership for 2 membership years.

2nd Place: ACOI membership for 2 membership years.

3rd Place: ACOI membership for 1 membership year.

The top three essays will also be published in Irish Compliance Quarterly (ICQ), the ACOI’s quarterly e-zine.


Important Dates

Closing Date to submit essay: 18 October 2019

Programme Registration deadline: 21 February 2020

Programme starts: 10 February 2020

The prizes will be awarded to the winners at the ACOI Conferring Ceremony in December 2019.   


Selection Criteria

The selection of the winners will be undertaken by a judging panel of ACOI members (the “Panel”).


Guidance on Plagiarism

The presentation of work, which contains the ideas, or work of others without appropriate attribution and citation, (other than information that can be generally accepted to common knowledge) is an act of plagiarism. Examples of plagiarism are as follows:

  • Presenting work authored by a third party, including other students, friends, family, or work purchased through internet services;

  • Presenting work copied extensively with only minor textual changes from the internet, books, journals or any other source;

  • Improper paraphrasing, where a passage or idea is summarised without due acknowledgement of the original source;

  • Failing to include citation of all original sources; or

  • Representing collaborative work as one’s own.


While plagiarism may be easy to commit unintentionally, it is defined by the act not the intention.

By submitting your essay you are declaring that it is your work and all work of others is appropriately attributed or cited. In the event of a suspected instance of plagiarism, taking account of the specific context and nature of the case, the Panel can refuse to grade the submission.

Please read terms and conditions below.


Terms & Conditions

  1. By entering into the scholarship competition (“the Competition”) all entrants are deemed to have read these terms and conditions and agree to be bound by them, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

  2. The Scholarship is open to ACOI members and non-members (i.e. the general public), but ACOI employees and officers, including the members of any ACOI Committee, Working Group or members of the ACOI Council, and the immediate family members of any such persons, are not eligible to enter the competition.

  3. Only one entry per person is permitted.

  4. Candidates will need to meet the entry requirements for the programme in order to avail of the Scholarship and the ACOI reserves the right not to award any of the prizes if the entrants’ applications do not meet the entry requirements.

  5. Candidates cannot have an existing, or have had a previous, module registration on the Professional Diploma in Compliance programme or have undertaken successfully or unsuccessfully all or part of any modules of the programme in the past.

  6. The scholarship prize is non-transferable and only the winner of an award can avail of the scholarship benefits.

  7. The scholarship prize cannot be redeemed for a monetary or other alternative.

  8. The decision of the judging panel is final and correspondence will not be entered into.

  9. Canvassing will result in an entrant being disqualified.

  10. The first prize winner must commence the Professional Diploma in Compliance programme in the next intake following award of the prize and cannot defer commencement to any later date.

  11. The Scholarship prize does not include exam re-sit fees or accommodation or subsistence expenses or travel expenses or duplicate certificates or additional programme materials.

  12. The Scholarship prize only includes first attempt exam sitting fees and does not cover any instances of exam resits.

  13. The Scholarship prize can be withdrawn from the first prize winner if they:a. fail or are absent from an exam on a number of occasions and do not attempt the exam at the next available opportunity without good reason. b. bring the reputation of the ACOI into disrepute.

  14. The ACOI reserves the right to award the full scholarship or second and third prizes to other entrants, if after reasonable attempts ACOI cannot contact the winner(s) or the winner(s) decline, or are or become ineligible for, the prize awarded to him or her.

  15. Registration fees for the programme will be paid by the ACOI directly to the Institute of Banking.

  16. The ACOI reserves the right at its sole discretion to alter or change the prizes for any reason and without notification.

  17. The ACOI reserves the right to award the full scholarship or second and third prizes to other entrants, if after reasonable attempts ACOI cannot contact the winner(s) or the winner(s) decline the prize awarded to them.

  18. The essays of the first, second and third prize winners will be published in future editions of the Irish Compliance Quarterly (ICQ) magazine and will be attributed to the prize winner by name.

  19. By entering the Competition you agree to grant to the ACOI and its respective assigns and successors a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable licence to use the essay. You also confirm that you waive all moral rights arising under the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 or equivalent or analogous rights under laws in other jurisdictions in respect of the essay. Any other reproduction of the essay shall only be made with ACOI's prior written consent (which shall not be unreasonably refused or delayed).

  20. The ACOI may cancel or amend the competition, or these terms and conditions without any prior notice. Any changes will be posted on www.acoi.ie.