1. Introduction

The Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI), are delighted to announce the opening of the 5th 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.

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 title:

Compliance and the COVID 19 pandemic: The compliance professional's role in promoting a consumer-focused culture and protecting the firm in these difficult times.

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. 


The essays should take account of the latest guidance issued by the Government and the Regulator(s) but focus on what compliance officers should consider, in addition to the Covid 19 guidance. 



How to submit your essay?

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

Scholarship includes 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: 25th October 2020
Winners will be announced by 7th December 2020
Programme starts: February 2021

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 hereTerms & Conditions.