1. Introduction

 The Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI), are delighted to announce the second offering of the “Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship”.

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. The Association’s principal objective are the education, training and competency development of Compliance Officers and Niall was one of the architects and founders of the Association.

Niall is an Honorary Fellow of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland 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. 

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’.  

How do you enter?
Submit an essay of up to 1,500 words choosing from one of the following titles:

‘What makes a good compliance culture, and how do you recognise it?’


‘What makes for an effective implementation of a new regulation or piece of legislation?’


‘The role of the compliance professional as the voice of the consumer inside the organisation’

Your essay should demonstrate:
• Originality of thought.
• Be your own work. If work is plagiarised, the essay is not considered for the purposes of the scholarship (See Guidance on plagiarism below).
• Coherence and structure of the essay – Logical flow from description of the attribute, explanation and providing examples.

How to submit your essay
E-mail:   education@acoi.ie
E-mail title:  The Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship
Phone:  01-7790202

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 years.
2nd Place:  ACOI membership for 2 years.
3rd Place:  ACOI membership for 1 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:   4th January 2018
Winner announced:                  26th January 2018
Programme Registration:         26th January 2018
Programme starts:                     5th February 2018

Selection Criteria
The selection of the winners will be undertaken by a judging panel of ACOI members.

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;
  • 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. Open to ACOI members and non-members (the general public).
2. 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 their terms, which shall be final and binding in all respects.
3. Scholarship prize only includes first attempt exam sitting fees.
4. The first prize winner must commence the Professional Diploma in Compliance programme in the February 2018 intake and cannot defer commencement.
5. Scholarship prize does not include: Exam re-sit fees or Accommodation or subsistence expenses or Travel expenses or Duplicate certificates or additional programme materials.
6. Sponsorship 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 ACOI into disrepute.
7. Applicants will need to meet the entry requirements for the programme in order to avail of the scholarship.
8. 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.
9. Only one entry per person is permitted.
10. ACOI employees, and any immediate family members, are not eligible to enter the Competition.
11. Canvassing will result in an entrant being disqualified.
12. The decision of the judging panel is final and correspondence will not be entered into.
13. The entrant cannot have an existing module registration on the Professional Diploma in Compliance Programme.
14. The scholarship prize is non-transferable and only the winner of an award can avail of the scholarship benefits.
15. The scholarship prize cannot be redeemed for a monetary or other alternative.
16. Registration fees will be paid by the ACOI directly to the Institute of Banking.
17. ACOI reserves the right at its sole discretion to alter or change the prizes for any reason and without notification.
18. ACOI reserves the right not to award any of the prizes if the entrants’ applications do not meet the selection criteria.
19. 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) declines the prize awarded to him or her.