Niall Gallagher Professional Diploma in Compliance Scholarship - DEADLINE EXTENDED: Monday 20 December


18 October  2021


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

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 provided by the Institute of Banking, a recognised college of UCD, together with ACOI membership for two membership 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.

More about the PDC programme and the LCOI designation

The PDC programme is a level 7 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). It is a distance learning programme delivered through webinars. There are three exam sittings a year in January, May and September.


On successful completion of PDC 1- PDC 4, you will be awarded the Professional Diploma in Compliance from UCD.  You will be invited to apply for the LCOI designation ‘Licentiate of the Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland’ and use the designatory letters 'LCOI'. Continued use of this designation is subject to meeting ACOI’s CPD requirements. 


The LCOI designation satisfies the Central Bank of Ireland’s Minimum Competency Code for those who ‘adjudicate on any complaint communicated to a regulated firm by a consumer which relates to advice about a retail financial product provided to that consumer or the arranging of a retail financial product for that consumer’.  


Recipients of the ACOI’s LCOI designation are also recognised internationally as ICCP (Internationally Certified Compliance Professional). 

How do you enter?

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



How should a firm respond to ensure that the function is properly resourced and situated within the organisation to meet the new challenges and the needs of the firm and its stakeholders?    Discuss.  


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: [email protected]

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


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 magazine.    


Last year’s winning entry can be found in our Spring 2021 ICQ Magazine

Closing Date

Closing Date to submit essay: 12pm on Monday 20th December 2021


Selection Criteria

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


Guidance on Plagiarism

  1. 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:
  2. Presenting work authored by a third party, including other students, friends, family, or work purchased through internet services;
  3. Presenting work copied extensively with only minor textual changes from the internet, books, journals or any other source;
  4. Improper paraphrasing, where a passage or idea is summarised without due acknowledgement of the original source;
  5. Failing to include citation of all original sources; or
  6. Representing collaborative work as one’s own.
  7. While plagiarism may be easy to commit unintentionally, it is defined by the act not the intention.
  8. 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.

Click here for Terms and Conditions