World-first sustainable finance compliance programme for the financial services sector

Sustainable Finance Skillnet (SFS), IFS Skillnet and the Compliance Institute (formerly the ACOI) have awarded the contract to design and deliver a new Professional Diploma in Sustainable Finance for Compliance Professionals to the IOB (Institute of Banking).

Supported by Skillnet Ireland, the new Diploma, the first of its kind globally, is the result of an enterprise-driven collaboration and forms part of the continuing effort to address the talent gap in sustainable finance, in line with Pillar 1 of Ireland’s national ‘Sustainable Finance Roadmap’ – ‘Build the knowledge and capability required to meet future workforce needs for sustainable finance skillsets’.

This is in keeping with Ireland’s ambitious goal of becoming a global leader in sustainable finance.

The Professional Diploma in Sustainable Finance for Compliance Professionals will:

• Assist participants to implement good corporate governance regarding current and pending Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) regulations;

• Amplify existing knowledge and expertise among compliance professionals in financial services companies and prepare and equip them for a challenging future;

• Provide compliance professionals with awareness, knowledge, and practical skills to provide governance and influence on sustainable finance in their firms and boards; and

• Position Ireland as the leading centre globally so that Ireland becomes recognised as a centre of excellence in sustainable finance and ESG.

Registration for the diploma course will commence in Q4, 2022.

AIB Chief Sustainability Officer and Chair of the Sustainable Finance Skillnet Committee, Yvonne Holmes, noted:

“I wish to welcome the partnership between SFS, IFS Skillnet and the Compliance Institute on delivering this impactful initiative and to congratulate the IOB on winning the contract to develop the new Professional Diploma in Sustainable Finance for Compliance Professionals.

Ensuring that compliance professionals have the knowledge to lead their companies through regulatory changes, such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the EU Taxonomy, means there is an opportunity to further enhance Ireland’s reputation as a global innovator in sustainable finance.”

Patricia Callan, Director of Financial Services Ireland (FSI) – the Ibec group that represents the sector, and promoter of IFS Skillnet said:

“The financial services sector – both domestic and international – is of great importance to the economic future of our country and sustainable finance is a key growth area for our industry- globally, companies took in $859bn in sustainable investments in 2021.

Our recent Financial Services in Ireland – Skills of the Future report identifies a number of actions that will not only protect the jobs currently in the sector but build on the huge potential that international growth offers.

This includes focusing on upskilling and reskilling as an opportunity for mid-career employees. We have worked with our partners to initiate and propose this course and today’s announcement of the award of the contract to develop the Professional Diploma in Sustainable Finance for Compliance Professionals – the first of its type in the world – is another example of the sector’s mission in action.”

Welcoming this partnership, Director of Business Networks, Skillnet Ireland, Dave Flynn said:

“Skillnet Ireland are pleased to be supporting this new strategic partnership for what will be the world’s first sustainable finance compliance programme. This innovative programme will support the development of the talent and skills financial services companies need to meet their ongoing business challenges and build Ireland’s capacity as a global leader in sustainable finance.”

CEO of Compliance Institute Ireland, Michael Kavanagh said:

“This programme will ensure that Compliance professionals will be at the forefront in guaranteeing companies implement current and future regulatory requirements in relation to sustainability practices. We look forward to collaborating with SFS and IFS Skillnet while working with IOB to deliver this pioneering and leading-edge professional programme.”

Chief Executive of IOB, Mary O’Dea said:

Compliance professionals will be at the forefront of change as the financial services sector enters a crucial phase of its sustainability journey.
As the sector’s learning partner, IOB is proud to have won the contract to develop and deliver this new programme to support compliance professionals to gain the knowledge, skills and expertise required to meet the evolving regulatory requirements in this critical area. The Diploma will be a strong addition to our growing portfolio of sustainability and digital offerings”

To register your interest and to secure a place on the course, please contact [email protected].


For further information please contact Sustainable Finance Ireland Communications Manager, Anthony McFeely on 087 292 0235 or by mailing [email protected]

Notes for editors:

Skillnet Ireland

Skillnet Ireland is a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led talent development.

Skillnet Ireland partners with 57 industry bodies, supporting over 22,500 businesses and 86,500 trainees annually, through its 72 Skillnet Business Networks across most sectors and all regions in Ireland.

Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Irish Sustainable Finance Roadmap

In October 2021, Ireland’s first national Sustainable Finance Roadmap was launched by Minister Donohoe, T.D. Funded by Skillnet Ireland, roadmap development was Action Measure no. 1 under the Ireland for Finance Action Plan 2021.

Unlocking Irish potential in this area and acting as a catalyst for public-private action, under the five pillars of Developing Talent; Industry Readiness; Leveraging Digital; Enabling Environment; and Promotion and Communications, 18 roadmap actions were identified. Underpinning Ireland’s ambition to be a leading sustainable finance centre by 2025 is the development of a world-class talent base.

Sustainable Finance Skillnet (SFS)

The Sustainable Finance Skillnet is a national network that works to develop skills and leadership capacity to advance ESG best practice across Ireland’s financial services ecosystem.

Network companies work collaboratively to share best practice and to respond effectively to the specific skills needs of the sector.

The objective of this national network is to support sustainable business growth and practices in Ireland by embedding sustainable approaches within firms through the delivery of specialised training aimed at business leaders and employees.

IFS Skillnet

IFS Skillnet is co-funded by Skillnet Ireland and member companies. Its aim is to support the IFS sector in maintaining Ireland’s position as a top international financial services centre, through ongoing investment in the development of the skills and expertise of this workforce.

The network is led by a steering group with includes member companies and the leading financial services industry associations. It comprises of Financial Services Ireland (FSI), the Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI), Irish Funds (IF), Insurance Ireland, and the Irish Association of Investment Managers (IAIM).

Compliance Institute 

The Compliance Institute is the national body for compliance professionals.

With 3,250 plus members, it is the premier provider of education and professional development in compliance, providing a balanced and authoritative voice on matters relating to regulatory compliance and business ethics in industry.

The Compliance Institute’s ethos centres around collaboration with regulators, educational partners, industry bodies, stakeholders, compliance professionals and students, to work towards embedding compliance as an enabler of business.


IOB is a professional network of over 33,000 members who work in banking and international financial services sector. IOB is a recognised college of University College Dublin (UCD) and is a centre of excellence in the provision of specialist education and lifelong learning to the financial services sector with programmes for members at every stage of their career.

A total of 8,500 people studied with IOB last year and it has the largest continuing professional development community in Ireland with over 23,000 registered members, committed to lifelong learning.

IOB was founded in 1898 and is one of the oldest banking institutes in the world. Its first goal was “to enable its members to acquire a knowledge of the theory and practice of banking, and to promote the consideration and discussion of matters of interest to the profession”.

IOB is proud to continue this tradition as a not‐for‐profit organisation providing education for public benefit.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *