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A new innovative sustainable finance programme for compliance professionals in financial services has been launched by Sustainable Finance Skillnet and IFS Skillnet in collaboration with the Institute of Bankers in Ireland (IOB) and the Compliance Institute.

The Professional Diploma in Sustainable Finance for Compliance Professionals is the first programme of its kind globally and represents a significant step towards positioning Ireland as a world leader in sustainable finance.

Financial services organisations are key stakeholders in enabling Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon economy. This innovative programme has been developed to support compliance professionals in financial services as they lead the adoption of new sustainable finance standards, processes and approaches within their organisations.

The Diploma includes guidance on a growing range of regulatory requirements, including the EU taxonomy on Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), as well as the latest best practices in managing climate-related financial risk and Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.

Welcoming the launch of the programme, Skillnet Ireland’s Director of Business Networks, Dave Flynn said:

“Skillnet Ireland is committed to building Ireland’s capacity as a global leader in sustainable finance. This industry-driven programme will further deepen the ESG talent base in Ireland, and is one of the key actions underpinning the delivery of the Sustainable Finance Roadmap.”

Talent development for sustainable finance

The Sustainable Finance Skillnet, one of the key collaborators on the new programme, is a national network that works to develop skills and leadership capacity to advance ESG best practice across Ireland’s financial services ecosystem.

Yvonne Holmes, Chair of the Sustainable Finance Skillnet Committee, said:

“Talent development and capacity building are among the fundamental drivers of the sustainable finance agenda nationally. This world-first professional diploma will help meet the core needs of compliance professionals by equipping them with the knowledge to lead their companies through regulatory changes, and in doing so, will 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 noted sustainable finance as a key growth area for the financial services sector which employs over 105,000 people in Ireland.

“As it is still a relatively new area of finance, sustainable finance will come under increased scrutiny from regulators both here and internationally. Our recent Financial Services in Ireland – Skills of the Future report identified Sustainable Finance as the biggest opportunity in the financial services sector. It is imperative that we have individuals within the financial services sector with the skills and competencies in sustainable finance as the area continues to grow in importance.”

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Mary O’Dea, Chief Executive of IOB, said:

“At a time when policy and regulation in ESG and sustainable finance is evolving at pace, this new programme will connect compliance professionals with industry experts to provide an in-depth overview of all key regulations and best practices in this critical area.

We hope that this programme will enable and empower compliance professionals to become sustainable finance leaders. I encourage all those interested in taking part to register early, as we anticipate high demand.”

The Compliance Institute is the professional body for compliance professionals in Ireland. Michael Kavanagh, CEO at the Institute, highlighted the collaborative effort required to establish the programme:

“I am really delighted to see that the collaboration between the Compliance Institute, Sustainable Finance Skillnet (SFS) and IFS Skillnet has come to fruition.  It is a great example of the collaborate effort required to address an existing skills gap.  In this instance it is in sustainable finance where the role of the compliance professional is vital as businesses seek to show investors, shareholders, and customers that they have sustainability practices in place.”

Learn more

For further information on this programme and to apply please visit

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