DIT to accredit AIB staff in new deal

11 Sep 2006

AIB Group has struck a deal with Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) to provide accredited training for its newly recruited graduate IT staff.

Members of staff who successfully complete the six-week full-time induction programme and subsequent exams will be awarded a postgraduate diploma in business information systems (BIS) by DIT. Three courses will be run this year.

Derek McCullough, IT assurance manager, AIB, told siliconrepublic.com that previous to the collaboration with DIT induction programmes included in-house training and other training brought in for different elements with a certificate awarded for some elements of the course. “What we’re trying to do now is group it all together by getting a recognised third-level qualification which means at the end of it staff have got something that’s recogniseable to show for all their hard work. From the bank’s perspective, it validates the whole training programme.

“For the past 14 years or so we’ve had an in-house induction programme for graduates going into a development role. We developed another one for infrastructure staff in the past two years and we were asked to amalgamate the two. That’s where the whole DIT programme kicked off.”

The programme was established to “ensure minimum standards across our IT stuff”, said McCullough. “There’s a number of elements to the programme: IT skills, soft skills and there’s also some process stuff in there. It is to have minimum standards so we know that everyone at least would have this level.”

The programme will be used to help drive cultural change among the workforce. “At the moment we have an ITIL [IT Information Library] programme running where we’re bringing our processes in line with ITIL best practice. We’re driving it from the top but by training the staff on this programme in ITIL it’s helping run it from the bottom up.”

Those successfully completing the programme may independently continue with DIT’s forthcoming MBS programme.

Staff who do not hold an existing degree can opt to pursue a part-time BBS degree specialising in MIS with DIT and use the induction credits to gain exemptions on this programme. AIB and DIT are also investigating allowing successful staff to take a customised AIB MSc as a follow-on from the induction.

DIT president Prof Brian Norton commented: “This is an excellent initiative that continues DIT’s long and successful tradition of providing world-class in-house programmes for leading Irish companies. In particular, it represents a model of collaboration between an academic institution and the private finance world and enhances the long-term strategic relationship between DIT and AIB.”

By Elaine Larkin