Duty free and travel retail industry members were joined by education professionals and a government minister at a recent event in Dublin Airport to celebrate the launch of the Duty Free World Council Academy and its first intake of students.
Irish based companies that were involved in development of the Academy, from the right: James Dillon - Dillion productions, Kevin Rase -  Contineo labs, Frank and Sarah DFWC, Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchel O'Connor. Vincent Harrision - daa, Derek Hughes IIR, John King - Distilla
Irish based companies that were involved in development of the Academy, from the right: James Dillon - Dillon Productions, Kevin Rase -  Contineo Labs, Martin Carpenter - ARI, Frank O'Connell and Sarah Branquinho - DFWC, Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor. Vincent Harrision - daa, Derek Hughes and John King - IIR

Two years in development and the fruit of extensive collaboration by stakeholders from across the entire industry, the DFWC Academy’s inaugural Professional Certificate course is under way. To mark this achievement, and recognise the work behind it, the Duty Free World Council, its partner the Institute of International Retail (IIR) and host Aer Rianta International held an event at Dublin Airport where guests included brand companies, travel retailers, training specialists and Ireland’s Minister of State for Higher Education, Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor.

TFWA was a founding member of the DFWC, and the Association’s Managing Director John Rimmer spoke at the event of the demands that this unique and highly regulated channel places on in-store staff. He emphasised TFWA’s support for the Academy and its potential to complement and enhance the training programmes conducted by brands, retailers, airports and other stakeholders. Citing liquor company Brown-Forman’s announcement that it will enrol all travel retail personnel in the Academy, Rimmer said he was delighted by the positive response from TFWA members. He also paid tribute to the companies that have helped shape the content of the Academy course as members of the Academic Advisory Group: retailers Dufry, Aer Rianta International, Dubai Duty Free and Lagardère Travel Retail, plus brand-owning companies and TFWA members Brown-Forman, L’Oréal and Mondelez.

Carlos Granados from Mondelez, Mona al Ali from DDF, Martin Carpenter from ARI and Gerard Murray from DFWC.
Carlos Moyano Granados from Mondelez, John Rimmer from TFWA, Mona al Ali from Dubai Duty Free, Martin Carpenter from ARI and Gerard Murray from DFWC 

The event’s Irish venue was appropriate given the country’s pivotal role in the establishment of duty free over 70 years ago, but also because of the DFWC’s decision to partner with an Irish company, IIR, to create and manage the industry-wide Academy. IIR and the DFWC will jointly award graduates with their qualification, which is accredited by the widely-recognised Continuing Professional Development Standards Office. IIR Managing Director Derek Hughes revealed that 25 brand-owners and three international airports have enrolled students at the Academy so far.

For more information on the DFWC Academy, visit the DFWC website here
Information is also available from the IIR website here