INTERNATIONAL. The DFWC Academy, through the Duty Free World Council (DFWC), is to launch the first Certificate course in Duty Free & Travel Retail. The DFWC aims to develop a set of professional global qualifications for staff working in the duty free & travel retail industry.

Details of the initiative will be revealed at TFWA Asia Pacific in Singapore. The DFWC said the move marked “a major milestone in its efforts to develop standards throughout the industry through training and educational activities”. It is supported (to date) by TFWA and by leading travel retailers Dufry and Dubai Duty Free.

As well as creating programmes for professionals working in the channel, the DFWC Academy will also be promoted outside the industry to encourage new entrants to pursue a career in duty free & travel retail.

Course content, said the DFWC, will take account of the unique characteristics and challenges of the industry. All courses will be fully accredited by recognised learning institutions. The DFWC Academy plans to develop courses to Certificate, Diploma and Degree standards catering to development needs of people at all levels within the industry.

The course programme for staff marks “a milestone in developing standards throughout the industry through training and educational activities”, says the DFWC.

The first (online) Certificate course will begin in September 2019 with student enrolment from this month. It will run for 12 months, offering access to video-based lessons and modules; downloadable training resources; assignments; case studies; recommended reading lists and links to industry research and other resources.

DFWC President Frank O’Connell (left) said: “In response to an acknowledged industry need for duty free and travel retail-specific training and accredited career development we have created the DFWC Academy and I am very happy to announce the launch of its first programme, the Certificate in Duty Free & Travel Retail.

“I have been greatly encouraged by the positive feedback we have received from the industry while developing this initial course and I have no doubt that the Academy will evolve into a tremendous resource for the industry in the years to come.”

The Academy courses will be developed by a team of academic and travel retail experts working with IIR the (Institute of International Retail), an Ireland-based international organisation with global retail and training expertise, which will manage the day-to-day operations of the Academy.

Organisers said that key objectives would focus on staff retention and improving conversion rates of travellers to shoppers. These will make the courses relevant to staff already working in the industry, as well as employees from brand companies supplying the industry and promotional agencies staff.

DFWC said: “The course will equip the learner with the knowledge and skills to advance and prosper in their career and to achieve a level of excellence in travel retail based on the DFWC Academy set of Industry Professional Standards. Certification will be jointly awarded to graduates by the DFWC Academy and IIR and will be fully accredited by the globally recognised, CPD Standards Office (CPDSO).”

The DFWC Academy will have a booth in Singapore during TFWA Asia Pacific, providing further information on courses and how to enrol.

*In coming days we’ll bring you further details and comment about the DFWC Academy, the role of IIR, and on course goals and content.

For further information please contact either the Duty Free World Council or the Institute of International Retail through: gerard.murray@dfworldcouncil.com or visit http://dfworldcouncil.com/academy/.

Or contact director@iiretail.com or visit http://iiretail.com/