As part of our commitments set out in the Public Service Innovation Strategy, Making Innovation Real, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) launched a Foundation Certificate in Artificial Intelligence for public servants in 2021. This programme aligned with our goals to upskill staff in important areas that would foster innovation, in addition to driving transformative innovation by leveraging new and emerging technologies.
DPER recently secured and funded 20 places on the Foundation Cert in AI, provided by Krisolis, and awarded by Technological University Dublin. The course carries 10 Level-8 ECTS credits.
Watch below how Dr Louise McNamara of Teagasc speaks about her experience on the first course.
Three new courses for public servants will be offered in the next 18 months, from now until the end of 2023, and there are 20 places available on each.
Each course is 12 weeks long. There will be 5 hours per week of class-based learning per week. Students are typically expected to engage in additional study (recommended 10 hours). Full course notes will be provided to students.
Typically, a criterion of acceptance by TUD is that applicants have a current Level-8 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications. However, applications are also welcomed from those with an IT-oriented Level-7 qualification accompanied by relevant IT work experience.
Applications from permanent public service staff must be sanctioned by a senior manager in their organisation (equivalent of Principal Officer or higher in the civil service),
The course curriculum includes:
- Introduction to AI
- Managing AI Projects
- AI Tools and Ecosystems
- AI Solution Design and Case Studies
- Data Visualization
- The Mathematical Foundations of AI
- Introduction to Programming (Python)
- Ethical Practice in AI, Data Science and Analytics
Learner assessment will be a mix of continual assessment, project submission and a learning journal. Although there is a programming element to the course, it is deemed to be accessible to those with no previous programming experience.
Applicants should note that places are limited and places will be allocated based on:
- The applicant’s general suitability, including educational requirements and being a permanent member of staff.
- The applicant’s role in their organisation, especially as it may pertain to the implementation of AI or ownership of, or familiarity with, a process or function that may be suitable for AI deployment
- The need to balance places across the public service
- Potential use-cases advanced by the applicant
In circumstances where a person has not been successful in their application but their organisation wishes to fund a place independently, the organisation should liaise directly with the provider.
All queries may be directed to the Public Service Reform unit at DPER at: firstname.lastname@example.org