AIRA launches professional IR development program
The Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA) has set its sights on improving knowledge of IR best practice with the launch of its continuing professional development (CPD) program this year.
The voluntary scheme will require the association’s members to dedicate 20 hours to CPD-related events over the course of a year. These can be earned by attending AIRA courses, conferences or other events, and include up to five hours of credit from other recognized institutes.
Events suggested by the Australasian body include enrolling in its IR Diploma course, attending state chapter lunches, and preparing and presenting papers to AIRA groups. The association also says it plans to introduce a mentoring program in the near future, as well as a ‘boardroom briefing’ for chairmen, CEOs and IROs at newly listed companies.
Ian Matheson, AIRA’s CEO, says the trade body’s intention is to ensure that anyone in a corporate hierarchy, be they IRO or CEO, can keep up to date with changes in best practices. ‘New technologies and instant communications add another layer of pressure to this key function of maintaining transparency and continuous disclosure,’ he explains.
The program is not compulsory for AIRA members, but the association points out on its website that it ‘encourages investor relations professionals to undertake ongoing education and learning’ in order to develop skills and capabilities and maintain professional currency. The scheme offered by AIRA is the first of its kind in the region.
It now stands alongside more formal degrees and qualifications supported by NIRI and CIRI in North America, as well as similar training courses such as those offered by the UK’s IR Society and German IR association DIRK’s certificates in investor relations.