Prometric invests nearly €1m research partnership with DCU

By Business & Finance
01 April 2015

US-based testing company Prometric, which has invested more than €75m in Ireland over 10 years of operation, today announced plans to invest a further €1m as part of a three-year research partnership with DCU.

Prometric CEO Michael Brannick also announced plans to expand Prometric’s presence in Co. Louth with the creation of 40 new jobs in Dundalk. In all, the company will invest more than €3.5m in expanding its Irish presence and partnering with DCU.

Speaking at the briefing announcement, Minister Richard Bruton TD said: “Employment is growing, and the live register is falling in all regions of the country – however progress is happening faster in some regions than in others. That is why we are putting in place our regional Action Plans for Jobs, in order to accelerate jobs growth in every region of the country. Today’s announcement that leading US testing company Prometric is creating 40 extra jobs in Dundalk and creating a research partnership with DCU as part of a €3.5m investment, is a great boost for the North East and a further example of what is possible in towns right across the country. I wish Michael and his team every success.”

Professor Brian MacCraith, president of DCU and Michael Brannick detailed the nearly €1m research programme investment to establish DCU’s Centre for Assessment Research in Education (CARE) and develop test types that can better assess the preparedness of Irish students at all levels of education in the areas of critical thinking and skills assessment, in addition to knowledge recall. The research conducted through CARE is expected to influence Irish education and strengthen Ireland’s workforce, particularly for attracting multinational employers and FDI.

Professor Brian MacCraith said: “It has been long recognised that more sophisticated, innovative assessment systems are required at all levels in education and employment. If we wish to encourage our students to be creative problem-solvers ready to face the challenges of our globalised, knowledge-based modern world, we must embrace new, cutting-edge methodologies such as those offered by Prometric. A major systemic difficulty in Ireland has been the lack of any centre of expertise in assessment. Our partnership with Prometric will allow DCU to establish a national resource to conduct research and develop best practice in education and job skills assessment, potentially having a transformative impact on the quality of teaching, learning and jobs growth for generations to come.”

In Dundalk, Prometric’s 40 new jobs will diversify and expand its operation, adding finance and customer service functions to its test development, technology, operations and human resources teams. The expansion includes €550,000 in capital expenditure and €2m in workforce investment. When all hiring is complete, the company expects to have 168 employees in Ireland. Prometric’s two corporate sites are located in Dundalk and Dublin, with 147 jobs expected to be the total for its Co. Louth-based Global Operations Centre.

“Prometric’s long-term commitment in Ireland is evidenced by the lasting relationships we have created, and we are realizing a return on our investments in the form of quality and efficiency improvement gains,” said Michael Brannick. “Our partnership with DCU represents an opportunity to help Ireland attract major global employers for the next decade by strengthening the talent already in the workforce and the students preparing for careers that require trusted licenses and certifications. The bonds we have created with our clients have made Ireland’s roads safer, medical care more prepared to save lives, energy more sustainable to support economic growth, and fostered greater trust in the financial system.”

Prometric has delivered more than 1.5 million tests in Ireland on behalf of its clients, including the Road Safety Authority (RSA), Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC), Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI), the Medical Council and international clients with testing offered in Ireland, such as the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO).

Prometric’s Dundalk team serves as a major strategic global operation, developing innovative new exams types and best-in-class test delivery for millions of people every year who require licenses, certifications and other credentials to qualify for jobs, such as physicians, teachers or commercial drivers, as well as university admissions, such as medical and business schools.