CII broking group calls for mandatory qualification requirements

Examination

Authored by CII

Rising stars of the insurance broking profession have called for the regulator to make it mandatory to have qualifications to advise clients on coverage.

The group reached the conclusion that mandatory qualification requirements or minimum number of years’ experience should be introduced for insurance brokers, like the requirements set for insurance professionals by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority, after conducting a survey of consumers and fresh talent in the profession.

A poll of 84 people who purchase insurance, conducted through online surveys in 2021 found:

1) 45% felt that knowledge of staff was the most important factor when choosing an insurance broker - ahead of price.

2) 70% of respondents thought a professional insurance qualification was the minimum requirement already in place for an insurance broker.

3) 41% of respondents believed that accredited qualifications relevant to insurance were the most important measurement of staff knowledge.

A poll of followers of the London Market Group initiative’s London Insurance Life Instagram page conducted on 14 July 2021 revealed:

* 58% of respondents consider insurance just as prestigious a profession as law or accountancy.

49% felt that mandatory qualification requirements would have made them more likely to want to join the sector.

54% said the perceived time commitments to completing mandatory qualifications were the biggest hurdle.

Member of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s New Generation Insurance Broking Group for 2021 Emily Kenna, Director of Sense Risk Solutions, said: “Customer-facing broking staff who join the sector generally enter in at the deep end and are required to provide detailed advice to customers, with little to no academic grounding in insurance. This presents many issues from a professional indemnity aspect as well as reducing the quality of service that customers receive.

“If we truly want to put the customer first, we must make our sector a profession by introducing mandatory qualification requirements and attract the best talent.”

Peter Blanc, CEO of Aston Lark and President of the Chartered Insurance Institute, said: “Nothing beats experience, but qualifications should be the basis for building that experience. Certificate-level qualifications as a minimum for all staff would be my recommendation. It would improve the image and professionalism of the sector hugely.

“We will end up with better quality of staff if everyone has to attain a basic level of qualification in order to be able to help customers.”

The new generation group’s report come after the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Shaping the future together consultation, which encouraged members and stakeholders to help shape the professional body’s future strategy, proposed creating a new voluntary standard of certification that embraced both technical knowledge and professional ethics.

Six out of 10 UK-based insurance and personal finance participants felt certification has the potential to enhance professionalism and provide assurance for employers and the public.

In the coming months the CII’s Board will use consultation feedback to help inform the next five-year strategy of the professional body.

Our 127,000 members commit to high professional standards by maintaining continuous professional development and abiding by our Code of Ethics. The Chartered Insurance Institute is proud to be a member of the Chartered Body Alliance and the Institute for Global Insurance Education.

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About CII

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the leading professional body for the global financial services profession, exists to promote higher standards of integrity, technical competence and business capability.

With over 115,000 members in more than 150 countries, the CII is the world's largest professional body dedicated to insurance and financial services.

Our membership covers all disciplines within the insurance industry (claims, broking, underwriting), those working in the life and pensions sector, the mortgage advice market and financial advisers (under the Personal Finance Society brand).

Our Royal Charter requires us "to secure and justify the confidence of the public" in our members and in the insurance and financial services sector.

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