Continuing Insurance Learning and Development

The Innovative Distance Learning System of SoEasy Insurance Brokers

Written on 10/07/2022 – George Natar

Introduction

The new insurance legislation requires that insurance intermediaries and employees of insurance companies and intermediaries involved in the distribution of insurance products carry out continuous professional training corresponding to their role in the market.

Specifically, with the new directive from the Superintendent of Insurance 27/06/2022 regarding the requirements for continuous professional training and development, at least thirteen (13) hours of basic training per year and at least two (2) hours of training per year for General Insurance and at least two (2) hours of training per year for Life insurance for the insurance products of each insurance company with which each one is involved.

The Guidelines

The Superintendent of Insurance issues the Guidelines for the purpose of regulating continuous professional training requirements and the development of the Laws of 2016-2021. The Scope concerns 1. Natural persons, 2. Directors of legal entities, 3. Employees of natural and legal persons and insurance companies involved in the distribution of insurance products.

The insurance intermediary or insurance company evaluates training programs to ensure that they are relevant to products and services and enhance the professional competence of trainees. The insurance company takes steps to certify that participants are present. This may mean, among other things, taking tests or asking questions during the presentation.

The insurance intermediary must ensure that he maintains a satisfactory level of performance, corresponding to the role he plays and possesses on an ongoing basis the minimum knowledge and skills set out in the Sixth Act of Law.

All insurance intermediaries as well as insurance undertakings must keep a register and keep evidence of CPDs so that they can demonstrate compliance with the requirements. The above register should be prepared annually and submitted to the Registrar. This register should contain, as a minimum, the name of the intermediary or employee and the date of employment, the date that also concerns the provider, the title, hours of training and category of training (product or other subjects).

The specific arrangements set out in the directive are that one CPD unit will be earned for each hour of training. In case it is covered beyond the required hours, transfer to the following year is allowed up to 20% of the total hours. Failure to complete the required CPD units constitutes a breach of the Law and Regulations.

If an employee changes employer, the new employer will need to consider the CPD acquired during their previous employment. The new employer will only be able to consider CPDs for which they have sufficient evidence to certify that they have been completed in the current year.

CPDs can be covered either in person or online. In case the training takes place online, a mechanism should be implemented to certify the presence of the participants by the trainer.

The initiative of SoEasy Insurance Brokers

Considering the Legislation and the instructions regarding the training and development of its stakeholders (insurance intermediaries, its partners, and employees), SoEasy Insurance Brokers, as a registered intermediary in the Register of Insurance Brokers, has developed its own training and e-learning system, and the first figures show a very large appeal.

Below we will describe in a few words the way this system operates, which serves all the requirements of the legislation, but at the same time achieves its purpose, which is none other than the promise of continuous monitoring of developments, and information / training of all those it concerns.

And this includes a variety of subjects that cover all aspects, that is, both product and general, but also special training. And that’s not all, since at the same time a multiplier effect is achieved, a synergy in the internal information that concerns everyone, for new strategic tactics, for new competitions from insurance companies, for the news of the insurance business, and the creation of a corporate culture based on the vision and mission of this insurance company.

The SoEasy Learning System

The system works using a special training platform, which the insurance company itself has created and registered all interested parties in it with a special code.

The management of SoEasy, in consultation with one or more of the insurance companies, carry out an analysis of training needs, depending on the season and the objectives of the month, and training topics are proposed that satisfy these needs.

Then contact is made with instructors who can develop the specific topic. After selecting the trainer and the training title, a message is sent to the entire sales network, employees, and partners through the training platform with a code and registration method, informing about the day and time of execution, through the platform.

SoEasy Insurance uses Trainers either from its staff, partners, or intermediaries to determine the trainer(s) on each subject, and works with Cypriots, Greeks, and other European experts to deliver maximum performance on each subject.

The trainers all come from the Insurance Industry, some with expertise in risk underwriting / selection, claims adjusters and handlers, communication, negotiation, marketing and sales specialists, and others in strategic development and technology. Among the partners there are specialists in the company’s products and services as well as experts in the use of the platform. The selection is made through these experts, accordingly.

Each interested party (intermediary, partner, employee), after deciding that the issue concerns and interests him / her, enters the platform and registers for the training program.

The Execution and Implementation of Training

Today this training lasts about an hour (one cpd per week), and is carried out on average once a week, perhaps excluding holidays and summer vacations. There is a target to implement around 45 programs (cpd hours) per year. It is a goal that essentially exceeds the immediate needs of training hours for everyone. Not all issues are always relevant to all stakeholders, so there is a choice.

The training takes place live through the platform, and all participate freely, with requests, questions, clarifications, disagreements, confirmations of what is said, etc.

The training is usually certified by one of the collaborating insurance companies, which also provides the training material where and when needed.

Each learner joins the training platform online while being automatically updated by the system and participates. The trainer first presents his topic and then either there is a practical explanation of how to promote or use the topic through the electronic sales platform, or he / she uses other media, such as videos, photos, practical examples, etc. The training continues through discussion.

Each training day is recorded, and anyone can then ask the platform to watch it again. Especially for those who had obligations at work, this recording helps to inform, but without offering hours of training to the absent.

All those who participate and are present receive a certificate of attendance that is automatically sent to them through the platform. This platform continuously archives the participations in an individual list, and everyone at any time can print in a list all the necessary information to check and send to each interested party, or to renew their registration certificate.

Some of the topics that have already been presented and discussed are risk assessments, insurance market statistics, strategic development, business projection and portfolio development, climate change, forecasting, as well as the insurer’s code of conduct.

Of course, products with their associated support services were also presented, such as for contractors’ insurance, professional liability, property insurance, accident, and travel insurance, etc.

Conclusion

This system, as described here above, although it looks simple, is actually the result of several hours of work and creation. And it doesn’t stop here, it constantly listens to the evaluations of participants and stakeholders and upgrades itself. Quite often the management of the company asks the participants to suggest changes or additions, and to constantly propose new ideas on topics, so that the material is constantly enriched, and there is constant interest in something new. Participants are also often asked to judge the benefit they got from each topic so that the quality is also upgraded.

Such initiatives are needed by the Cypriot insurance market to mature and be able to compete equally with the European acquis in the sector, and to make the most of technology, which still has so much to offer in our sector.

I would also like to congratulate all the inventors and organizers for the success, and not only of this difficult project, of the development of the entire insurance sector in Cyprus, Greece, and Europe in general. The future here is promising.

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