Insurance broking is a varied and exciting one with lots of room for progression – making it a great profession to be part of.
Our sector has an essential ongoing commitment to attract and retain young talent. Insurance broking offers a huge array of opportunities from traditional client-facing broking roles and technical insurance careers, through to sales, accountancy, marketing, digital solutions, HR and opportunities in management at the highest level.
Joining the profession can put young brokers right at the cutting edge of the big issues – climate change, cyber-crime, InsurTech as well as the real human matters that face people and businesses.
The skills and talents learned in insurance can apply to many roles and BIBA believes that there needs to be more recognition of this. We need a strategic approach to attracting, developing and retaining the best possible talent from all backgrounds sectors, schools, colleges and universities.
Insurance Apprenticeships are part of the solution to training new and existing staff. BIBA wants to help everyone from the most junior to senior levels develop and maintain their skills to ensure they are the best they can be.
BIBA supports the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Aspire Apprenticeships.
Find more information about how Aspire Apprenticeships can work for you here.
Promoting Careers in Broking
BIBA Young Broker Ambassadors
BIBA has a Young Broker Ambassador in place for each of its regions and who play a key part in our regional committees.
Careers in Insurance Broking
BIBA’s Young Broker Ambassadors are keen to promote careers in insurance broking and are looking for ways to promote the benefits of joining the profession.
Find out what our Young Broker Ambassadors think about their career choices in this short video.
Young Broker & Apprentices Motor Insurance
BIBA has negotiated with Marmalade our Telematics Scheme Provider, a great motor insurance option for BIBA Young Brokers and CII Aspire Apprentices.
Young Broker Careers and Apprenticeships
In 2013, BIBA signed a partnership agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This resulted in highlighting opportunities in our sector and promoting it as a career for appropriate job seekers.
It is important to encourage younger people to take their first steps onto the insurance broking career ladder. BIBA is working with the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), our Young Broker Ambassadors, Jobcentre Plus, the Department for Work and Pensions and our regional committees to encourage new entrants.
BIBA worked with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the ABI and Aon on attracting talented young people to insurance broking. One of the results has been the creation of a general insurance apprentice standard, where apprentices can earn while they learn.
New apprenticeship standards across the whole insurance industry will help to provide a structure to enable more insurance broking firms to take on apprentices and mould them into employees. The standards, which have been approved by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, will help the industry achieve its target in the Government’s Insurance Growth Action Plan, to double the number of technical apprentices in the insurance industry by 2018. Apprentices can study towards the CII Certificate and Diploma in Insurance and by the end of their apprenticeship they will have demonstrated skills and behaviours highlighted by employers as required.
Funding towards apprenticeship training
The CII has a purpose built initiative; the Aspire Apprenticeship Programmes. These are easy to access and convenient to use and help businesses regardless of their size to access funding for employer training programmes. Find out more from the CII.
Exams, Learning & Professionalism in Broking Deciding whether to take formal industry qualifications is a question many are deliberating. Studying for a qualification can sometimes seem quite daunting, especially if you’ve been out of formal education for a while. But there’s no need to worry. If you plan properly, and take advantage of all the support that is on offer, your journey should be a smooth one. As well as the qualification route there are other methods of learning that can support ‘on the job’ training and allow you to learn at your own pace in your own way. BIBA and the CII have put together some FAQ’s that may help you decide what is best for you.Download full PDF of FAQ
There is no one clear answer here. The fundamental principles of any profession are:
• Duty to the public interest
It is the view of both the CII and BIBA that taking professional examinations and being a member of a professional body evidences that an individual is working towards meeting these principles. More specifically, success in CII qualifications is universally recognised as evidence of knowledge and understanding and so helps immensely in achieving a professional standard.
Most professional qualifications are widely recognised, not just in the UK, but across the globe. They unlock doors to new employers and markets who attach great value to them. Portability is a great benefit of professional education, providing enhanced career mobility. Compare this to in-house training which has limited value outside of the employer providing it.
Whilst it can be true that employers look for experience over qualification, if you have both, it is likely you will be the preferred candidate.
In short, there is none. The actual exams/units you should choose depend on what you want to understand or are necessary for your role. At Certificate level the units are broadly split into the generic, the practice and the line of business:
(IF1) Insurance, legal and regulatory (compulsory), (IF2) General insurance business, (IF9) Customer service in insurance
(IF3) Insurance underwriting process, (IF4) Insurance claims handling process, (I10) Insurance broking fundamentals
(LM1) London market insurance essentials, (LM2) London market insurance principles and practices (passing these units means that you don’t have to pass IF1 as a compulsory unit)
Line of business:
(IF5) Motor insurance products, (IF6) Household insurance products, (IF7) Healthcare insurance products, (IF8) Packaged commercial insurances
As an example a commercial lines broker would normally take the following units to achieve the Certificate in Insurance:
(IF1) Insurance, legal and regulatory (compulsory)
(I10) Insurance broking fundamentals
(IF8) Packaged commercial insurances
The time taken varies hugely but our analysis (reviewing enrolment to when the exam is sat) shows that the average, elapsed, study time for each unit is around 2½ months at Certificate level and so the three units to achieve Certificate level are quite often completed in under a year.
From no qualification to Advanced Diploma (ACII) has been achieved in under 12 months, but this is the ‘record’! A more typical time frame is 3 years from start to finish.
Tip – Check your company’s policy on study leave. We are aware that some companies match holiday taken for study purposes with the same number of days, e.g. you take 3 days off to study, your company may give you 3 days study leave.
CII qualifications aren’t designed to make you a better manager in terms of the non-technical aspects of that role, for example they don’t aim to teach you people management or HR policies – there are other professional bodies who specialise in this area such as the Chartered Management Institute.
However in a sector like insurance, technical knowledge is still required at manager and senior manager level as often difficult cases or situations are ‘delegated upwards’. So if you have taken your exams, you will be better placed technically to deal with the queries that are escalated by your staff.
None – there are no formal academic requirements to enter for any exam or study for any subject with the CII. There are also no age limits (lower or upper) or restrictions based on how long you’ve been working in insurance.
It is worth bearing in mind that the academic level increases as you progress from Certificate to Diploma and onto Advanced Diploma with each having parity with formal education. For example the Certificate exams are aligned to GCSE level, the Diploma to A level and the Advanced Diploma to first degree level.
At Certificate level there are 12 units to choose from and you’ll typically need to pass three to get your Certificate in Insurance qualification. Only one of the units is compulsory – IF1 Insurance, legal and regulatory.
The less specialist modules available are (IF2) General insurance business and (IF9) Customer service in insurance. Although as a broker the I10 Insurance broking fundamentals unit should be considered.
The CII provide a range of study options to help you prepare for your exam or assessment:
• Study texts – offering structured self-study that develops understanding of the exam syllabus. Available as an eBook as well as the usual printed format
• Key fact booklets – comprehensive pocket-sized booklets summarising the key information contained in the study text. These are perfect for studying whilst travelling to and from work or in situations when reading a study text is impractical
• Question packs – delivered online through RevisionMate, question packs provide comprehensive, flexible and interactive self-testing of the unit syllabus. Depending on the unit chosen, these contain 150–225 questions
• Learn interactive tutorial – this e-learning course provides highly interactive study and is backed by a revision assessment tool for you to check understanding as you progress. Visit www.cii.co.uk/elearning to view the course demo
• Revision days– CII revision courses provide expert tutor support and are designed to improve your chances of passing.
For full details of support search for: CII starting study
The first point is that exams can be taken exactly when you’re ready. The second is that the CII is moving away from formal written exams, so don’t let this put you off.
Beyond the Advanced Diploma this is a very individual decision and should be based on your career path, however some examples are:
An exclusive qualification held by fewer than 6,000 working insurance practitioners, Fellowship (FCII) is the CII’s highest level of qualification and attainment is globally recognised as an indicator of expertise and experience. Fellowship is an advanced structured learning programme available to Advanced Diploma in Insurance holders. Find out more at www.cii.co.uk/fellowship
CII members holding the Advanced Diploma can apply for Chartered status (subject to having five years’ experience, not necessarily post-qualification). Three titles are available reflecting your career specialism:
• Chartered Insurer;
• Chartered Insurance Broker; and
• Chartered Insurance Practitioner
Chartered status cements your professional standing and gives you parity with other professionals such as accountants and solicitors. Find out more at www.cii.co.uk/chartered
The CII exam structure is credit based. Although notionally split into three levels (Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma) the qualification framework is totally modular, with a few rules.
Find more information about how the CII creates and maintains its qualifications and exams here.
Many employers support those with professional development so it is worth speaking to them.
Otherwise for the most up to date information about examination fees please visit the CII Website.
The CII and BIBA have their own bespoke learning facility called broker Assess. It is a comprehensive online learning and competency tool that can bring you the power of knowledge in a very different way to formal examinations. Developed jointly by the CII, BIBA and AXA, we are very proud to provide a market leading on line learning service which is used by over 58,000 UK brokers and employed in over 600 firms.
broker Assess delivers the type of accessible online learning that is the preference of this market. Compatible with tablets and smartphones, so appealing to the 24/365 generation. The cost for a broker Assess licence per annum for a BIBA member firm starts at £75*+ VAT (non-members £120*).
broker Assess plays a big part in delivering BIBA’s support for professionalism and career advancement in the broker market. Find more details and information about free trials here.