Brokers, insurance advisers and managers are required to keep well informed and up to date on the latest technical, product and regulatory changes affecting the profession by undertaking relevant continuing professional development (CPD). Like all professional bodies, NIBA requires all practising members to obtain a minimum of 50 CPD points over each two-year period. The current two-year period is 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022.
Retail advisers and responsible managers must complete an annual CPD training plan. This may include training to update knowledge in areas where there is continual change, e.g. legislation, regulatory policies/guidelines, economic and financial developments, new products and new market practices.
If the representative is taking on a new job role their CPD can cover study towards qualifications that develop competencies in these new areas. For example, a Tier 2 adviser may upgrade to Tier 1.
There is no minimum number of hours per annum that an advisor should spend on CPD. The time required will vary according to the activities they perform. Licensees can nominate an appropriate figure for Tier 2 or Tier 1 advisers, but ASIC have indicated that the NIBA CPD requirements are suitable guidelines for broker representatives.
CPD requirements for all individual NIBA members are calculated on a flexible biennial basis. Members are required to obtain a minimum of 50 CPD points over two years. The current two-year period is 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022.
An average of 25 points must be completed annually. However, extra points earned in the first year can be carried over to the second to make up the allocation. For example, if you were to earn 35 points in year 1, you would only be required to earn another 15 points in year 2.
NIBA members can fulfil their CPD requirements via a combination of attendance at accredited seminars, industry expos and conventions, including the annual NIBA Convention.
Members must undertake a minimum of 17.5 structured points of CPD annually from at least two of the following four training categories:
1. Nationally accredited industry education courses
2. Programs listed on the NIBA CPD Register
3. Professional participation activities
4. Industry leadership activities
In addition, companies and organisations can apply to have their seminars and events accredited for NIBA CPD points through CPD Course Accreditation.
Programs which NIBA has already accredited can be found by searching the NIBA CPD Register.
Members can obtain a maximum of 7.5 points annually in the following two types of unstructured training categories:
1. Professional reading
2. Individual research activities
To acknowledge their industry experience and expertise, those QPIB members aged over 55 years and with over 10 years as a practicing broker will be able to obtain more hours in the following two categories:
1. Individual research activities (the three points per activity restriction does not apply)
2. Industry leadership activities (the three points per activity restriction does not apply)
Programs that are not eligible for NIBA CPD accreditation are activities that have insufficient focus on developing an individual’s professional skills and knowledge, even if they are related to work. These include:
• Business planning, strategy or marketing meetings;
• Promotional or marketing events such as product launches;
• Staff induction and systems training;
• Motivational sessions;
• In-house business updates or internal networking events. Please note that those sections of a broker meeting which are structured training sessions, dealing with an appropriate broking topic can be awarded a NIBA CPD rating. The organiser of the meeting will need to apply for the program to be listed on the NIBA CPD Register. The rating will exclude general discussion sessions; and
• Training provided by RTOs that is not sufficiently relevant to insurance or broking or to the participant’s specific job role.
Members who are forced to leave the industry for health reasons for a substantial portion of the year may apply for special exemption from their annual CPD requirements. Initial enquires should be made to the NIBA Registrar at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In order to develop professionally it can be useful for brokers to work to a training plan. This allows individuals to identify key strengths and weaknesses and adapt their CPD training accordingly. The following needs to be included in an annual training plan:
• An outline of the job competencies the representative(s) will focus on in the current plan;
• A description of the CPD training programs to be undertaken to develop these competencies; and
• A note of any special arrangements for representatives in geographically remote or widespread areas, and those with multiple product authorisations.
At the end of each year training managers should compare the actual training record with the original training plan and note any variances. This information should be kept on file for two years.
An easy way to put together a training plan is to use a checklist of job functions and competencies to choose those that will be addressed during the year.
NIBA has checklists of the job functions for the five most commonly found roles in brokerage or underwriting offices. Actual job titles for individuals with similar job functions often differ across firms of varying size and structure. For ease of use NIBA uses the following generic terms to describe each job:
• Responsible manager: covers a licensee, partner, managing director or senior manager in a brokerage or underwriting agency.
• Account executive: covers experienced and Tier 1 qualified insurance brokers or authorised representatives.
• Assistant broker: covers less experienced and Tier 2 qualified insurance brokers and authorised representatives as well as claims handlers and para-planners.
• Claims manager: covers a person with supervisory responsibility for claims in a brokerage or underwriting agency.
• Administration manager: covers administration and compliance managers in a brokerage or underwriting agency.
Training officers can modify these job descriptions to suit the organisation’s requirements. For example, an individual’s job may be a mixture of job functions for two or more job descriptions. A common one is where the licensee in a small business combines the role of managing director and administration manager, or the account executive may also undertake claims management functions.
The job functions and related competencies for each job have been grouped under the following categories:
• Management or support
• Planning and control
• Sales & marketing
• Client service
• Operations & compliance
• Technical knowledge
• Personal effectiveness