At a glance
- Since 2004, Zurich has had a close working relationship with the Chartered Insurance Institute
- The new CPD portal allows brokers to keep up to date with emerging risks
- By reading a 3 minute Insider article and answering a few questions, brokers can use the knowledge learned towards their CPD requirements
- Find out how you could win Amazon vouchers by completing a learning outcome
Zurich Insurance and the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) have joined forces to launch a new online portal that can assist brokers in their CPD scheme requirements.
As the portal is launched, we speak with Richard Smith, Learning & Development Manager for Zurich Commercial Broker, to discuss Zurich’s relationship with the CII, what qualifications mean to customers, and why brokers need to keep up to date with the latest risks.
Q: How long has Zurich worked with the CII?
A: We’ve always had a relationship with the CII, but in 2010, the Aldermanbury Declaration saw us work more closely together, in order to help drive up industry professionalism standards. This included increasing qualification densities and asking insurance organisations to step up the professionalism agenda, instead of only requiring qualifying exams.
In fact, we recently celebrated our annual Zurich Diploma in Insurance, ACII and FCII qualification completers, with an awards lunch at the CII, where over 30 staff received their certificates from Chief Underwriting Officer Cecile Fresneau.
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The first 10 brokers to achieve a learning outcome will receive a £20 Amazon gift voucher.
For more information on how to achieve a learning outcome visit Zurich Insider’s CPD portal at http://insider.zurich.co.uk/cpd-hub/
Q: Why did Zurich choose to have CII Chartered Status (CCS)?
A: As a major insurance organisation, many of our staff had personal relationships with the CII through their membership. However, about a decade ago Zurich became a corporate member of the CII, which meant all our staff became members.
CII chartered status was a natural extension of the old Aldermanbury Declaration for us as organisations could step up and apply. With that, Zurich became the first insurance organisation to be fully Chartered across all of its businesses.
It also allowed Zurich to use the logo on our documentation and communication, symbolising a standard of professionalism that all our staff have to adhere to.
That changed our relationship with the CII, demonstrating to customers that we had a certain level of professionalism and that our staff were willing to go the extra mile.
Q: Why do you think it’s important for brokers to stand out from the competition?
A: Customers are now far more informed in their purchase of insurance. This is particularly true in the commercial sector, where the broker is still the main source of information. If you are spending a large amount of premium on insurance coverage and risk-management products, you want to make sure you’re getting the best service and the best support for your money.
Customers who buy other professional services, such as legal, accountancy or surveyors from chartered and professional organisations, will want to buy their insurance from similarly qualified sources.
I think it’s really important that insurance brokers are seen to be on the same professional level and subject to the same professional demands. Having a chartered status is essential to demonstrate to customers that brokers are keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and industry news.
Q: What are the current risks that have made it crucial for brokers to keep up-to-date with the new trends?
A: The prevalence of social networks is an increasing area of risk as organisations begin to use it as another form of service.
Another emerging risk is nanotechnology, for example, with aerosol delivery systems. Organisations need to understand the security and health risks.
Supply chain risk is another area that has been highlighted by recent claims. Increased outsourcing and reliance on technology means that if, for example, a factory in Taiwan closes down due to a fire, it can have devastating consequences for suppliers.
All of these areas, as well as other emerging risks, will have a dedicated section on the new portal.
Q: How will using the CPD portal benefit brokers?
A: A crucial aspect of the job is demonstrating professionalism to customers and showcasing your industry knowledge. A qualification in insurance knowledge is a tangible demonstration of somebody who’s gone the extra mile to understand his or her role, and to create some professional value for a customer.
Even if you’ve passed your exams, you still need to demonstrate to yourself, your company and your customer that you are aware of the latest trends.
The CPD portal is an excellent way of keeping up to speed on changing risks and legal requirements. By simply spending about three minutes reading an article and answering a few questions, you can help stay on top of your qualification requirements – it’s such an easy and convenient way to do it.
You can then take that learning and showcase it to your customers, so that they know you are the best person to advise them.