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NIBA hands broker education role to ANZIIF

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The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has handed over its broker training role to the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) under a deal signed in Sydney this afternoon.

The change will see the two major broker training bodies in Australia move immediately into a new relationship under which ANZIIF becomes NIBA’s preferred education supplier.

From today NIBA College will cease to take new enrolments for its broker qualifications, traineeships or continuing professional development courses. People will be referred instead to ANZIIF.

The college will provide education for current students until September 1 next year, when the remaining students will transition to ANZIIF’s education programs.

The changes were announced this afternoon at the end of a forum attended by ANZIIF CEO Prue Willsford and NIBA CEO Dallas Booth.

Mr Booth says NIBA will now focus on lobbying, member services, professional standards and representation of its corporate and individual members, and in providing networking opportunities and events for the intermediated insurance community.

The organisations say they have been working on options for new approaches to broker education and training since March. Domestic and international brokers and broker network groups were consulted “to ensure the high quality and relevance of formal education, training and continuing professional development to brokers”.

“We have a long relationship with ANZIIF and we are looking forward to working together to ensure Australian brokers have access to representation and world-class education,” Mr Booth said.

“This partnership will facilitate this and we have full confidence that it will deliver positive outcomes for individual brokers and, ultimately, for their businesses and clients.”

Ms Willsford says the collaboration exercise has been led by the industry and has been in development for many months. “As not-for-profit education providers, our reason for being is the success and health of the insurance industry and the brokers and brokerages within it.”

The agreement is timed to coincide with the launch of the ANZIIF Skills Units, a major reform of industry education that will include broker education.

The units, which are FNS15-compliant, will be introduced next year. They are intended to keep pace with changes in the industry and to reflect the needs of brokers and business now and in the future.

ANZIIF says the units were developed in consultation with the industry and will “mimic real-life work scenarios and support professionals to be immediately effective in their roles”.

“The new format will offer professionals the opportunity to undertake shorter, more concentrated units that allow them to upskill quickly.”

insuranceNEWS.com.au understands the courses will enable brokers to focus on one skills area and build their proficiency in this area over 4-6 weeks, rather than focus on a broader range of skills and complete a unit over a period of months.

They are intended to meet the requirement for brokers to be “highly skilled and knowledgeable, job-ready and more agile to change”.

NIBA and ANZIIF say they will continue to work with the industry on broker research, industry initiatives, education standards and professionalism.

“Broking education will be entirely led by brokers,” the two organisations say in a statement this afternoon. “Brokers will also benefit from less duplication of resources between ANZIIF and NIBA.”

Requirements for the NIBA Qualified Practising Insurance Broker designation, as well as the associate and fellowship designations, will continue to be administered by NIBA.

More detail in our regular bulletin on Monday.