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Insurance qualifications set for revamp

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Insurance certificates and diplomas are set for change under proposed updates that reflect Hayne royal commission reforms and wider industry transformation.

Proposals include a greater focus on technical knowledge and increased course flexibility, while there are also moves to better align training packages and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) adviser requirements.

PwC has been examining financial services training packages, in conjunction with an Industry Reference Committee that includes the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF), as part of a scheduled five-year review.

Qualifications reviewed include the Certificate IV in Insurance Broking and the Diploma of Insurance Broking as well as equivalents for General Insurance.

ANZIIF CEO Prue Willsford says the extent of training package changes this time around are significant due to shifts in the wider environment.

“There is a lot of change happening around us at the moment with all of the post-Hayne legislation and we are also seeing a lot of change in the workplace,” she told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“It is critical that these packages reflect the skills and competencies needed for us to deliver effective and efficient services to our customers.”

PwC says feedback from industry calls for a greater focus on claims and technical knowledge and some 16 units have been updated.

“These revisions have focused on ensuring currency and relevance to the insurance industry, and updates to technologies required to carry out key tasks,” it says.

Two ASIC Tier 2 elective units on general and personal advice in general insurance would become core subjects as part of the Certificate IV in Insurance Broking, while a similar Tier 1 advice-related unit would be a core part of the Diploma.

The review proposes dropping the Certificate III qualifications in broking and insurance as they are not adequate for industry entrants and the basic knowledge is often provided as internal training.

The Advanced Diploma of Insurance Broking is also proposed for deletion as experienced workers are more likely to pursue qualifications with a leadership and management focus.

Ms Willsford says ANZIIF has facilitated interaction between PwC and ASIC given relationships between RG146 requirements around advice and the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF).

ASIC guidance changes will be needed when claims handling becomes a financial service and that will also need to be reflected in the AQTF, Ms Willsford says.

The paper on the draft training products is available here. Feedback is requested by close of business on March 20.