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An important step in your career development can be gaining professional qualifications or training. We look at some of the options available to you which are provided by the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Broking

Training programmes vary considerably, with larger broking firms offering more opportunities for structured training programmes. These typically involve job rotations for experience of different areas of work, over a period of 18 months to two years.

There has been a growing emphasis in recent years on graduate-level recruitment and the development of graduate programmes that include CII professional qualifications. This provides a structured framework leading to Chartered Insurance Broker status. Many employers grant study time and provide help with tuition fees and the cost of learning materials.

Claims

Graduate recruits usually undergo two years of intense on-the-job training. This is generally structured and supported by formal training courses, often in-house, and is likely to be followed by a further two to three years’ experience in underwriting risk and negotiating claims.

Keeping up with legislation and developments in the field is important, to do this you can choose to study and become a member of the CII.

Qualifications range from an entry-level Certificate to the Advanced Diploma, which usually takes between two and three years.

Employers may also provide their own ongoing training courses in areas such as personal safety and communication skills.

Loss adjusting

Loss adjusters will expect you to spend your early months with the firm doing desk-based work, validating claims and liaising with insurance companies and policyholders. This is essential grounding in the mechanics of the profession and claims work and will prepare you for your first visits to claims scenes.

Some larger firms run structured training schemes that will give you a broad-based introduction to the profession while smaller firms will hire on a case by case basis, often focusing on people with experience of the profession and particularly claims management.

Reinsurance

Reinsurance companies are typically large, multinational organisations and many offer structured graduate-entry programmes that provide you with broad experience of the business before you begin to specialise.

You are likely to be encouraged to pursue CII qualifications. You are also likely to be financially supported in these efforts and most companies will also allow you a generous amount of time for study.

Risk management

This area of work often attracts mature entrants, as those with commercial and/or insurance sector experience are preferred.

Trainee surveyors are expected to complete the CII’s Advanced Diploma in Insurance qualification. In practice, many entrants will have already achieved this in a previous role.

CII qualifications are at three levels – Certificate (Cert CII), Diploma (Dip CII) and Advanced Diploma (ACII) – and are available as modules to enable you to study the most relevant areas at your own pace.

Many surveyors choose to study for National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) qualifications, a common requirement for health and safety specialists. Others take qualifications of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM).

Training also takes place on-the-job and may be supported by in-house training programmes, distance learning and personal mentoring.

Underwriting

Graduate training schemes for underwriters typically last for around two years and are often followed by another two or three years’ training in a specialist area of risk.

Most training tends to be on-the-job, working alongside experienced colleagues and learning about different departments and about accounting, claims and investment functions. Some employers may ask you to complete the CII’s Diploma and Advanced Diploma professional examinations as part of your training.

Professional underwriters (not to be confused with underwriter members) working at Lloyd’s insurance market must pass the CII’s Award in London Market Insurance or Lloyds’ own tests. Study for this is provided by in-house and external courses through the CII.

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