Professional Qualifications – Who needs them?

In the Insurance Industry we do have a professional body with accredited Insurance qualifications, and we even have specific Insurance BA honour degrees available.

Many reading this may not currently hold professional qualifications in insurance, in fact almost 80% won’t hold any formal Insurance qualification.

Presently, the regulator with its senior managers regime is happy maintaining this current status quo. But will that be enough in the years to follow when it comes to planning a career and progression in the insurance sector? Probably not.

The next generation of workforce are set and wanting to achieve even higher accolades than the previous. This can be witnessed when interviewing candidates under 30, they nearly always ask how the company will support them with training and development and express a desire to hold professional qualifications.

It is true that lengthy experience has held its own weight when it comes to progression, (which must not be discredited), however the place and the importance of backing up your experience with qualifications will gain more importance in the immediate years to come.

Professional qualifications don’t just confirm expertise and understanding, they add a new dimension; creating a professional totality in that individual. A qualification is for life.

To put this into perspective…

If you had to undergo surgery and had the choice of that surgery being performed either by a surgeon with 25 years of experience, or a newly qualified surgeon, who would you choose? I am sure most of you would choose the surgeon with 25 years of experience. However, if the experienced surgeon said they had been practicing for 25 years but had never undergone any formal training, what would your choice be then?

Professional qualifications bring a credibility that experience alone cannot.

Professional qualifications don’t just quantify knowledge; they encourage individuals to break away from the norm of simply following rigid processes and encourage professional thinking, behaviours, and pride.

The newly acquired knowledge from professional studies stimulates critical thinking leading to creativity and innovation in their work, bringing positive change to the organisation and the wider industry. Generates a can-do attitude.

Un-quantified expertise has been accepted and welcomed into organisations and will continue to be. But the landscape is changing. Employees, employers, and customers are recognising the importance of professional qualifications and their place when accepting advise.

Resistance to professional study does not just lie with the individual, but the companies that they work for…

Cost and time away from work are the two main excuses for not investing in qualifications and training. At some levels these excuses are understandable but how much time is waisted by poor decisions, poor basic knowledge, and lack of confidence. In respect to cost this can be all for free.

How much time are we really talking about as little as 30 mins a week in a structured training program can ensure bring accreditation and qualification.

Whatever is holding you or your staff back from obtaining professional qualifications, now is the time to find a solution.

Training can be there for you staff 24 hours a day 7 days a week – meet James:

Skills shortage is a jargon that echoes within our industry

The key to managing skills shortage is to commit to being part of that solution.

The answer highly complicated. Employers can design development pathways to ensure they meet the current demands, increase their competitiveness, and decrease vulnerability to future skills shortages. This can be achieved by mobilising a forward thinking and innovative talent strategy.

Employers recognise there aren’t many people available with the skills they need; likewise, individuals are aware that they do not have the skills that employers want. Therefore, the need for a good talent development programme appeals on both levels, making recruitment a more positive experience for all; accepting the unfinished article and investing in them does produce results both for the individual and the company.

Mitigate talent shortage situations by laying foundations for talent to grow and keep the talent strategy is simple.

Create provision to train employees on all the “skills that they require”
Embed a culture of continuous development and cater for “evolving skills”
Anticipate emerging trends and build a talent pipeline for “emerging skills”

Technological advances are raising the standards of our industry; let’s also ensure that we raise the standards of our people to compliment all the progresses we make.

Our goal must be that 100% of our industry are qualified in some way and that all Insurance employees are able to show that they enjoy a qualification and that they are confident to enjoy their career. 

The true asset we have in a world of Insurance is our people and they need the same investment as would any other asset, they need investment and maintenance. 

Navigating these challenges and opportunities and all opportunities are good, you just need to understand them and have the right people who can steer you through them.