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Institute serves up a new look to insurance education


March 12, 2019   by David Gambrill


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Perhaps you have noticed something different lately about some of the course materials for your Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation?

If you open up your new textbook for the CIP course, Underwriting Essentials, for example, you will notice something new – pictures. And colour. And graphics. And practical case studies that can help you solve problems in your day-to-day workplace.

The CIP course materials are getting a facelift. It’s all part of the Insurance Institute of Canada’s ongoing effort over the past 18 months to revamp the learning aids for the entire CIP designation curriculum.

So far, six redesigned CIP course textbooks have been launched, including Underwriting Essentials, Principles and Practice of Insurance, Essentials of Loss Adjusting, Practical Issues in Claims Management, Bodily Injury Claims and Gateway to Commercial Insurance. Also, the Institute has redesigned the materials for its two-course General Insurance Essentials (GIE) certificate program.

By the end of this year, the Institute expects to re-launch 11 more redesigned course textbooks, including professional series texts such as Essential Skills for the Insurance Broker/Agent, Insurance Against Liability, and Automobile Insurance. By the end of 2020, the Institute projects that it will have redesigned over 95% of its 30 CIP textbooks.

What’s behind the new look and feel to a CIP education?

“We’re trying to tickle your ventral striatum,” quips Brad Neal, vice president of business development and strategic partnerships at the Insurance Institute of Canada. He is of course referring to the neural network in our brains associated with reward and motivation. “The information in the new textbooks is easy to take in because a picture is worth a thousand words.”

And in case the words and pictures aren’t getting the insurance concepts across, CIP students can now access online tutorials on their computers, tablets or mobile devices. With a new standardized template, the online tutorials support the texts with digitized study aids, including game-based learning, flash cards, study summaries and practice exam questions.

To put it simply, the CIP’s revamped course materials are geared to helping insurance professionals learn quickly and apply what they have learned to their specific roles within the P&C insurance industry.

“It’s something we are really passionate about,” John Stathakos, the Institute’s director of academic programs and product development, says of the ongoing redesign. “Learners want to consume things in quick and efficient ways. Not only are the redesigned materials of good quality, but they will help [CIP students] apply what they have learned on the job that much more effectively.

“The way we are designing our content now, we are really focusing on the application side of things. Learning is not necessarily just memorizing facts, but it’s also taking these facts and using them to solve not only challenges present today, but ones that could be coming down the pipe — for example, cyber and artificial intelligence and things of that nature.”