The Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC) announced on Thursday that it has launched CE OnDemand, a new catalogue of online courses based on a survey of brokers’ continuing education needs.
The IIC said in a press release that CE OnDemand is based on a recent poll of more than 600 brokers and general insurance agents. The institute asked brokers about their work challenges, the topics about which they wanted to know more and the factors they considered when selecting CE courses. Almost all (97%) of the brokers surveyed said relevant and interesting CE topics were important to them.
The IIC survey showed brokers most wanted to know about the topics of cyber risk, overland flooding, errors and omissions, business interruption, directors and officers insurance, and insuring the sharing economy.
“We have responded by launching our first CE OnDemand courses on popular trends such as cyber, overland flood risk and insuring the sharing economy,” said IIC president and CEO Peter Hohman, in the release. “Coming soon, the catalogue will be offering courses in E&O, D&O, business interruption, and more.”
In addition to the choice of relevant topics, course quality ranked of almost equal importance to brokers. More than nine out of 10 brokers said they are looking for engaging and interactive ways to learn. Accessing CE courses electronically also ranked highly, with 82% of brokers looking to the Internet for their CE hours, the release said.
“Brokers don’t always have the time or the budget to travel long distances to get a couple of CE hours,” said Hohman. “So with CE OnDemand, we are meeting their continuing education needs in a space where brokers are telling us they want to be – online.”
Brokers today said that their biggest challenge is keeping up to date with product knowledge and emerging trends – and the pace of change is driving them online for their continuing education.
“I’ve been in the industry for 20 years and I cannot believe the differences today, and even just over the past five years or so,” said Lisa Vetter of Ottawa-based Smith Petrie Carr & Scott Insurance Brokers Ltd. “Policies used to be pretty static and pretty similar market-to-market. Today the markets are so different from each other that brokers have to educate themselves to make sure that their clients are properly covered.”
“I think everyone’s busier and so less time out of the office is more important,” agreed Joan Wager, a broker at Home Hutcheson, Reynolds & Caswell Ltd. in Ontario’s Muskoka area. “So I think online courses are the way to go, no question.”
Hohman said brokers will be able to take a one-hour CE course anytime they want during the day or night. “All they need is a PC or laptop. They can download or print their CE certificate as soon as they complete the course and pass the final Knowledge Check quiz – it’s that easy,” Hohman said.