Canadian Underwriter

Why new RIMS president plans to ‘hit hard’ on certification

January 10, 2020   by Adam Malik

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More risk managers need to find themselves at the highest levels of their companies. But positions in the C-suite aren’t going to just be given away, which is why certification is going to be a major focus for the new president of the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) over the next year.

“We need to hit hard with certification, the CRMP (certified risk management professional designation). That’s a differentiator for the risk management profession,” said Laura Langone, who took over as the 2020 RIMS president on Jan. 1.

More risk managers need to be in C-suite positions, she told Canadian Underwriter. And a key way to make that happen is to ensure professionals prove they have the education and training that comes with certification. It’s a topic she’s been passionate about over her four years as a board member with RIMS.

“One of the things I’ve seen is that we have many different flavours, if you will, of risk management,” Langone said. “How do you really define the profession? How do you think about those qualifications? How do you think about getting into the boardroom and into the C-suite?”

Asking questions of company leaders will be a key component of making sure risk managers’ skills line up with what is needed in the board room. “We really have to talk to [chief financial officers] and public boards to understand what they need for risk transparency and making sure we’re aligned in terms of how we’re educating our risk professionals so that we have the tools to do that,” she added.

And because risk management professionals can enter the industry through a variety of ways, Langone pointed out, certification ensures everyone is on the same page. Maybe they worked for a carrier, were a broker, or weren’t even working in insurance at all and have a finance background.

“Certification is that level-setting,” she said. It’s where risk professionals make a commitment to the profession and, from an enterprise perspective, gain skills “from across the board.” An enterprise perspective would include strategy, financial acumen, and traditional and operational risk.

“Some of the things we’re doing is creating a maturity model so, as people come into this profession and grow, we’re saying, ‘Here are the types of programs you need to take, here’s how it leads to certification, and here are the benefits,'” said Langone. “We at RIMS need to do a great job of showing that. And with certification, you’re going to get those benefits.”

This initiative extends beyond the new-to-the-industry professionals, she noted. More experienced risk managers need to consider certification as well. Why? “Because this is going to level-set,” said Langone. “It’s going to show that you’ve reached an acumen; that you really deserve a place in the boardroom.”

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