Business & Economy

Thursday, 07 March 2019 14:50

Mentoring boosts INSETA Underwriters Certificate

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The Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority’s (INSETA) pilot project to deliver an ‘Occupational Certificate: Insurance Agent (Insurance Underwriter) was boosted by the inclusion of mentors who supported students through their 12-month studies.

“It has been a successful pilot project, with more than 60 candidates entering the programme. We initially received many more applications but candidates had to qualify in terms of their industry experience, as this is a Level 5 qualification,” explains Nasreen Ravat, Acting Quality Assurance Division Manager, INSETA QA Division.

“One of the highlights of this course was the availability of mentors, both from within the candidate’s own firm and from industry experts. We were very grateful for the time and effort they put into this programme, as for many candidates this was the first time they had studied in many years.

“The mentoring and lecturer input was also valuable, as underwriters tend to stay within a specialised field, such as medical underwriting, and therefore lack the knowledge of long-term insurance requirements. This all-round approach will be continued in the future, though we have found it to be expedient to separate short-term from long-term insurance, as these are disparate fields.”

Heine du Randt of Santam, Dianne Steyn of Brightrock and Duane Hoffeldt of Scor all had two things in common; their praise for the new course and their enthusiasm to mentor again. “The content was good, it was practical and it challenged their thinking,” says du Randt. “I think the course is great and I would absolutely recommend it to underwriters. I notice how our candidates have become passionate ambassadors about the value of the course. ”

Steyn added, “I have been conducting learnerships and mentoring for the last 38 years and I found it easy to mentor candidates on the programme. I found the material good and it met my expectations, as I have been involved in qualifications for the past 14 years. I look forward to mentoring the next course.”

“I was fortunate with my candidate in that she was quite far down the road and did not need so much mentoring,” says Hoffeldt. “However, with a less experienced candidate, I would estimate that a mentor would need to put in 2-3 hours every single day for the first six months, which is why it makes sense that the sponsoring company allocates a mentor for its candidate. The course, though comprehensive, cannot cover everything, which is why a mentor is so essential.”

The qualification prepares candidates to evaluate and interpret information to protect stakeholders’ interests, by using specialist technical knowledge to determine, price, manage and transfer risk. The course can be completed in 12 months but there is a further six months available to allow candidates to complete their Portfolio of Evidence or assignments. Exams are set 18 months after each course begins and successful learners receive a Certificate.

“In the new year, we will again be calling for companies in the financial services industry to put forward their candidates and simultaneously put forward mentors from within applying companies and from industry experts, to increase the success rate,” concludes Ravat.

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INSETA’s purpose is to grow the pool and quality of scarce and critical skills in the insurance sector, enhance the sector and support the country’s transformation with a skilled and capable insurance and related services workforce. The insurance sector has approximately 9 104 employers, employing over 100 000 people, most of whom are skilled and highly skilled employees.

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