Health and Protection designation introduced to raise standards of advice

Consumers buying health insurance through a broker can now look for a new professional title that has been introduced by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) with the support of the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries (AMII).  Successful candidates will be able to use the designation ‘Cert CII (Health and Protection)’ after their names upon passing a series of exams.

The specific membership designation for health insurance and protection intermediaries, ‘Cert CII (Health and Protection)’ was announced on 20 March 2012, by the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries (AMII) at their Annual General Meeting.

The new designation provides a good grounding in the basic principles of insurance, including the legal and regulatory environment, and develops understanding of the health and protection market. Successful candidates who are members of the CII can use the ‘Cert CII (Health and Protection)’ designation upon completion, signifying specialist knowledge and commitment to professional development to employers, colleagues and consumers.

To qualify for the new designation, candidates must pass a mandatory unit, ‘Insurance, legal and regulatory’ (IF1), plus a minimum of two optional units from ‘Healthcare insurance products (IF7), Private medical insurance (790), Financial protection (R05), and Group Risk (GR1).

The revised IF7 exam was launched at the AMII AGM in Spring 2010 and there have been over 500 successful candidates since its introduction.

Each unit requires approximately 50 hours of study and is tested using multiple-choice questions. Exams are 1–2 hours in duration and are available to sit year-round at the CII’s network of over 80 regional exam centres. The exception is unit 790, which typically requires 120–150 hours of study and is tested via a 3-hour written exam that is available to sit in April and October.

Brian Walters from AMII said, “IF7 has been very well received by our membership and the full certificate is the next step for those wishing to gain a recognised qualification. To have a sector-specific designation from the CII is a milestone for our industry. We anticipate that this new qualification will help to raise already-high standards and reinforce our core message that private medical insurance is a complex product best purchased with specialist advice.”

Steve Jenkins, Director – Financial Services Markets at the CII added, “We worked with leading practitioners from the PMI industry to develop the exam and its coursework and the feedback from the market to the exam was extremely positive.  The development of a specific membership designation was the next natural step.  A membership designation is an important way to communicate to consumers and individual’s technical expertise and a commitment to an established professional body’s code of ethics – we’d encourage members to explain to their customers the value and expertise that professional qualifications and titles such as Cert CII (Health and Protection) represent.”