In 2019, in the wake of the Royal Commission and with financial services facing increasing regulation, seven life insurers including AIA Australia teamed up with the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) to develop an industry-wide Professional Standards Framework.
The framework is designed to ensure a consistent industry standard of competencies within the four key areas of Claims, Underwriting, Product Design and Distribution.
Damien Mu, CEO and Managing Director of AIA Australia and New Zealand and Chair of the industry’s Professional Standards Working Group, said “The establishment of professional standards will ensure that life insurance professionals have a high level of well-rounded knowledge, with a focus on good customer outcomes. This will be a significant journey to undertake, but together we are proud to be leading the way as we take these important first steps forward.”
In 2020, the industry undertook a comprehensive demographic survey of professionals working in life insurance. This represents a baseline of who we are as an industry, providing valuable insights into the range of experience, skills, and qualifications represented across Australia’s leading life insurers and pinpointing areas for future growth and development.
The survey found 85 per cent of survey respondents reported holding one or more educational qualifications (compared to 68 per cent of Australia’s general workforce). Life Insurance professionals have a wealth of industry experience, with 46 per cent reported having over 10 years’ experience. The workplace is relatively young, 74 per cent of the survey respondents were aged under 46 years. There were also opportunities to promote professional growth and career progression for women with only 17 per cent of executive roles currently being held by women.
Phase 2 – NOW COMPLETE: The co-development of a Competency Framework aligned to national competency standards - the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) has been developed for the four main job families of the Life Insurance Industry:
- Product (development and management)
Phase 3 – IN PROGRESS: Development of Professional Standards
The Competency Framework will now be used to develop professional standards at a Certificate IV level.
In the first instance, four foundational competencies have been endorsed to be rolled out across the industry. These focus on:
- Policies, Standards and industry code
- Ethics and Conduct
- Value Chain and Sustainability
We are targeting implementation of the foundational requirements for Claims and Underwriting staff by June 2022, with a further commitment to implementation of the full Certificate IV for Claims by December 2023 and Underwriting by 2024.