Training & Education 

The new European Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) sets out certain minimum requirements for member states. The FCA will almost certainly gold-plate these: something you should bear in mind when considering your employees’ training and education.

The IDD specifies that “continuing training and development should be ensured” and that this “could encompass various types of facilitated learning opportunities including courses, e-learning and mentoring.” It goes on to suggest that supporting documentation should retained and be readily accessible to regulators.

Under the IDD’s terms of reference, MGAs are classified as intermediaries. As such they are required to ensure that all relevant staff, including management, understand their distribution activities.

The IDD also stipulates that intermediaries should have both knowledge and competencies specific to the products they sell.

This knowledge requires continual updating. The IDD stipulates 15 hours as the minimum amount of professional training required annually, noting that this encompasses more than simply passing insurance examinations.

The insurance market and the rules and regulations that govern it are constantly evolving. The Consumer Insurance (Representation & Disclosure) Act 2013 and the recently implemented Insurance Act 2015 are two prime examples. You can read more about these in the Legal section of this Learning & Development Zone.

Lloyd’s and many of the major insurance companies operate centres of excellence, academies and other resources on which MGAs can draw. These can be an excellent way to expand staff knowledge and skills. It is important to be aware, however, that training provided by a capacity provider could potentially be construed as creating a conflict of interest.