SHA Specialist Underwriters has announced that its innovative Pocket Underwriter (PU) tool, which assists brokers to provide liability cover to a range of businesses at the touch of a button, will now enable its users to log Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours.
This is according to Simon Colman, Executive Underwriter at SHA Specialist Underwriters, who says that this is the first time an insurer or underwriting manager has been given the opportunity by the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA) to offer CPD incentives to brokers while they are actually out in the field with their clients. “We are incredibly excited that our tool has been recognized as a useful, on-the-job training mechanism – it basically means people will receive recognition for taking part in activities that enable them to remain up-to-date with new legislation and products.”
While the Financial Services Board (FSB) has not provided the regulations regarding the accumulation of CPD hours yet, the IISA requires its members to log 15 CDP hours per yearly membership cycle.
Charmaine Koch, at the IISA, says that the organisation is always in favour of supporting innovative initiatives that allow greater access to training platforms for brokers. “With 10 – 15 % of our members based outside of South Africa, the use of technology to broaden access to training platforms outside of centrally located conferences and seminars is a key element in educating our entire membership.”
She adds that the IISA recognises 11 different types of activities for its members to engage in and receive recognition for. “Any activity that is relevant to the insurance industry and that is brought to us by an official industry body or expert on the proposed subject matter, will be considered by the IISA. We also require a method of identification and verification for participants, such as an agenda and register for conferences, or a login verification system for online tools, in order to ensure that our activities are in line with the guidelines provided by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).”
Colman explains that the PU is an online walk-through sales tool and interactive guide to litigation risk, focusing on thirty of the most common South African business sectors and is geared to identify exposures in real time. “Brokers can now simply log onto the PU platform during client consultations and the system will help them to explain the cover typical to that business type through interactive videos, risk calculators and claims examples. If the broker captures the client’s information in the system, PU also produces critical documentation to support the Record of Advice required in terms of Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) and Treating Customers Fairly (TCF).
The PU is especially designed to help brokers obtain liability cover for small to medium sized businesses, says Colman. “There is also a facility in the PU that allows the broker to email a document after the meeting containing all the content that was watched as well as tips on how to manage the risk.”
Right now we have just over 30 business types in the pocket underwriter and we plan to have many more by the end of the year, says Colman.
A few technical changes had to be made to the PU in order for the logged CPD hours to register, explains Colman. “This means that every broker that was registered will have to register again with their ID numbers in order to ensure the CPD hours are captured.
“While CPD hours are not yet an official requirement from the FSB, all brokers have started to accumulate the time. It is important to stay ahead of the game, brokers that use the PU when it comes to liability insurance can get a good head start while also learning on the job,” concludes Colman.