Ian Griffin, Education Manager, Insurance Institute of Ireland
What is your name, job title and employer?
My name is Ian Griffin and I work with the insurance institute of Ireland and I'm the education manager.
What makes insurance an interesting career choice?
Insurance, it's everywhere and it's a fact of life. If you pause and think for a moment how much you spend on insurance products alone, be it car insurance, travel insurance, private health insurance, even if you're a business owner, liability insurance, it's a fact of life. People and businesses will always need it.
There are five benefits and interesting aspects to a career in insurance. namely number one career opportunities.
With the career opportunities there is fifteen thousand people directly employed in the industry however, this rises to twenty-six thousand through people indirectly employed to support specialist roles. If you think of it for a moment twenty-six thousand people that's the size of a sold-out Thomond Park. With the size of that industry there's plenty of opportunity to grow and learn from your peers and to network with those practitioners. One such way of networking with those peers is by becoming a member with the Insurance Institute where we can help you in our education programs and through CPD so there's plenty of variety in the sector itself and an opportunity to grow in the sector. If you think of the advent of cloud computing, big data and identity theft and the rise of emerging technologies, this has led to new roles for individuals working in the sector. Through our CPD and in our education programs we cover those topics in our programs and through our CPD also.
Another benefit with working in insurance is educational advancement. There are internationally recognised qualifications for practitioners to engage with and with the Insurance Institute we work with subject matter experts to bring those qualifications to practitioners.
Another benefit is that there's personal and job satisfaction while working in insurance. You are safe in the mind that you are helping businesses and people put their businesses and lives back together after an unfortunate event occurring.
The final benefit in working insurance is the social contribution. When working in insurance you'll be part of something that's indispensable. Without insurance society itself simply could not function
What are prior learning exemptions?
Prior learning exemptions quite simply are focused on past learning on a qualification that you may have completed in the past. Prior learning exemptions are used to give formal recognition to a range of learning that you have completed before partaking on a particular course. If you have completed a course in the past you may be entitled to an exemption in one of our courses so be sure to check out our exemption checker online before you enrol on one of our courses to check if you're eligible for an exemption.
What exams are necessary and why?
When you work in insurance customers place a lot of trust and responsibility in the hands of an insurance professional, so it is essential that as an insurance professional, that you are a capable, competent and qualified individual. The Central Bank of Ireland who is the regulator for the financial services industry in Ireland, agrees and wants to make sure that customers are protected by having qualified financial people providing a voice to those customers. The central bank's main competency code, the MCC, sets out the standards and requirements for those working in the insurance industry and other financial services to ensure that they are compliant when working in the financial services industry.
The Insurance Institute can help you through a range of our qualifications that we offer. We offer qualifications from entry level right up to advanced level and they cover a wide range of insurance products and services within the general insurance market in Ireland.
What is CPD and how important is it for your career?
CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development. Continuing professional development is important because it ensures that you continue to be competent as a professional. it is an ongoing process and is linked to lifelong learning and upskilling which is important more than ever now for businesses and professions. Once you've achieved your first designation with the Insurance Institute and you become a fully qualified member with ourselves, you now most partake in CPD to maintain your designation, to keep your knowledge up-to-date and also to ensure you are compliant with the central bank's minimum competency code. Continuing professional development should not be seen just as a tick box exercise, it has many benefits some benefits include upskilling and also an opportunity to network with peers and also to learn from your peers but equally as well in the end to protect the consumer in the financial services industry.