Why study with iAB
Managing financial services business in today’s competitive and ever-evolving legislative and regulatory environment demands a consistent compliance, training and development approach in order to ensure that the competencies of your agents, insurance brokers and/or representatives meet the qualification requirements of the Regulatory Authority as stated in the regulators Insurance Prudential Rules.
The NBFIRA’s Insurance Prudential Rules (IPRs) set out the prudential requirements for regulated insurers and intermediaries operating in Botswana.
The objective of the IPRs is to assist intermediaries in the effective discharging of their professional duties towards both insurers and consumers. An intermediary’s responsibility towards an insurer arises from his involvement in providing intermediary services, such as selling of insurance products and collecting premiums, as either a tied agent or independent third party. An intermediary’s responsibility towards consumers arises from his involvement in providing financial advice, where the intermediary provides a financial service to a consumer for or on the behalf of a Non-Bank financial institution (NBFI).
According to clause 25 of the IPRs, the NBFI employing the representative is required as far as practicable to ensure that all representatives providing intermediary services on their behalf meet the appropriate minimum qualification, experience and fit and proper requirements. Applicants must at the date of appointment by the NBFI comply with the applicable minimum education, qualification, experience and fit and proper requirements, as defined by the Prudential Rules.
Clause 32 of the IPRs also states that the Regulatory Authority may prescribe minimum competence and fit and proper requirements for representatives, including but not limited to minimum education requirements, minimum qualification requirements, including Regulatory Examinations, which may be prescribed by the Regulatory Authority and Continuous professional development requirements, which may be prescribed by the Regulatory Authority.
Section 7.3 of the IPRs outlines the requirement for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) amongst representatives, in order to assist the representative in the development and maintenance of professional competence in order to provide services of a high quality. The rules simply state that the CPD programme must contain material that is relevant to the category of business sold by the representative.
Given the above, it is clear that there is a definite regulatory requirement for minimum competence and, an in turn, qualification requirements for representatives operating in the industry.
Unfortunately, there are very few accredited category specific courses and qualifications that representatives can study, towards meeting the qualification requirements as set out in the Prudential Rules.
As such, this has resulted in many insurance industry representatives having only had on-the-job training and no formal qualifications or certification and has resulted in many insurance providers leaving themselves at risk of penalties from the Regulatory Authority.
We support the regulators initiative in setting minimum qualification requirements for the insurance industry. We believe that these minimum qualification requirements will contribute to making the Botswana insurance sector a world-class industry and in effect seek to elevate our industry to a true profession.
We believe that this process of setting minimum qualification requirements will develop a culture of advanced and continuous learning, enhance the credibility of the insurance and thereby rectifying any historical image problems. It will also help the public to build an element of trust when dealing with insurance brokers, agents or representatives.
The improved competence levels in the industry will result in the increased scope and capacity to broaden the range of products offered in the market and the range of revenue streams available for NBFIs and representatives alike.
Our institution is therefore suitably poised to provide these much needed courses and qualifications. I encourage you to take time to research the courses that are available through our institution to determine if these will be best for you. Our course catalogue not only covers the courses required as minimum qualifications by the regulator (COPs) but also extend to various technical areas in our industry.
We also endeavour to expose those who train with us to areas outside of their comfort zone but essential to their career progression in the 21st century. Our goal is to bring the best training from around the world on innovation, entrepreneurship, big data, business models, sales and leadership to corporate Botswana.
We look forward to meeting you at IAB and wish you every success on your journey.