Why introduce an accreditation program?
In a previous consultation on the topic of continuing education, Insurance Council licensees voiced the need for more clarity around what qualifies for CE credit and who is considered an acceptable CE course provider.
At present, the onus is on licensees to assess the course content to ensure that the courses they are taking align with CE Guideline requirements. However given the variety in course content and delivery, interpretation of course eligibility can sometimes be challenging.
The proposed accreditation program is intended to make it easy for licensees to identify what courses can count towards their annual credit requirement.
Overview of program elements
The program’s intended participants are insurance continuing education course providers. This includes agencies, insurers, industry associations and commercial course providers.
Participation in the program is voluntary. A course does not need to be accredited through the program to be eligible for CE credit. Other non-accredited courses would still qualify for CE credits provided they meet the requirements of the CE Guidelines
, but it is the licensee’s responsibility to assess.
See the program overview video or see more detailed information below.
What does the program involve?
Accreditation is available for individual courses and course providers.
- A course that has been accredited indicates that it meets the technical content of the CE guidelines and has been assigned a specific number of eligible CE credits.
- A course provider that has been accredited is able to self-accredit their own courses in accordance with the Insurance Council’s CE Guidelines.
- Accredited courses and course providers would be identified on the Insurance Council’s website, and would be able to display their accreditation status.
To achieve accreditation, a course or course provider would be reviewed by an Accreditation Committee established by the Insurance Council to ensure they meet the criteria set out in the respective Accreditation Guidelines.
How will the application process work?
Applications for accreditation would be submitted online through the Insurance Council website. The process for accreditation is as follows:
Applications would be reviewed by Accreditation Committees. There would be committees for Life Insurance and General Insurance/Adjusters respectively, comprising industry representatives from these licence classes.
Criteria for accreditation
The proposed accreditation program would allow anyone to submit individual courses for accreditation. The criteria for course accreditation are as follows:
Course meets the definition of technical content described in the CE Guidelines (also described in the Guidelines for Individual CE Course Accreditation and Guidelines for CE Course Provider Accreditation);
All accredited courses are valid for three years from the date of approval;
Mechanism for attendance tracking in place;
Documentation of participant course completion;
Process for regular course evaluation in place.
Course provider accreditation
Eligible course providers can apply to become an Accredited Course Provider (ACP), enabling them to accredit their own courses if they meet the criteria established above. These course providers would be included in the Insurance Council’s list of accredited course providers and would be permitted to present themselves as such.
To be eligible to be an ACP, a course provider must:
Offer a minimum of five industry courses at any given time that meet course content requirements outlined in the Continuing Education Guidelines; OR
Offer insurance designation programs or courses that lead to a recognized insurance designation.
Provide access to a current course for review as part of the application;
Complete a training course for ACPs within 30 days of application approval; and
Have a mechanism in place for regular evaluation of course content to monitor quality of materials, delivery of content and industry standards.
Courses/course providers would need to renew accreditation after three years.
If an accredited course undergoes major changes (e.g., content, credit amount, course length), it will need to be resubmitted for review
The Insurance Council will periodically monitor, review or audit course content and delivery.
Accredited courses or providers that are not in compliance with the Insurance Council’s CE requirements, accreditation program requirements; or who are unresponsive to inquiries from the Insurance Council would have their status revoked.
A fee will be charged for accreditation, which would go towards the cost of accreditation review and program administration. Program fees will be structured on a cost recovery basis and will be comparable to similar programs from other provincial regulators (e.g., Alberta).
Accreditation Program Key Documents
The CE Accreditation Program is based on two foundational documents, one for the accreditation of courses, and one for the accreditation of course providers:
Program Guidelines: Continuing Education Accreditation for Individual Courses
Program Guidelines: Continuing Education Accreditation for Course Providers
This document outlines the program elements and process for the accreditation of courses.
This document outlines the program elements and process for the accreditation of organizations that provide continuing education courses.
You can view these documents (.pdfs linked above) for a detailed look at the proposed accreditation program eligibility criteria and application process.
About Program Development
From the start, the creation of the accreditation program was intended to meet licensee needs and increase awareness and understanding about the Insurance Council’s continuing education program requirements. In our 2020 consultation on the Continuing Education Guidelines,
we heard loud and clear that licensees wanted more clarity about what would count towards their annual CE credit requirements.
Building on feedback from our licensees and comparison with other regulators’ programs, we created the framework and elements of a proposed CE accreditation program. We conducted an initial round of consultation in August 2021 with a representative group of course providers that included insurers, insurance agencies and firms, commercial course providers, industry and professional associations to further refine program elements, bringing us to the proposed program for which we are inviting your input.
In these early consultations we heard that:
The accreditation process needs to be timely and able to accommodate a large volume of courses
The program should harmonize with other jurisdictions where possible
Accreditation renewal should occur at intervals that are not onerous for course providers
Eligibility criteria for course provider accreditation need to be clearly defined for applicants
Updates to the proposed program considered this feedback.
Provide your Input
The deadline for feedback on the proposed CE Accreditation Program is December 31, 2021.
Provide your feedback via online survey Send us an email
For questions about the proposed CE Accreditation Program, licensee continuing education requirements or stakeholder engagement please contact us.