ALUCA Life Insurance Excellence Award Winner – Leader of the Year: Tina Beilby, Chief Underwriter, Zurich

We are excited to announce that ALUCA’s Life Insurance Excellence Award nominations are now open. There is a category for everyone – whether you enter as a team, or an individual  – are a life insurer, reinsurer or a service provider to the life insurance industry. In addition  this year we have also included the “Hero” award for one of our many deserving ALUCA volunteers.

2018 ALUCA Life Insurance Excellence Award Winners

We have been looking at how we can tap into the wonderful network of ALUCA Life Insurance Excellence Award winners or the Triple A’s as we are calling them ALUCA Award Alumni Winners. First up we would like to profile each of the winners in this edition and our next ReB edition and are looking at some follow up activities to involve them more.

ALUCA Life Insurance Excellence Award Winner – Leader of the Year: Tina Beilby, Chief Underwriter, Zurich

A day in the life of Tina Beilby starts with a very early morning walk along the bay watching the spectacular sunrise and cruise ships coming into the port. Work then begins with emails on the tram, plane or whatever’s going that day before attending to meetings or phone calls ranging from underwriting operations, sales, technical signoffs or ‘peopling’ stuff – anything goes!  The excitement of the unknown keeps me on my toes and it’s a miracle if I ever get through my to-do list – yes I still attempt one each day.  I must admit though, the diversity of my role and the people I interact with day to day is what I love the most.

How and why did you get into a career in Life Insurance.  Honestly, it was purely driven as a teenager wanting my financial independence to earn my keep and fund my adventures! My sister was working for National Mutual at the time and arranged an interview with her boss.  I worked in new business, calculations, corporate super and even worked in the disability department – yep, they had their own department back then!  Underwriting was something that fascinated me which I experimented with for a while but didn’t think there was any future in it for an Adelaide girl (if only I knew!) so I gave it up to work in the sales team at Prudential before getting back into the underwriting world.  The rest is history as they say!

What makes my job interesting…the diversity, the people and the constant learning and development.  Every day is a school day and I love to learn and experience new things.  

My role’s greatest challenge…  is managing multiple priorities in a world where the most valuable currency is speed!    

What excites me the most about working at Zurich…the opportunities to be involved in global projects or work overseas as well as the local opportunities in a constantly evolving business.

Four words to describe me.. driven, committed, focused and fun

Who has been the biggest influence on my career and why…Andrew McPherson who inspired me to get back into underwriting after seeing the massive value he added to the business. Lindy Rule who took a chance on me many years ago in little ol’ Adelaide town, John Leonard for realizing my ambition of working interstate and Peter Tilocca – my mentor throughout my career in underwriting, reinsurance and leadership and still my mentor today.

And last but not least, my husband who always believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself.

The most valuable skill an underwriter can possess is…being open-mined and creative. Anyone can stamp a ‘book’ decision on a case but the real value in an underwriter is someone who understands how pricing, underwriting & claims experience all correlate and utilizes this unique skill set to find solutions a URE or guideline can’t.  Of course communication is key and it goes without saying that being approachable and easy to communicate with will go a long way to the value you add.  All of this is the reason many adviser surveys rate underwriting so highly as a key driver of overall satisfaction.

My best advice for young underwriters or claims and rehab managers…Firstly always put yourself in the customer or advisers shoes –  they don’t know what we know so it’s our responsibility to demystify the insurance lingo into something real for them and make the insurance journey as painless as possible for them.

Secondly, never pass up the opportunity to attend any training offered by your employer.  I’ve had the privilege of attending many internal and external courses which have taught me so much about myself as a person, a peer and a leader.  And lastly, invest in your own development – we’re very fortunate to be working in an industry that values continuous learning but don’t always rely on your employer to provide this.  Read books or blogs, listen to podcasts, join associations like Toastmasters or Business Chicks to network with interesting people and learn different perspectives outside the industry we work in.  You’ll be surprised at how many light bulb moments you have when you mix in different circles.

What made you want to enter ALUCA’s Life Insurance Excellence Awards?  We submitted many nominations across the different categories because we’re so proud of being part of such an amazing team with amazing individuals in it – this in itself deserves celebrating!   The leadership award was a very pleasant surprise for me.

What did winning ALUCA’s Life Insurance Excellence Leadership award mean to you as a leader?  I felt so honoured to be nominated by my team I figured I must be doing something right – I can’t think of a prouder moment in my career.  And being recognised by industry peers was just awesome!  I highly recommend it!

A parting word of advice or tips to ALUCA members looking at entering ALUCA’s Life Insurance Excellence Awards?  We’re quite a modest bunch of technical professionals and often don’t recognize the massive contribution we make to peoples lives every day so don’t take for granted the difference you and your peers make and nominate away!

 

 

2020 ALUCA Biennial Conference: October 2020, Gold Coast, Queensland

2020 ALUCA Biennial Conference: October 2020, Gold Coast, Queensland

The 2020 biennial conference will be held on the Gold Coast in Queensland in October 2020. ALUCA is now forming a new conference committee who will shortly announce the theme and venue for this flagship event. Stay tuned. For any sponsorship conference enquiries  please email ceo@aluca.com. A new conference email will be set up shortly.

Presentations Now AVAILABLE – 2018 ALUCA Biennial Conference: Oct 11th – 13th, Hobart, Tasmania

For those of you who attended ALUCA’s hugely successful  2018 ‘Innov18-Life Changing’ ALUCA national conference in Tasmania at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart the conference presentations are now available in the Members Centre of ALUCA’s website. Enjoy!

 

Become an ALUCA accredited member – Certified Professional Life Insurance, CPLI

Make 2019 the year you gain recognition for your educational qualifications and years of Life Insurance experience specific to Claims, Rehabilitation or Underwriting by becoming professionally accredited with ALUCA as a Certified Professional Life Insurance – CPLI.

How to become accredited as an ALUCA Certified Professional Life Insurance?

To qualify for ALUCA’s professional accreditation: The Certified Professional Life Insurance (CPLI) program you will need to provide proof of educational qualifications in addition to the years and capabilities gained working in the life insurance industry specific to the accredited level you are applying for this starts from an  Affiliate and goes up to an  Associate, Associate Fellow and Fellow in either underwriting claims or rehabilitation areas.

As an example if you have undertaken a relevant and recognised medical terminology course plus have gained a minimum of 2-4 years in Life insurance you can apply to become an accredited ALUCA Affiliate member.

ALUCA’s Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Requirements; 35 CPD points annually

Once an accreditation level has been achieved it is a pre-requisite that ALUCA accredited members maintain annual CPD points to demonstrate commitment to their ongoing continuous professional development and to maintain their ALUCA accreditation.

An ALUCA  CPLI panel of cross industry representatives meet quarterly to assess each application – and undertake random CPD audits annually.

So what are you waiting for?  Apply now and demonstrate your commitment to your industry and profession. The below CPLI FAQ has been designed to answer key questions that you may have.

 

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ’s)

Q1. How do I become an ALUCA accredited CPLI (Certified Professional – Life Insurance ) member?

You need to have gained educational qualifications that will position you at a higher level of membership in addition to  the number of years and experience you have gained in Life Insurance. These also  tie into the different levels and competencies of the ALUCA competency framework which is set out in the table below.

 Accredited Level Education Points Years in Life Insurance Competency Framework
Affiliate  CPLI 1-3 2-4 Level 1 – 2: Core
Associate CPLI 4-7 5-9 Level 2 – 3: Core to Advanced
Associate Fellow CPLI 8+ 10+ Level 3 – 4: Advanced to Expert
Fellow CPLI 8+ paper 15+ Level 4:  Expert
Q2. I have general /marine insurance /TPD experience, does this count?

No – this accreditation is very specific to Life Insurance only. Even though you may have educational qualifications that put you at a high level of membership – the number of years and experience you have gained in Life Insurance is just as important, so you will need to start at the membership and accreditation level specific to your years of experience spent working as a professional in Life Insurance only and your CPD only relates to Life Insurance.

Q3. I am a Rehabilitation/Medical professional and have worked in workers comp/ hospitals/clinical practise for many years can I claim this?

No – this accreditation is very specific to Life Insurance only. Even though you may have educational qualifications that put you at a high level of membership – the number of years and experience you have gained in Life Insurance is equally as important,  it is for this reason that you  will need to start at the membership and accreditation level specific to your years of experience working as a Rehabilitation or Medical professional in Life Insurance only.

Q4 I have many years experience in Life Insurance but do not have educational qualifications can I become accredited?

There are a couple of options. Firstly you may be able to gain an educational qualification in life insurance via recognised prior learning (RPL).  ANZIIF and other institutions provide this opportunity via their  Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process where they will evaluate what you have learned either formally or informally and potentially provide a credit to a full or part qualification. The next option is to look at undertaking some formal educational qualifications. We have some suggested courses that you may want to consider on ALUCA’s website  under careers/continuing-education/. We are also looking at how we broaden the reach of the accreditation program and revisit an examination that ALUCA used to provide.

Q5. Does ALUCA provide an online recording tool for my CPD?

Yes. We provide a free, simple-to-use online recording tool which you may use to record your hours-based CPD. This is a self service tool that can be accessed via ALUCA’s website in the Members centre only and is specific to your membership: aluca.com/members-area/. You will need to enter details of all CPD undertaken, including that completed through ALUCA, as this is not automatically recorded. We are working on including functionality that will automatically record details of your attendance at any ALUCA event  and will communicate details once that happens.

Q6. What are ALUCA’s  continuous professional development (CPD) requirements?

All ALUCA accredited CPLI members will need to complete a minimum of 35 hours’ compulsory CPD in a 12 month period . However 35 hours is only the minimum required by ALUCA; in practice, the figure required may exceed this, as the actual requirement will be determined by an individual’s development needs in any 12-month period and will also be a discussion that the member needs to have with their organisation. It is important to note that this CPD requirement is not generally an additional requirement to development activity ordinarily undertaken in the course of an individual’s employment, but incorporates this.

Q7. How was the figure of 35 hours CPD obtained?

In common with other professional bodies such as the Chartered Insurance Institute in the UK, the requirement for 35 hours or more of CPD is common.  It is also important to set a minimum number of hours of CPD per year as a benchmark for accredited members. ALUCA’s CPLI accreditation is an indication to the public that accredited members keep their professional knowledge current. During the course of any 12-month period, we encourage members to carry out a variety of CPD activities to help them keep their knowledge up-to-date. There is no maximum to the amount of CPD the member can carry out.

Q8. How to develop a CPD plan?

It is intended that all CPD activity should address an individual’s professional development needs. It is up to the individual member to determine what their learning and development needs are which should be addressed via their continuous professional development. Members can then:

  • Plan activities to address their learning and development needs ( you may want to refer to ALUCA’s high level competency framework which sets out key competencies for different career stages)
  • Carry out activities to meet these needs
  • Record the time spent for each activity and maintaining a verifiable audit trail of these activities
  • A statement of the objectives achieved (i.e. answering questions like: “How this activity benefitted me professionally?”) and including information about what you learnt.
Q9. How do I calculate the amount of CPD hours spent on an activity?

You should only count the actual time spent on the learning activity, e.g. if you attend a conference you should count only that time spent in activity that addresses identified development needs. You should always exclude the time taken for tea/coffee breaks and lunch.

Q10. Do I still have to complete the full 35-hour CPD requirement if I work part-time?

Yes. The requirement to maintain your knowledge and, in turn, your competence to undertake your role requires the completion of a minimum of 35 hours CPD, regardless of the total number of hours you work.

Q11. If I take a career break (e.g. maternity leave or long-term sickness), do I still have to complete the 35-hour requirement?

The CPD requirements will be suspended for the duration of your career break. If your CPD record is selected for validation purposes, we will ask you to provide evidence confirming your break in work.

Q12. I am an accredited member with CII and ANZIIF – do I still need to submit an ALUCA CPD dairy?

If you are a current accredited member with CII or ANZIIF and complete their CPD requirements you may submit those diaries if you are audited by ALUCA instead of an ALUCA one – however this must be specific to Life insurance not general insurance.

Q13. When should I start creating a CPD log?

The requirement for undertaking CPD and keeping a record starts when a member becomes accredited ( however we encourage all members to record their CPD for their own records and career goals)  – this will be pro-rated for that calendar year.  For all existing accredited members it is for each full calendar year starting from 1 January  each year. However, we recognise that the timing of members’ annual CPD programmes may reflect other factors, such as the annual performance reviews or the CPD requirements of other professional bodies to which they belong. In these circumstances we may, at our discretion, recognise any such requirements.

Q14. Do I need to submit my CPD points to ALUCA automatically at the end of a 12-month period?

No. You only need to submit your record if ALUCA requests to see it. We  will randomly sample  a selection of members’ records each year to check these have been fully and correctly completed.

Q15. If my CPD record is selected for review by ALUCA what will I need to provide?

You will need to provide your CPD record showing:

  1. the CPD activities you have undertaken in a 12 month period
  2. the points you have gained
  3. a statement/reflection of the objectives achieved against each activity.

It is recommended that you keep any evidence of the activity you have completed, for example, a certificate of attendance, as we may ask to see this if your record is selected for review.  This can all be done via ALUCA’s website in the Member’s section where you can complete and record your CPD diary.

Q16. How do I know what development activity I should carry out?

Responsibility lies with each member individually as only they will know what development activity is required. In most cases, this will be agreed in conjunction with your employer, who will decide or advise what is relevant for your role and personal circumstances. ALUCA provides guidance for members via such services as the ALUCA Competency Framework which can be found in the members centre of the website.

Q17. If I am selected to submit my CPD record, which 12-month period do I need to provide?

You should supply your most recent annual record of CPD activity. For example, if we ask you to provide us with your record in January 2019 you need to supply your most recent completed  plan for the period 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. Typically, where there is a gap of greater than one month since your last record was completed, we may also ask you to provide some more recent evidence of your CPD activity.

Q18. Does the online recording tool automatically record my attendance at ALUCA events?

No, not at present. We are investigating different options that would cater for this requirement and will communicate details once a decision has been reached.

Q19. What is the list of suitable CPD activities?

The list of suitable CPD activities is constantly being refined and updated to reflect evolving development activity. For the most current listing of suitable CPD activities please go to aluca.com

Q20. What is the list of educational points for accredited membership?

The list of suitable courses and activities is constantly being refined and updated to reflect evolving development activity. The most current list is provided below  and is also on ALUCA’s website aluca.com

 

Employability Assessment in Total and Permanent Disability Insurance Claims PhD – Thesis summary by Margaret Elizabeth Black

Claims professionals rely on employability assessment to help decide total and permanent disability (TPD) life insurance claims. TPD insurance is set in a unique multi-billion-dollar market and is available to all working Australians, usually through their superannuation. The TPD stakes are high and claiming a predetermined lump sum amount in a win/lose decision is challenging from the outset. Employability assessment emerged as a new vocational assessment model in the mid-2000s and was developed by rehabilitation counsellors to accommodate TPD policy and legal requirements. Employability assessment within the TPD context has not been empirically evaluated despite growing legal scrutiny. The aim of this thesis, therefore, was to contribute formative knowledge about this burgeoning area of Australian disability insurance from claimant, rehabilitation advisor, and claims professional perspectives. Five exploratory studies examined specific research questions using a multiphase mixed methods design.

Study 1 was a scoping review of literature related to forensic employability or vocational assessment and to life insurance TPD claims or claimants. Thirty-four items were eligible for inclusion in the study and they comprised three domains: (1) forensic vocational assessment, (2) TPD in superannuation insurance, and (3) legal aspects of the second limb of TPD policy. Only one item pertained directly to employability assessment and TPD. The findings indicated that the new employability assessment model and forensic vocational assessment were similar in origin, purpose, and methodology, although employability assessment lacked psychosocial components commonplace in other forensic models. Australian TPD in superannuation has grown exponentially in recent years in response to consumer and market forces. In the final domain, legal interpretation of vocational areas within the second TPD policy limb, such as retraining, type of work, date of assessment, and realistic assessment of work options, were shown to inform employability assessment practice.

Study 2 sought claimants’ perspectives of the TPD process. Analysis of data from in-depth interviews of 12 claimants whose TPD superannuation claims had been finalised, found that they lacked information about having a claim and claiming TPD. Nearly all interviewees reported that the process was unclear and complicated, which caused them anxiety and frustration. Communication was often ineffective and frustrating at a highly stressful time of disablement; the complex and lengthy TPD process undermined their health and wellbeing. Three-quarters of interviewees wanted to return to some form of work but were uncertain how to proceed. Interviewees described unexpected consequences following their lump sum payouts and all contributed suggestions for system improvement.

Study 3 explored the views of 10 employability assessment experts in a qualitative focus group discussion. They were rehabilitation advisors employed by national insurance companies whose primary responsibility was management of employability assessment within the TPD claims setting. Findings from this focus group confirmed the forensic underpinnings of this model, the need for independent training and accreditation of employability assessment providers and called for realistic information about a claimant’s work potential.

Study 4 applied a novel adaptation of the Delphi process to generate 21 survey items for inclusion in the final study (Study 5). The rehabilitation advisor experts from Study 3 participated in a three-round Delphi, the last two rounds of which were real-time and in-person. This adapted Delphi process was anonymous and was completed in four weeks with 100% response rate and 75% consensus on items to be included in the survey.

Study 5 was an inaugural nation-wide survey on the view of life insurance claims professionals on employability assessment. Survey respondents were claims assessors and technical advisors (N = 104) representing approximately half of all insurance professionals making TPD claims decisions. Respondents found that employability assessment was extremely important in enabling a clear picture of a claimant’s work potential and in deciding the claim. Transferable skills analysis, objective rationale for job options identified, and labour market analysis with employer contact were deemed essential components of an employability assessment. Rehabilitation counsellors were regarded as best qualified to conduct these assessments by 56% of respondents.

The five studies provide new information about employability assessment as part of the TPD claims decision-making process. Providers who conduct employability assessment should have independent training and credentials in forensic vocational assessment; provider qualifications are inherent to core competencies of the rehabilitation counselling profession. Studies focused on employability assessment expose a tension between lack of psychosocial information about the claimant and consistent calls for “real life” evaluations of a claimant’s situation. The claimants who were interviewed wanted to be treated as real people and their claim experience to be informative and supportive.

An inevitable outcome of establishing a new body of knowledge is recommendations for further research. The findings call for research in employability assessment methodology to validate omission of psychosocial components. Collaborative research between the legal and rehabilitation sectors would deepen knowledge of the second TPD policy limb and its impact on employability assessment practice. Recent changes to TPD policy, rehabilitation, and claims management practice indicate that updated data on claims professionals and claimant perspectives would provide current and comparative insights.

The need for independently delivered and standardised forensic training, and formal accreditation of TPD employability assessment providers is identified in several studies. Information gained from this thesis provides scope for forensic practitioners to further refine employability assessment into an objective evidence-based methodology that contributes to just and fair TPD decisions.

See Margaret’s complete 266 page PhD Thesis here


Margaret Elizabeth Black

Margaret has worked as a rehabilitation advisor within life claims since 2000. She was a founding member of the Life Rehab Forum, which is now incorporated into the ALUCA rehabilitation subgroup. Margaret’s passion for TPD and the assessment of employability was clear as the inaugural winner of the ALUCA research award in 2007 and throughout her work as a TPD employability assessor, trainer, and presenter. Accepted as a full-time researcher into employability assessment in TPD, Margaret was granted a Commonwealth Postgraduate Award in early 2015 and studied full-time at the University of Sydney. Three international academics examined her doctoral thesis and in September 2018 she was awarded her PhD, to be conferred in April next year. A keynote presenter at the American Board of Vocational Experts conference in Savannah, Georgia in 2017, Margaret is a fellow of the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors, affiliated with rehabilitation counselling and forensic rehabilitation organisations in Australia and USA.

Editor’s Note – Summer 2018-19

Welcome to the Summer Edition and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2018 has come and gone in record time (again) and what a year we had!  My grandmother used to say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and I could not think of a better way to describe the last 12 months in Australian life insurance.

The Financial Services Council (FSC), the Life Insurance Framework (LIF) and of course the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry have compelled our industry to review every aspect of our respective business operations. While watching one ill-fated event unfold in granular detail after another at the RC hearings, it was hard not to feel somewhat deflated. “How did it come to this?” I asked myself on several occasions. Like many of you who are passionate about the enormous value our purpose-driven industry brings to everyday Australians, I found the imbalance frustrating and yet the cases prosecuted at the RC left no doubt that we can do much better.

There is no doubt that the Australian life insurance industry sustained reputational damage in 2018 and for that reason, I see 2019 as a genuine opportunity to start with a clean slate, embrace the changes to come and demonstrate our true value to the Australian public.

Since RiskeBusiness became an online publication a couple of years ago, analytical data reveals that our readership has grown exponentially. Sure the online presence expands audience reach however the real success of ReB is primarily a result of quality articles and papers by our ALUCA members and sponsors. I believe that we can take ReB to another level in 2019! To achieve this, I am looking to assemble a small working group of claims and/or underwriting professionals who are well connected in the life industry, can spare 15 to 30 minutes twice quarterly but most importantly….. have a genuine passion for ReB’s evolution. If this opportunity appeals to you, please send an expression of interest to the ALUCA Secretariat secretariatofficer@aluca.com

Speaking of getting involved and making a difference, have you completed the ALUCA’s 2018/9 Annual Member Survey yet?This survey is to better help ALUCA understand members’ challenges, needs and thoughts about ALUCA as we plan for 2019.  The ALUCA Board and I would really appreciate a 5-10 minute investment of your time to tell us what you think. Please click here to access the survey

I hope you really enjoy this Summer Edition of RiskeBusiness and may 2019 be your best ever year!

Cheers

Michael Reid
ReB Editor

Michael.Reid@aia.com 
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CEO Corner – Summer 2018-19

Happy New Year! Hope you and your loved ones have all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas filled with much love, laughter and joy  and here’s to a great 2019.

Welcome to the summer edition of ReB.  We live in interesting times or in the words of Robert Kennedy “All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.”  This sentiment was echoed in many of the talks that I attended at the ALUCA end of year events in both WA and NSW.  In NSW members enjoyed a timely session on resilience with former Wallaby legend David Campese. The event was opened by Andrew Gill, Managing Director at Pacific Life Re as well as ALUCA’s Chair and NSW Chair.  They each talked about the challenges the industry has faced throughout 2018 and the need for us all to continue with a strong customer focus, renewing the community’s attention on the social and economic good that the life insurance industry provides.

This is something important for us all to reflect on as we move into 2019 as well as the critical importance of the ongoing education and professionalism of the industry.  ALUCA’s Life Insurance Competency framework and Certified Professional Life Insurance (CPLI) program helps in this regard by setting a strong benchmark for professional standards for Life Insurance Underwriting, Claims and Rehabilitation professionals and enables ALUCA and its members to respond to the changing landscape of our industry.

I’m pleased to share that work has continued on ALUCA’s Life Insurance Competency framework, led by life member Tony O’Leary,  to ensure it remains up to date and relevant (along with the CPLI program) for professional Underwriting, Claims and Rehabilitation professionals working in Life Insurance.  As a members’ association run by members for members, we have not only first hand, inside insights into the issues facing our industry every day, but understand the professional development needs of those within it.  Make 2019 the year that you invest in your professionalism and ongoing education by becoming an accredited ALUCA member who can be proud to use the post-nominal’s, Certified Professional Life Insurance (CPLI) that shows your commitment to your continuous professional development.

Other important news is that a working party in respect of the Life Insurance underwriting and claims considerations coming out of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry is being set up and chaired by Tony O’Leary, Life Member of ALUCA. The Royal Commission is due to hand down its report by 1 February 2019 thus the bulk of the Working Party’s tasks will need to be performed in February 2019. You can read more about this in this edition of ReB.

I’d like to take this opportunity to provide a heartfelt thanks to all of our hardworking and dedicated  volunteers who are central to the ongoing success of ALUCA. I’d also like to thank our sponsors for their ongoing support and each and everyone of you for taking time out of your busy lives to be part of ALUCA in 2018 whether that was attending a state seminar, national Awards night, national conference, Leadership or Medical Forum, becoming accredited , reading ReB, attending a webinar, submitting a scholarship paper , taking part in our research and showing your support  for your member industry association. Thank you.

Once again I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy 2019.

Warmest wishes,

Amanda McKernan
ALUCA CEO
ceo@aluca.com.au
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PS Don’t forget to renew your ALUCA membership for 2019 due on Jan 1st, 2019!

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ALUCA Accreditation CPLI (Certified Professional Life Insurance)

The Certified Professional Life Insurance (CPLI) membership accreditation scheme was successfully launched at the end of November 2017, along with ALUCA's life insurance competency framework that underpins the accreditation.

CPLI accreditation demonstrates an industry wide commitment to continuous professional development aimed at raising the professional standards of life insurance underwriters, claims and rehabilitation professionals.  It's never been more important to demonstrate the commitment to a peak professional life insurance benchmark for underwriters, claims and rehabilitation professionals that underpins and maintains high standards for the profession whilst at the same time enhancing the value that life insurance underwriters, claims and rehabilitation professionals provide to business, and the community more broadly.

To qualify for CPLI accreditation members  are invited to apply and provide proof of their educational qualifications - this could be a medical terminology course, degree or diploma amongst other key educational qualification  in addition they must have been working in the life insurance industry for a number of years specific to the accredited level they are applying for in either underwriting, claims or rehabilitation areas and are committed to their ongoing continuous professional development.

A CPLI panel meet quarterly to assess each application. In 2018-19 the CPLI committee will look at identifying some additional pathways to make the scheme accessible to more members.

Special thanks to the CPLI Committee headed up by Deputy Chair Devi Uka with Board members Carly van den Akker, Carol Smit, Ben Lynch and Life Members Brian Sussman and Tony O' Leary along with ALUCA CEO, Amanda McKernan. In 2019 new Board Member Dr Matthew Paul will become part of the committee.

In case you missed the frequently asked questions about an accredited member level this has been included for you. Just remember to include all of your professional qualifications and courses and how they relate to your competencies specific to ALUCA's Life Insurance Capability framework - these could be technical, business or specialist capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ's)

Q1. How can I become an ALUCA accredited CPLI ( Certified Professional - Life Insurance ) member?

You need to have gained educational qualifications that will position you at a higher level of membership in addition to  the number of years and experience you have gained in Life Insurance. These also  tie into the different levels and competencies of the ALUCA competency framework which is set out in the table below.

Accredited Level Education Points Years in LIFE Insurance Competency Framework
Affiliate  CPLI 1-3 2-4 Level 1 - 2: Core
Associate CPLI 4-7 5-9 Level 2 - 3: Core to Advanced
Associate Fellow CPLI 8+ 10+ Level 3 - 4: Advanced to Expert
Fellow CPLI 8+ paper 15+ Level 4:  Expert

Q2. I have general /marine insurance /TPD experience, does this count towards my accreditation and CPD?

No - this accreditation is very specific to Life Insurance only. Even though you may have educational qualifications that put you at a high level of membership - the number of years and experience you have gained in Life Insurance is just as important, so you will need to start at the membership and accreditation level specific to your years of experience spent working as a professional in Life Insurance only and your CPD only relates to Life Insurance.

Q3. I am a Rehabilitation/Medical professional and have worked in workers comp/ hospitals/clinical practise for many years can I claim this?

No - this accreditation is very specific to Life Insurance only. Even though you may have educational qualifications that put you at a high level of membership - the number of years and experience you have gained in Life Insurance is equally as important,  it is for this reason that you  will need to start at the membership and accreditation level specific to your years of experience working as a Rehabilitation or Medical professional in Life Insurance only.

Q4 I have many years experience in Life Insurance but do not have educational qualifications can I become accredited?

There are a couple of options open to you. Firstly you may be able to gain an educational qualification in life insurance via recognised prior learning (RPL).  ANZIIF provide this opportunity via their  Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process where they will evaluate what you have learned either formally or informally and potentially provide a credit to a full or part ANZIIF qualification where appropriate. You can find out more about this on their website :anziif.com/education/recognition-of-prior-learning. The next option is to look at undertaking some formal educational qualifications. We have some suggested courses that you may want to consider on ALUCA's website aluca.com/careers/continuing-education/

Q5. Does ALUCA provide an online recording tool for my CPD?

Yes. We provide a free, simple-to-use online recording tool which you may use to record your hours-based CPD. This is a self service tool that can be accessed via ALUCA's website in the Members centre only and is specific to your membership: aluca.com/members-area/

You will need to enter details of all CPD undertaken, including that completed through ALUCA, as this is not automatically recorded. We are working on including functionality that will automatically record details of your attendance at any ALUCA event  and will communicate details once that happens.

Q6. What are ALUCA's  continuous professional development (CPD) requirements?

All ALUCA accredited CPLI members will need to complete a minimum of 35 hours’ compulsory CPD in a 12 month period . However 35 hours is only the minimum required by ALUCA; in practice, the figure required may exceed this, as the actual requirement will be determined by an individual’s development needs in any 12-month period and will also be a discussion that the member needs to have with their organisation. It is important to note that this CPD requirement is not generally an additional requirement to development activity ordinarily undertaken in the course of an individual’s employment, but incorporates this.

Q7. How was the figure of 35 hours CPD obtained?

In common with other professional bodies such as the Chartered Insurance Institute in the UK, the requirement for 35 hours or more of CPD is common.  It is also important to set a minimum number of hours of CPD per year as a benchmark for accredited members. ALUCA's CPLI accreditation is an indication to the public that accredited members keep their professional knowledge current. During the course of any 12-month period, we encourage members to carry out a variety of CPD activities to help them keep their knowledge up-to-date. There is no maximum to the amount of CPD the member can carry out.

Q8. How to develop a CPD plan?

It is intended that all CPD activity should address an individual’s professional development needs. It is up to the individual member to determine what their learning and development needs are which should be addressed via their continuous professional development. Members can then:

  • Plan activities to address their learning and development needs ( you may want to refer to ALUCA's high level competency framework which sets out key competencies for different career stages)
  • Carry out activities to meet these needs
  • Record the time spent for each activity and maintaining a verifiable audit trail of these activities
  • A statement of the objectives achieved (i.e. answering questions like: “How this activity benefitted me professionally?”) and including information about what you learnt.

Q9. How do I calculate the amount of CPD hours spent on an activity?

You should only count the actual time spent on the learning activity, e.g. if you attend a conference you should count only that time spent in activity that addresses identified development needs. You should always exclude the time taken for tea/coffee breaks and lunch.

Q10. Do I still have to complete the full 35-hour CPD requirement if I work part-time?

Yes. The requirement to maintain your knowledge and, in turn, your competence to undertake your role requires the completion of a minimum of 35 hours CPD, regardless of the total number of hours you work.

Q11. If I take a career break (e.g. maternity leave or long-term sickness), do I still have to complete the 35-hour requirement?

The CPD requirements will be suspended for the duration of your career break. If your CPD record is selected for validation purposes, we will ask you to provide evidence confirming your break in work.

Q12. I am an accredited member with CII and ANZIIF - do I still need to submit an ALUCA CPD dairy?

If you are a current accredited member with CII or ANZIIF and complete their CPD requirements you may submit those diaries if you are audited by ALUCA instead of an ALUCA one - however this must be specific to Life insurance not general insurance.

Q13. When should I start creating a CPD log?

The requirement for undertaking CPD and keeping a record starts when a member becomes accredited ( however we encourage all members to record their CPD for their own records and career goals)  - this will be pro-rated for that calendar year.  For all existing accredited members it is for each full calendar year starting from 1 January  each year. However, we recognise that the timing of members’ annual CPD programmes may reflect other factors, such as the annual performance reviews or the CPD requirements of other professional bodies to which they belong. In these circumstances we may, at our discretion, recognise any such requirements.

Q14. Do I need to submit my CPD points to ALUCA automatically at the end of a 12-month period?

No. You only need to submit your record if ALUCA requests to see it. We  will randomly sample  a selection of members’ records each year to check these have been fully and correctly completed.

Q15. If my CPD record is selected for review by ALUCA what will I need to provide?

You will need to provide your CPD record showing:

  1. the CPD activities you have undertaken in a 12 month period
  2. the points you have gained
  3. a statement/reflection of the objectives achieved against each activity.

It is recommended that you keep any evidence of the activity you have completed, for example, a certificate of attendance, as we may ask to see this if your record is selected for review.  This can all be done via ALUCA's website in the Member's section where you can complete and record your CPD diary.

Q16. How do I know what development activity I should carry out?

Responsibility lies with each member individually as only they will know what development activity is required. In most cases, this will be agreed in conjunction with your employer, who will decide or advise what is relevant for your role and personal circumstances. ALUCA provides guidance for members via such services as the ALUCA Competency Framework which can be found in the members centre of the website.

Q17. If I am selected to submit my CPD record, which 12-month period do I need to provide?

You should supply your most recent annual record of CPD activity. For example, if we ask you to provide us with your record in February 2018 and your last completed plan was for the period 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017, you should send us this record. Typically, where there is a gap of greater than one month since your last record was completed, we may also ask you to provide some more recent evidence of your CPD activity.

Q18. Does the online recording tool automatically record my attendance at ALUCA events?

No, not at present. We are investigating different options that would cater for this requirement and will communicate details once a decision has been reached.

Q19. What is the list of suitable CPD activities?

The list of suitable CPD activities is constantly being refined and updated to reflect evolving development activity. For the most current listing of suitable CPD activities please go to aluca.com.au

Q20. What is the list of educational points for accredited membership?

The list of suitable courses and activities is constantly being refined and updated to reflect evolving development activity. The most current list is provided below  and is also on ALUCA's website aluca.com.au

ACCREDITATION: POINTS FOR EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS TABLE

INSTITUTION COURSE POINTS
G&T Risk Management Trainee UW program 3
Relevant Hospital or provider Medical Terminology 1
Reinsurer or Insurer Approved Training program 0.5 - 3pts
Personal Injury Education Foundation (PIEF) Cert IV in Personal Injury Management (Return to Work) 2
PIEF Cert IV in Personal Injury Management (Claims) 2
PIEF Diploma of Personal Injury Management 4
PIEF Graduate Certificate in Personal Injury Management 6
PIEF Master of Personal Injury Management 8
Academy of Life Underwriting (ALU) ALU101 2
ALU ALU201 2
ALU ALU202 2
ALU ALU301 2
ANZIIF Cert IV in Life Insurance 2
ANZIIF Diploma of Life Insurance 4
ANZIIF Diploma of Personal Injury Management 4
ANZIIF Diploma in Financial Planning 2
ANZIIF Diploma of Integrated Risk Management 2
Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Certificate in Insurance 2
CII Diploma in Insurance 5
CII Advanced Diploma in Insurance 8
CII Fellowship 8
KAPLAN Cert IV in Life Insurance - Underwriting 2
KAPLAN Cert IV in Life Insurance - Claims 2
KAPLAN Diploma in Financial Planning 2
University/TAFE Master of Business Administration/Master of commerce 8
University/TAFE Bachelor of Medicine/Medical Practitioner 8
University/TAFE Bachelor Accounting/Actuarial/Law 8
University/TAFE Bachelor Nursing/registered Nurse 6
University/TAFE Bachelor Dietetics, Occupation Therapy, Physiotherapy 6
University/TAFE Bachelor of Business/Commerce with a major in Insurance 6
University/TAFE Bachelor of Psychology, Rehabilitation counselling, social work etc 6
University/TAFE Other Allied Health bachelor degree or graduate diploma 4
University/TAFE Bachelor of Business/Commerce with NO major in Insurance 4
University/TAFE Unrelated tertiary education - specific to key competencies 0.5 - 2

ALUCA’s Life Insurance Competency Framework

The last few years have brought many changes to the Australian Life Insurance market with increased regulator and consumer expectations. As this new order becomes clearer, Life Insurance businesses must continue to adapt their strategies, and increase their capabilities and professionalism. As an industry it is important that we all work together to increase the professionalism, ethics and standards of the industry.

ALUCA recognised the critical need for the life insurance industry to proactively and very clearly demonstrate greater professionalism and transparency via an industry led, high level, best practice Life Insurance capabilities framework that was required to:

  • Clearly articulate the competencies that are required to perform professionally in Underwriting, Claims and Rehabilitation roles.
  • Be an externally benchmarked tool that would define the minimum level of competence for a variety of roles.
  • Provide a mechanism that would demonstrate compliance with these competencies (the competency framework is now the anchor for ALUCA’s refreshed accreditation and CPD program).

A cross-industry working party was brought together in August 2016 to produce a clear, high level industry capabilities framework to enhance the professionalism, ethics and community standing of those working in this sector that could also serve to satisfy any regulatory requirements. Many companies and industry bodies provided their input including the FSC and Actuaries Institute.

The ALUCA Life Insurance competency framework was launched in November 2017. It is being used by a number of Life Insurance and reinsurance companies in Australia to fit their own job roles framework and competency frameworks specific to their own Underwriting, Claims and Rehabilitation operations in the market.

However it is important for this framework to be regularly reviewed and updated.  ALUCA’s Board have approved ongoing work in this regard to be led by ALUCA life member, Tony O’Leary, to ensure it remains up to date and relevant (along with the CPLI program)  and will include any changes that are relevant to it coming out from the Royal Commission report.

For a full copy of the ALUCA Life Insurance competency framework head to ALUCA’s website and login to the members centre.  You will need your email that you signed up to ALUCA with and your password or you can simply reset your password.

What’s hot and topical – Key themes from ALUCA’s Medical Forum Leaders lunch & dinner

ALUCA’s Medical Forum events were held in Sydney and Melbourne last month. Thank you to all the CMO’s and ’Medical Consultants who attended and provided some rich insights into the current challenges the industry is facing.

Themes from NSW Medical Forum discussion

  • Mental health – Issues with life insurance products covering subjective conditions, justifying exclusions for disability in insurance products and the need to work with community on this. Given the subjective nature of mental health conditions, and their assessment, there is a need to focus on function  e. how does the condition affect them in their lives and how they function rather than how they feel which is more subjective.
  • Restoring trust – Need to re-build the trust with customers and treating doctors, especially GP’s. They are mistrustful about how the information they provide to a life insurance company might be used against their patients.  A call out to Assessors is the need to provide support to GP’s as many have lost confidence in insurers post Royal Commission (RC) findings.  CMO’s are spending time providing reassurance about what claims and underwriting teams are doing. Acknowledgement that CMO’s have an obligation to build trust and work to common goals. Encouragement for CMO’s to engage more with their colleagues including treating doctors – and a need to help Doctors to understand what CMO’s need (the focus should be on the patient’s condition not life insurance)
  • Health records – the quality of many health records is poor, and perceived to be deteriorating. This is likely due to many factors, including the pressures treating doctors are under, and potential mistrust in the insurance (life and non-life) industry. The PJC enquiry and RC will likely impact access to health records further. These factors are expected to have flow on impact to underwriting and claim assessments.
  • Staying informed – Rapid advances in medical research and technology change – and ensuring Insurance Medicine advances with these developments. Onus on medical professionals to keep up-to-date with these advances and information – i.e. latest heart attack definitions.
  • LICOP 2.0, Royal Commission, PJC enquiry into rehabilitation services – will impact all areas of the life industry – again there is a need for individuals and organisations to remain up-to-date and involved in progressing outputs.
  • Time pressures – Would like more time to be able to deliver quality work – but constant time pressures impacts on this.
  • Drug & alcohol – increasing usage is seen as a hot topic. Legalisation of medicinal marijuana and what will this mean?

Simplification & access to return to work (RTW) support – general feeling that there are too many people involved in RTW – insurer-employer- broker- customer – lawyer- Rehab  – the customer can be lost in this process. Often customers need urgent access to treatment rather than going through many channels/ layers. There is a need to simplify and provide clarity on processes such as this (any many other processes in life insurance). Lastly, there is a degree of mistrust about RTW language and so the focus is moving towards health support, wellness and recovery.