ALUCA’s CPLI accreditation Program and CPD Requirements

ALUCA’s Certified Professional Life Insurance (CPLI) accreditation scheme was successfully launched at the end of November 2017, along with ALUCA’s competency framework.

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 while 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  3 times each year to assess each new or pending application.  In 2019 the panel met on April 3rd to review both new CPLI applications and the randomly audited accredited members.

The next CPLI application panel review dates will be in early July and November

The CPLI committee is currently exploring some additional pathways to make the scheme accessible to more members.

How ALUCA’s continuous professional development (CPD) requirements work

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 the minimum most people will 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. We have shown this in the example below.

Using the ALUCA PD Activity summary sheet below, if you undertook 3 days of internal training (see #11) in your organisation at 8 hours each day that would be 24 ALUCA CPD points, watching the ALUCA regulatory webinar (see #14 – this is mandatory for all accredited members) is an additional 10 points. You may also undertake some business capabilities training  see #15 – say 3 hours of a leadership course = 3CPD points – you are already up to 37 CPD points and this is without attending any ALUCA or non ALUCA seminars or events.

ALUCA’s CPD diary – to keep track of your annual ongoing professional development.

We have just undertaken a random CPD audit of accredited members and the members who completed this provided their 2018 CPD record showing:

  1. The CPD activities they undertook in 2018
  2. The points they achieved ( 35 is the minimum)
  3. A statement/reflection of the objectives achieved against each activity.

They also provided proof of all non ALUCA activities such as a record of attendance at an internal training course, a certificate of attendance, conference registration etc.

It’s that easy. However if members cannot provide proof of compliance with their ongoing professional development they will not be able to maintain their ALUCA CPLI accreditation. This is an annual requirement of all accredited members and demonstrates the rigorous ongoing professional development and compliance to ALUCA’s competency standards.

ALUCA’s CPLI program is underpinned by ALUCA’s best practice, industry led life insurance competency framework that is specific to life insurance underwriters, claims and rehabilitation professionals. Given the current environment of increased regulator expectations and greater transparency and professionalism in the Life Insurance industry it is important for all ALUCA members not just accredited members to demonstrate compliance with these via ongoing CPD.  

The above diagram shows how each ALUCA membership level complies with the different ALUCA competency levels and what is required of each.  ALUCA CPLI accreditation levels start from an Affiliate member with core competency skills right through to an expert level of competency demonstrated by a Fellow accredited CPLI member.

For further information, you can read more about this on ALUCA’s website under the professional development tab :

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us:
T: 02 9431 8654

Sub Group Updates – Autumn 2019


What a busy and productive start to 2019 since I last wrote to you all. ALUCA WA have found a new home to host our events this year and we were extremely delighted to be joined by Dr John Cummins, Consultant Chief Medical Officer from SCOR to begin proceedings in our new home.

Dr Cummins delivered a very comprehensive presentation covering ‘The Future of Medicine’ which included a look back on some of the changes that have occurred over the past 30 years for good measure. This session allowed us all to gain a greater understanding of contemporary trends in medicine which will and are disrupting the insurance industry, Dr Cummins covered topics including anti-aging, cardiovascular and cancer trends. It would seem that the Vampires knew something about anti-aging after all, and we can all expect to visit a blood bank in the future to collect a regular donation to reduce the ravages of time. Thank you Dr Cummins, and SCOR.


We’ve seen our membership grow in the off-season and it was nice to see some new faces at our latest event. If you know of someone in your workplace that would benefit from becoming an ALUCA member, please encourage them to join or to contact me for further details.

Your committee are currently finalising details for our second Seminar towards the end of May and plans are already on track to deliver a mini-ALUCA event in August. Save The Dates have already been added to the Members Section.



See you in May.

Stephen Chapman
Chair – WA ALUCA Committee


For SA’s first ALUCA event for the year we were joined by Dr Cummings from SCOR with an insightful presentation on the Transformation of Medicine, it’s impacts not only to Underwriting and Claims but also policy definitions.

In his presentation he also had talked about HIV resistant donors being able to cure AIDS in HIV positive recipients to reversing the aging process which sparked some healthy conversations around the moral implications.

Our next ALUCA meeting (MiniLuca) will be in late August, this will be a full afternoon event with a no. of speakers.

Ashley Hicks
Chair – South Australia ALUCA Committee


The ALUCA Rehabilitation Committee

The ALUCA Rehabilitation Committee continues to support the strategic and operational direction of the Board in 2019. We do this by promoting best practice rehabilitation standards across the life insurance industry. Through the provision of high quality events and seminars, the committee offers rehabilitation professionals opportunities for evidenced based professional development, industry networking and up-skilling of knowledge. The committee continues to be a collective voice, represented by professionals with allied health or medical qualifications to ensure life insurance continues to be a lead in the delivery of best practice rehabilitation.

Planning and preparation for our 2019 events is underway! The committee has had the opportunity to share innovative ideas to support rehabilitation professionals in the industry post the Royal Commission findings and recommendations. We are finalising plans for our first events in May across both Sydney and Melbourne. Our theme will be on the holistic management of mental health conditions, with a key focus for early intervention support. We have engaged with a number of subject matter experts in mental health to be our key speakers at our events. The goal of the professional development day is to empower with new insights and provide Practical ideas for supporting customers with mental health conditions as early as they need further details will be available shortly.

Preparations for the ALUCA Life Insurance Excellence Awards are also underway, in Melbourne on 22nd May. It is great to see there will be such a strong presence from rehabilitation at The TPD Working Group are excited to resume their focus on best practice standards in employability assessments in 2019. The final version of the position statement will be released on the ALUCA website later this year.

It has been a steady start to 2019 for the ALUCA Rehabilitation Committee and we look forward to another successful year ahead.

Amlan Sharma
Chair – ALUCA Rehabilitation Committee


Welcome back for the first edition for 2019, seems like this year is flying along.

At the end of last year we bid farewell to a number of our committee. In NSW: Taveet Garabedian, Paul Bennell, Carmel Myers and in Victoria Lana Collaris and Emy Vamos. The ALUCA CMG would like to thank all of them for all their work over the years.

The ALUCA CMG is currently planning our first event for the year which will be our Legal Sessions to take place in Sydney 6th May at the Westin and Melbourne on 8th May at the AMP offices. Our speakers this year will be from HWL Ebsworths and Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). Further details for this event will be sent out in late March.

Together with ALUCA NSW we are in the process of planning the NSW PD Day to be held in October 2019.
We look forward to seeing you at our events in 2019.

Myles Kennedy
Chair –  CMG ALUCA


It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of the first quarter of the year.  It has been a quick 3 months.

There have been a couple of changes to the Committee post our last update.  Gail Jones our Communications Officer has hung up her boots after a period of approx. 3 years.  Gail has been a tremendous support during her tenure, providing amazing ideas and updates on our behalf.  She will be missed but certainly not forgotten.  As one door closes, another one opens…we are delighted to welcome Isaac Cracknell to the role of Treasurer.  Welcome aboard Isaac !

We hosted our first event on Wednesday 27th March at AMP to a record breaking attendance for an early morning session.  Thank you to everyone who set their alarms early to attend this breakfast event.



Renada Lee (Impact Manager – Insurance) and Tom Notley (Program Manager) of SuperFriend, presented the latest National Workplace data findings following an assessment of the mental health and wellbeing of more than 5,000 people within Australian workplaces.  From the financial services perspective this was a very timely study as it was conducted shortly after the Royal Commission in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry was established.  Renada and Nick provided very meaningful insights into what the data highlighted, including the extent of mental health in the industry, the types of mental health issues experienced at work and what is preventing employers from taking action.  Additionally they discussed opportunities for creating and sustaining thriving, mentally healthy workplaces and positive customer outcomes.  There were a number of take-aways from this event and it will be great see how the findings of this data progress as SuperFriend continue to add to the existing information.  Further information in relation to this study and other helpful information can be found on the SuperFriend website


The Committee are currently working on our events for the rest of the year and we expect to have these locked in shortly with further details to follow.  We can confirm that we will be holding our flagship MiniALICA conference on 17th October 2019.  This event sold out last year so keep your eye out for details and ensure you save the date to avoid missing out.

Suzanne Whyte
Chair – Victoria ALUCA Committee


With four seminars planned, 2019 promises to be a full year for ALUCA QLD.

Our first ALUCA seminar is set for Thursday April 11th.  Leading legal consultant, Paul Hastings will examine the current life insurance landscape post PJC and RC, and provide a Plain English assessment of what it means for Underwriting and Claims professionals.  With the industry under unprecedented scrutiny, Paul will also use case studies to demonstrate some tips and pitfalls when looking at claims involving non-disclosure.

For those who like to plan ahead, our calendar of events for the remainder of 2019 is listed below;

Event 2 – Wed July 24 (Breakfast seminar – 7.30am to 9am)

Event 3 – Thurs Sept 12 – Triple Treat Event (Half day seminar 12.30pm-5pm followed by drinks/canapes)

Event 4 – Fri Nov 29 – End of year event (5pm to 8pm)

We’d also like to update you on some changes to the QLD ALUCA Sub Group as there has been a couple of changes since 2018.  Our committee for the year ahead is;

  • President: Matthew Swanson
  • Secretary:  Jody O’Sullivan
  • Treasurer: Gretel Spizick
  • Committee Members: Karyn Bradford, Daniel Devine and Karl Bird

We would like take this opportunity to acknowledge Peter Crawford and Jenny Thompson for their time and valuable contributions over recent years and also welcome Karl Bird onto the Qld committee.

Look forward to seeing you soon in 2019.

Jody O’Sullivan
Secretary – Queensland ALUCA Committee


Greetings from the NSW Committee.

After a successful 2018 with record event attendances, we are excited to present a great year of education and development to our members. We farewelled a number of committee members at end of last year and advertised for new volunteers.

Many thanks to all who have applied. I am excited to share our 2019 Committee:

  • Chair: Lisa-Marie McKechnie
  • Deputy Chair: Gabriella Siefert
  • Treasurer: Stephen Connolly
  • Event Co-ordinator: Tonja Nachman
  • Marketing and Comms Lead: Ami Barua
  • Working Group Lead: Catherine McAdam
  • Committee member: Erin Touzell
  • Committee member: Jacqueline Little
  • Committee member: Simon Andrew.

Our new committee members bring in expertise and wealth of knowledge from underwriting, claims, legal and product background. The committee is busy planning all the activities for the rest of the year.

There will be 4 events in May, August, October and December. The first one for 2019 is on Thursday 23 May 12-2pm at Rydges Hotel World Square. We very much hope you can join us for a special session with Pacific Life Re’s CMO Dr Bill Monday on “A rare insight into mental health”. The most popular professional development day (MiniALUCA) has been locked for 16th October. Please save this date in your calendar, the committee is working hard to deliver an exceptional day.

Watch this space for the rest of the events and keep an eye out for ALUCA email invitations.

We look forward to another successful year ahead and hoping to see you all at the events this year.

Have a great Easter.


Ami Barua
Marketing and Comms Lead- ALUCA NSW

A Potential Treatment for Spinal Cord Paralysis by Sheree Chandra

Driving a car, riding a bike, diving into water, playing sport, riding a horse or even a low fall; these are some of the everyday activities that have irrevocably changed the lives of more than 12,000 Australians through injury to their spinal cord leading to paralysis. A further 300 Australians will end up with a spinal cord injury this year alone. The impacts of spinal cord injury are usually life-long and devastating, costing patients anywhere between $5 and $9.5 million over a lifetime, and costing the Australian economy billions of dollars annually. Spinal cord injury results in a lack of control, independence and freedom for the patient and a successful cure would not only transform the lives of sufferers, but also create substantial savings for the entire Australian health system.

Research into finding a cure for paralysis has been undertaken across the world for decades. There have been many dead ends, many partial discoveries and a lot of hope. But now, the pathway to ending paralysis is illuminated. The potential answer? Taking a special type of cell from a patient’s olfactory (sense of smell) system, called an Olfactory Ensheathing Cell (OEC), and transplanting it into the spinal cord injury site.

Research pioneered by 2017 Australian of the Year—Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay- Sim and a world-first Phase I clinical trial led by scientists at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), Griffith University, in 2002, demonstrated that the therapy is safe for use in humans. That trial led to a recent human trial by British/Polish researchers demonstrating that restoration of function after severing of the human spinal cord is indeed possible. In this study, a mix of olfactory cells together with a nerve bridge were transplanted into the injured spinal cord. Within 6-12 months after transplantation, the patient, who had been paralysed for several years prior to the treatment, regained some motor function of his legs, bladder control, and, most importantly, sensation. These exciting proof-of-principle results give hope that patients may regain function after spinal cord injury. What is now needed is to improve the transplantation therapy to make it more effective.

In partnership with the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, The Queensland Government (MAIC) and the Clem Jones Foundation, the team at Griffith University’s GRIDD and Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ) –  the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research (CJCNSCR)/Spinal Injury Project (SIP) led by Associate Professor James St John is currently conducting preclinical research and plans to undertake a clinical trial in 2020 to progress this journey and show that this therapy can further regenerate patients’ sensory and motor function. The method used has the potential to be the first widely available treatment for spinal cord injury, aiming to make the therapy more effective, available and affordable. It will establish Griffith University, Queensland, and Australia as world-leaders in spinal cord injury treatment.


The complete team of researchers at Griffith with the notable Mr Perry Cross, an SCI survivor of 25 years whose foundation directly supports the project


So what is so special about Olfactory Ensheathing Cells (OECs)? The olfactory system—or sense of smell—is unique in mammals in that its nerve cells are able to constantly regenerate. It’s the only part of our nervous system that regenerates every single day as part of its normal function. And it’s lucky that it does: every time we breathe in, the nerve cells in our nose are exposed to the bacteria and toxins and get killed off. If these didn’t regenerate, humans would lose their sense of smell in around a month. Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are crucial to this process of regeneration. They prevent scarring and protect and guide the growing nerve cells. It is these special properties of OECs that we aim to exploit in our therapy for spinal cord injury. OECs should provide the same guidance and supportive function when transplanted into an injured spinal cord, helping to create an environment that allows for neuronal regrowth.


“A heart-shaped spheroid of OECs” – we use a newly developed technique called ‘naked liquid marbles’ to form a 3 dimensional aggregation of cells from the olfactory system that naturally assemble into layers.

The journey to preparing OECs for transplantation is a difficult one and involves a multi-team approach. The cells need to be purified from the olfactory mucosa of the nose and then assembled into a three-dimensional (3D) “nerve-bridge” suitable for transplantation.

However, transplanting OECs into an injury site wont alone cure spinal cord paralysis. While the cell transplantation aspect is the critical component of the therapy, its success relies on the patients undertaking long-term intensive activity-based rehabilitation to allow the nervous system to make new connections and to re-learn the necessary fine-control needed for proper motor and sensory function. Without the long-term activity-based rehabilitation, the cell transplantation alone will not be successful.


With support of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, Griffith University has developed a framework for this sustained functional therapy and an App that supports patients to do their activity-based rehabilitation every day for many months and perhaps years. Activity-based rehabilitation combines a range of physical motor and sensory gym-based activities provided by specialist exercise physiologists and physiotherapists trained in spinal cord rehabilitation. We need to test the feasibility of delivering the rehabilitation program prior to the commencement of the cell transplantation clinical trial. A feasibility study is important to identify barriers and improvements that can be made in preparation for the Phase I/IIa clinical trial.

The Spinal Injury Project at Griffith University is now well underway to progress the pre-clinical research into a Phase I/IIa human clinical trial and to develop a treatment for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury.

For more information, contact: A/Prof James St John,


Sheree Chandra has worked in the Life Insurance industry for ten years across multiple operational and project management roles, and currently holds the position of Group Claims Manager at MetLife.

She is adept at leading and motivating her team of claims assessors to deliver the best outcomes in a customer’s time of need.

She also has experience in creating new products, building eclaims management tools and providing teleclaims solutions to improve customer engagement.

Sheree specialises in claims and people management, believing that supporting and empowering her assessors to grow and develop into strong contributors in the business and wider industry will lead to better claims assessment and customer experience.

Sheree Chandra

Bermuda to Australia / Tracy Peterson

Bermuda to Australia

We were fortunate enough to get the opportunity to relocate to Bermuda in 2008. The timing was perfect family wise, and the opportunity was perfect career wise: an offer to work for one of the world’s largest reinsurer’s, in an office with a global mandate. Figuring it was an opportunity not to be missed, we packed ourselves up and off we went, thinking we would probably live overseas for 5 or 6 years before coming home. Little did we know how quickly time would pass us by….10 years later we realised it was probably time to come home.


The decision to relocate proved to be the right one. During the time spent working in Bermuda, I was fortunate enough to work across the globe, with the role varying enormously during my time there. I had the opportunity to work on business in Bermuda (of course), the US, UK, Ireland, South Africa & APAC, from the traditional lines we know in Australia, to others such as longevity business. Longevity was not something that had registered on my radar previously, however once given the opportunity to work on that line, there was no looking back, it opened my eyes to the amazing opportunity that awaits our industry in the era of a global ageing population.


Working globally was a great education into the different market forces affecting our industry across various regions. We have of course much we can learn from other regions, at the same time we do also need to be mindful of the different factors that result in something working in one region, yet not another. A good example of this is the local regulatory environment, which can vary enormously from one region to the next of course.

The office in Bermuda was a great experience in working with different cultures: I was one of 10 different nationalities in a relatively small team. That was quite the eye opener, I quickly learnt the benefits that come with having so much diversity in the team (and also how much slang we have in Australia, something I had not been mindful of previously!)

An added bonus to the role were the connections I made with colleagues around the globe, many of which have become very dear friends, and will always remain so. It was an amazing opportunity for the family – our daughter Grace was only 4 when we relocated, so all of her schooling until now has been overseas, a positive of this are the connections she has made with friends now spread around the globe. Bermuda has a fairly transient population of expats, so friends Grace made in Bermuda, are now located in the US, UK, Canada. Grace picked up an accent in her time away, much to her distress – she is desperate to get her Australian accent back!

I have to mention the travel, of course. The role involved a lot of travel, an opportunity I am extremely grateful to have had. As a family we also did a lot of travelling –  Bermuda is only a 2hr flight to the east coast of the US, 6hrs to London. We have had 10 years of travelling to some amazing locations, getting to sample the foods and cultures of places I never anticipated seeing. Nobody does sport quite like they do in the US – the atmosphere at an NFL, baseball, basketball or ice hockey game is something to behold.

Whilst the decision to relocate to Bermuda had been a very easy one, the decision to come home was a tough one. It was however time to do so, and we are all delighted to be back & settled in Australia. Moving a 14yo girl is never going to be easy, fortunately Grace has settled in well and made some very good friends, an enormous relief. My husband can’t wait to get to some of his beloved Roosters’ games this year, and I continue to be extremely grateful, now having an opportunity to work on longevity business, along with continuing to work in a global capacity. We are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work in this industry, I truly feel it is a privilege.

Tracy Peterson

Tracy Peterson – Commencing in the industry as a Financial Services Trainee with MLC in 1991, Tracy soon thereafter discovered the role of an Underwriter and was fortunate to be offered an Underwriting Traineeship with MLC. Having spent time since working in both the retail and reinsurance environments, Tracy became the Chief Underwriter for Hannover Life Re Australasia in 2006, moving to Bermuda with the group in 2008.

During her tenure as the Chief Underwriter in Bermuda, Tracy worked across multiple business lines around the globe and has been involved in tasks such as product development, portfolio management, operational risk management, automated underwriting, guideline development, collaborating with peers around the globe to help deliver quality services and strategic objectives. Auditing and presenting internationally, Tracy has been a plenary speaker at industry meetings internationally.

Having had the opportunity to be involved in longevity business whilst in Bermuda, Tracy developed a passion for this space & the ageing population, the opportunities this presents to our industry and the social good we can do by working to develop solutions for the ageing population. Governments across the globe are increasingly looking to our industry to develop solutions to cater to the ageing population, we have the expertise to do so. Having obtained a Bachelor of Business (Economics) & FALU, Tracy’s interest in the ageing population lead her to obtain a Master of Gerontology.

Married to Scott for 25 years, Tracy has a 14yo daughter Grace & a 4 legged daughter Daisy the English Staffy. When not at work you will find Tracy on or in the water somewhere warm.



How will you respond to community and industry expectations?

ALUCA is proudly connected to both global and local life insurance industry partners.  Our good friends and colleagues at the Actuaries Institute will be holding their 2019 Actuaries Summit from 3 – 4 June in Sydney at the convention centre and have kindly provided a discount for all ALUCA members

Our industries continue to experience disruption from technology innovation and regulatory requirements.

The Royal Commission has focused a huge amount of public attention on the financial services industry and community expectations have altered dramatically.

Now is the time to take action, get on the front foot, and ultimately create better outcomes for the community and business.

At the 2019 Actuaries Summit we will discuss the big issues facing our industries and explore potential solutions that will meet community expectations while maintaining the viability of products and services that provide genuine public benefits.

Program highlights include:

  • Plenary session on genetics with Peter Banthorpe (Senior Vice President and Head of Global Research and     Development, RGA UK), Nick Kirwan (Senior Policy Manager, Life Insurance, FSC) and Jessica Chen (BT).
  • Navigating Life Underwriting Data
  • Mental Health and its impact on Group Life Insurance
  • Principles of Sustainable Retail Advised Lump Sum Products
  • Designing and Pricing Protection Products in an Uncertain and Changing World
  • Genetic Testing: Anti-Selection Risk and the Implications for Insurers
  • Global Innovation in Life insurance
  • Getting to Grips with the Lifecycle of Group TPD claims

Highlight also the cross practice nature of the conference (learnings from other practice areas such as health, risk and GI) the focus on actions.

instituteEmail Sarah Gibson and quote the code ‘ALUCA’ to receive $100 off your registration.

More information and full program available at


ALUCA Life Insurance Excellence Awards Winner : Stephen Connolly, Zurich


Stephen Conolly accepting his ALUCA Life Insurance Underwriter of the Year Award 2018 from Andrew Gill, Managing Director of Pacific Life Re Australia & Asia

We are delighted to share an interview with ALUCA Life Insurance Underwriting winner and Underwriting Team Finalist from 2018, Stephen Connolly from Zurich

A day in the life of Stephen Connolly  is…
Rising early, usually before the sun. I like to start with some news headlines before I prepare breakfast and lunch for two girls, my partner and I. Lately I’ve enjoyed a morning run as a good pre-work routine.

What makes my job interesting…
If you are keen to learn, there is no end to where you can take your underwriting career. Every day I feel like there is something new, and this keeps my role interesting and enjoyable.

My role’s greatest challenge…
Finding the right balance between customer and insurer. From looking at information we gather and why, how we capture it, how we use it, and how we communicate our decisions is a perpetual balancing act that requires me every day to challenge what I do and to always strive to do better.   

Four words to describe me…
Motivated. Passionate. Efficient. Nerd

Who has been the biggest influence on my career and why
In 2006 I got my first job out of uni in Insurance for CommInsure, a field which I had no previous knowledge.

Then in 2008 In the course of my usual work with the new business team and dealing with an underwriting colleague who’s profession was a complete mystery to me, the dear underwriter Barb Eneberg thought to tell me “You know what, you would make a good underwriter”. The rest, as they say, is history

The most valuable skill an underwriter can possess is…

What did winning ALUCA’s Life Insurance Excellence Leadership award mean to you ?
Being recognised by your peers is one of the most fulfilling accolades that a professional is able to achieve. Having the good fortune to be nominated and to win the award has been one of my career highlights, and has made me even more determined to succeed in the future.



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 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: 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

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