Australia: Life industry launches its first-ever professional standards framework

| 27 Apr 2021

Australia's life insurance industry has announced the development of an industry-wide Professional Standards Framework, as part of a shared commitment to unifying professional standards and further enhancing industry trust and confidence within the community.

Jointly developed and committed to by Australia’s leading life insurers, the framework formalises standards for professional excellence by implementing a consistent ‘foundation’ requirement for all life insurance claims and underwriting professionals, consisting of four Certificate IV competencies including ethics; sustainability; products and services; and law and regulation, according to a statement issued by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF).

Life insurers

This important milestone was reached in a collaboration between insurers AIA Australia, AMP Life, BT Life Insurance, ClearView, MLC Life Insurance, TAL and Zurich, which collectively comprise 95% of the gross written premium in the retail life industry, with support from ANZIIF.

Those life insurers have made a further shared commitment to achieving a Certificate IV level for all claims professionals by December 2023, and all underwriting professionals by December 2024.

Mr Brett Clark, TAL Group CEO & managing director, said, “A Professional Standards Framework will enhance existing skills and capabilities in the industry, ensuring we set a consistent industry minimum standard of skills and competencies for key parts of the workforce that serve our customers. This Professional Standards Framework sits alongside the industry commitments set out in the Life Insurance Code of Practice, which together, put in place important long-term commitments by the life insurance industry to delivering for our customers and the community.”

Ms Prue Willsford, ANZIIF CEO, said the launch of the Professional Standards Framework is a significant and positive step for the life insurance sector and the development of its people.

“Competency frameworks have been developed for Claims, Underwriting, Product and Distribution functions and will provide life insurance companies with a measurement tool for their own existing internal training, while professional development for employees will provide a roadmap for long-term consistency across the industry,” Ms Willsford said.