At a Glance
- The Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) Program is a key part of the school-to-work transition for professionals in the property and casualty insurance industry.
- Seventy-six per cent of employers see a quantifiable return on their investment in the CIP Program.
- Those who hold a CIP designation earn an average annual wage premium of about $8,000 more than their colleagues with a similar level of experience but without the designation.
- The CIP Program is about making the insurance industry better; 77 per cent of employers report that employees with CIP designations offer higher quality
The CIP Program and Employers: Improving the Customer Experience
The P&C industry displays strong support for the CIP designation. That support is apparent in the widespread use of employer incentives that encourage employees to enrol in the program and appears to be justified when one considers the benefits that CIP-designated professionals bring to and receive from the workplace. When it comes to incentives, 97 per cent of employers report having some form of support for employees taking the CIP Program. Paying for courses is the most common employer incentive available (offered by 91 per cent of employers), but time off work for study and exams (74 per cent of employers), bonuses for course completion (56 per cent of employers), and salary increases (24 per cent of employers) are other forms of incentives reported. What is more, 70 per cent of employers encourage professional employees to earn the CIP designation as part of their performance review process.
The industry sees the CIP Program as a key bridge between the more generalized skills and knowledge acquired in university or college and industry-specific skills required by P&C employers. Employers most often look to the CIP Program to develop employee skills in these areas:
- general knowledge about the P&C industry (sought by 75 per cent of employers);
- technical skills specific to the industry (sought by 58 per cent of employers);
- specific knowledge for occupations common in the industry (sought by 44 per cent of employers).
The high level of employer support for the CIP Program speaks to the benefits that employers see in the program. When employers were asked whether their support for the CIP Program paid off in terms of returns to their business, about half answered
yes, another quarter indicated
somewhat, and 12 per cent said they didn’t know.
Among the employers that felt their support of the CIP Program had paid off, the top benefits reported were:
- employees who offer higher quality service (reported by 77 per cent of employers);
- more competent employees (reported by 73 per cent of employers).
Other reported benefits include employees having more respect for clients, lower employee turnover, and higher employee productivity.
The CIP Program is particularly effective when companies design their training and development programs around it. For example, CIP courses explain the general concepts and approaches to underwriting, allowing the employer’s training to focus specifically on the company’s underwriting appetite and philosophy. Many firms already do this, with 55 per cent of employers reporting that their training system is at least partially connected with the CIP Program.
CIP Graduates: More Opportunities, Better Pay
Employees in the P&C insurance industry have a strong interest in completing the CIP Program. Nearly 80 per cent of respondents to the employee survey indicated that the CIP designation leads to better career prospects in the P&C industry. This is corroborated by employers: 79 per cent agree that there are more industry opportunities for those with a CIP designation and 71 per cent agree that job candidates with a CIP designation are more attractive potential hires. In job postings for experienced professionals, 25 per cent of employers require a CIP designation, while another 45 per cent indicate that the designation is preferred.
Given employers’ preferences for job seekers with a CIP designation, it is not surprising that CIP holders are able to garner a wage premium. Indeed, 55 per cent of employees expect that a CIP designation will lead to higher pay, and 53 per cent indicate that it leads to higher mobility within their organization. In fact, on average, those with a CIP designation can expect to earn $8,000 more a year than their colleagues with a similar level of experience but no CIP designation.
In addition to paving the way for better career opportunities and higher pay, the CIP designation can provide employees with additional benefits, such as increased self-respect and pride in their work. Among employers, 52 per cent believe that a CIP designation is either very or extremely beneficial in supporting the morale and confidence of their employees. Employees provided a similar response, with 56 per cent reporting these high levels of benefit from a CIP designation.
As well, the CIP Program contributes to developing a community of insurance professionals. In fact, 41 per cent of respondents to the employee survey reported that the CIP Program is either very or extremely beneficial in helping them engage with a community of insurance professionals. These benefits were greatest in Atlantic Canada, where the number increased to 55 per cent. The only major region with a below-average share was Quebec, where language barriers may limit the benefit of communicating with other P&C professionals across the country.
To learn more about the CIP designation and its role in the P&C insurance workplace, please visit the Insurance Institute of Canada at www.insuranceinstitute.ca/CIPvalue
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