Ian Simons unveils the CII’s new Professional Map and explains how you can help with its creation
In 2016, the CII started a conversation with members, employers and wider stakeholders about its purpose and direction, which became our Strategic Manifesto. During the last five years, we have been working to develop our core capabilities to support the delivery of the manifesto commitments.
We are now ready to enter a new conversation with you about the initiatives that will underpin the delivery of more engaged membership, insightful leadership and relevant learning. We recognise a need to expand from a focus on qualifications to supporting individuals throughout their whole career, while empowering businesses to invest in wider skills and behaviours for the future. And we need your feedback and ideas to make sure we are building the right solutions delivered in the right way for you.
We will be reaching out to members and the wider profession to discuss a number of interlinked initiatives that underpin this strategy: the Professional Map, a new member proposition, a new approach to qualification and assessment, together with professionalism. We believe that each of these initiatives will complement each other to your benefit, and better enable the CII to deliver on its commitment to “develop more member professionals to serve the public”. But we need your input to help shape the outputs.
The first of these initiatives that we will be sharing for your input is the Professional Map, a market-led framework that lays out the standards of professional competence for insurance and personal finance.
The ‘golden thread’
Responding to market feedback and leading practice from equivalent professional bodies, the Professional Map recognises the importance of technical knowledge, but emphasises wider skills and behaviours as the key differentiators of high performance and professional competence. These factors are informed by a professionalism framework that will become even more important in an increasingly digital landscape. The map recognises specific skillsets and roles within subsectors, but with the flexibility to enable career paths that are rarely linear or static. But the Professional Map will not just be a reference document for us to use to define future learning and career support – it will include diagnostic tools for both individuals and employers to assess their own skills gaps and identify relevant solutions across qualifications, training, online learning and continuing professional development (CPD).
We are referring to it as the ‘golden thread’ because it will enable us to establish common standards in partnership with the profession and wider stakeholders such as regulators, so that we can demonstrate a compelling link between professional conduct and achieving better customer outcomes that lead to improved public trust in insurance.
Grounded in market insight, the Professional Map will be periodically updated to reflect the current and future needs of the sector, while linking these practical requirements with standards-led purpose. Career benefits
- Individuals can assess how theircurrent knowledge, skills and behaviours map against where they want to be in their career, and to identify relevant learning, career support and guidance to help them fill any gaps.
- Firms will be able to use it to map their organisation’s current skillset against a market standard to identify priorities for attracting and developing the right competencies for the future.
- We will use the map to engage in an ongoing conversation with you, to make sure that we are developing the right learning, qualifications and membership services to help you succeed in your career and business goals.
- We will also use the map to help to improve public trust in our profession by demonstrating to consumers, regulators and other stakeholders that there is a set of standards to which a practitioner should adhere to in order to perform their role; and that we share a common agenda working towards greater professionalism.
What are the standards?
There are seven categories of ‘technical expertise’, three ‘enablers’ and seven ‘behaviours’, each defined with a series of outcome-based descriptions linked to one of four ‘bands’. An individual or employer can then easily assess how well they or their colleagues meet the standards appropriate to their career stage.
The descriptions work in similar ways to role profiles and personal objectives and are intended to help employers to design relevant job descriptions and aid skills-based recruitment and progression. In time, we will seek to add further groups of expertise such as employee benefits consultancy and those working in operations functions, with a view to creating a map that everyone can identify with. The four bands go from Band 1 – an entry-level role delivering within limited authority, up to Band 4 – typically senior management or leadership with strategic control over organisational delivery.
For example, one of five descriptors for Band 4 Data and technology is: “I ensure that processes exist within the organisation to ensure the timeliness, accuracy and validity of data and insights”, while Band 1 Underwriting consists of 11 descriptors, including: “I gather information from identified data sources and stakeholders to make recommendations on pricing”.
We will be inviting stakeholders to engage in a range of socialisation, feedback and co-creation events, to contribute to the future vision, find out more about some of our initial proposals and shape them.
If you would like to contribute to the Professional Map, please register your interest here: https://forms.office.com/r/cFjj4nT5QL. We will be publishing more details shortly on how you can contribute to the wider consultation.
Ian Simons is customer director of the CII