Vivine Cameron explains how the Higher Education Alignment programme is bridging the gap between academic and professional qualifications
The CII has a vision to achieve parity of esteem with established professions such as law, medicine and accountancy, and one of our metrics is encouraging students to achieve CII professional qualifications as part of their university course or academic journey.
At the heart of what the CII is focusing on is attracting, engaging and recruiting new talent into the profession, while helping individuals find a fulfilling role in which they wish to progress. As a learning and development professional, my remit is the creation and management of CII partnerships within higher education to expand the range of education options available to insurance and personal finance professionals -- both existing and going forward.
The CII's two routes of accreditation were revisited with CII university partners to determine a more comparable approach to that of other professional qualifications. Graduates would need from their degree programmes to be either en route to, or part-qualified in, insurance and financial services professional qualifications -- in the same way as, for example, accountancy or law.
Therefore, an alternative model, Higher Education Alignment (HE Alignment) was created and piloted in 2018/2019 to bridge the gap between the current academic and insurance and financial services professional qualification achievement. The net results are:
- Strengthening of their proposition for students, linking to employability.
- Stronger offering of new talent for employers in the profession.
- Access to resources and materials produced or endorsed by the CII.
- Competitive edge as a provider in the HE landscapes.
- Earlier achievement of professional qualifications.
- Undertaking professional qualifications at an academic (reduced) rate.
- Professional qualification positioning them as a stronger employable marketable prospect.
- Access to insurance and financial services employer networks.
GENERAL AND FINANCIAL SERVICES EMPLOYERS
- Additional route of recruitment for acquiring new talent.
- Engaged and committed new talent demonstrated by additional professional qualifications.
- Cost saving as certification exams have already been achieved or are near completion.
Dr Lien Luu, associate professor in finance at Coventry University, says: "I started my career 25 years ago and in addition to my academic qualifications, I am also qualified as
a Chartered financial planner, a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society and
a registered life planner with the Kinder Institute.
"At Coventry University, we run the Wealth Management Mentoring Scheme, giving students exposure to financial planning. In addition, their ability to take R01 before they graduate makes them very employable.
"This enables our students to consolidate their learning and obtain valuable qualifications, especially when they have already studied a personal finance module in year one and a financial services module in year two," says Dr Luu. "Even if they do not pursue a career in this sector, I believe that taking these financial services professional qualifications will give them a lot of personal benefits."
GET IN TOUCH
If you are a higher education provider interested in this exciting opportunity with the CII HE Alignment arrangement and would like to know more, contact Vivine Cameron via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vivine Cameron is education partnerships manager of the CII