Ian Simons explains how the Professional Map and Future Me are aimed at helping insurance professionals develop the skills and knowledge to thrive in their careers
The Professional Map is a new competency framework for the insurance and personal finance professions – covering not just technical knowledge but skills and behaviours expected of a professional now and in the future.
The Professional Map will benefit professionals by giving them a sector-wide standard of competence, informed by the market and aligned with regulatory and ethical standards, so everyone can see what good looks like and how to get there.
It will help members to:
- Self-assess their existing competencies.
- Identify future career pathways.
- Prepare for appraisals and development plans.
- Find relevant learning solutions to fill skills gaps.
It will also enable employers to optimise the employee lifecycle by:
- Developing standardised job specifications.
- Designing competency-based interviews and evaluation.
- Prioritising organisational skills development plans.
Peter Blanc, president of the CII and CEO of Chartered insurance brokers Aston Lark, says: “At Aston Lark we are making plans to embed the new framework into our existing learning and development structures. It is so helpful to be able to describe core functions and competencies in such a professional framework so that staff can plan their career progression with confidence. Aligning our career development plans for staff with a professional map will help to bring opportunities for progression to life.”
It combines technical expertise with behaviours and skills enablers expected across the profession, with outcome statements relevant to each stage of a practitioner’s career.
The CII and Personal Finance Society (PFS) will use the map to prioritise CPD relevant to members’ career stages, together with qualification and training content, so members should be able to easily identify relevant learning to fill any gaps or refresh existing knowledge.
“The Professional Map will become the ‘golden thread’ in what the CII offers – providing a common set of competencies that will enable alignment between professional standards and lifelong learning – delivered through world-class learning content, qualifications and membership,” says Gill White, chief customer officer of the CII.
The Professional Map was developed with the input of more than 200 technical and regulatory experts, learning and development and HR professionals, senior leaders and international stakeholders, via interviews, technical reviews and focus groups
Sarah More, head of learning and development at Ardonagh Specialty says: “The Professional Map will support Ardonagh Specialty in the context of our growing international presence.
“It provides a common benchmark of what it means to be a professional today, i.e. what technical expertise and behaviours are key for our people to deliver for our clients with confidence and consistency across markets.”
The CII has also launched FutureMe – a career development hub, providing tools and content specifically tailored to helping members progress their professional aspirations – whether that is a promotion or new career path.
The interactive platform hosts more than 5,000 videos, 800 careers e-learning bites, 14 personality assessments, a CV builder, an interview simulator and 300 business and IT skills courses, all focused on tackling career development issues.
The CII has built FutureMe in response to member demand for more support in planning and progressing careers, recognising the importance of transferrable skills and tools in addition to CPD and technical knowledge. The Education and Training Trust charity funded the development of the platform, in support of its aims to advance the education and training of those either currently employed in the profession or seeking to join.
FutureMe should give new entrants or those returning to work after a career break a simple route map to set them on the right direction to a rewarding career in insurance or personal finance.
Sarah Elson, Chartered financial planner at Berry & Oak and Fellow of the PFS, says: “The FutureMe careers tool is a great way of being able to bring new thinking to the way we provide careers information, advice and guidance. The FutureMe tool has a key role to play in helping anyone to prepare for their future career or next move, providing individuals with information and guidance that gives them the confidence to make an informed decision about their career path.”
Ms Elson adds: “The platform contains some great tools to help build a CV, write a cover letter and prepare for interviews, as well as tools to improve IT skills and assessments to help understand learning styles and strengths. I was very impressed by the huge range of information and resources on the site and even managed to take advantage of the ‘elevator pitch’ tool myself.”
Members can access FutureMe via MyCII and the Professional Map will launch summer 2022.
Ian Simons is customer director of the CII