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Designations, designators & degrees: insurance professionals have opportunities to increase their knowledge of the industry through classes leading to an insurance designation and programs leading to a degree.

Insurance Professional Designations

Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI)

Description: Earning this designation helps producers increase commissions, improve insurance knowledge, avoid errors and omissions claims and earn continuing education credits for license renewal.

Qualifications: Candidates must take three classes and a two-hour exam with 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America.

Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS)

Description: Earning this designation trains financial professionals in building lasting client relationships and gathering assets under management.

Qualifications: Candidates must complete the program, pass the final examination and sign a code of ethics commitment and declaration form.

Awarded by: College for Financial Planning

Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR)

Description: The Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR) program is a nationally recognized program created by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and AICPCU/IIA. It provides participants with a strong insurance foundation and equips them with the skills needed to succeed in today's agency environment. The ACSR program offers three courses of study: personal lines, commercial lines and life/health. Completion of any of the three tracks leads to the ACSR designation. Students may choose the designation line most appropriate for their needs, or they may choose to complete all three.

Qualifications: The ACSR program offers three concentrations of study: Personal Lines, Commercial Lines and Life/Health. Choose between online, classroom or self-study courses. Two core modules and up to four specialty modules must be completed to finish the program.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Accredited Estate Planner (AEP)

Description: This designation is awarded to attorneys, chartered life underwriters, certified public accountants, certified trust and financial advisers, chartered financial consultants and certified financial planners.

Qualifications: Candidates must meet stringent experience and educational qualifications, including two graduate-level courses administered by The American College.

Awarded by: National Association of Estate Planners & Councils

Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC)

Description: Accredited financial counselors have certified skills to assist individuals and families in the process of financial decision making.

Qualifications: Candidates must pass an exam, present three letters of reference and have two years of admissible financial counseling experience.

Awarded by: Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education

Accredited Pension Administrator (APA)

Description: This designation is for administrators of retirement and other employee benefit plans.

Qualifications: Candidates must complete six study courses and pass examinations covering all aspects of plan administration.

Awarded by: National Institute of Pension Administrators

Accredited Pension Representative (APR)

Description: This designation is for retirement plan personnel, financial consultants/planners and investment advisers, focusing on fundamentals of retirement plans with an emphasis on defined-contribution plans and investment philosophy.

Qualifications: Candidates must complete two study courses and examinations.

Awarded by: National Institute of Pension Administrators

Associate Financial Advisor (AFA)

Description: This designation is for new producers in their first year of business.

Qualifications: Candidates must complete select 100-level courses equaling 30 credits.

Awarded by: LIMRA International

Associate in Claims (AIC)

Description: This designation, developed with the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters, focuses on technical claim-handling abilities as well as communication and negotiation skills.

Qualifications: One or more CPCU exams may be a required or elective part of this course; CPCU exams are 3-hour computer-administered essay exams.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU)

Description: This program complements current underwriting skills with resources and options available to commercial underwriters.

Qualifications: Candidates take three or four classes, depending on their background and/or prior courses, and must pass a two-hour exam with 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding (AFSB)

Description: This program, developed with the National Association of Surety Bond Producers and the Surety Association of America, expands understanding of both contract and noncontract surety, as well as crime insurance.

Qualifications: One or more CPCU exams may be a required or elective part of this course; CPCU exams are three-hour computer-administered essay exams.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Information Technology (AIT)

Description: This program, which replaced the Associate in Automation Management, is designed to increase knowledge and confidence when working with IT professionals and technical issues.

Qualifications: Candidates take three courses, with waivers available for AAM courses, and take a two-hour exam with 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

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Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF)

Description: This program builds a foundation to understand insurance accounting and finance. It covers practices, principles and procedures for preparing insurer financial statements according to requirements of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and other regulatory bodies.

Qualifications: One or more CPCU exams may be a required or elective part of this course; CPCU exams are three-hour computer-administered essay exams.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Insurance Accounting & Finance (Life/Health Track) (AIAF)

Description: This designation is given to professionals working in accounting or financial areas, or information services professionals who work with financial data for internal or external customers.

Qualifications: Candidates must complete five AIAF program courses and pass an exam.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Associate in Insurance Services (AIS)

Description: This program provides a basic understanding of continuous improvement principles. It is recommended for study by a group of people employed in the same organization.

Qualifications: Candidates must pass the two-hour AIS 25 exam, which contains 60 multiple-choice questions, and must earn one of several other designations.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Management (AIM)

Description: This program includes human resource management, analysis of current business issues, and general management principles and practices. The courses in this program are best suited for mid-level managers.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed three classes. Two hours are allotted for 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions. Candidates also must answer 150 questions from posted articles.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Marine Insurance Management (AMIM)

Description: This is to build a foundation in both inland and ocean marine. It was developed with the Inland Marine Underwriters Association and the American Institute of Marine Underwriters.

Qualifications: One or more CPCU exams may be a required or elective part of this course; CPCU exams are three-hour computer-administered essay exams.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Personal Insurance (API)

Description: Students gain an understanding of the personal insurance business, including underwriting, marketing practices, the personal insurance environment, personal insurance profitability, the product development process and portfolio management.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed four courses. The two-hour exam consists of 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Premium Auditing (APA)

Description: This increases knowledge of insurance contracts, auditing procedures appropriate to a variety of complex situations, principles of insurance accounting and the relationship of premium auditing to other insurance operations.

Qualifications: One or more CPCU exams may be a required or elective part of this course; CPCU exams are three-hour computer-administered essay exams.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Regulation and Compliance (ARC)

Description: Students gain a better understanding of the insurance regulatory environment and the effect regulation has on the business of insurance.

Qualifications: One or more CPCU exams may be a required or elective part of this course; CPCU exams are three-hour computer-administered essay exams.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Reinsurance (ARe)

Description: Students learn reinsurance principles and practices and gain an understanding of reinsurance terms and pricing, reinsurance treaties and facultative certificates.

Qualifications: One or more CPCU exams may be a required or elective part of this course; CPCU exams are three-hour computer-administered essay exams.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Risk Management (ARM)

Description: This program builds a strong foundation in the science of risk management. Students gain practical skills to avoid, reduce and manage risk and learn to adapt those skills to meet changing needs.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed three courses. The two-hour exam for each course consists of 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities (ARM-P)

Description: Students will understand the differences between public and private sector risk management.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed four courses and the ARM designation. A two-hour exam for each course consists of 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI)

Description: The ASLI program prepares a person to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the use of the surplus lines market. Earning this designation can be beneficial to industry veterans who wish to enhance their prestige and marketability. It can also benefit those who are relatively new to nonadmitted companies and who want to demonstrate a commitment to understanding their clients' needs.

Qualifications: One or more CPCU exams may be a required or elective part of this course; CPCU exams are three-hour computer-administered essay exams.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS)

Description: Curriculum focuses on strategic, financial and operational risk and the integration of hazard risk with these risks.

Qualifications: Candidates must fulfill the examination requirements by successful completion of, or credit for, Exams 1-7, and have credit by Validation by Educational Experience for the required topics of economics, corporate finance and applied statistical methods. After completing examination requirements, all prospective Associate members must make formal application to the Casualty Actuarial Society. Candidates need to obtain letters of reference from two CAS members. After all requirements are met and application is made, each candidate is voted on by the CAS Executive Council.

Awarded by: Casualty Actuarial Society

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Associate of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (ACA)

Description: A candidate for membership must be substantially engaged in consulting actuarial practice, in work as an actuary of a governmental unit, in work as an Enrolled Actuary, in work at an insurance company or in teaching actuarial science and satisfy any one of three independent criteria. Qualifications: A candidate for membership as an Associate must have attained the designation of ASA (Associate of the Society of Actuaries), or ACAS (Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society), or EA (Enrolled Actuary), or MAAA (Member of the American Academy of Actuaries), or MSPA (Member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries); or the equivalent designation for any international actuarial organization.

Awarded by: Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Associate, Annuity Products & Administration (AAPA)

Description: This program is for those who work in all areas of annuities.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed LOMA's five annuity-specific courses.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Associate, Customer Service Program (ACS)

Description: Students gain the ability to regularly interact with internal or external customers.

Qualifications: Several line-of-business tracks allow completion of the program with a concentration that fits a position within the financial services industry. Each track consists of five courses: three required and two from a specified set of electives.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Associate, Financial Services Institute (AFSI)

Description: Students gain a comprehensive business education in the context of the financial services industry.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed five courses within the Fellow, Financial Services Institute Program, including exams.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Associate, Insurance Agency Administration (AIAA)

Description: This program is for employees in agency branch offices, field offices and brokerages, or home office employees who interact with agency offices. Students gain knowledge of organization, customer service, technology; compliance and ethical issues, leadership and employee supervision.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed six courses.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Associate, Insurance Regulatory Compliance (AIRC)

Description: This designation indicates knowledge of how states and the federal government regulate insurance companies, financial examinations and market conduct examinations, state filing compliance, federal securities laws and how they apply to the sale of financial products, and what specific regulations govern insurance.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed six courses.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Associate, Life Management Institute (ALMI)

Description: This designation indicates a comprehensive business education in the context of the life and health insurance industry.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed five courses within the Fellow, Life Management Institute program curriculum.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Associate, Reinsurance Administration (ARA)

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Description: Students gain knowledge of reinsurance principles; the importance of the treaty in reinsurance; the development, administration and auditing of reinsurance products; and the importance of reinsurance to the insurance industry.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed six courses.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Associate, Society of Actuaries (ASA)

Description: The preliminary SOA examinations provide an understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts and how they are applied, with recognition of the dynamic nature of these fundamental concepts. In addition, a set of computer-based modules exposes a broad range of techniques the actuary can recognize and identify as to their application and inherent limitations.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed six examinations, three courses validated by educational experience, a series of online modules and exercises, and a professionalism course.

Awarded by: Society of Actuaries

Automobile Claim Law Associate (ACLA)

Description: This program examines in detail the basis for liability and coverage in auto claims. The program also addresses the interaction between the principles of law and coverage under the most common personal and business auto policies. Students will learn how legal liability and coverage disputes have been and are likely to be resolved in the courts.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have completed the Automobile Claims and Coverage Program and accompanying exam.

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Automobile Claim Law Specialist (ACLS)

Description: The program examines in detail the basis for liability and coverage in auto claims. The program also addresses the interaction between the principles of law and coverage under the most common personal and business auto policies. The student will learn how legal liability and coverage disputes have been and are likely to be resolved in the courts.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have completed the Automobile Claims and Coverage Program and accompanying exam.

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Board Certified in Estate Planning (BCE)

Description: This designation indicates knowledge of estate accumulation, preservation and distribution for brokers, advisers and planners.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed a 60-hour, self-study program. The three final exams are given at Thomson Prometric Centers and administered by the NASD. Students must also complete two open-book case studies. The BCE program is fully accredited.

Awarded by: Institute of Business & Finance

Business Process Advisor (BPA)

Description: The Center's newest designation, Business Process Advisor (BPA), is all about fast-tracking. Designed as a training tool for companies that provide customer solutions to local and international clients, offer back office support, or work with overseas support services, this program gets managers and staff up to speed quickly.

Qualifications: To earn the BPA, students must complete a six-course series aimed at orienting newcomers to insurance principles and operations. Students start with required courses covering the fundamentals of health insurance, learn customer service strategies, and master the basics of care management terminology and organizational structure. Electives provide options for more advanced-level studies focusing on medical management, call centers, and HIPAA.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Casualty Claim Law Associate (CCLA)

Description: The program examines in detail the basis for liability in specific substantive and procedural areas of law. The program also addresses the interaction between these principles and the most common coverages, such as automobile and general liability. Students will learn how legal liability and coverage disputes have been and are likely to be resolved in the courts.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have completed the Liability Program and accompanying exam.

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Casualty Claim Law Specialist (CCLS)

Description: The program examines in detail the basis for liability in specific substantive and procedural areas of law. The program also addresses the interaction between these principles and the most common coverages, such as automobile and general liability. The student will learn how legal liability and coverage disputes have been and are likely to be resolved in the courts.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have completed the Liability Program and accompanying exam.

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Certified Annuity Advisor (CAA)

Description: This program offers knowledge of annuities for the professional financial and insurance services adviser and home office staff.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed an enrollment assessment exam, pre-class independent reading assignment modules that require 18 to 24 hours, courses in a classroom setting or on a self-study basis, and a proctored final exam.

Awarded by: Advisors Certification Services

Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS)

Description: Students gain knowledge of fixed-rate and variable annuities.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed a 60-hour, self-study program. The final exam is given at Thomson Prometric Centers. The exam is administered by the NASD. Students must also complete an open-book case study. The CAS program is fully accredited.

Awarded by: Institute of Business & Finance

Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS)

Description: This program is for professionals in the employee benefits and compensation field. The program offers the opportunity to earn designations in three areas of specialization: group benefits (GBA), retirement (RPA) and compensation management (CMS).

Qualifications: To earn a designation in each of the specialty tracks and, at the same time, receive credit toward the CEBS designation, eligible candidates will have successfully completed eight courses and taken a two-hour exam at computer-based testing locations throughout the country.

Awarded by: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Certified Estate Advisor (CEA)

Description: This designation indicates expertise in estate planning.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates must hold a CPA, CFP or a professional license (attorney, securities, insurance, real estate). They must complete a self-study program and pass a 75-question exam.

Awarded by: National Association of Financial and Estate Planning

Certified Estate Planner (CEP)

Description: This designation indicates estate planning expertise among financial and legal professionals.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed a series of eight courses. CEP status is based upon the education received and maintained by each individual.

Awarded by: The National Institute of Certified Estate Planners

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Description: This designation indicates knowledge of competent, professional and ethical financial planning.

Qualifications: As of 2007 a bachelor's degree in any discipline is required to attain CFP certification. Other requirements include at least three years of qualifying full-time work experience. The candidate must master more than 100 integrated financial planning topics. Candidates can complete a course of study offered by an education institution with a curriculum registered with the CFP Board. Regardless of program type, the curriculum taught must be the equivalent of at least 15 semester credit hours. Generally, the course work in a certificate level program can be completed in 18 to 24 months. The 10-hour exam is divided into three sessions. It is administered three times a year at about 50 locations in the United States.

Awarded by: Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

Certified Fund Specialist (CFS)

Description: The designation, the oldest in the mutual funds industry, indicates knowledge of studies, research reports, industry trends, new ideas and products, sales presentations and marketing tips.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed a 60-hour, self-study program. The final exam is given at Thomson Prometric Centers. The exam is administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers. Students also must complete an open-book case study.

Awarded by: Institute of Business & Finance

Certified in Long-Term Care (CLTC)

Description: Students gain knowledge of long-term-care insurance. The program is recognized by state regulators through the granting of continuing education credits, as having provided essential information necessary to the appropriate sale of long-term-care insurance.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed a two-day master class or a correspondence course followed by an exam that is required for certification.

Awarded by: Corporation for Long-Term Care Certification

Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)

Description: This designation recognizes expertise in various types of insurance coverage. Course content is tailored to particular regions.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed five institutes on agency management, commercial casualty, commercial property, life and health and personal lines. Each institute is 20 hours of instruction, followed by an examination.

Awarded by: National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research

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Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR)

Description: This designation demonstrates an understanding of insurance coverages and the ability to analyze risks and exposures. Topics of study include commercial casualty exposures, commercial property, personal residential property, personal auto exposures and agency operations.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed five courses, exam.

Awarded by: National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research

Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)

Description: This program offers expertise in asset allocation, manager search and selection, investment policy and performance measurement.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed the course work in a classroom setting or online and a comprehensive, four-hour examination.

Awarded by: Investment Management Consultants Association

Certified Pension Consultant (CPC)

Description: Conferred to benefits professionals working in plan administration, pension actuarial administration, insurance and financial planning.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have at least three years of pension plan consulting experience. They must demonstrate competence in specific areas of pension and related employee benefits consulting through completion of the CPC examination series offered by ASPPA.

Awarded by: American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries

Certified Professional in Financial Services (CPFS)

Description: The continuing evolution toward an international competitive environment has had significant ramifications for insurance and financial services organizations throughout Indonesia. Banks, insurance and mutual fund companies are combining and packaging products to attract consumers at large. To develop and sustain effective international operations, LOMA created the Certified Professional in Financial Services (CPFS) education program to increase professionalism in the various fields of financial services: banking, insurance, securities, financial planning and more.

Qualifications: Students who successfully complete the five CPFS courses (four core classes and one elective) will be awarded a certificate and may use the designation CPFS within Indonesia as required by the Department of Finance and designated associations. CPFS courses also earn credit toward LOMA's FFSI (Fellow Financial, Services Institute) designation.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA)

Description: This designation stands for professionalism, commitment to professional training and results, and technical knowledge.

Qualifications: Candidates are required to participate in a series of three, one-day Insurance Success Seminars, designed to enhance the ability of producers, sales support staff and company personnel to efficiently create and distribute effective insurance programs. Upon completion of the seminars, CPIA designation candidates are notified of their eligibility. Candidates are awarded the designation and will be notified by letter from the AIMS Society. Diplomas are awarded during the Annual Conferment Ceremony held in conjunction with the annual PRO-to-PRO Executive Retreat. The designation does require a biennial update. This update requirement can be satisfied through participation in any one of the three core Insurance Success Seminars, participation in any one of the Advanced Insurance Success Seminars, by attending the AIMS Society's annual PRO-to-PRO Executive Retreat, or by maintaining Individual or Agency membership.

Awarded by: American Insurance Marketing and Sales Society

Certified Professional Insurance Woman/Man (CPIW/M)

Description: This program offers education and professional development, technical knowledge and leadership skills.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have been members in NAIW for at least two years, have been employed in the insurance industry for at least five years and completed the required educational programs.

Awarded by: National Association of Insurance Women (International)

Certified Risk Manager (CRM)

Description: Students gain expertise in all areas of managing risks, hazards and exposures.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed five courses. Each course involves two and one-half days of instruction, followed by an exam.

Awarded by: National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)

Description: This designation recognizes broad-based knowledge of health, social and financial issues important to seniors, and the dynamics of how these factors work together in seniors' lives.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed the required courses in a classroom, online or on a self-study basis. In addition, they must pass a closed-book, proctored exam.

Awarded by: Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL)

Description: This designation recognizes comprehensive knowledge of financial, health, psychological and sociological issues confronting older clients.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed five courses in either a classroom setting or on a self-study basis as well as the exams.

Awarded by: The American College

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Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA)

Description: This new designation can be earned by professionals who complete a curriculum encompassing a comprehensive demonstration of enterprise risk management. CERAs are qualified for risk manager leadership positions in all types of organizations, including insurance, benefits, broader financial services and the energy, manufacturing, transportation and health care industries.

Qualifications: To earn the new international credential, CERA candidates are required to successfully complete five examinations, as well as an educational module and professionalism course, to help prepare for leadership in the identification, measurement and management of risk within complex, risk-bearing enterprises. The CERA marks the first new credential since the SOA's founding. The original Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) and Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) credentials were established in 1949. Completing the CERA curriculum takes an estimated three to four years, and successful candidates will also become Associates of the Society of Actuaries.

Awarded by: Society of Actuaries

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Description: This program is intended to supplement the education and work experience of investment professionals. Curriculum emphasizes the knowledge and skills needed to be involved in asset valuation or portfolio management.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent. They have successfully completed three sequential, six-hour examinations over at least two years. (Level I is offered twice a year, in June and December. Levels II and III are offered once a year, in June.) In addition, they have worked as an investment professional for at least three years. That work experience may be prior, concurrent or subsequent to exam completion. (An increase in the work experience requirement to four years will be phased in through 2007.) Candidates commit to abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct and must reaffirm that pledge annually. Also, they must maintain membership-in-good-standing with the CFA Institute. The institute estimates candidates will need 10 to 15 hours per week for 18 weeks to prepare adequately for the Level I or the Level II examination. The minimum length of time taken to sequentially pass all three exams is two years. On average, it takes more than four years for candidates to earn the CFA charter.

Awarded by: CFA Institute

Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)

Description: Students gain expertise in insurance, tax credits, retirement planning, portfolio management, estate administration and other subjects.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed self-study or live classes. Six core courses and two electives are required. Each course concludes with a two-hour exam, administered at more than 3,000 exam centers around the country. Three years of full-time business experience is required.

Awarded by: The American College

Chartered Leadership Fellow (CLF)

Description: This designation indicates expertise in developing effective business plans, setting performance goals, motivating others, recruiting talent and retaining top performers.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed three years of experience in a leadership position in the financial services field, a curriculum that includes self-study and seminar, and exams.

Awarded by: The American College

Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)

Description: This program focuses on life insurance products designed to meet the needs of individuals, business owners and professionals, including income replacement, estate planning and wealth transfer.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed five core classes and three electives in a classroom setting or on a self-study basis as well as the required exams. Three years of full-time business experience is required for all Huebner School designations. The three-year period must be within the five years preceding the date of the award.

Awarded by: The American College

Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC)

Description: This industry-recognized mutual fund designation is the result of collaboration between the College for Financial Planning and the Investment Company Institute. This program provides a thorough knowledge of mutual funds and their various uses as investment vehicles.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed a study program and exam. They sign a code of ethics commitment and declaration form.

Awarded by: College for Financial Planning

Chartered Private Wealth Adviser (CPWA)

Description: The designation will certify financial advisers who work with clients who have between $5 million and $25 million to invest. The CPWA expands on Greenwood Village, Colo.-based IMCA's existing 18-month-long, three-part wealth management certificate program, which has been in effect for three years.

Qualifications: The designation requires applicants to have five years' experience in the financial services industry; a bachelor's degree or at least one of six other professional designations, including certified financial planner; and to agree that they will abide by IMCA's code of ethics. Course work will include classes in tax planning; tax-efficient portfolio construction and management; executive-compensation plans; management-concentrated stock options; retirement planning; asset protection; charitable planning; estate and gift taxation; and advanced estate planning.

Awarded by: Investment Management Consultants Association

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)

Description: This designation indicates a broad understanding of property/casualty insurance as well as a concentration in commercial or personal risk management. It includes in-depth expertise in personal financial planning and financial services institutions.

Qualifications: The CPCU program consists of 11 courses. Candidates must pass eight courses to earn the CPCU designation. All candidates must complete the five foundation courses. In addition, the candidate will select either the commercial or personal insurance concentration and complete the three courses in the concentration of their choosing. Candidates may not combine courses from both concentrations. They must submit a resume showing they were engaged in acceptable insurance activities for any 36 months (minimum of 17 1/2 hours per week) during the five years immediately preceding the conferment of the CPCU designation. Most exams are approximately 30 computer-administered essay questions. For two others, 100 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions.

Awarded by: American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the Insurance Institute of America

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC)

Description: This designation indicates expertise in various principles in the retirement planning field, including estate planning and asset management.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed the program and exam. They sign a code of ethics commitment and declaration form.

Awarded by: College for Financial Planning

Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS)

Description: This program is targeted to professionals who design, install and maintain retirement plans for the business community.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed a study program and exam. They sign a code of ethics commitment and declaration form.

Awarded by: College for Financial Planning

Chartered Senior Financial Planner (CSFP)

Description: This designation is available to licensed insurance agents who wish to work in the areas of retirement planning and asset protection.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed three clays of study in a classroom setting.

Awarded by: Association of Chartered Senior Financial Planners

Dental Benefits Associate (DBA)

Description: Carrier managers, carrier staffers or technical professionals working within the field of dentistry gain an understanding of dental benefits, plan design, and current trends impacting dental benefit insurance coverage, as well as an increased understanding of the impact of fraud and legal requirements on both coverage and plan management.

Qualifications: Three core classes on dental benefits and fraud, and an HIPAA primer.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Disability Healthcare Professional (DHP)

Description: This program expands the specialized course of study offered in the Disability Income Associate program by focusing on disability income insurance, group and individual health insurance. Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed five courses and an exam.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Disability Income Associate (DIA)

Description: This designation indicates expertise in the fundamentals of the health insurance industry, the role of disability insurance and recent disability trends.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed course work that includes contract analysis and case studies as well as proctored exams for each course.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Diversified Advanced Education (DAE)

Description: This program is for people who have held the Certified Professional Insurance Woman/Man designation for at least five years and held continuous membership in the sponsoring organization for at least the preceding five years.

Qualifications: Requirements may vary. Among the ways to earn DAE: 25 hours of insurance or continuing education; professional development courses either as student or teacher; one class leading to an industry designation either as student or teacher.

Awarded by: National Association of Insurance Women (International)

Employee Healthcare Benefits Associate (EHBA)

Description: Students gain in-depth knowledge of benefit planning options that employers can combine in different ways to meet the needs of their employees. They also learn how a number of trends have changed the environment of health care and related benefits for retirees.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed a class and an exam.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS)

Description: This designation indicates expertise in strategic, financial and operational risk and the integration of hazard risk with these risks.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have fulfilled the requirements of Associateship (ACAS) and successfully completed nine examinations.

Awarded by: Casualty Actuarial Society

Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (FCA)

Description: A candidate for membership as a Fellow must be substantially engaged in a consulting actuarial practice, employed as an actuary of a governmental unit or in work as an Enrolled Actuary or at an insurance company or in teaching actuarial science, and must satisfy any one of three independent criteria.

Qualifications: Members must complete 30 continuing education credits each year through a combination of general and professionalism credits, as long as at least three professionalism credits are included in the total.

Awarded by: Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Fellow, Financial Services Institute (FFSI)

Description: This designation demonstrates expertise in financial services.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have completed seven core courses and customized, job-specific education through the FFSI's Professional Achievement Credits.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI)

Description: This designation requires the completion of a comprehensive business education program for insurance and financial services professionals.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed a self-study, 10-course, professional development program and a proctored final exam.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Fellow, Society of Actuaries (FSA)

Description: Through completion of the FSA program, the actuary gains expertise in the financial risk of life insurance, health programs, retirement system, enterprise risk management, finance, or investment specialties, along with a course in ethics/professionalism and business applications.

Qualifications: The FSA designation is achieved by completing the ASA requirements plus two examinations and four computer-based modules.

Awarded by: Society of Actuaries

Fellow, Society of Pension Actuaries (FSPA)

Description: This program is for actuaries to certify their professional competence in actuarial and consulting aspects of pensions.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed an examination series for actuaries that includes advanced actuarial practice, financial and fiduciary aspects of qualified plans and advanced retirement plan consulting.

Awarded by: American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries

Financial Services Specialist (FSS)

Description: This designation indicates practical sales skills and introductory-level technical knowledge.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates are members of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors who have successfully completed three core courses, three electives and an exam.

Awarded by: The American College

Fraud Claim Law Associate (FCLA)

Description: This program is for claims professionals, fraud investigators and special investigative unit personnel. It covers fraud as it relates to casualty, property and workers' compensation claims, and also covers early fraud recognition, referral for special investigation and understanding of insurance policy requirements in order to combat fraud effectively while honoring policy obligations.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have completed Fraud and Legal Principles Programs and exam(s).

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Fraud Claim Law Specialist (FCLS)

Description: This program is for claims professionals, fraud investigators and special investigative unit personnel. It covers fraud as it relates to casualty, property and workers' compensation claims, and also covers early fraud recognition, referral for special investigation and understanding of insurance policy requirements in order to combat fraud effectively while honoring policy obligations.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have completed Law of Claims Fraud Investigation and Defense Program and accompanying exam.

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Health Care Anti-Fraud Associate (HCAFA)

Description: This program is for fraud managers and others in related fields to demonstrate they have the skills needed to detect and stop health insurance fraud. Courses include types of health care fraud and abuse, methods of detection, investigation and prevention of health care fraud and pertinent legislation.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed three courses and an exam.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Health Insurance Associate (HIA)

Description: Students gain knowledge of the marketing, administration and evaluation of various kinds of health insurance as well as the principles, contracts, underwriting and marketing of these coverages. Curriculum includes cost management, pricing, claims administration, policy issue and renewal, government regulation and fraud.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed six courses and an exam.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Healthcare Customer Service Associate (HCSA)

Description: This designation demonstrates problem-solving skills and familiarity with proven strategies for resolving customer service problems as well as the basics of managing, training and hiring customer service staff.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed four courses and an examination.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

HIPAA Associate (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) (HIPAAA)

Description: Students gain a working knowledge of that part of HIPAA known as the administrative simplification provisions. Curriculum includes HIPAA terminology, overview of the Privacy Rule, patients' and individual's rights, and guidelines on uses and disclosures of protected health information.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed two courses and an examination.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

HIPAA Professional (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) (HIPAAP)

Description: Students gain advanced knowledge of the HIPAA Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information in preparation for the role of privacy officer. The curriculum includes documentation; HIPAA terminology and the HHS Clarification of the Standards; and an elective to better understand the implications of HIPAA on either home care, medical practice or insurers.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed three courses and an examination.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Insurance Training Professional (ITP)

Description: This designation recognizes excellence in professional trainers. Requires both training and insurance experience/ knowledge.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates must be members of the Society of Insurance Trainers and Educators. Candidates must show insurance knowledge through a certificate or designation or an insurance/financial services course of at least 20 hours or a resume outlining a minimum of 10 years of insurance company experience in core competencies; evidence of training or A accredited degree in adult education or a closely related field with significant education course work or 20 or more semester hours in an undergraduate or graduate education degree program; and minimum of five years' experience as a trainer/educator.

Awarded by: Society of Insurance Trainers and Educators

Legal Principles Claim Specialist (LPCS)

Description: The program provides a foundation for a thorough understanding of the rules of law which apply to claims.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have completed the Legal Principles Program and accompanying exam.

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Life Underwriters Training Council Fellow (LUTCF)

Description: This designation indicates sales training, basic planning concepts, communication skills and knowledge of a wide range of life insurance products and services.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates are members of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors who have successfully completed courses, an ethics class and an examination.

Awarded by: The American College

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Long-Term Care Professional (LTCP)

Description: This program provides an understanding of the role of insurance in rising long-term-care needs, methods of financing long-term care, claims and administration associated with the coverage.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed four courses and an examination.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Managed Healthcare Professional (MHP)

Description: Students gain knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a management position in the health insurance industry including an understanding of the broad management role and organizational structures, operations and administration of managed care.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed six courses and an exam.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Marine Hull Claims Professional (MHCP)

Description: The designation provides a means for people involved in the adjustment of marine claims to attain a newly created professional qualification. The new designation recognizes that the industry needs professionals to meet the demands of clients, brokers and, increasingly, the regulatory environment. The designation offers recognition to individuals who provide the claims adjusting services for United States marine insurers.

Qualifications: The designation is open to Resident Associates and Junior Members who have been continuously and actively employed as adjusters or as underwriter's claims examiners/adjusters mentored by a Full Member for at least three years as a Resident or one year as a Junior and have successfully completed a written exam.

Awarded by: Association of Average Adjusters of the United States

Master Financial Advisor (MFA)

Description: This program is for experienced producers who want to demonstrate they have the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct financial planning.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates complete a selection of 300-level courses equaling 30 credits.

Awarded by: LIMRA International

Medical Management Associate (MMA)

Description: This program is for health insurance professionals who wish to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and reasons for medical management and its impact on the insurance industry. It also is for educators, providers of health care services, industry vendors, employees of preferred provider organizations, third-party administrators a nd others whose businesses and practices are affected by developments in health care.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed six courses and an examination.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Member, American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA)

Description: This designation denotes professionalism and credibility. Most states recognize the MAAA designation as a qualification for signing insurance company annual statements.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates must meet education requirements, be a member of an approved actuary society and have at least three years of full-time actuarial work.

Awarded by: American Academy of Actuaries

Member, Society of Pension Actuaries (MSPA)

Description: This program is for consultants and administrators, actuaries and other benefit professionals.

Qualifications: Eligible applicants have at least three years of responsible actuarial experience, as required for Enrolled Actuary status, and have successfully completed three examinations.

Awarded by: American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries

Private Annuity Trusts Adviser (PATA)

Description: This designation entitles financial advisers to assist clients with the implementation of National Association of Financial and Estate Planning Private Annuity Trusts.

Qualifications: This self-study course culminates with the successful completion of a final exam that is taken either online or by a fax process.

Awarded by: Association of Chartered Senior Financial Planners

Professional Financial Advisor (PFA)

Description: This program is for producers in their second or third year, providing the competencies required to expand their client base and sales using needs-based selling.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates have successfully completed select 200-level courses equaling 30 credits.

Awarded by: LIMRA International

Professional, Customer Service (PCS)

Description: This program is for individuals in customer contact positions in the financial services industry, such as call center staff, customer service representatives, claims representatives and managers.

Qualifications: The self-study program requires the completion of five courses.

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

Property Claim Law Associate (PCLA)

Description: This program provides the claims professional, whether a property specialist or generalist, an understanding of the legal principles which are the foundation for handling all property claims. Students will learn how these principles have been and are now being applied by the courts to interpret contract language and decide disputes over various personal and commercial lines coverages.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed the Legal Principles and Property Program and accompanying exam(s).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Property Claim Law Specialist (PCLS)

Description: This program provides the claims professional, whether a property specialist or generalist, an understanding of the legal principles which are the foundation for handling all property claims. Students will learn how these principles have been and are now being applied by the courts to interpret contract language and decide disputes over the various personal and commercial lines coverages.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed required courses plus three electives and accompanying exam.

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)

Description: This program is for retirement plan professionals who work primarily with 401 (k) plans, They typically assist employers and consultants with recordkeeping, non-discrimination testing and administrative aspects of 401 (k) and related defined contribution plans.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates must have at least two years of pension-related experience and will have successfully completed an examination series.

Awarded by: American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries

Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)

Description: This designation recognizes professionals who are qualified to perform the technical and administrative functions of qualified-plan administration.

Qualifications: Candidates with at least two years of pension-related experience may apply for this credential after successful completion of the examination series.

Awarded by: American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries

Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC)

Description: This designation is for financial professionals who specialize in retirement plans, helping them gain knowledge and experience in the investment side of qualified retirement plans.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates must have at least three years of investment-related experience or hold certain licenses. Applicants must demonstrate competence in specific areas of qualified retirement plans through completion of the examination series.

Awarded by: American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries

Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC)

Description: Students gain knowledge necessary to become a professional in the sale and service of employee benefits plans. Individuals develop an understanding of the various types of group benefits and retirement plans.

Qualifications: The five required courses can be completed through independent study. Each course concludes with a two-hour exam.

Awarded by: The American College

Registered Health Underwriter (RHU)

Description: This designation is for people involved in the sale and service of disability income and health insurance. The program offers education on medical insurance, disability income insurance, long-term-care insurance and managed care.

Qualifications: The three required courses can be completed through independent study. Each course concludes with a two-hour exam.

Awarded by: The American College

Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU)

Description: This program provides a broad, basic understanding of the professional liability disciplines. It covers technical issues from a practical point of view, including underwriting, risk management, legal issues, claims review and marketing/sales of professional liability insurance.

Qualifications: The self-study program includes five parts: General and Umbrella Liability, Reinsurance, Classification and Rating Systems; Professional Liability Overview; Non-Medical Professional Liability; Medical Professional Liability; and Directors and Officers, EPL and Fiduciary Liability. Each exam consists of all multiplechoice questions.

Awarded by: Professional Liability Underwriting Society

RIMS Fellow (RF)

Description: Students gain skills and knowledge needed to identify and manage operational, financial, external and other risks in organizations.

Qualifications: Candidates need at least five years of industry experience. Educational requirements include classes, workshops and online classes.

Awarded by: Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)

Senior Claim Law Associate (SCLA)

Description: Students gain a foundation for understanding the rules of law which apply to claims, The program is combined with three other focused programs to obtain the highest designation offered by the American Educational Institute.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed the Legal Principles Program plus three of five available programs that focus on liability, property, workers' compensation, fraud and automobile insurance.

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Workers' Compensation Claim Law Associate (WCLA)

Description: This program introduces the claims professional to the laws of workers' compensation. The program offers a detailed discussion of the most important aspects of workers' compensation necessary for effective handling of claims. Both the novice and experienced adjuster will achieve a working knowledge of the workers' compensation and employers' liability policy and obtain an understanding of how it has been interpreted in the courts.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed the Workers' Compensation and Legal Principles Programs and accompanying exam(s).

Awarded by: American Educational Institute

Workers' Compensation Claim Law Specialist (WCLS)

Description: This program introduces the claims professional to the law of workers' compensation. The program offers a detailed discussion of the most important aspects of workers' compensation necessary for effective handling of claims. Both the novice and experienced adjuster will achieve a working knowledge of the workers' compensation and employers' liability policy and obtain an understanding of how it has been interpreted in the courts.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed the Workers' Compensation Program and exam.

Awarded by: American Educational Institute
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Title Annotation:Best's Review: Directory for Continuing Education
Comment:Designations, designators & degrees: insurance professionals have opportunities to increase their knowledge of the industry through classes leading to an insurance designation and programs leading to a degree.(Best's Review: Directory for Continuing Education)
Publication:Best's Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2008
Words:8239
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