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Designations, designators and degrees: insurance professionals and aspiring 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 Estate Planner

Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI)

Description: Earning this designation helps producers to 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 (MMS)

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 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: Requirements include completion of 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 selected 100-level courses equaling 30 credits.

Awarded by: Linwa International

Associate in Claims (ALC)

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: Candidates must complete four courses, following a standard multiline approach or one of four specialty paths, and complete a two-hour exam with 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions. An additional exam and/or essay may be required, depending on the line of business.

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: Candidates take five courses and must pass a two-hour exam with 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions, as well as a computer-administered essay.

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

Associate in Reinsurance

Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF)

Description: This program builds a foundation for understanding 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: Candidates take four courses with various options and must pass a two-hour exam with 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions. A computer-administered essay also is required.

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 that 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. Pius, they 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: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed four courses plus two electives. Two hours are allotted for 85 computer-administered multiple-choice questions. Three hours are allotted for the computer-administered essay.

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 tour 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 program 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: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed three courses plus an elective. Two hours are allotted for 85 computer-administered multiple-choice questions. Three hours are allotted for a computer-administered essay.

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: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed three courses including a two-hour exam consisting of 85 computer-administered multiple-choice questions and a three-hour computer-administered essay.

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: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed three courses plus an elective. This includes a two-hour test consisting of 85 computer-administered, multiple-choice questions as well as a three-hour computer-administered essay.

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 (ASM)

Description: This program prepares students to meet the challenges presented by increased risk in the expansion of the e-commerce and high tech sectors of the economy.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed two required courses and two electives as well as the accompanying exams.

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

Certified Annuity Advisor

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 the prescribed 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

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 designation 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 courses and two elective courses 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: For employees in agency branch offices, field offices, and brokerages, or home office employees who interact with agency offices, this program offers knowledge of organization, customer service, technology; compliance and ethical issues, developing leadership skills and supervising employees.

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, Lite 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)

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 that the actuary can recognize and identify as to their application and inherent limitations.

Qualifications: Six examinations, three courses validated by educational experience, completion of a series of on-line modules and exercises, and a professionalism course.

Awarded by: Society of Actuaries

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 National Association of Securities Dealers. Students must also complete two open-book case studies. The BCE program is fully accredited.

Awarded by: Institute of Business & Finance

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

Chartered Financial Analyst

Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS)

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

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed a 60-hour serf-study program. The final exam is given at Thomson Prometric Centers. The exam is administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers. 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 that will qualify toward earning 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: At least three years of qualifying full-time work experience are required for certification. The education requirement means 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. 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. Course work culminates in a 10-hour exam. Beginning in 2007, in addition to fulfilling other requirements, a bachelor's degree in any discipline will be required in order to attain CFP certification.

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

Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR)

Description: This designation indicates 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: Completion of 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 tour-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 & Actuaries

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 Managers International (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

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)

Description: This designation recognizes broad-based knowledge of the health, social and financial issues that are 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 on the full range 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 sell-study basis as well as the exams.

Awarded by: The American College

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. In addition, they have worked as an investment professional for at least three years. (An increase in the work experience requirement to four years will be phased in through 2007.) CFA Institute estimates that candidates will need to devote 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 types of insurance, tax credits, retirement planning, portfolio management, estate administration and other subjects.

Qualifications: Self-study or live classes. Required: six core courses, two electives. 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 how to develop effective business plans, set performance goals, motivate others and recruit talent and retain 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 the 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 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 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, candidates will select either the commercial or personal insurance concentration and complete the three courses in the concentration of their choosing. They may not combine courses from both concentrations. They must submit a resume showing that they were engaged in acceptable insurance activities for any 36 months during the five-year period immediately preceding the conferment of the CPCU designation. Most exams are approximately 3035 computer-administered essay questions. Two others are 100 computer-administered objective (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 a variety of 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 days of study in a classroom setting.

Awarded by: Association of Chartered Senior Financial Planners

Health Insurance Associate

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 a proctored exam 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, or professional development courses either as student or teacher; or 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 an 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 are required to satisfy the annual continuing education requirement of 30 credits that may be satisfied with a combination of general and professionalism credits, as long as a minimum of three professionalism credits are included in the total credits.

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 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 systems, 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 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 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

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, prevention of health-care fraud and pertinent legislation.

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

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Health Insurance Associate (HLA)

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 also includes cost management, pricing, claims administration, policy issue and renewal, government regulation, and fraud.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates successfully complete six courses and an exam.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Healthcare Customer Service Associate (HCSA)

Description: This designation indicates 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 have successfully completed four courses and an exam.

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, patient's and individual's rights, and guidelines on uses and disclosures of protected health information.

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

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Hans

Professional Financial Advisor

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 candidate will successfully complete 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. Among the qualifications needed: Candidates must show evidence of insurance knowledge through a certificate or designation or insurance/financial services courses 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 accredited degree in adult education or a closely related field with significant education coursework; or 20 or more semester hours in an undergraduate or graduate education degree program. They must also have a minimum of five years' experience as a trainer/educator.

Awarded by: Society of Insurance Trainers and Educators

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 valued at 300 credits, an ethics class and an examination.

Awarded by: The American College

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 exam.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

Managed Healthcare Professional (MHP)

Description: Students gain the 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: Six courses. Exam.

Awarded by: America's Health Insurance Plans

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 intended 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 intended for educators, providers of health-care services, industry vendors, employees of preferred provider organizations, third-party administrators, and others whose businesses and practices are affected by new developments in health care.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates successfully complete six courses and an exam.

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 successfully complete three examinations.

Awarded by: American Society of Pension Actuaries

Private Annuity Trusts Adviser (PATA)

Description: This designation entitles financial advisers to assist their 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 complete 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, claim representatives and managers.

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

Awarded by: LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

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 the record keeping, non-discrimination testing and the administrative aspects of 401(k) and related defined-contribution plans.

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

Awarded by: American Society of Pension 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 &Actuaries

Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC)

Description: This program 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 & Actuaries

Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC)

Description: The focus is on providing the student with the 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 designed for persons 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, management of risk, 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 multiple-choice questions. A three-hour block of time is allotted for the exam.

Awarded by: Professional Liability Underwriting Society

RIMS Fellow (RF)

Description: The focus is on skills and knowledge needed to identify and manage operational, financial, external, and other risks in organizations.

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

Awarded by: Risk and Insurance Management Society
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Publication:Best's Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2006
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