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Designations for insurance and finance professionals: a look at some of the classes, workshops and study courses that lead to certification from recognized organizations.

ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development)

ACE: ACORD Certified Expert

Description: An ACE certification means that an individual has received consistent training, passed the exams required for the designation, and is up to date on the latest ACORD standards and versions through continuing education.

Qualifications: Criteria for receiving an ACE include taking three exams focusing on specific topic areas: participation in the standards process; business line specific standards (property & casualty/surety; life, annuity and health; or reinsurance and large commercial); and insurance product knowledge. Continuing education is mandatory for maintaining an ACE.

AHIP: America's Health Insurance Plans

DHP: Disability Healthcare Professional

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.

EHBA: Employee Healthcare Benefits Associate

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.

HIA: Health Insurance Associate

Description: Students gain knowledge of the marketing, administration and evaluation of vanous 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.

LTCP: Long Term Care Professional

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.

The American College

ChFC: Chartered Financial Consultant

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 fulltime business experience is required.

CLU: Chartered Life Underwriter

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.

RHU: Registered Health Underwriter

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.

AICPCU/IIA (American Institute for CPCU/Insurance Institute of America)

AAI: Accredited Adviser in Insurance

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.

API: Associate in Personal Insurance

Description: Students gain an understanding of the personal insurance business, including underwriting, marketing practices, the personal insurance environment, personal insurance profitability, 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.

ARe: Associate in Reinsurance

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.

ARC: Associate in Regulation and Compliance

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.

AU: Associate in Commercial Underwriting

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.

CPCU: Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter

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 171/2 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.

Board of Certified Safety Professionals

CSP: Certified Safety Professional

Description: The CSP is a certification for professionals who develop or administer procedures and standards to control or reduce hazards and exposures that potentially are harmful to people, property and the environment.

Qualifications: Candidates will have graduated from an accredited college with a degree in safety or related field; have at least four years' professional experience and successfully complete two courses with exams.

Casualty Actuarial Society

ACAS: Associate, Casualty Actuarial Society

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.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

CFP: Certified Financial Planner

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

CFA Institute

CFA: Chartered Financial Analyst

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. 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. 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.

Corporation for Long-Term Care Codification Inc.

CLTC: Certified in Long-Term Care

Description: Students receive information and training to guide families on a range of issues, including home care, assisted living, nursing homes, social services, taxes, law and costs.

Qualifications: Successful completion of a seven-course module of study, which may be taken in-classroom or online, and passing of a proctored exam.

College for Financial Planning

AAMS: Accredited Asset Management Specialist

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.

CRPC: Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

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.

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

ACA: Associate, Conference of Consulting Actuaries 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.

FCA: Fellow, Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Description: This designation indicates expertise in strategic, financial and operational risk and the integration d hazard risk with these risks. Qualifications: Eligible candidates have fulfilled the requirements of Associate (ACAS) and successfully completed nine examinations.

Global Association of Risk Professionals

FRM: Financial Risk Manager

Description: Starting this November the FRM program will begin transitioning to a two-level examination format. Level I will cover core areas of risk management, such as quantitative analysis, financial markets and products and essential risk modeling. Level II will cover specific topics on the practical implementation and execution of measurement and management of market, credit and operational risk, as well as a new section covering current issues in financial markets.

Qualifications: A minimum of two years' experience in financial risk management or another related field, such as trading, portfolio management, academic or industry research, economics, auditing, risk consulting or risk technology. Successful completion of all study modules and passing the FRM certification exam.

Institute of Business and Finance

BCE: Board Certified in Estate Planning

Description: This designation indicates knowledge of estate accumulation, preservation and distribution for brokers, advisers and planners. The BCE program is fully accredited. Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed a 60-hour, self-study program. The three final exams are administered by the NASD. Students must also complete two open-book case studies.

CAS: Certified Annuity Specialist

Description: Students gain knowledge of fixed-rate and variable annuities. The GAS program is fully accredited.

Qualifications: Eligible candidates will have successfully completed a 60-hour, self-study program. The exam is administered by the NASD. Students must also complete an open-book case study.

International Claim Association

ALHC: Associate, Life and Health Claims

Description: The ALHC Program is designed to provide an introduction to life and health insurance and a thorough understanding of claim administration for both individual and group coverages.

Qualifications: Successful completion of six courses--two introductory courses and four associate-level courses--and six exams. The introductory courses may be taken from either LOMA (FLMI Program) or AHIP.

Investment Management Consultants Association

CIMA: Certified Investment Management Analyst

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.

LIMRA (Life Insurance and Market Research Association)

MFA: Master Financial Advisor

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.

PFA: Professional Financial Advisor

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.

LOMA (Life Office Management Association)

CPFS: Certified Professional in Financial Services

Description: The CPFS education program increases professionalism in the various fields of financial services: banking, insurance, securities, financial planning and more.

Qualifications: Successful completion of five CPFS courses (four core classes and one elective). CPFS courses also earn credit toward LOMA's FFSI (Fellow, Financial Services Institute) designation.

FLMI: Fellow, Life Management Institute

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.

National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research

scic. com

CIC: Certified Insurance Counselor

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.

CISR: Certified Insurance Service Representative

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

Qualifications: Candidates will have successfully completed five courses and an exam.

CRM: Certified Risk Manager

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-a-half days of instruction, followed by an exam.

National Association of Health Underwriters

DIA: Disability Income Associate

Description: Students will understand the fundamentals of the health insurance industry; the role of disability insurance; recent disability trends; and federal and state government disability programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and state temporary disability income programs.

Qualifications: Online course work in three study modules, including contract analysis and case studies. Administered in conjunction with AHIP.

National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

LUTCF: Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow

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 will have successfully completed six courses, with examinations; and are members of NAIFA. Curriculum administered in conjunction with The American College.

National Institute of Pension Administrators

APA: Accredited Pension Administrator

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.

APR: Accredited Pension Representative

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.

Professional Liability Underwriting Society

RPLU: Registered Professional Liability Underwriter

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

RIMS (Risk and Insurance Management Society)

RF: Fellow, Risk and Insurance Management Society

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

Qualifications: Candidates need various college- or university-level studies in business, economics, MIS, law, insurance, marketing or management. At least five years of industry experience. Requirements include 12 days of workshops.

Society of Actuaries

ASA: Associate, Society of Actuaries

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.

CERA: Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst

Description: Curriculum encompasses a comprehensive demonstration of enterprise risk management. CERAs are qualified for risk-management leadership positions in many organizations including insurance, benefits, financial services, energy, manufacturing, transportation and health care.

Qualifications: Candidates successfully complete five examinations, as well as an educational module and professionalism course. Completing the CERA curriculum takes an estimated three to four years, and successful candidates will also become Associates of the Society of Actuaries.

FSA: Fellow, Society of Actuaries

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.

This is a selective listing of insurance designations. See a more complete list of designations at or visit the Web sites of the various organizations.
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Title Annotation:Agent/Broker: Professional Designations
Publication:Best's Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2009
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