NASBP has introduced the online course, “Ethics for Surety Bond Producers
,” to provide surety professionals with continuing education ethics credit specific to their industry, as well as to benefit nonmembers who work closely with the industry.
Most states require three hours of continuing education every two years for bond producers to be licensed. Many ethics courses, however, are more broad and only focus on insurance, so NASBP decided a surety-specific course was necessary given the unique three-party relationship involving a principal, an obligee, and a surety.
“Everything in this course is going to resonate with a surety bond producer as relevant to daily life,” says Liz Wise, NASBP's Director of Professional Development.
Among the areas of focus within the course are a greater understanding of what kind of relationship producers have with sureties and how that leads producers to take the positions they do, NASBP Ethics Committee Chair Nick Newton, of Newton Bonding in Stillwater, MN, says.
“It’s a great course,” Newton says. “We are going to make sure that it is updated annually with new, fresh scenarios. We are excited about it. We think this is a great course and that anyone who takes it will find value in it.”
The framework of the course comes from presentations and materials contributed by Thomas Tropp, Vice President of Ethics and Sustainability at Arthur J. Gallagher, who conducted a NASBP Virtual Seminar on ethics in July 2012, Wise says. In addition, NASBP Members and Affiliates provided real-world scenarios to help “bolster the course and make it distinct,” she says.
A common type of scenario is where a producer has a friendly relationship with a client who might casually mention a detail from personal life that could affect the client's company and ability to perform work, Wise says. The course examines a decision-tree process through which producers can determine what the most ethical course of action is, she says.
People who take the self-paced ethics course—available through WebCE and approved for at least three ethics continuing education credits in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.—have 12 months to complete it. They can revisit sections as often as they want during that time frame, Newton says.
The "Ethics for Surety Bond Producers" course costs $75 per student. To register for the course, visit http://www.nasbp.org/learn/online-courses/ethics
. To learn more, contact the NASBP Professional Development Department at firstname.lastname@example.org