This year at the 2019 NASBP Annual Meeting, attendees who have the earned the Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding (AFSB®) and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU®) designations will be able to display a sticker on their name badge, indicating that they have obtained these prestigious designations.
These designations, typically obtained by surety professionals, are professional credential programs that help an individual increase his or her knowledge of risk management, surety, and insurance and demonstrate to clients, employers, and colleagues that they have obtained that expertise. The Institutes’ offers these as well as entry-level certificate courses and programs that introduce students to a specific aspect of the insurance industry, such as customer service. Among The Institutes’ designations that surety producers typically hold are designations in AFSB and CPCU.
For more than 110 years, The Institutes has been the insurance industry’s premier educational institution, offering learning opportunities at all levels of the profession: for pre-career, mid-career and senior professionals.
NASBP entered into a strategic alliance agreement with The Institutes in 2017 to upgrade The Institute’s focus on surety bonds as a distinct element of the industry. The mutual agreement reinforced opportunities for education for surety producers as well as for recruitment to the industry through The Institutes’ connections with college students and others on their way toward a career in insurance or surety. Under the agreement, NASBP ensures that surety industry instruction is included in The Institutes’ courses and that surety interests are represented in The Institutes’s public policy presentations.
The Institutes serves approximately 100,000 students per year through an educational model that allows for independent study or formal classes of various sizes. Study materials may be in the form of textbooks, online modules or videos. The Institutes offers certificate and designation programs and host senior-level events at which top insurance professionals exchange ideas. It also provides financial aid to college students specializing in insurance-related fields and have launched a curriculum aimed at other preprofessional groups.
With satellite offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, The Institutes has an international footprint. The organization’s main campus in Malvern, Pennsylvania, is home to its senior management, as well as more than 180 full-time employees.
Jason Terrell, CAE, AINS, Vice President of Business Relations for The Institutes, focuses on developing and growing relationships with industry organizations that advance the missions of both entities. Concerning the strategic alliance with NASBP, he remarked, “We have a strong relationship that allows us to learn from each other, leverage strengths, and ultimately serve consumers more effectively.”
Additionally, The Institutes conducts more than 10 live events each year that bring together senior members of the insurance business to work through problems common to their industry niches.
Enticing Students To A Surety Career
Most of The Institutes’ educational opportunities are directed toward professionals. But The Institutes also offers programs that target recent high-school graduates in need of education to enter their first career or people in search of a new career. These initiatives help address the problems of a surety industry struggling to find new recruits in a tight labor market.
For instance, The Institutes is partnering with the state of Ohio to offer Insurance Industry Workplace Readiness, a program that uses a professional career coach to help students understand the job opportunities in the insurance and surety industries, how to build a resume, how to engage in an interview and how to act on the first day of work. This eight-week online program includes a social component so students can ask questions of an instructor and interact with other members of the class. The Workplace Readiness program is currently being rolled out in Ohio, but it is scalable, according to Terrell, and The Institutes are preparing to roll it out for other states.
The Institutes Griffith Insurance Education Foundation provides nonadvocacy educational offerings that promote the study and teaching of risk management and all lines of insurance to high school and college students, as well as government officials and policymakers. The Institutes even bring together surety professionals to create practical tools for the industry. Terrell cited The Institutes RBA Alliance, which engages surety bond producers to help build blockchain applications.
Terrell called the formal cooperation agreement with NASBP a move toward a holistic approach between The Institutes and the surety industry. He added, “As we look at the rapid pace of change affecting all aspects of the industry, partnerships with strong organizations that have strong brands will become essential. In working with NASBP, we found both.”
AFSB® and CPCU® are registered trademarks of The Institutes. All rights reserved.