Back to School

The Insurance Institute's revamped FCIP program is educating the leaders of tomorrow

Several years ago, a redeveloped CIP program spurred the idea to change the Insurance Institute’s more advanced FCIP program as well.

The Institute conducted a national survey in all sectors of the industry to find out how the FCIP program could be improved. A common finding was that the industry wanted the FCIP Program to prepare candidates for leadership roles. The Institute responded with a new curriculum, developed under the guidance of a committee that represented the CEO and industry leader community. The first term of courses under the new curriculum begins this month.

“As the industry’s education arm, the Institute’s programs must respond not only to the current needs of the industry, but also be positioned to respond to future requirements–particularly for entrants to our business who will have expectations that they will advance to leadership positions,” says Carey-Ann Oestreicher, vice president of business development and communications at the Insurance Institute. “As well, we looked to benchmark the FCIP designation against other senior designations in the broader field of financial services to ensure that graduates and employers will continue to value the designation as the industry’s most advanced qualification.”


The new curriculum includes six courses created with the assistance of academics from leading business schools in Canada and other industry experts, states Oestreicher. The curriculum provides insights into business practices with an orientation to the P&C insurance industry, with the goal of providing the skills and knowledge to be an effective leader in the business.

Additionally, courses in the new FCIP Program will be of value to all CIP graduates from all sectors of the industry, including brokers looking to advance their knowledge.

Some of the courses include: “Strategy in the P&C Insurance Sector,” which helps broker managers, partners, and owners develop and execute effective business strategies; “Leading in the Insurance World,” which provides an understanding of organizational issues, including human resources, team building, and change management; and “Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) in the Insurance Sector,” which explains how ERM creates value for all industry stakeholders. The program also includes courses dealing with financial management, emerging industry issues, and a project-based capstone course.

Enrollment and Eligibility

The revamped FCIP program is available nationally. Courses will be distributed online via the Institute’s Learning Management System, and facilitated by university-level faculty.

As the industry’s education arm, the Institute’s programs must respond not only to the current needs of the industry, but also be positioned to respond to future requirements.

“This course delivery methodology will allow students to network across industry sectors and across geographical regions while engaged in course-based discussions that relate directly to their jobs,” says Oestreicher.

Each of the first five courses in the program comprise one semester. The capstone, “Integrative Learning for the P&C Insurance Sector,” is a two-semester course. Oestreicher suggests that students take one course per semester, and at that pace they can expect to complete the program in about three-and-a-half years.

The FCIP Program is available to all CIP graduates with a university degree (three-year undergrad or equivalent). It is also available to CIP graduates with a college diploma who will take five additional university-level continuing education courses. This is so they are able to successfully deal with the higher academic level of the courses in the new program.

The admissions deadline for new applicants for the winter semester is October 30. Returning students must register by November 30, and can look forward to a January 2011 start.

For program admission and course registration information, please visit

Plan for Partner

RSA brokers can apply for a week-long course aimed at building leadership and business skills

RSA brokers who want to move up in their careers can count on the “Making Partner” program to get them there. The week-long session has about 18 spots available, and applications are open this fall.

“About 42% of management is expected to retire in the next seven years,” says Steve Loncar, regional VP of northeastern Ontario. “And with 74% of insurance business transacted through the broker channel, we knew it was important for there to be an educational resource where brokers could gain leadership skills and compete in a changing environment.”

The “Making Partner” program was launched in January 2008. Since then, 70 RSA brokers have graduated with the aptitude to grow their business and plan for succession. Specific themes include understanding a company’s vision and strategy, leadership, customer relationship management, and managerial decision-making.

Application Criteria and Process

RSA brokers must submit an application for the program, which has limited availability. Brokers can ask their Business Development Managers for an application, and email it to

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  •  8-10 years experience in commercial sales and/or 5-7 years experience in management
  •  must hold RSA broker contract
  •  insurance designation (e.g. CIP, CAIB)
  •  membership in association (insurance or directly related; e.g. construction, marine, small business)
  •  letter of support from principal
  •  one-page essay that explains why you are a good candidate for the “Making Partner” program.

Once the application is submitted, a panel including two representatives from provincial broker associations, two industry veterans and one representative from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. (which is where the sessions are held) will select the candidates. The “Making Partner” program is free for RSA brokers.

“The program addresses the void in education within the broker channel,” adds Loncar. “It provides RSA brokers with broad leadership skills necessary in today’s competitive environment, and we know of no other programs in the industry like it.”

While applications are open, the dates for the week-long session at Queen’s University in 2011 are yet to be confirmed. Upon completion of the session, brokers spend an additional day-and-a-half at the RSA headquarters in Toronto for a follow-up Education Day. Brokers can contact their Business Development Managers for more information.

© Copyright 2010 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the September 2010 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.

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