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June 09, 2015

A Call for Continuing Education Uniformity

By: Scott Gillahan

Carriers and agencies: Are you looking for a quick and easy solution to retrieve and verify CE status information?

Education providers: Are your CE course completion submissions slowing down your business processes?

Inconsistencies and Inefficient Processes

Agencies and Carriers

In a recent survey completed by 200 Vertafore agency customers, 35.7% of agents have unwillingly had a license lapse in the last five years. Late license renewals can cost up to 4x the normal amount ?it's critical to make sure you keep track of continuing education so you're not at risk.

Visiting every state's website for information is not a foolproof way to track CE information. In order to avoid this risk in compliance, you need a single source to manage your continuing education information for all 50 states.

Stay tuned.

Education Providers

A single source location for submittal of current and accurate continuing education information for all states doesn't exist. You're forced to submit information in various locations, causing major headaches. 

A common request that we receive from agencies and carriers is the ability to easily locate CE status information for any agent, from any state.  Education providers would also like this single location but for an easier submittal process. Both parties would benefit from obtaining uniformity of CE information between all 50 states.   

"State requirements are inconsistent with regards to new and renewal course approval submissions, filing fees, notification and cancellation of class schedules, roster filing, and instructor approvals," says Barb Gavitt, Vice President of Product Development and Education at A.D. Banker & Company.

However, there are initiatives underway. "Since 2013, CE uniformity has been one of the major tasks being addressed by the NAIC's Producer Licensing Working Group (PLWG). Recommended guidelines for best practices have been submitted by the industry and the PLWG is not only listening, but is actively participating in the process of developing regulatory best practices," says Gavitt.

Thanks for waiting Agencies and Carriers.

Although best practices and improvements are being made, there is still a lack in uniformity, causing friction in business processes.

Making Strides Toward a Common Goal

"The Uniform Education Subgroup and the NAIC are in the process of developing a new CE Reciprocity Agreement that will incorporate the recent adopted guidelines and definitions and further clarify the requirements of the agreement. While we are far from CE uniformity, it is apparent that all interested parties are committed to reaching this common goal," says Gavitt.

Although a perfect solution doesn't exist, there are additional solutions out there. Vertafore has a similar goal in helping drive CE uniformity. Currently, we have partnered with 22 states?including our most recent partnership with Maryland? to provide easy access to CE information in as many states as possible to help education providers, agencies, and carriers to submit and locate information such as renewals, applications, offerings, verifications, etc.

Learn more about Sircon solutions for states, education providers, agents, agencies and carriers.

How do you manage continuing education? Let us know by commenting below!

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Scott Gillahan

Scott Gillahan graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. He has been with Vertafore for over 12 years and works day-to-day with customers' top-of mind. By identifying market problems, Scott's goal is to ensure that Vertafore is building the right products and solutions to best service our customer's business needs. When Scott isn't solving the insurance market's problems, you can find him with his wife and three children either traveling, hiking, or visiting national parks. To date, he is closing in on 100 out of the 400 total national parks; technology by day, nature's solace by night.