Brokers reveal what they want in education

Results of the ANZIIF and NIBA broker education survey that was undertaken in August was revealed at the NIBA Convention this week, and the outcomes would come as no surprise to brokers who are already on their journey to reinvention.

Some 46 per cent of those surveyed believed slightly more or significantly more education and training was required than was currently experienced in brokerages and 52 per cent believed more professional development is needed in their brokerage, said Meg Brideson, ANZIIF general manger marketing and insights who unveiled the results at the 2016 NIBA Convention.

In terms of the outlook for what future qualifications would look like: “a majority … said that a formal level qualification is going to be more important in the future”, she said.

According to the slides she presented, 29 per cent think that a diploma level qualification will become critically important, and 31 per cent think it will slightly increase in importance. Next, was the advanced diploma level qualification with 20 per cent saying it will become critically important and 34 per cent saying it will slightly increase in importance. Even undergraduate and post graduate qualifications were believed to become increasingly important in the next five years.

However, Brideson said: “Tomorrow’s education does differ quite substantially from today’s, noting that we can’t stop some of the fundamentals that we must have.”

According to her slides, in the future, the outlook is for online content to become more important in the next five years (74 per cent), and online interactive content and material via apps would be even more so (85 per cent). Webinars come a close third with 83 per cent saying it will become more important in the next five years, followed by podcasts and video.

Interestingly, traditional ways of learning such as through written articles, face-to-face learning and on-the-job learning are a less preferred way to learn.

In terms of subjects, Brideson noted: “Understanding digital platforms, including social media, is going to become critically important – 50 per cent of people saw that, as was social media management.”

Importantly, many still saw understanding the insurance, financial and legal environment as something that was going to be critical (40 per cent).

Brideson pointed out that the survey found that most brokerages highly valued education and professional development, regardless of size, job role, years in the industry and location. But the greatest barrier to education was actually time commitment whether it is from a personal perspective, in terms of time to study, or from an organisation’s perspective in having to release the individual to study during work time.