Continuing Education (CE) is an indispensable part of an insurance broker’s career. It helps you keep up with industry trends, stay sharp, and learn new ways to better serve your clients. Most brokers are accustomed to gathering together for seminars and events to share ideas and learn… but 2020 has changed all this.
While brokers are still required to get their CE credits and should still pursue any possible opportunity to develop themselves professionally, it’s going to take a different form in 2021. Here’s how continuing education is going to be different for brokers in the new year.
CE courses and seminars will be presented virtually
Taking precaution against COVID-19 spread, just about all professional in-person gatherings have been moved virtually, including CE seminars and classes. Many will take the format of webinars and virtual conferences with supplemental material also being delivered digitally.
Try to look for virtual CE opportunities that allow you to have breakout sessions or have a networking component so you can talk to other industry professionals and make the most out of the experience.
Some CE courses will focus on different skills
Since the way brokers do their jobs has drastically changed recently, the topics and skills that CE courses focus on will likely shift to match. While some standard courses such as Medicare Coordination or Ethics will remain options through next year, there will likely be options for topics such as:
- Critical illness insurance (for COVID-concerned clients)
- Insurance fraud (more of an issue since COVID)
It wouldn’t be a surprise if courses were created to help brokers hone their digital and virtual skills, lining up with how brokers are conducting their business now.
Increase in on-demand programs
Since in-person interaction is limited and still makes a lot of people uncomfortable, brokers can expect states to get creative with how they deliver CE. There may be a rise in on-demand courses and content that can be made available to brokers when it works best for them.
Without having to coordinate a schedule for in-person sessions, this is a route that makes sense for CE providers to take. As the new year approaches, brokers should be on the lookout for more and more CE options in an on-demand, pre-recorded format.
Exam requirements have changed
In many states, there have been some additional changes surrounding CE exams that brokers should take note of. For example, New York State has eliminated the requirement for an approved monitor to be present for the final CE exam. While this is a temporary change due to COVID-19, it’s likely to continue into next year.
Continuing education should be an important part of a broker’s yearly planning. Like most other aspects of the role, it has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic but that doesn’t mean brokers will get any less of a benefit from it, as long as they understand how it will be different this upcoming year.
For more resources that brokers can use to get ahead and stay ahead in 2021 and beyond, visit the Clarity for brokers site to get started.