AXA will be writing to its brokers in the next fortnight asking them whether they plan to become authorised, and offering a helpline to those that need assistance.

The move is the next stage in AXA's broker compliance programme.

The insurer is currently running a series of workshops covering various compliance topics or 'modules' for its Premier Partners and Prime brokers in conjunction with consultant IFAct. Ten more modules are due to take place by March 2004.

Premier Partners are also being offered compliance audits by IFAact.

The workshops and the audits are not free, but brokers receive a discounted rate and a contribution from AXA.

The helpline is available to all brokers but is specifically targeted at AXA's 4,500 Spirit brokers who are not eligible for the workshops and audits.

AXA is currently in discussion with the FSA to provide further assistance to its brokers.

AXA head of broker development Colin Calder said: "The broker market is very important for us. If brokers disappear, we don't have the infrastructure to go direct. We have aligned our support programme to our distribution strategy."