AXA and Biba team up with the Faculty of Insurance Brokers in landmark initiative

Brokers will be able to access a comprehensive range of training and development tools in a landmark initiative spearheaded by the CII.

The Broker Academy, launched by the CII's Faculty of Insurance Broking, will provide a 'one-stop-shop' training and development regime for brokers, according to the CII.

The CII hailed the initiative, which has been developed with AXA and Biba, as groundbreaking. "It is the first time the market has come together to provide training and development for the broker market," said Lee Gladwell, CII group sales and marketing director.

Gladwell said the academy was of particularly importance to smaller brokers, many of which "weren't sure where to go for development".

Insurance Times revealed the launch of the Broker Academy last month (News 18 January).

The academy will offer online learning and assessment, face-to-face training, qualifications and technical updates. Brokers will be able to determine how to link the service to their own specific training needs. It will be launched on 8 February.

The online training tool has been developed from AXA's training tool, AXA Campus and Biba's Broker Assess. The 8,000 AXA Campus users and 12,000 Broker Assess users will be transferred to the Broker Academy.

"It will take the best of both [tools] to create a market-leading electronic training solution," said Gladwell.

The CII said face-to-face training through a series of regional 'master class' workshops would be a key focus of the academy. It said brokers would be consulted on the subject matter of the classes "to determine the agenda for 2007".

Gladwell denied the academy had been launched to head off tougher FSA rules in training and competency requirements. "It is taking the initiative rather than reacting to a problem," he said.

David Slade, chairman of the Faculty of Insurance Broking, said: "The industry has changed dramatically in recent years, with an increasing focus on competitiveness through enhanced staff capability and competence.

"Any broker looking to progress his or her career needs access to precisely the sort of tools and facilities delivered by this platform".

The academy will be funded by the CII and the Faculty of Insurance Broking.