The CII has launched a new training and compliance programme for creditor insurance in response to criticisms surrounding the sale of such products.

Creditor Protection provides training for secondary intermediaries, such as retail and motor dealership staff, to help them minimise the risks of payment protection plans being mis-sold.

CII director-general Sandy Scott said the programme would also help secondary intermediaries who sell creditor insurance prove that their staff are trained and competent as required by the FSA by January 2005.

Scott warned that urgent steps needed to be taken to improve the reputation of creditor insurance products.

"It's vital that consumers are given the best advice when taking out creditor insurance. Sales staff must always be sure the product is appropriate for the individual," he said.

Creditor insurance provides protection against inability to maintain payments under a credit agreement.

It is usually sold in conjunction with a loan product such as a mortgage, personal loan or credit card.

The programme, which includes specific units for the motor and retail sectors, is available online from this month.